The next Friday, we were all set. Several students brought in stop watches and I brought in my bicycle. First, the students covered the course in high gear. Most of the students were serious. Ten yards past the end of the course are three vertical pipes which prevent cars from riding in the courtyard. Since most of my students who were pedaling were good riders, I did not think that the pipes presented any danger. No, nobody did ride into them. However, one student skidded for twenty yards to show off how much of my rubber he could leave on the course. Another student was leery of the pipes and coasted the final thirty yards.
Then we switched to low gear. Eric was pumping away. He heard a banging noise, but he was not going to stop. This was a bicycle experiment. My derailleur became caught in the spokes of the wheel. Eric kept pedaling with such force that the derailleur spun around breaking the rear drop out. This makes the rest of the frame worthless. To add insult, when I brought the bicycle to the shop, the man said that in its time my bike was ok but that now it was an old iron clunker. I had failed to heed the advice found in
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
to maintain my bike in excellent condition.