There have been a heap of fun happenings recently, but I've been too
busy with work to write them all down in a reasonable form. However,
last night was just so pathetically funny that I just have to get
it down before I forget. The story starts...

... with my leaving work a few minutes earlier than usual in order to
get home and go looking for a bike (pushbike). I'd been looking around
for a few days for a cheap mountain bike, but the cheapest I could find
was still about $450. Not so good when you're looking at buying two of
them

Anyway, I arrived at home just after 5:30pm and found Syndia already
there. We both jumped into the car and headed off to K-Mart at
Chadstone. I figured that if there were cheap bikes to be had, I could
buy a "high"-end one from K-Mart and still get something
moderately OK for a decent price.

There were a couple of bikes that interested me... the one I ended up
going with was about $150 (cheap!) but with an aluminium frame, alloy
rims and direct-pull cantilever brakes. We ended up getting two of these
- one men's, one ladies'.

Now comes the first catch: my bike was already assembled, but Syndia's
was still in the box. They usually sell them boxed - all you have to do
is put the front wheel, seat and a few other bits and pieces on. We
weren't sure if we could fit them into the car, so we arranged with the
shop staff that if we couldn't, they'd hang on to them for us until I
could get some transport for them.

So... off we went, out to the car park with one bike, one large
box, two helmets and a pump. And, sure enough, after much muttering, we
decided that although we could fit the boxed bike into the back seat
(but not the boot) there was no way in hell we were going to get the
pre-assembled one in as well.

Off we went, back to K-Mart to put mine in storage for a day or two...
While we were there, we decided that we might as well get a rack to
mount on the car's towball and attach the bikes to. "Hmm..."
thinks Andrew, "If I get a large enough shifting spanner, I might
be able to mount the thing now and take the other bike home..." So
I wandered into the hardware section and grabbed a 254mm (1")
shifter, and off we went again.

Arriving (again) at the car, I tore off the packaging around the shifter
(who packages a spanner anyway??) and tried to fit it around the
towball's attachment. Bugger it - it was about 2mm too small. No
kidding. Bugger it!

Off we went again, back to K-Mart, to swap this shifter for another one.
(They said I could when I bought it, since they wouldn't let me take it
out of the packaging to see if it actually would fit the towballs they
had for sale.) We exchanged the shifter for a larger one (that we had to
hunt around for a bit, since the shop staff thought the one I had bought
was the largest they had.) And.... off to the car again.

We did consider checking the bike back out of storage at this point, but
decided against it on the grounds that it was tempting fate a bit.

Woohoo! The shifter fits! I attached the rack and replaced the
tow-ball.... and.... you guessed it... back to K-Mart we go, to pick up
the bike.

Finally, we collected the bike, fitted it to the rack and drove home
without incident. I was having images of someone smashing into the back
of the car and writing off all that effort, but thankfully nothing
happened, and we got it home safely.

Our adventure for the weekend will be putting Syndia's bike together
(the easy part) and then having her learn how to ride it (the.. umm...
interesting... part).