I’m sure there’s some famous quote about how the media you consume colors your vision of the world. Whatever book I’m reading or show I’m watching influences my interpretation of my own life.

Current audiobook: The Martian
Current anxiety: upcoming multiday bike tour

Some spoilers for The Martian below:

In The Martian there’s a discussion of whether or not to submit a certain component to testing. The tests would delay launch by several days, and the risk of failure was ultimately less than 5% without the tests.

Yesterday was when I listened to this part of the book. It was also the second day testing my panier racks. I’ve been slowly adding more and more weight to test not only the stability of my bike and racks, but also to train myself to handle the additional weight in terms of balance and power.

I reflected to myself that it was a good thing I was testing my systems close to home. Wouldn’t want to break down somewhere between Podunk, California and Nowhere, California, would I?

This morning, I added a bit more weight, took my bike downstairs, mounted it, put my foot on the pedal and– nothing. The pedals wouldn’t move. At all. Fuck.

A closer inspection revealed one of the bars that hold the panier rack had slipped and jammed itself into my gears. Apparently I had lost a screw somewhere. Fuck.

But this is why we test, right? Better my front yard than Podunk, California. So I brought my bike back upstairs and drove to work.

In the car, I continued listening to The Martian. And lo and behold, their untested components broke. But whatsmore, a single screw that couldn’t bear weight stripped and caused the malfunction: essentially the same exact thing that happened to me.

I know it was just a coincidence, but between the stress these characters are going through because of a load-bearing screw and the stress I’m going through because of a load-bearing screw, I nearly cried.

T-23 days and counting until my bike tour.

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