My friend from Belgium who lives in Hollywood, Nessie, recently purchased a bike. We did one ride together in West Hollyood, and then she went on vacation.
Today Nessie and I went for our 2nd bike ride together. She drove her bike to my apartment, and we left about 11:30 for a ride to the beach. The ride to the beach went very smoothly for me, at least. I didn't understand her trouble with her bike. She couldn't figure out the gearing and even on downhills was struggling. She said it was as if the bike was pulling her backwards. Still, we trudged on and got to the beach where we began a slow, meandering trek up the bike path. We stopped at a Perry's for a rest and refreshments.
I asked her how far she wanted to go up the bike path, and she said as long as we went slow, she could handle the bike issue, so we continued on at about 6 mph, going under the Santa Monica Pier and around and up towards the end of the bike path. When we got to the two huge parking lots at Will Rogers State Beach, Nessie called it quits for riding. I let her walk my bike and I walked hers for a bit, feeling it drag as I tried to walk it. The wheels weren't rotating freely. I spun the front wheel and could feel the brakes rubbing and started to examine the back wheel. That's when a cyclist angel came up.
His wife patiently waited while he checked the problem. He loosened the back brakes a little and adjusted them, but he didn't seem concerned about the front wheel. He was so friendly and helpful. We didn't get his name. Note to self: get those dang business cards made for cycling.
After the adjustment, he and his wife continued down the bike path towards Santa Monica, and I asked Nessie if she wanted to continue to the end of the bike path, but she didn't. When she got back on her bike, she found the pedalling was much easier, a world of difference, but the trek down and the fight with the bike's resistance had worn her down, and so we came back slowly.
We stopped at Smart & Final by Carrington/Venice, and she watched the bikes while I went in and got us Cokes plus a flat of eggs for me. She was very surprised that I was carrying a flat of eggs in a bag off of the handlebars, but I said the would be riding in comfort, and they were!
We returned to my neighborhood about 5:30, and I helped her get the bike into her car. All in all a good day, and her longest ride - 33 miles!