Brompton in the Bag, with Boogie
That’s my bike; in a bag. Quite snazzy, don’t you think?
I deserve a prize for single-handedly fitting the Brompton into this bag — everything must be just so to get the zippers to meet. A neat pull handle, rollers and shoulder straps will make walking through the airport pretty easy. I’ve been encouraged to tell Alaska Airlines that it’s ‘athletic gear’, which is cheaper than shipping “sporting goods such as bicycles”. Bonus-time for the bean-counters, ka-ching!
This bike is headed to Portland next weekend — for 6 days, while I take UBI’s Intro to Bicycle Maintenance with my son. Five days, from 8:30am til 5pm, sounds like a lot of class time.
I’m taking the Brompton for 2 reasons: one, it’s quite portable, but also because I don’t know the first thing about maintaining it. My kids once called it, “Dad’s Clown Bike”. Just removing the rear tire — there’s documentation for that and I haven’t read it, so I have much to learn.
UBI once only offered their curriculum in Ashland, which is a lovely place, but off the beaten track. PDX, as frequent flyers know it, is much more accessible — I have a direct flight that arrives in time for lunch.
Another bonus, I’m staying in the same building as my sister — right downtown. Remember Lou Doctor’s interview on eCommerce? I’ll be camping out just a few floors below them.
My sister’s excited about her longest ride — on the 4th she pedaled 40 miles. That’s a good outing and I told her so, “You’ll be able to come touring with me soon.”
She has a rails-to-trails route she wants to show me. The family-time and the evening rides will make for a memorable week. By mid-week I’m bound to be better at fixing flats or any other minor mechanical woe.
Wish I had a photo of my son’s bike in its box; there didn’t seem to be time for posing pictures as doing even simple tasks with an almost 17 year-old can be challenging. It seemed like a 12-step process for disassembling and packing the bike into the reusable box. It didn’t fit the bike I had in mind when I ordered it; such is buying things sight-unseen on the web, eh? But the B&W box fit my son’s road bike. Technically, the father-son time together was a success, the bike is in UPS’s hands now, but I would be a little stung as, at times during this hour together, I was called a ‘retard’ and ‘blind’ more than once. Not politically correct is just one of the wounds his words’ wince.
That 17 year-old thing, I’ve got more to say about that. Last night as the family and two friends idled in front of the TV, we chose “The Rum Diaries”, which will bum you out, so instead go straight to “Project X (#Xtendedcut)”. And yes, only the extended version will do, because you won’t believe your eyes as this wild and crazy and very well done mockumentary of perhaps the greatest high school party of all time unfolds. The heck with a bicycle, watching this for 90 minutes will make you feel like a kid again! Hold onto your hat as this party grows large, lewd and lasting all night. My wife can’t stop talking about it, “It’s the ‘Animal House’ for high schoolers.”
A new way to reach my son? Like the hero of the movie, he’ll be 17 next month. Earlier, I tried this, “Yeah, I need your help to pack up this bike, and in return Mom and I thought we’d go out of town for your birthday…”
Like the hard-to-predict teen he so completely is, he shoots back, “I don’t want a party; I just want to stay out all night!”
I feel trumped again; checkmated with my own analogy.
More posts to follow as we tip-toe into this father-son epic journey.