Kaylie has been begging AND BEGGING to bike to school since the spring. The day we finally decided to let her bike, she discovered that her bike had been stolen. There was no way we could afford to buy her a new one, so she waited for her birthday and received one as a gift from her bio dad. She’s a lucky kid.
I told her we’d try biking this fall, but I didn’t have a bike, and Noah’s bike was too big for me. He said I could sell it and buy one that fit me, since he rarely rides his, so that’s what I did on Friday. Cut to this morning.
We were already off to a bit of a late start and I hadn’t put the attachments on my bike for the trail-a-bike or the Chariot. I quickly hooked the trail-a-bike up (since the Chariot goes behind that) and figured I’d hook up the Chariot to my bike once we were at the school and had taken off the trail-a-bike.
The ride went well, all was good (though half-way through, Liliana said to me, as I was pulling her and her brother, “Mama, is this exercise?” NO. NOT AT ALL), and the girls were just on time for school. And then it all unravelled.
I was expecting the rear hub of my bike to have a quick-release skewer in it, and did not have the mind to check on this before we left. Fail. It did not have a quick-release on it, and I did not bring a wrench for the bolts that I found instead. (I needed to put the Chariot attachment on the rear skewer.) This is what I get for buying a cheap bike. But it was either a cheap bike or no bike, and since I no longer work in a bike shop, I can no longer get a good bike for cheap.
Oh, and also? I did not bring the handlebar for the Chariot, so I couldn’t even just walk home with Preston. I’d taken it off just before we left, to make our “train” just a bit shorter, because why would I need it? Yea.
I walked into the school, waited during the three-hour-long announcements, and asked to borrow a wrench. The janitor/maintenance guy came outside with me and … I couldn’t find the Chariot attachment. I swore I just had it, but maybe I didn’t? I searched my bag, I searched the Chariot, I searched the ground. It was nowhere to be found. I apologized to the guy for wasting his time.
Now I was stuck. I couldn’t bike home because I didn’t have the attachment, and I couldn’t walk home because the Chariot didn’t have a handlebar for me to push it. And I was not about to walk the 5k home with a toddler, because that’s just pure insanity.
I locked all three bikes together then pulled the Chariot by the bike attachement to my in-laws’ place a couple blocks away and stashed it in their back yard. Then I called a cab. I made sure to ask if they took debit, because by some stroke of luck I’d put my debit card in my back pack when I biked to work yesterday.
The cab smelled like my Opa’s house. It also reminded me of the last cab ride I took, in downtown Toronto with Angella, Amy, and Adam, when the cab driver lost it because we tried to pay with a credit card and he claimed he did not take credit cards. Especially the part where the current cab guy pulled up in front of my house and said that he did not take debit cards. UM. I ASKED AHEAD OF TIME TO MAKE SURE YOU TOOK DEBIT CARDS WHAT THE HECK?!
I managed to find some cash in the house, which was a miracle, since we never have cash. I could have just blown him off, yes, but HE KNOWS WHERE I LIVE. I didn’t tip him. I couldn’t tip him.
Oh, and while I was looking for my house keys in my bag, I found that Chariot attachment in the mesh side pocket thing. Don’t tell Noah, because I’m always poking fun at him for not being able to find things that are right there.
Soon after we got home, Preston and I went back to pick up the Chariot and the bikes, as the good lock is only big enough for one bike, and I’d used a crappy lock on my bike and didn’t want it to disappear. (I became an expert lock-picker when I worked at the bike shop. Never use combination locks. They’re easily picked.) Also, Preston got to see Miss Sue when we picked up the Chariot, so that was an added bonus. Except he’s currently less likely to give out hugs and more likely to yell NO! right in your face.
— Jen Wilson (@jenwilsonca) September 16, 2013
Though I write stores like this not so much for the woe is me factor but more for the woah is me, as in, WOAH IS ME SUCH A BRILLIANT FAILURE FEEL FREE TO LAUGH AT ME.