A week of recklessness.

I nearly made a trip-to-the-hospital mistake at work on Tuesday. I was checking the chain tension on a fixie by springboarding my fingertips on the top as I turned the crank. As my fingers were bouncing off the chain, the tip of my thumb began to get sucked in. I reflexively jerked back my hand before the drivetrain trapped it.

A fixie differs from a single speed in that the cog is tied to the motion of the pedals. Single speed bikes have a freewheel that allows you to coast downhill without pedalling like the devil to keep up with the spinning rear wheel. Ergo, the force generated by the spinning rear wheel of a fixie is strong enough to gobble up a digit or two.

I told a co-worker about the accident that almost was, and his response was: “Oh, yeah, that would have been really bad. People lose their fingers. There’s a website featuring photos of mangled mitts that were fed through the drivetrain.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

I don’t touch fixies often (they’re not as popular in Victoria as in Montréal), so I had let my guard down.

Yann says his shoelaces once got sucked into the drivetrain while riding a fixie: “My shoelaces broke, but my foot turned blue.”

Then, Wednesday morning, on my way to work, I nearly found myself in a visit-with-the-police situation.

Continue reading “A week of recklessness.”

Fleeing the island by bike.

Passengers of the 7pm Wednesday sailing from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen were treated to a spectacle. People rose from their seats and flocked to the front of the boat. I happened to be seated at the front, so I took the cue and got up for a better look. It was a beautiful sight, the sun was shining, and the boat was squeezing in-between the Southern Gulf Islands. A lone crew member was on the deck, resting his arms on the railing, but I was fairly sure he wasn’t meant to be the spectacle.

Some of the passengers migrated to the starboard windows while others returned to their seats. Curious about what had just happened, I tapped a message on my phone and showed it to the woman seated across from me, “I am deaf, I have noooooo idea what just happened.”

Continue reading “Fleeing the island by bike.”

Stealthy, like a fat cat.

After being reunited with my phone after it spent the night in a Park Tool caliper case at work, I slipped it in my jersey pocket and prepared my bike for a long ride. Monday was a civic holiday: BC day. It was fitting that I had the day off while Yann, a Québecois, had to work.

It was going to be a warm day, so before leaving, I made sure to freshen the cats’ water dish. I waved goodbye to Bubble who was tucked into a cat loaf on the couch. Enfoiré, our round son, was neither on the couch nor in the cat tree. I checked the bed: not there. On the fridge with his front paws hanging over the freezer door? Nope. Had he slipped into the washroom without me noticing and was now gnawing on the plastic shower curtain? No.

In under 24 hours, I had lost my phone AND eighteen-pound cat!

Continue reading “Stealthy, like a fat cat.”