Yesterday was my first 'real' day back in the park and after lunch I decided to get my bike sorted for the winter. I love the bike (a pressie from Deb/Den years ago) and love riding it in the park as, of course being in Florida, the internal streets are as flat as a proverbial.
After 6 months of summer, both tyres were also flat so I had to walk the bike to the other end of the park to use the air hose. It used to be set up a few blocks away by the main swimming pool but over the summer it was moved to a new location for reasons best known to whoever did it. Some airhead probably !
At least the bike and myself would get some exercise and so off we went, causing slight confusion and not a few witty (well to them anyway) comments from those we met.
"Giving it a rest, are we ?"
"Missing the point there, young fella" (I particularly liked the 'young' description in that one).
"Out of gas ?" (the (probable) accidental double meaning here made this my favourite).
Half way along my route I came to the end of Clair and MK's street and I wanted to see them as we'd not met up yet. I headed down to their house and after hugs and handshakes, Clair told me I didn't need to go on to the air hose as he had a compressor in his shed.
Now what Clair calls his shed, I'd call a 'man cave' as inside it he has one, and often two, of every tool known to...man. In fact if you Google tool outlets in Sebring, his address will be listed. So bikey and I followed him round to the shed and whilst I messed around with the stand, Clair went inside and was literally lost to sight. I really thought he'd gone out some unseen back door until I heard noises from within and he emerged triumphantly with a coiled air hose and a pressure gauge.
In no time at all, 57 psi of Florida air was flowing inside the tyres and I was good to go. Just like in the good old days when you stopped to gas up and some uniformed lackeys would wash your windscreen, check your oil and take your teenage daughter into the restroom, Clair's Service Station provided more than just air. Oh yes. Bikey's chain got a good dose of WD-40 as it was looking particularly rusty after such a long period of neglect.
(I wonder does it work on knee joints ?)
And then with a cheery wave and no sign of a tip, I was off.....riding into the sunset like some sort of modern day John Wayne, if he ever swapped his horse for a bike.
So thank you Clair. Once again your 'man cave' came to my rescue and yes, that's about as sexist as this post is getting so I'm sorry if you've read this far expecting something a tad more controversial.
Finally, on a totally unrelated subject, I had dropped Dennis off at his workplace within the park at 7am this morning (the time is important to note as in the UK, 7am...or even 10am, does not exist for me) and was driving the golf cart back home when I came upon an armadillo strolling across the road. I stopped next to it as we don't get many armadillos in North Leeds and I think it was just as surprised as clearly, it never expected to see me out and about at 7am !
There was a brief but totally surreal moment as we faced each other, neither quite sure what to do next. I was all for getting off the cart and poking its shell just because I could and it was probably wondering if it should leap onto the cart and latch onto my family jewels.
Common sense prevailed however and we just went our separate ways. As I drove off, I glanced back and saw that "Army" was continuing his walk to the relative safety of someone's front lawn, no doubt thrilled, as I'd been, by our early morning rendezvous.
Tomorrow morning I'll be taking my camera.
I hope he turns up.