This morning I took off for Switzerland. The plan was to see a friend in Zürich, ride our bikes around the lake for an hour or two, and enjoy a night on the town. The next morning we'd be going to Austria for three more days of leisurely cycling, and after that I'd go to Italy for the real deal, the Maratona dles Dolomites.
To make it all work, I went to the station to pick up a rental car. I had reserved an Audi A3 Sportsback, the car I would want to have if I ever need one. First bad news of the day, I was downgraded to a 1 series BMW. Anyhow, the bike still fit in, and the car moved smoothly.
Once on the autoroute, I shifted up to sixth, put the cruise control to 130, and almost fell asleep for lack of distractions. What kept me awake for a while was the second bad news of the day, rain, and dealing with it by trying to figure out how set the wiper to intervals. Why does a wiper switch need seven positions, five buttons, and three ways of moving the lever? And why does none of this get me intervals? I finally found a button that said A, hit it and got intervals. I was so excited that I almost missed how the wiper picked up speed in synch with the rain and then stopped when the rain did, automagically. Now I could really fall asleep.
Except the vehicle was a bit uncomfortable. As in a sports car, one sat close to the ground, but the steering wheel is high up in the air. When changing lanes I always missed the signaling lever and tripped the cruise control hidden in the second lever, slightly lower on the left side, instead.
After a bit more than four hours, I got to Zürich. When my friend and I got ready to ride, I noticed – third and gravest bad news of the day – that the left pedal on my bike had locked up and wouldn't spin around his axis anymore. Two hours and one (futile) trip to the bike store later, the problem was solved. After disassembling the pedal, removing one roll from the bearings and replacing it with copious amounts of a viscous yellow grease not unlike peach jam, it seemed to be in fine working order again. And if bad news come in threes, this is all there is, and it's gonna be good from now.