This morning Armen and I took the Caltrain from Mountain View to Bayshore with our bikes and then proceeded to ride them back to our apartments.
When we got to the Caltrain stop and purchased our tickets, I put in $11.50 for the both of us to ride one way through 3 Zones. We were rushing and worried we would miss the train so I just grabbed the first thing that popped out of the machine and we booted it over to the platform. A moment later I looked at the piece of paper and saw that it only claimed to be one ticket for $5.75. Armen ran back to the machine (very fast!) and there was nothing else in the dispensing area. Because we had in fact paid the correct amount, we still got on the train and I secretly hoped that we would not be asked to provide proof of payment. Two stops before our final destination a guy came through asking to see tickets. When he got to us, he did not believe the story about the machine and in my nervousness I blurted out that this was our first time on Caltrain and that we were Canadian. Well! That changes everything because it turns out that he is also Canadian (from Winnipeg) and that he has family in Cobourg. Phew! He let us off the hook and was very nice from then on.
Armen had purchased his bike from Target for $89 yesterday. At the time I had suggested to him that he reconsider this idea because any bike for $89 is probably not mechanically sound and it's also politically dubious. About 1.5 miles from the apartments, after having strange rear wheel issues for about 6 miles, the bike finally crapped out. We inspected the bike to try and figure out why turning the pedals was not turning the rear wheel. The gears seemed to be loose from the hub of the back tire so we took it off and when I tried to inspect the gears, a ton of bearings poured out onto the sidewalk. That pretty much cinched the deal and I left Armen at a gas station to go home and get the car.
Needless to say we returned the bike and now Armen is going to look into either renting from Stanford for the summer or purchasing a better road bike so that we can do more rides.
For anyone interested, here is the map of our ride: