Early morning walk

Yesterday morning when bicycling I became aware of what sounded like a flat back tyre. By the time I was returning home on Country Street it was more than a merely “noticeable” impediment.  Accordingly I stopped at the first corner and got off the bike to examine it closely.  It was indeed going flat but there was yet some air in it. I remounted the bike and attempted to cycle a further distance.  It was no use ignoring the dilemma any longer.  I walked the rest of the way home, clinging to the handlebars as I did so, thankful at least that I had the bike to hang onto.  Walking I knew was not my favourite exercise. This however was not the end of my punishment.

When I finally got back home and stored the bike (which was now exhibiting a completely flattened rear tyre), I attempted to call our bicycle surgeon, Bill Barrie Jr of Almonte Bicycle Works. I had to leave a message.  Apparently his office is not open on Mondays but he would return my call as soon as possible.

Almonte Bicycle Works

Sometime around four o’clock this morning I got it into my head that I could fully address the bicycle repair issue by “walking the bike” (itself a confutation) to Almonte Bicycle Works and leave it there for repair. This I figured would accomplish several objectives. One of course to get the bike there.  Second – a Stoic endeavour very high on the scale of significance – was the fulfillment of my customary morning exercise and much appreciated introduction to the breakfast feedbag, somewhat along the lines that “the best sauce for any meal is an appetite” and no doubt mingled with fatuous Protestant Work Ethic.  Third was the collateral enquiry whether I could indeed walk a short distance, a matter which intrigued me because it may disclose that I needn’t confine myself to bicycling and might instead enjoy an outing walking as many others in Almonte regularly do.

These burning questions were initially met with disbelief by my partner who by the way is fully accustomed to an early morning agenda – particularly as he was already up and at it so to speak, doing whatever it is he customarily does at four o’clock in the morning. The thrust of his concern was not the hour of the venture but that Bill Barrie Jr may not even be open for business at this time of year. It was then that I went on the internet hunting for a web site to clarify the issue.  I was successful in finding the web site and in clarifying the issue – and with apt precision I might add!


Get your bike ready for riding this spring! Get your bike in early to be sure it’s ready for fair weather. Think about coming in this March, ahead of the crowds.


Almonte Bicycle Works is a full service bike shop in Almonte, Ontario. We sell new and previously-loved bikes, bike parts and accessories, repair and restore bikes, build a special ride we call Beauty Bikes, and much more. Stop in for a chat with owner Bill Barrie to discover more about this special place in the heart of cycling country to the west of Ottawa.

Accordingly after some minor pursing of the lips and additional hesitancy we agreed to mount the offensive and prepare to depart.

The first complication related to my having a stick to assist me on my return walk.  This matter evolved after we had left the apartment and were in the hallway.  I proceeded to return to the apartment to collect one of my five or more sticks in the umbrella stand by the front doorway, But I paused midstream when I recollected that I had another stick in the rear of the car in the garage where the bike was stored. So I turned about and headed back towards the elevator. Then I remembered I had parked the car very close to the back wall yesterday so I would have to move the car forward somewhat to get access to the trunk where the stick was stored. So back to the apartment.

But when I began examining the various sticks I have in the umbrella stand it became apparent that I hadn’t a clue which one if any was the right height.  I then recalled that the stick in the car is adjustable.  So out of the apartment into the hallway down to the elevator. I had by this time resolved in my mind that the car wasn’t parked too close to the back wall to permit me to open the trunk without having to move the car (a modest inconvenience which for some reason lingered).

We got to the basement and extracted both bicycle and stick from storage. Then began the arduous journey with the ruined bicycle by my side into the night toward Almonte Bicycle Works which I can now report thanks to my Apple Watch and associated Fitness App is about 1km away. The statistics also report that the venture took a total time of 1:13:34 not exactly speedy. Nor might I add was it at all pleasant.  Not only are the joints of both my legs dilapidated; my erstwhile broken rib cage persists to bend inward and downward, features which do nothing to assist when attempting to walk upright.  The first round to ABW survived tolerably by me clinging to the handlebars.  But the return was exceedingly painful.  I clung to my partner’s broad right shoulder (a recognition of his former football days I am certain) but the pace was sluggish at best. We mistakenly bypassed the one available bench on the opposite side of the road.  I swore under my breath never again to attempt to walk like this. My capacity for such extravagance simply wasn’t there. The Grasshopper has become a burden! It was a deterioration which reminded me of what awaits in the near future – and how, more importantly, I must ensure fulfillment of all that now compels me!

In all it proved to be an achievement.  The moment of our return I sent an email to Bill Barrie Jr as follows:

Hello, Bill!

This morning Denis and I delivered my damaged Electra to your office and left it at the front door. Please conduct a complete overhaul and repair as required, subject of course to your advice one way or the other.


Soon after – to my entire delight – I received an email from Bill Barrie Jr in which he succinctly said, “Bill: Will do. Bill” Bill Barrie Jr has always distinguished himself by his precision and brevity in a clearly expressed manner.  I wish to mention that Bill Barrie Jr is among those singular craftsmen and tradesmen whom one is occasionally privileged to encounter in life, people whom one trusts implicitly and who invariably succeed to surpass expectation on every level.  Bill Barrie Jr has looked after our much admired bicycles for years.  Following this morning’s communication my partner telephoned to arrange an overhaul of his own bicycle.