- sign the form myself, and risk being barred from the ride, or
- forge someone else's signature.
So I brought the bike to Kim's, my shop of choice, for the workup, that will cost $150. I figure I'll cut down my donation to Anchor House by that amount, presuming I have enough other donations to make the minimum (I was planning to donate $500).
On thinking about it, this may be a tie-in for Knapp's Cyclery in Lawrenceville (near Trenton) (you'll see their logo on the form, if you download it). They provide a mechanic for the week of the ride, and it may sweeten the pot for them if a large number of folks are going to bring bikes to their shop for inspections and tune-ups (at only a bit less than what I'm paying; see "wrench it"... and new cables are recommended, so there's probably at least some additional work, with appurtenant charges, on many of those bikes). While I'm grateful for the access to the mechanic, I'm not willing to enrich Knapp's, who also get human-interest cred for providing the mechanic. (I don't want to run down Knapp's, either: folks who use that shop - and their names are legion, in the Freewheelers - have only good things to say about 'em.)
So I brought my bike to Kim's on Monday; they said it would be ready today, and it's not; it won't be ready until tomorrow. They're only open until 5:00 pm, so it'll be a little close getting to the shop in time (I work until 4:15 tomorrow,at the other end of the county). But I'm cranky not having the bike here; I couldn't train on it today while I was off from work, for example. So I want it back, already.
In other news, though, I needed a new tire on the car, and, with that, I have enough money to pay for the tire and the bike tune up, before I get paid this weekend. And my bills for this paycheck are already paid, before I even receive the check. My problems could be worse.
ADDENDUM: Y'know, as I think about it, it's probably not in the spirit of the thing to get the inspection done now, before the season has started and almost six months before the ride. But tough. Now's when I have time to do it, the shop isn't busy (or not as busy as it will be when the weather warms), I don't want to give up the bike for a week during training season... and why should I let the mechanic have the fun of doing the maintenance that I want to do myself?