Lockdown (Ode to Trusty Rusty)

This is what my bike may have looked like in better days. I can’t remember. At some point we added another seat to the back for bigger kids. It probably goes without saying that mine is not the “posh” version or electric, but the basic shape is the same.


Today started out as a pretty average day. Got up, made breakfast, read the kids a riveting tale called Mr.Bean’s Palace, did three loads of laundry and hung them out, got son ready for school, loaded daughter onto old Trusty Rusty and pedaled over to the doc’s, park, and grocery store.

Then the thinkable happened. Trusty Rusty refused to move. The two of us have been working together now for almost seven years. It hasn’t been a glamorous existence, for either of us really, but we’ve been a reliable team, hauling groceries and children and making emergency doctor runs as well as the occasional trip to the outlet mall.

It’s one of those mama chari’s with a triangular kickstand in back that lifts the back wheel off the ground. The kickstand is stuck, so the bike will not move. At all.

So there I was, stuck with a tired child and a bag of groceries right around lunchtime. So I did the unthinkable. I left Trusty Rusty parked in front of the store.

After I got home, I called the in-laws to see if I could borrow their oil can. Maybe a little love was all she needed, right? The conversation, if you can call it that, went something like this:

MIL: Hello?
HamakkoMommy: Hi, it’s me. Can I talk to FIL?
MIL: What on earth for?
HM: Come on, woman, it’s not phone sex for chrissake!blah blah blah explain immovable bike situation
MIL: Did you lock your bike?
HM: It won’t move. So, no.
MIL: Why not?
HM: Um, can I just talk to FIL?
MIL: You expect us to just go all the way over there and get your bike for you?
HM: (Thinking it’s only a five minute walk but…) No, I just want to borrow your oil spray stuff.
MIL: (mutters to FIL, unintelligible except for ‘She didn’t even lock it!’) We’re going for a walk anyway, so we’ll take a look.
HM: Thank you (?)

Sigh. This is basically my life in a nutshell.

If anyone really wants to steal my bike so much that they actually go to the trouble to fix it first, then really they deserve it more than me. どうぞ, please help yourself.


Turns out the kickstand needs to be replaced, which will take two weeks and 3000 yen. Sounds like a lot, right? About $40 US. And no bike for two weeks over spring break is just a dis.as.ter. Maybe not epic, mind you, but bad bad bad bad, quite.

I was hoping to nurture Trusty Rusty through the next two years, then dump her for a new chick when I no longer need the child seat in the back. But now I’m not sure what to do. I’ve already spent a Ben Franklin getting her fixed this year. (That’s a hundred dollars to all yall non-Americans. And Americans who have never seen a hundred dollar bill.) Add forty Georges to that and I could actually have bought a brand new bike. Maybe not a Posh Assista, but still.

So anyway, I feel like I’m on restriction. That’s a fancy posh assista way of saying grounded. Deep doo dee doo doo.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chrysanthemummum
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 07:19:54

    I had the same trouble with my bike and it just wouldn’t budge. I had to carry the bike to a bike shop that was luckily in the vicinity Not an easy thing to do – my bike is one of those “safety” bikes with two front wheels and a heavy suspension system. The stand needed oiling and not replacing so I guess I was lucky. You get so used to life with a bike for carting children and shopping from A to B. I’d be lost without mine.


    • hamakkomommy
      Mar 14, 2012 @ 09:04:38

      Life seems so inconvenient without the wheels, right? Me Too is too big to be in the stroller, but she definitely needs to be holding my hand so without the bike I’m limited to only going where she can walk and can’t carry very much.

      The headlight on the bike is also broken, which is another 3000 poppers. Like I said, I spent more than 1$BK|(B last year getting various parts replaced, so I’m wondering if at this point it would be better to just invest in a new bike. I don’t need the seat in front anymore and the one on back isn’t built-in so it can be transferred to a new bike easily enough. Something lighter would be nice as Trusty Rusty weighs a ton. Would love to have one of those electric assist bikes. Wouldn’t that make life easier? I could be tearing up the whole ku instead of just the neighborhood. 10x the price of a regular people-powered bike, though…..


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