Yesterday, the weather was nice here in Beijing. Clear, sunny, cool and breezy.. as close to a perfect day as it gets here in Beijing. Especially near my office which is situated in the outskirts of Beijing (its 17km from where i live and where i live is already in the outskirts of Beijing). Surrounded by mountains on the south and the west, it is a beautiful place to be in especially on clear days like yesterday. One of my friends borrowed my cycle during lunch time and went for a ride around the place.
I worked late yesterday, so i didn't ride my cycle back home. Today i left a bit early (if you can call 8:20pm early) and took my cycle. Immediately, it felt different.. a bit stiff, slightly harder to pedal, as if something was rubbing against the wheel rim or the tires. I immediately started thinking if perhaps it has got something to do with my friend riding the cycle yesterday.
It usually happens with me.. especially with my car. When i drive it after someone else has driven it, i can always feel the difference. The engine would feel a bit weaker, a little strained and the accleration sluggish. The feeling usually wears off in a day or two and the car starts feeling normal again. I was never able to figure out if it is psychological (maybe i dont like loaning our my cars to others).. or if its really different. With the car, maybe the different driving styles of people (especially the ones who like to rev the engine a bit too much) may affect the feel of the car.. but with my cycle there was no such explanation.
A little later.. when i was traversing a quite stretch of road.. enjoying the surprisingly pleasant smell of sandalwood and campor in the air.. i got my answer. I started hearing the sound of something rubbing against some other thing. Before i could only feel it, but now i could hear it as well. I stopped to check out what was causing the problem and it was my cable lock which was a bit loose and started rubbing against the tires. Once i fixed it.. everything was smooth again..
So there you have it.. it was not my friend who was to blame.. and neither was it psychological. It was just me forgetting to secure the cable lock properly before starting off. Maybe it'll be a nice little experiment to loan my cycle out to a bunch of people and check it feels any different afterwards.