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Brewer Burns

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Horse You Rode In On

I’ve taken the plunge. I bicycled to work this morning. I’ll give you a few moments to process that.....

Yeah. So, Stephen has actually been riding his bike to work since sometime last month (once the weather cleared up enough for him to do it) and he’s been encouraging (read: pressuring) me to do the same. And I’ve always been honest with him about my feelings on this subject. I want to ride my bike to work. I really do. It’s just that there are days when I need to go to the courthouse and the route to work would have to be figured out and there are some real route hurdles with the location of my office in relation to my house and it takes a really long time to get to work and I don’t really like riding when it’s hot out and ARE YOU FUCKING NUTS I WOULD HAVE TO BE TEN KINDS OF CRAZY TO RIDE MY FUCKING BIKE TO FUCKING WORK. Ahem. Well, as Claudia might say, I am not crazy, but I am married to crazy. He made some really good points about saving money (for yarn) and not having to get up at 4:30 in the morning to go to the gym (so I can stay up late and knit.) Finally, I know that my ass will be much, much smaller if I ride my bike to work on a regular basis. In recognition and celebration of this inaugural ride I now present the a guided tour:

Phase One: Packing my bags

When you ride your bike to work you have to pack a bag. For me, this means that I have to wander around my house at 5:50 in the morning, in a semi-nude state, gathering various necessaries: work clothes, work shoes, washcloth, hand towel, hair brush, deoderant, etc., all the while muttering under my breath, "what the fuck am I doing? am I crazy? what if I die?"

Phase Two: Leaving the House

Dressed now for the long ride in moisture wicking pants, rolled up above the knee, sports bra, loud tie-dyed t-shirt (I want those assholes driving Hummers to SEE ME) and the good exercise shoes I head out to the garage. But not without first checking to make sure all the doors in the house are locked (twice) and the lights off (three times) and kissing the dog on the head to assure her that all will be well (too many times to count.) Once out of there, with the bike staring me in the face, I ask myself again what kind of crazy thinks this is a good idea. Nonetheless I hop on. And go a little numb after the garage door shuts behind me.

Phase Three: The Top of the Hill

Unless you live in Spokane you are probably not aware that it is essentially built in the dip created by two hills. Downtown is smack dab in the middle of the dip, and the rest of the city is built out from there. There is a "south hill" (where the South Hill Ranger resides) and the "north hill" (where the rest of us dwell.) I live on the northside and my office is due east of downtown. This means that the first step in my trek is to find a convenient way down the hill. This morning I chose the most direct route. Straight down Post street.

*cue ominous music*

The reason that even Stephen avoids this hill is that you could easily get going WAY TOO FAST and if you happened to hit a patch of dirt or needed to take evasive action IT WOULD NOT BE PRETTY. Like road rash, broken bones, etc. But you know me. I’m fearless. *snort*
As I rode up to the crest of the hill, it was like looking over lip of a cliff. A few feet behind the crest and I couldn’t see the hill itself, and when I finally crossed over, the hill dropped off before me at an impossibly sharp angle. I started to rethink the decision. But I was already there and backtracking would eat up valuable minutes. I decided to go for it.

All the way down I laid on my hand breaks, pumping them like I would the brakes of my car on an icy day. I assiduously stuck to the far side of the road, to allow ample room for passing cars. When I got to the bottom I breathed a sigh of relief and took a moment to laugh (inwardly) at the guy jogging on the sidewalk in the fluorescent flagger’s vest. Um. Dude. You’re on the sidewalk in the daylight.

****************** to be continued

On the knitting front, I have finished the last shaping row of the sixteenth repeat on my flower basket shawl. All that remains is to purl back and knit the border. Yeah!


At 1:03 PM, Anonymous cheryl said...

Wow - an impressive journey. I live basically a straight, flat two miles from my office, and would be terrified to try riding my bike to work. Your ride sounds much more daring. And yet almost makes me want to try riding my bike to work so I'll have something to blog about. But given my propensity for self-injury in the tamest settings, why tempt fate so early in the summer?


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