I sat in the waiting room reading three year old dirt rags. The others paced and chewed their nails. Not me, I was in, Pete was working on my brakes and that could only mean one thing: I would have to be careful not to go over the bars when I squeezed the levers. Yup, good ole Pete would put the mojo on.
It was best if you didn't talk when he brought your bike out. If you made any sudden movements, he would explain that whole inertia gravity equation. He once made me calculate what my tire pressure would be if I was riding on the moon. I had to take a vacation day.
The silence was broken, everyone looked at Pete. His face was sullen as he placed his hand on my shoulder.
"It'll work for a while but....it's not good."
I felt the Amex in my pocket skip a beat.
"What, what is it?" I asked with the trust of a child.
"Well you need new cranks, your middle ring looks like you have been sharpening your lawn mower blade on it, and the cassette is now and eight track.....of The Village People."
His eyes turned away and he took a deep breath, even professionals get shaken.
"Your chain...." He shook his head and took out a NASA certified chain thingy, measuring, dealie. He twisted some knobs and then held it up to my left eye. I tried not to flinch.
"Uh, what am I looking at Pete?" I said like a Wakulla guy at a Democratic rally.
"You see the blue and the red and how the little arrow is pointing to the middle of the red?"
"Yes." I said, like Igore submitting to Frankenstein.
"Blue is good and,..."
"Red is bad...?" I grunted, trying not to drool.
"Brakes, cranks, chain, cassette, $700.00 installed."
He pushed my bike to me and I turned to leave the waiting room. The others just looked away.