Me And My Cement Shoes

Two weeks ago my front brake cable broke on my bicycle. My use of both the front and back brakes has always been extensive. I would rely on the back to slow down and the front to come to a complete stop. I never did get around to fixing it. I planned on using the cable used for the front derailer, since I never use the two smaller sprockets (this bike is geared so low, it must have been built for wimps).

Anyway, Last night the back brake cable broke. I almost crashed trying to bring the bicycle to a stop. I was discouraged about the problem, but resolved to park the bike at the library for the night and walk home.

Halfway home I was wishing I had taken the time in the past week to fix my front brake cable so I could have had at least one working brake. When the front cable broke I had started carrying the tools for when I got around to fixing it.

Then, I felt stupid.

I still had the tools with me, and all I had to do was take the back brake cable and fix the front brake. There was no need for me to have walked all that way. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before. Maybe I do. I was thinking about it all last week (replacing the front brake cable with the front gear cable), not thinking about it last night was a punishment, walking was the consequence.

When I realized what I could do so I could ride home (it’s a 45 minute ride, but a two hour walk all up hill), I was half way home and decided to just finish the walk. My feet are killing me for it today. The shoes I have are like cement blocks. They were never designed well, or not intended to be walked in. My feet were all ready blistery by the time I realized I could fix the bike and ride home.

I remember when I first got the shoes. I bought them on a typical rainy day when the shoes I was wearing (one month old, comfortable, good for walking) were soaked through and my feet were uncomfortable. (While riding a bicycle down the hill from where I live in a storm, the rain glides down the front of my legs like rivers and cascades onto the to the top of the shoes. I wear rain gear on my pants, but I have nothing to protect my shoes.) I was fed up with the low-geared 21 speed and returned it to Wal-Mart in Washington. With the money, I bought these shoes and some dry socks for the walk home (among other things). I threw the wet shoes away (much to my regret later). By the time I got back to St. George, Utah (6 miles or so) my feet felt like Michelle Trachtenberg’s in Ice Princess after skating in those brand new skates.

That night, by the time I got home, every one of my toes were bruised under the nail, the big left one the most. It’s just now beginning to look somewhat normal. Another two months growth and it would be as beautiful as ever again. I hope last nigh and this morning didn’t reset them. I like wearing sandals in this heat, but I’ve been waiting for my toenails to heal.

I know the bottoms of my feet are blistered and broken. That will take at least a week to fix. I wish I had taken the time to turn around when I remembered all I had to do to fix my brake problem was switch one cable over. It would have taken five minutes to fix and my feet wouldn’t have had to walk so far in these cement capsules Ozark Trail marketed as shoes.

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