BART

Jose Canseco puts things into perspective

Just had a little mishap on my bike on the way to BART. I was switching gears kind of stupidly, getting a little ahead of myself riding through the city streets of Walnut Creek.

You ever pedal hard and realize the last time your feet went around it was scarily easy? My chain wasn’t just off the chain ring; it was lodged between the ring and the bottom bracket, which is made of carbon fiber.

Carbon is a great material for bikes, until it cracks. My chain was wedged so hard in between the metal and the carbon, and the only way to get it out was pull. I think I pulled a little too hard, and after a few tugs the chain finally came out with a chunk of carbon. Not a huge piece, maybe a quarter inch long, but enough so I can see individual fibers.

All I could think about was someday flying down some steep hill in The City at 30 MPH, late for work, as the bike starts breaking from the bottom, crumbling like the Terminator in T2 when he was frozen with liquid nitrogen and smashed to bits.

Upon further review, I doubt this crack will have much of an effect on my bike’s overall safety. Also, the scratches surrounding the crack are partially blocked by the chain ring, and only visible from one side. It’s quite possible I have been overreacting, simply because I know frighteningly little about carbon fiber.

I should look on the bright side: at least I’m not Jose Canseco.

Imagine being a rat who can’t associate with his former peers anymore. Imagine being a guy who’s only done one thing really well — hit baseballs, because God knows acting or writing aren’t your strong suits, only now you aren’t even remembered for what you did on the field. Imagine all that happening to you, and then getting your house foreclosed.

It would all make sense if Canseco made tons of money “writing” these books and appearing on talk shows, but now it looks like he was only doing those things to keep from claiming bankruptcy, along with an insatiable appetite for camera time.

According to Canseco, he’s lost seven to eight million dollars in two separate divorces, which is why he couldn’t afford his multi-million dollar home in Encino. Sounds like Canseco’s about one more divorce away from signing autographs in a casino across the street from wherever Pete Rose is signing these days.

So as I ride my bike home tonight, paranoid that any sound can mean the destruction of my ride, I’ll remember that my bike is probably fine. That and the happiness that I’m not Jose Canseco (who will probably be trading his car for a bike any day now).

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