But before I ingratiated myself into his headquarters (watch your head or you'll hit the kayaks hanging from the ceiling, no kidding, is there any sport this man can't do??), he had to first TALK ME INTO GETTING THE BIKE INTO THE CAR. Which involved taking off the front tire. I actually printed out his directions and read them while performing. Cuz performing was what I was doing in my parking lot at work (where I keep my bike), trying to read while unscrewing this and moving the seat, and the pedals...well, heck, I'm might as well just share it all with you, should you ever have a need.
Tips for getting bike in back seat of car:
1) Take off front wheel.
2) Move forward passengers seat
3) Open rear passenger side door.
3A) Adjust the pedal so the left pedal is up, and the right pedal down.
4) Insert fork into the car first, in a downward motion towards where the right rear passengers feet would be
5) Right before your fork reaches the midpoint of the car, pull up on it (while now pushing your seat post down into the passenger foot well)
6) The fork should now be behind the drivers seat, angled up and slightly back - close to the left rear window
7) Adjust a bit so that the rear wheel is now in the right-rear foot well. The pedals should be at the mid-point of the car.
In theory, your bike will now be in the car. I can show you the trick as well once you arrive. I've yet to find a car (no matter how small, including some really tiny rentals) that it doesn't work on.
It worked. The man is a genius.
Now for the hard part, getting it back out. Ha.
No, the hard part was the changing the tire part, which, p.s. you are not actually changing at all, you're actually changing the TUBE inside the tire.
(Don't feel bad, we bikers know stuff like this.)
First, he pulled out a box of rubber gloves (I am so not making this up). Then the teensiest tool set I'd ever seen:
(4.99 at Performance Bikes.)
Plus, some tire-taker-off tool thingys:
(4.99 at Performance Bikes.)
This was gonna be good, watching him.
Oh, what's that? Who, me? You mean me? You pointing at ME? In his quiet, laid-back way, he started barking commands: Insert this, move that, squeeze this, align that.
I asked him how long it took him to change a tire. I think he said one minute. After an hour, I finally got the brake thing released. THEN, I started trying to remove the tire. (I could kick myself for not bringing a camera.)
Mr. Rainmaker is the perfect instructor. Unbelievably patient, thorough, and willing to stand by while watching me contort myself to perform the simplest maneuver. Like put a valve through a hole. I mean REALLY, how hard can that be?? I finally finished the front tire, and though it was getting late in the day, D.C. insisted I learn how to change the back tire.
And a few hours later I had finished!!
After accidentally breaking the valve. "Never mind," he said, "It will be good experience for you to change the tube at home." Err, right!
I was so excited I wanted to stop everyone I met and tell them that I, me, Jeanne, now know how to change a flat tire! And, not only that, I could also load a bike into a car. In fact, I did regale my lunch companions today with my prowess.
I feel so...clever! And exhausted!
So, today, I set out to fix the real flat that I had accidentally caused yesterday. Which required a trip to the bike shop to get some tape stuff...nevermind.
And an hour and a half later I had finished!
Obviously on a roll, I then tackled screwing on the cutest little bike pump (I had asked DCR, "Doesn't that require drilling??"), which, no, it did NOT require drilling, it just attached to the holes underneath the bottle holder.
Getting that bike pump holder on was so easy, I started feeling like maybe I just could build a house one day. Tools are our friends!
Carefully examine the two (unretouched) photos below.
(Son of a $#@!!)
The good news is: I can change a flat tire.
The bad news? By the time I finished, there was no time left to actually RIDE the bike, which I'm just guessing here, is kind of the point of all of this.
And the lesson is: BIKERS ARE AWESOME PEOPLE.