Alas, no pics but a story worth telling none the less.
After kicking the idea back and forth to go for a bicycle ride together Mrs. bautieri and I decided that we would do so on Tuesday (yesterday). I came home from work, cleaned her bicycle off (2004 Specialized Hardrock XC 15'' frame), aired up the tires, then adjusted the nose of the saddle down a bit. Melissa gets home from work and we get changed, load up her bicycle, then I advise her to give me a ten minute head start to get to the park where we would be riding around.
I leave and arrive at the park shortly before she does. We unload and take off. This is Melissa's first time riding a bicycle since before she got her drivers license and the first one with suspension, and tall tires. Previously she had been riding on a mountain bike with 24'' wheels and I don't believe the derailleurs worked on it. She was a bit wobbly and had a hard time working the grip shifters. I'm thinking a switch to index shifting would be in her best interest. Right now my LBS has informed me we could convert to index for $50 and it would include installation and all new cables all the way around as the levers are integrated into the brake levers. (low level shimanno rapid fire stuff but if it works it works)
Taking it easy at a pace of 4-5 mph we meander our way through the park. After completing our first lap (1 mile) we stop for a drink and to let Melissa rest a bit. She's uncertain if she can make another lap but after telling her we could cut the distance in half by taking a different path she agrees. I coach her on downshifting for the upcoming hill and up and over we go. About 1/4 of a mile into the next lap she yells up to me that her bike is broken. (I was slightly ahead of her). Turning around I discovered that yes in fact it was broken, the entire crank arm fell off . more appropriately the bolt that holds the crank arm on came off and the crank went with it. thankfully it wasn't the drive side and luckily she didn't cut her leg up on the stud that the arm mounts to. She then asks me if I can fix it and I tell her that I don't know, this has never happened to me before. I take my multi tool and thankfully there is a little cap that fits over the biggest Allen wrench to make an even bigger Allen wrench which was the perfect size needed to screw the crank arm back on. I never did find the dust cap. But oh well, it could have been anywhere over that one mile lap. I told her that if she wanted a break all she had to do was ask, didn't need to break the bike to take a breather
So we continue on the lap with her deciding to take the full lap for a two mile ride. We finish up the lap, get to the car, and then she looks at me with the "Oh no" face. Turns out her purse which was locked in the trunk of the car conveniently contained her keys. After debating what to do we decide that I will ride the 3 miles back home as fast as I can, then drive back with her spare keys while she waited at the park. I told her to sit on the bench near where all the kids were playing in the playground with their parents figuring this was a better place for her than the basketball courts. I give her the water bottle and a cliff bar to munch on tell her I will be right back.
I sprint home just as fast as my legs will take me, grab her spare keys, then drive back somewhat over the speed limit. Total time, 26 minutes out and back. When I pull into the park there is 4 police squad cars and an ambulance. Melissa promptly informs me that she didn't have anything to do with it while doing her best to look sheepish.
We get loaded up and head home. Not bad for her first ride in almost 10 years. 2 miles was a good distance too. I had to inform her that she did better than I did on my first ride on a mountain bike since I got my drivers license. All in all, she seemed happy with herself and I had a blast being out riding with her. Next time i want to take her on a ride on the river front of Harrisburg. Lots of places to stop and rest, art to look at, and nice and flat. No hills to contend with. And I must say, there is something sexy about a chic on a mountain bike
Total miles: 8 / 2
Ride satisfaction on a scale of 1-10: 12