The weather has been gorgeous the past few days. I haven’t been taking advantage of it as much as I would like. Today was an exception.
I spent the first half of the day hunting for the car part that might theoretically enable my ’96 Ford Probe to pass emissions. The part in question is an EGR solenoid. Ford thought it would be fun to make life difficult, so they rendered this particular solenoid obsolete. They just up and decided not to make or stock this part ever again, regardless of how many poor Probe owners might need one to pass emissions. I discovered this yesterday evening. This morning I called a salvage yard for whom my mom is the accountant. They had no Probes on the lot or Probe engines and they don’t bother to take EGR solenoids off the cars that pass through. The lady there was really nice. She suggested websites I could check and a good mechanic who might have ideas. Those leads got me no where.
The only solution seemed to be the Ford dealership. They caused this problem, they should fix it. The solenoid is only the most probable culprit, though I might need the EGR valve replaced. Either way, my plates expire at the end of the month…now. The folks at the dealership were super busy and asked if they could call me back. An hour and 15 minutes later I decided they had forgotten about me and called again. They couldn’t get me in until tomorrow afternoon. I had a ride lined up for this afternoon, but what could I do? Sure, tomorrow afternoon is great.
Since I was minus a ride home from the dealership, I looked at a map to figure out if I could bike home. The distance is no problem, only about 5 miles. But the most obvious route is Hwy 94. Not too keen on biking there. I found a route that would avoid 94 and hopefully would decrease my likelihood of getting run over. But the route is very hilly and I haven’t been cycling much lately. Or doing any cardio. Or doing much of anything physically rigorous. How sad. Still, I was sure I could make it home from the car dealership on my bike. It would be great for the wedding/honeymoon diet and workout that I’m supposedly subjecting myself to.
I decided the best way to prepare for my upcoming trip was to get on my bike. I wanted to make sure everything was in good working order and like I mentioned before, the weather was great. It was my first time wearing the helmet my mom and stepdad bought me for my birthday. I don’t usually wear a helmet, but that was mostly just because I didn’t have one until now. I felt a little goofy, but keeping my brains in my head seems like a good idea.
There’s a new paved trail that recently got finished at the entrance to my mom’s neighborhood. It leads to the Hemsath entry to the Katy Trail. From there you can ride across the bridge toward Creve Couer Lake or you can go down by the river and go either way on the Katy. I chose the trail to Frontier Park. It was an ok route. A lot of it was exposed to the sun instead of shaded by trees. It paralleled the road for a while and went past the Family Arena and a lot more development than I usually prefer. I was interested in the new scenery though. I rode through Frontier Park, where I wished there was someone waiting for me on Main Street so we could get drinks. Instead, I kept going to the St. Charles Ecopark. I had only walked the section of Katy Trail near Frontier, so I never made it that far. The ecopark has some wetlands and shaded nooks overlooking the river and a bunch of educational signs. I liked it, but there were some other people around. I’m a people person, but I didn’t care to be around them then. It was also about time for me to start thinking about dinner.
Swarms of gnats hovered over the trail. I pulled several dead, gooey gnats from the edges of my eyeballs and coughed one out of the back of my throat onto my hand. The helmet made me sweat more than I normally do. Other than that, I enjoyed myself. Biking always helps me clear my head. It gives my mind free rein to wander without distractions. I rode past the Art Foundry where my senior prom was held. It wasn’t nearly as fun as junior prom. I’ve hardly kept in contact with most of my best friends from those days. I guess that’s how life goes.
It felt great to actually work my muscles and pull some fresh air into my lungs. I’ve been meaning to get a free trial pass to a local gym. If I have a “membership” somewhere, I’ll actually go. But I’m waiting. Who wants to work out in a gym while the weather is still this good? Today was quite warm, but the temperature drops as soon as the sun goes down. The seasons are changing. I hope it doesn’t get too cold too fast. I like the chilly but not cold feeling of Fall.