My children would do most anything for ice cream.  These days, all I have to do is mention that I might be making my vanilla recipe and they invite themselves over.  When they were pre-teen, I would entice them to ride their bicycles with me by making the destination one of the local Dairy Queen restaurants.  The creamy temptation was too much for them to resist.

More often than not, it takes a tasty reward to motivate most people who are not bicycle enthusiasts to ride any distance at all, whether that person is child or adult.  My friend, also named Steve, is one of those people.  His wife has enlisted my assistance to get him out to exercise with me, my bikey-ness (that is a word as of this moment) part of the reason she sought me out.  She is fit, he not so much, although the guy is one strong beast, something I was glad for when he helped me move from my house to my condo.  Steve grumbles in a good natured way as his wife says things like well you should get out and ride with him or you should get him to fix your bike so you can ride it.  He knows he should get exercise, it’s just not at the top of his list.

With some prompting and to his credit, Steve went out and bought new tires/tubes for his bicycle, then texted me to see when I could pick up his bike for a tune up.  I came over right away, took the bike home and rolled it from my car rack to work stand.  The new tires went on in a jiffy, followed by a quick bath and inspection.  After thoroughly cleaning the drive train, I trued the wheels (the rear pulled slightly to the right) then took it out for a test ride.  The brakes were still in good shape, but the shifter for the rear derailleur is shot — not surprising for a 25 year old bike.  Back on the rack and with cables cleaned/greased, I was able to play with the shifting enough to get it to shift through half of the range.  Since it’s a triple chain ring bike, he will be able to ride it with ease on the crushed limestone paths close by.  The bike looks a whole lot better now, is safe to ride, but not in perfect working order.

The price for the time I spent messing with Steve’s bike is good deal.  He has to ride that bike with me.  So, when I delivered the bike back to him last night, one of the first things I asked Steve was if he is available to ride with me this week.  When he hesitated, his wife dangled the adult version of an ice cream carrot in front of him.

Maybe you can ride to Dry City and have a beer?

Bingo.  We’re riding tonight after work.