i went to market basket early in the morning to buy 2 bags of mussels. while i was eating some cereal for breakfast i noticed the intermittent beeps of a low battery smoke detector. i figured out it was coming from my roommate's bedroom. i wanted to knock and tell him how to turn it off, but the fact that the door was closed maybe meant he was sleeping through the noise. i left a note on the kitchen counter before i left.

at exactly a block away before i reached my parents' house, the left pedal on my bicycle suddenly fell off. these were new replacement pedals that i installed just 3 days ago. they were pretty good except the left pedal did feel a bit loose, but i thought maybe because there just was too much machine oil inside the bearings. since i was already so close, i didn't bother re-installing the pedal but instead just walked the bike to the house.

upon closer examination the problem was a little more serious. the threads on the pedal were stripped, and so were the threaded inside the left crank arm! it wasn't a simple matter of threading the pedal back on since there was no more threads. what could've happened? maybe the threads on the crank arm weren't good to begin with, and the new pedal just made it worse. or maybe the new pedal was defective, and just 3 days of riding was enough to strip the crank arm as well as damage the pedal.

they do sell replacement left crank arms online, but the cheapest i saw was $20, which is the price for a replacement crankset (3 sprockets, 2 crank arms), so it's actually just cheaper to buy a new crankset. there's nothing wrong with the existing crankset other than a stripped left crank arm. there are other options however: i still have the old crankset from my bianchi bike when i replaced it more than 2 years ago, including a spare left crank arm (170mm length, an exact match). the only issue is it's black, so they'll be a mismatch; there's also the trek 720 frame my father found. it's a good bike that just needs wheels, but in the meantime i could borrow its left crank arm (i just don't know the length).

since i'm doing work done there anyway, it'd be a good opportunity to replace the bottom bracket cartridge, since the spindle is a bit wobbly. the bottom bracket itself doesn't cost much ($10) but the special bottom bracket removal tool is $16.

it's hard not to be optimistic about the prospect of seeing peony flowers this season since the flower buds this year are bigger than the ones from last year. last year they were the size of peas; this year they're marble-sized. i still have my reservations, especially since i was so sure they would bloom last year only to be disappointed by shriveled up buds.

elsewhere in the garden:

we had steamed mussels for dinner. these were the biggest mussels we've ever seen, it must be a great season for PEI.

since my bike was broken, i was originally going to take one of the cars back home, but then i decided to ride my father's bike instead. he has lights but they're all the wrong colors: green for the rear and red for the front. i used the mini-torch on the velcro flashlight bracket for the front and clipped my planet bike superflash to the back strap of my bag. he also has the saddle raised up, high enough that even he can't touch his foot to the ground while seated. it's not a problem while riding, but i had to hop down whenever i came to a stop at the lights.

the schwinn gateway 7 was originally supposed to be my bike. the 700c wheels are faster than my 26" mountain bike wheels. the 7-speed twist swifter works silently and effortlessly, unlike the shifting on my trek where i can hear and feel each gear shift. it makes me want to investigate the shifting on my trek to see if i can improve it by realigning the derailleurs.