We went shopping yesterday to return the new bicycle that caused such problems. Originally an exchange was planned, but a coworker of mine invited me to pick up the two bikes her boys were going to abandon during their move to a new house. We drove by and they don't look bad at all, so we grabbed them. My husband will use one of those and now we don't have to worry about paying the friend back for the new bike.
Anyway, besides the bike malfunctioning, the other big issue with our first bike ride was extreme saddle discomfort- so we took my friend's husband to pick out a new seat. He picked a squishy nose-less one without sitting on it (I thought that was weird not to sit on it, for sure) but whatever.
All this running around didn't leave enough time for me to bike to work from the house and I needed to be dropped off instead.
My friend came to the rescue by showing up in the car with my bike and hers hanging from the bike rack and even the trailer! She and I biked home together with her daughter while her husband drove back home.
It wasn't the most pleasant of rides- we both have colds. A running nose and hacking cough contribute to the difficulty level (and pain! I coughed out a lung, I think) of a ride considerably. But it was a ton of fun knowing I had company, and it wasn't too cold outside either. We need some sort of radio so we can all chat easily with wind going past and being far apart single-file.