Garaging. Not Good.

This, from the department of self-disclosing dumb things I have done.

For a while I had the habit of placing my bikes on top of the car in the Thule/Rocky Mounts/Yakima rack, and then forgetting that there was, in fact, a bike up there.

You can guess what happened next.

A few years ago, at a local bike shop, when I took my mountain bike in after the headset cracked on a downhill while riding, the guy asked me if I’d hucked the bike off a 10 foot drop or something.

“Uh, no,” I said, “Never.”

“Hmmm,” he said. “Well, there’s really no other way this could happen. Except for one thing.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Smashed it against the top of your garage because you forgot it was up there on your car.”

“Oh,” I said. I’d been outed.

He took one look at my guilty expression. “You garaged it, didn’t you.”

“Yeah, I did. I garaged it,” I said.

My riding buddy Ed says that it’s acceptable for every person to garage their bike. Once. After that, he says, you have a stupidity problem.

Over the years, I have garaged several bikes. Several times each. I’ve broken a frame, horribly dented and scratched the roof of the car, bent racks beyond repair, and ruined a seat. It’s gotten to the point where I hide the garage door opener in the glove compartment as soon as I strap the bike onto the rack. Or I stand the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the garage, so I can’t pull in. And then, hours later when I open the door, I’m like, who put the damn vacuum cleaner right in the middle of the garage?

Maybe I have a stupidity problem. (I see you, dear friends, nodding in agreement.) I blame the fact that I smoked pot all through my freshman year in high school. Killed lots and lots of brain cells, I did, walking the streets of my hometown, listening to The Doors, Van Halen, and Led Zeppelin on a gigantic boom box that my stoner friends and I took turns carrying.

Whatever the reason, I have often found myself in space cadet land, forgetting all about that very expensive apparatus on top of the car. Therefore, I must protect my self from myself.

Funny, how that goes.

PS. In below pic, you can see the tell-tale signs of garaging: several deep marks where the handlebars smashed into the siding.

3 thoughts on “Garaging. Not Good.

  1. A garaging incident was one of the most heart breaking relationship moments I have ever witnessed. A woman who worked for me, newly married to an avid cyclist and still head-over-heels in love, drove her husband’s 2-week old custom racing bike into the garage after picking it up for him at the shop. He was so angry that he cancelled their 1-year anniversary trip, saying they “couldn’t afford it now”, pouring kerosene onto the open wound of her unconsollable remorse. And then at a cycling club picnic some months later, he was the one telling this story, still fresh with his wrath, to a group of fellow cyclists, who all looked at him for what he indeed was- an idiot. They all burst out with their own revelations of having done the very thing (even more than once Mike!), and how he was a fool for his retrobution to her. As I watched this unfold, I remembered seeing her outside my office window, crying into her cell phone as she tried to appease his anger towards her weeks after the incident had passed. I so wished she could have been at this picnic to hear all their stories, their having-come-to-terms-with-a-big-mistake humble perspective. And then to smack her husband with a near-by bike tool.

  2. I’ll never forget the irritating way the parking garage near Fluid Coffeeshop bowed down to attack your bike when I was taking that ingenious shortcut. I remember saying, What the hay? while continuing to drive forward as you yelled, “Stop! Stop! My bike.” It simply made no sense in my mind, until it was too late. May that bike rest in peace. I’m just glad I’m not married to the dude in Lisa’s story. Yow! (More than a few of those “garagings” are mine, in other words, but chivalry is not dead among some avid riders…)

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