I signed up for double shifts as a Mobile Mechanic. It turned out to be harder than I thought.
Sunday was sunny and very warm, with highs in the upper 80s. The day began nicely enough, with cool morning air and fresh coffee in my thermos. I enjoyed seeing friends along the route.
And I was happy to be asked to help out with several repairs that were not the usual flat fixes I generally see at this event: a front derailleur adjustment, a spot truing of a wheel and straightening a rear wheel in the dropouts to stop "that awful rubbing noise" were on the menu.
I got home, refilled my bottle with ice water, sat in the shade and suddenly felt really, really tired. So I took a half hour to cool off. Then I went out again. My only repairs during the second round were a flat fix and straightening a bent rear dropout on a very cheap bike (soft metal), so the rider could re-install the rear wheel. The metal was so thin and soft that I could almost bend it with my bare hand; it straightened easily with adjustable wrench flats.
I lasted till half an hour before the end of my second shift (and also the end of Parkways). Then, I absolutely HAD to go home and get out of the sun. I was really cooked.
Sweetie chalked it up to Crohn's-related fatigue and arthritis; and the fact that my new meds require that I spend less time in the sun. I locked up my bike, drank some more water, and fell into bed for two full hours.
Still, I'm glad I did a double shift, because the Mechanic spots for the August Parkways are already taken; and the October parkways falls on erev Rosh Hashanah (yeah, I know; look at a freaking calendar, people). So I guess that's it for my volunteering at parkways this year. I'm fine with that. I have plenty to do this summer as it is, including gathering another round of donor bicycles to fix up for newly-arrived refugees and practicing music for High Holy Days.
Portland peeps: I am now accepting donations of adult-sized bicycles tat I will tune up and outfit with fenders, lights and a lock. I will then hand them off to Catholic Chatiries, who will distribute them to newly-arrived refugee families who need affordable transportation. Simply send me a message here and let me know if you can help out. Thanks, and happy riding!