Thursday, July 29, 2010

My folding bike - not so comfy but great against coyotes

(I posted essentially the same version of this story in today's Folding Bike section of Bike Forums - enjoy!)

So today I got my Schwinn Hinge Folding Bike back from the bike shop (Metropolis Bikes in North Hollywood), where I'd left it for a tune-up, and was pleased to find that they'd not only done a thorough job of checking it over, they also installed a metal bottle cage on the handlebars, free of charge - thanks guys & gals!

I drove it a few miles to Valhalla Memorial Park, a totally cool cemetery with great views of both the Burbank Airport and the Amtrak/Metrolink train station. It's also the perfect place for out-of-shape folks like me to exercise - because there are NO HILLS! Yes, it's totally flat! And bonus - since it was a hot day, the sprinklers were going; making it the perfect place to test-ride my newly restored folding bike!

I took it out of the trunk and unfolded it. The hinges have always been a little clunky to use and they still are, but the Metropolis guys put some oil/lube on them so they worked as well as they're ever going to work. Once I got it set up, I adjusted the seat, put my feet on the pedals, and started to ride ...

... when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a COYOTE - yes, a real live coyote! - headed straight for me!!

Well, I was a little nervous but what that coyote didn't know was that I'd spent a hectic morning chasing a pack of wild Chihuahuas away from my yard at home, and figured, hey, a dog is a dog, right? I'd gotten rid of the evil dogs by running towards them at full speed, yelling and waving a stick, which did the job quite nicely (also works for Jehovah's Witnesses btw ).

Anyway, so back at the cemetery, I figured I'd just do the same thing. Rather than turn wheel and run, I pedaled harder, directly TOWARDS him, shouting, "Bad dog! Bad dog!" That was all it took - he turned around and ran (followed closely by one of the cemetery groundskeepers, who'd been keeping a close eye on the situation from his tractor a few feet away).

All in all, I was quite pleased with my Schwinn Folding Bike's performance. Sure, the seat is still a little uncomfortable and it's a little hard to pedal. But it keeps the coyotes away, which is pretty much all I ask of any bike, folding or non-folding.

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