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April 25, 2006

Melvin and the Car wash

Today I experienced something great; a bond or connection with Melvin. Melvin shows up at the bike shop every so often to keep his bike running. He's kind of eccentric and very interesting. Today after work I just ran into the shop to check the mail. The shop wasn't even supposed to be open, since our hours are short on Tuesdays. But as I was coming out to go home, Melvin rode up. We were talking about his pedials. I asked him if he needed something urgent and was willing to go back in and help him with whatever he needed but he said he was going to the car wash on Robert Street because they have a wash special for 50 cents. He wanted to powerwash the grease off his new crank that he got at the shop on Monday so he could put it in. He just came by the shop to see what was going on. He found me there. And so together we rode off. We both go in the same general direction so I said I would love to ride along with him. But we didn't go right to the car wash. First he wanted to show me this really sweet 3-speed bike he saw with mustache bars parked at a bike rack nearby. We checked it out and it was still there. It was nice! It was a brand new Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub on an old green Raleigh frame, with nice cream-colored plastic fenders and mustache handlebars. I loved it. We talked about that bike and the tenspeed next to it that had sawed off drop bars reversed to simulate mustache handlebars. Both bikes were nice but the three speed was cool. It even had a brooks saddle on it.
After the bike tour he wanted to show me a building that they were remodelling in downtown. I looked and he was telling me all about the good work they were doing and had me ride right up into the recessed doorway, "Go ahead, you can ride your bike right up in there so you can see inside, that's what I did." So I did and it was cool to experience what he did. I did see inside without getting off my bike.
Then we rode together down Robert Street to the car wash. It was only fifty cents and that's exactly what I had in my pocket. So I decided I'd also wash my bike to get all of the winter salt and grease off my bike. It worked. But another amazing thing was that someone had left a few quarters on the pay box so I paid my 50 cents and used 50 more cents to rinse my bike. Melvin used half of my rinse, switching it to soap, then paide another 50 cents for a high-pressure rinse. It worked great. Then he kept the rest of the quarters and we rode on together. He showed me a shortcut to the road I wanted to get home, then he turned and continued up Robert Street. As we were parting, he told me that he really appreciated the ride and the chance to get to know me better and that this is what happens when people get out of their cars. I like Melvin. He's very interesting. He showed me the cool bikes, the renovated building and the 50 cent car wash on Tuesdays. And now my bike is clean. Tonight was full of great experiences. And tomorrow I get to witnes Melvin change out his cranks. Pizza tomorrow night at the Depot, come on down and check it out.

Posted by carl1236 at April 25, 2006 10:04 PM | Attitude

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