Monday, September 26, 2005

Hurricane Ride

I've now ridden in the rain about 5 or 6 times, but this morning was by far the heaviest. After I heard that we were getting hit with the aging Hurricane Rita, I might have given up and driven if I hadn't already lent my car to my dad.

One of the intersections I regularly ride through was closed off by police for an accident investigation. It was clearly pretty serious, involving a car that smashed into a house at least 30 feet from the road. I found out later that three people died there at 5 o'clock this morning.

The police tape blocked off the sidewalks, and I knew the neighbouring streets were undergoing a big-dig. This route was already my second choice because of the construction. I didn't want to go over to Yonge St in this weather, so my options were limited.

While standing at the intersection trying to figure out what route to take, I heard a little girl behind me crying (sobbing uncontrollably) for her mom. She was walking her bike, and I saw her chain dangling between her peddle crank arm and the rear cogs. Taking note of the 680 News truck behind me, I quickly went over to help the little girl. Finally, my chance at the Order of Canada and meeting the Governor General! I talked to her for a minute until she calmed down, then told her I could probably fix her bike.

She waited patiently as I yanked with all my strength on the chain to get it out from between the rear cogs and the frame. I was unsuccessful. Whoever designed this bike so that a chain fit perfectly between the frame and the cog was not being very kind to this little girl. She told me that it had been caught in there before. I contemplated removing her back wheel to get the chain out, but I wasn't familiar with the way her rear derailleur was attached and didn't want to put her bike back together in an unsafe way. (something I've done enough times on my own bike) I gave her my phone to call her mom. Her mom didn't answer, so I ended up interrupting a police officer from his crossword puzzle, explaining everything to him and leaving her there, hoping he would be able to get a hold of her parents or give her a ride to school. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn't help more.

I continued on my way, walking my bike across a field to get around the closed off intersection. The rain was still heavy but began to ease up towards the end of my ride.

Darren J 9/26/2005 12:27:00 p.m.


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