The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Monday, March 03, 2008

Cold Skills Including Plunging

Yesterday I went for a club ride. It was billed as a training ride for slower riders who want to improve their skills and hopefully their speed as well. The plan is to ride the same route on 4 Sundays in March, to learn to handle certain challenges with greater confidence, strength and skill. The ride was 22 miles, 11 miles up to Swan’s Deli and then back. It was cold when we started, but we were all dressed for it, and no one was complaining about being cold once we got moving. It was a beautiful day, and riding your bike when there is snow on the ground is a great experience.

The first skill we learned was how over-inflating your tires is bad. Pat got to learn how to change a flat before we even got started. In fact, she learned how to change front and rear tires before the ride was over. Then we practiced some more mundane skills, like how to navigate through several lanes of traffic safely, obeying traffic signals, downshifting and using all your gears when climbing.

When we got to Swan’s deli, we purchased some hot beverages and Jill really needed a bathroom. There is a big sign that says the bathroom is not for public use, but Jill threatened to pee on their floor, so they let her use the bathroom. Well, if Jill can use the bathroom, then so can Alan, Pat, Mable, John and finally me. When I finally got in there, I realized that the toilet was stuffed up and on the brink of flooding. And there was a plunger in the corner, suggesting that this is a common occurrence for this toilet, so wanting to a) be a good citizen and b) be able to return to Swan’s deli and use their toilet on subsequent Sundays, I engaged my plunging skills. Now I have better than average plunging skills, having practiced a considerable amount on one of the toilets at home. But alas, I was not able to unclog the toilet, so I had to tell the staff that the toilet was hopelessly clogged (but it wasn’t my fault) and that my noble attempts to dislodge the clogging wad of whatever had failed. They were not happy, so next Sunday we will have to find another venue for Jill to pee. Jill suggested that I put on my balaclava and helmet and return to the toilet and hoist the plunger again so she could take some photos. I thought this was a fantastic idea and was willing to comply, but at that point they weren’t letting us anywhere near their elite bathroom, especially since we were laughing so hard.

Just for the record, Panera's has great toilets.

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