Monday, September 24, 2007

Jasper arrival, chat, and a flat

"Hey," said a loud American voice on the Jasper train platform, 

"Is that one of those collapsible bikes?" I was unfolding the bike and repacking my panniers to prepare for our six days of cycling the Icefields Parkway. Michelle had wheeled her bike over to Freewheel Cycle to get a sense of what had caused her abrupt puncture in Winnipeg.

Blue Ortliebs panniers were splayed all around me, not to mention Michelle's Norcos, two helmets and miscellaneous bags and containers. "Yes, it is," I said patiently over my shoulder.

"What's something like that cost?" he asked, stepping closer.

"Well, folding bikes range in price from $200 to $1000," I answered, "Do you want to see me fold it?" I asked him, pausing.

"Oh yeah!" he gushed.

"That'll be ten bucks," I fired back, with a gleam in my eye.

Fun times at Jasper's Freewheel Cycle

"Um, do you mind if I step in there and see how you get the tire back on?" Michelle asked Al the mechanic at Freewheel Cycle.

"Well, sure," he answered, "Since you asked so nicely." I laughed, thinking about the guy on the train platform.

"You're a nice one," I joked with Al, "when I worked at a bike shop, the mechanics would charge $10 to let you watch, and $20 if you asked any questions."

"Yep," he said, "We're the nice ones."