in the last week of july i visited prince edward island with my family.
it's the first trip we've taken like this as a family.
you see, we always travel with other families but this time we went on our own.
prince edward island is beautiful.
visually beautiful and beautiful in the way that places can be that have somehow managed to retain their innocence - an informed innocence -
but an innocence that has much to do with life as it was lived some time ago.
the place we stayed was just outside a little community called french river.
here's french river.
of course, i didn't have a bike there and when i mentioned this to the gentlemen who we had rented our cottage from he took me over to his barn assuring me that somewhere inside its dark and musty depths was a bike. actually, there were two bikes as it turned out.
he hauled the one nearest to him out for a look see.
a ten-speed pacer!
in the light of day - which i think it was seeing for the first time in nearly two decades or more - it was covered in leaves, cobwebs going back generations ad infinitum, mud and of course rust.
i pushed off what i could and wiped it down.
after clearing off most of the obvious detritus,
i tried to roll it along the ground but the front brakes had seized and rusted shut.
so with his permission i gave the brakes a kick and sure enough - kachoing! - they parted enough to allow the wheel to move, catching once every rotation as the wonky wheel swivelled from side-to-side.
here are the front brakes, temporarily released from their rusty purgatory.
the gear changers had long ago given up any intention of working so the derailleur was stuck in a gear that made riding on anything other than flat ground and with a good push start nigh on impossible.
but it was a bike!
i did try one abortive attempt at riding it.
sadly and predictably, it was just not workable.
the brakes didn't actually work - front or rear.
as i mentioned earlier, the gears didn't work, and the owner suggested that i carry a humungous
floor pump with me to ensure that the tyres remained inflated!
so back it has gone to the barn . . . .
i feel a little sorry for it actually.