My daily routine was no different today, with 20 minutes of meditation, 20 minutes of Japanese review and an hour of exercise. I decided that it would be in my best interest to go back in to town today and do a little more community mapping instead of sitting around without a cause. It was a huffing and puffing kind of venture up the steep hills which lead me to stop at the bicycle shop once in town to see what the other options were like.
Behind the counter was a scraggly looking man, with sunglasses resting on top of his head and his face in a monitor. He periodically sipped from a thermos of coffee that was steaming behind the counter next to him. I browsed temporarily before testing his customer service skills with a rather vague inquiry about what makes the types of bikes in the store different from one another. He greeted me, almost enthusiastic that I had asked. When he asked me what I was in the market for, he realized that it wasn’t a $2,000 dollar bicycle. We struck up a conversation about my placement in Solvang and I discovered that his name was Sam, and he happened to actually know what WWOOFing was. He had a lazy voice, but his demeanor was anything but. His knowledge about bikes was far superior to anything I could have imagined and when I told him I rode the farm bike in to town, he told me I could bring it around to the back of the shop and he would take a look at it for me.
I went around the corner where I had stashed the bike and rolled it around the back of the shop, where he grabbed it from the rack and hopped right on. He rode it in circles a bit, clicking around on the gears and checking out the pedals. To him, the bike was just about fine and a “trusty rusty.” Not only was it fine, but he could tell by looking at it that it was an American made frame, about 25 years old, and that it was a rarity to even see them around anymore. He filled the tires, adjusted the seat height and oiled the rusty gear chain for me while making sure there were no defects in the mechanisms. When I asked him if I owed him anything, he told me that it was on the house. I thanked him and we shook hands before I wandered off to my next destination.
The coffee shop was directly across the street from the bike shop and since the library was closed today, I decided to drop in and get some work done.
To me, work was using the Wi-Fi to watch more YouTube videos on my phone.
While I was indulging in the Wi-Fi service, I got a call from Randy who said he was impressed by my adaptability to the conditions out here and that I was doing a good job. He kept asking me if I was getting lonely, but my answer stayed the same as the other times he asked. I wasn’t lonely being by myself, just stir crazy. The call ended with a list of a few more tasks I had to manage for him before his arrival on Tuesday.
After heading to the post office to send a postcard to myself so I could get a library card, there was nothing more for me to do in town. The way back was definitely a more pleasant ride thanks to Sam.