Three years, six semesters, 88 credits, and all the stress came to an end this afternoon and once the initial relief and exhilaration passed, I was struck by how surreal it feels. I finished law school today, y'all!
I know a lot of my classmates went straight to the bar when they finished their last exam, but I was looking for a substance-free high so I biked to one of my favorite parks instead. I used to include this park in my long run routes a lot, but I have never ridden my bike there because when I first started cycling my legs weren't strong enough to handle the hills on the way back. Three months of not running will do that to a girl.
I've been increasing my weekly mileage by about 10 miles per week for the last month to help me gain strength and stamina. The week before last I rode 34 miles and last week it was 44. I can tell I've gained some leg muscle, so I decided to test my progress. I want to be able to ride more challenging routes, but I needed to find out if I was going to embarrass myself on the hills first.
It wasn't easy or without an almost mishap, but I survived. The mishap happened not long after I got to the park. I've been having problems with the chain on my bike randomly coming off mid-pedal. In case this has never happened to you, it results in the pedals locking up and refusing to pedal anymore. It's kind of a scary experience because pedaling helps you keep your balance and the bike gets unsteady when you suddenly can't pedal anymore.
This time, I was trying to pass a bunch of little kids on the trail when the chain came off the rings and I had to try to weave around them while trying to stop. No children were squashed in the stopping of the bike, but it felt pretty perilous and I was mad at Genevieve for putting me in that situation again.
I was too far from the bike store to take the bike there and have them fix it this time, so I did the next best thing. I shamelessly called the bike store and asked them to walk me through fixing it myself. I had seen the bike doctor fix it from a distance and it looked pretty easy when he did it. It took me a minute to figure out what he was telling me to do, but I managed to get the chain back in place so I could finish my ride. I tried to wash the bike grease off my hands at the doggy water fountain, but it wasn't coming off. I wound up wiping the grease onto my capris. They're black anyway and I didn't want to risk accidentally touching my pink shirt or my face and leaving visible smudges.
I'm still not sure why the chain keeps coming off, but now that I have the tiniest bit of free time I can try to figure it out. It's good that I know how to fix the problem myself in a pinch, but there has to be a way to make it stop falling off in the first place.