It was a busy and suffocating Friday in the office. I woke up before dawn due to excitement over the presentation that I have been preparing for the last week. Actually I have been losing sleep since I was appointed to my new position in the Computer Center. I have been feeling pressure due to the increased responsibilities that have been assigned to me. My resignation and exhaustion must have been evident from my voice and facial expressions. Even when there were just few minutes remaining until the week was over my mind was boggled with my Thesis Comitee report that I had to write ( which would probably take the whole weekend). At last I could not resist the urge and called Ateş.
-Ateş, lets go to Eymir after work.
-That would be nice.
-But with bikes..
-I think I will come by car.
– Come on, it’s only 15kms. Ok, it is a little bit uphill but we will go through Yalıncak, there won’t be any traffic.
-I think I will come by car.
15 minutes of trying to convince Ateş did not work. Next in line, Banu..
-Bango, Eymir after work, with bikes, through Yalıncak.
(even before I completed my sentence) -Yubbi!
There was only Mert left.
-Mert, we will be cycling to Eymir after work, can you come?
-Hmm, I have some work to do, I will meet you there.
-Won’t you be late?
-Don’t worry, I’ll manage.
It was around 19:00 when Banu was able to get out. It was not long beforwe we were cycling through Yalıncak. We had just oiled our chains so we were making good way with higher than normal performance. The weather was wonderful, we stopped for pictures, wanted to spend some more time there but had to continue since we did not want to be late for Eymir. There is this hill in Yalıncak which we thought was impossible (when we started cycling seriously) to go uphill cycling. We were able to climb the hill without even breating heavily. I guess our workouts have been beneficial to us 🙂 We were in Ahlatlıbel in hust under 45 minutes.
We met Deniz Tokay from Gezginder and started cycling to Eymir. The brakes of my bicycle (which was so old that if it were a human, then it would be old enough to vote) were not slowing me down. I had to go real slow downhill. There was only 1.5km left to our meeting point when my chain broke unexpectedly. I lost my balance when the chain broke but somehow managed to land on my two feet. Banu and Deniz came to my help but none of us had ever fixed a broken chain. I was hoping Ateş had came with his car so we could go back home. Since the meeting point was really close I decided to run with the bike (and try to fix the chain at the meeting point)..
Not surpisingly I was the last one to arrive at the meeting point. Since we were really hungry we ordered right away.
I had my mind on my broken chain while we were waiting for our food to arrive. Ateş brought out the stainless steel stencils that that he had have cut. They looked brilliant! We worked on our equipment list (for the race) while examining the stencils.
We ate, we chatted, we watched the fireworks and their reflection on the lake.
It was 22:30 when the waiter announced that they were closing up the shop. Somehow I had forgotten to fix my chain. I have never had to fix a broken chain, but Mark had told me about it once.. We used our multi-purpose toolkit we bought from Delta Bisiklet to remove 2 chain elements from the chain. Removing chain elements shortens out the chain (which puts more tension on the gear cogs, derailer and chain). This is why some touring cyclists tend to carry an extra chain. Suprisingly my chain was fixed in under 10 minutes. We were ready for the way back but Ateş was worried and did not want us to go up the steep Eymir hill with a fixed chain. Luckily Ateş had his bike carrier in his trunk so we were able to load the bikes to his car. It was midnight when we arrived home.
To be continued.