Monday, February 23, 2009

Commuting Comedy of Errors

After countless bike commutes to work, I've got my routine down. Tires pumped, water bottle filled, battery for lights charged, bike clothes laid out, messenger bag packed with work clothes and food. Everything ready the night before. I've done this a few hundred times and know what works for me.

Today a few monkey wrenches were thrown into the mix....

Ride in felt good, usual Seattle weather - 40s and wet. It's been colder then usual and getting back to normal Seattle weather feels right. It was light out when I left, no lights needed. When I hit the bike room at work, noticed my bike lights were on - whoops. Must have hit the switch by mistake - never happened before. Mental note to leave work with some daylight remaining.

While changing out of my racer wanna-be costume and into work duds - discover I packed my 9 year old son's underwear instead of my own. Oops. When grabbed out of the clean clothes pile, they look the same - just a few sizes too small. I grab the spare pair of underwear out of my desk drawer, usually reserved for when I completely forget my own. A few work days going commando teaches a you a lesson. Plus - if I ever get laid off, can leave 'em in my desk for a little surprise.

Spring comes early in the Northwest, not temperature wise, but budding tree wise - killing my allergies. What's the best thing to do when you have allergies? Ride to work, of course. By mid morning, my eyes are itching so bad, feel like scratching them out. Maybe I'll pop the lenses out of my bike glasses and replace them with small funnels - this way I can inject the pollen directly into my eye sockets. With any luck both eyes will swell shut like Rocky, then I can ask co-workers to "Cut me Mick" - so I can regain enough vision to view some boring Powerpoint presentation.

Work day over and while changing back into racer wanna-be outfit for the ride home - discover the strap from one of my Sidi shoes is missing. I didn't notice that when taking 'em off. I search around for it - no where to be found. Maybe a PC virus escaped and ate it under my desk. In any case, it would have been worthless, since the busted off stub remained in the shoe itself. I could have at least used it to gouge my itchy eyes out.

I grab some packing tape and wrap it around the shoe to keep it on, then cover the mess with a rain bootie. My rain booties are so destroyed I need pliers to get 'em on and off - both zippers tabs are busted. I head down to the bike room for the return trip.

On the way home, I stop at Counterbalance Bicycles, right off the Burke-Gilman trail, and pick up a new Sidi shoe strap. While continuing the ride home, realize I only purchased part of strap, still missing a section to fix the shoe. Crap. Maybe I should have asked for some pliers to pull my bootie off to check. Yeah, that would have provided a few minutes of entertainment for the bike shop crew.

About half way home, dark enough for lights. I power mine up to discover a dim beam that throws a feeble spot on the wet ground. Sweet. The battery is almost dead. No problem, I think I have every bump memorized on the B-G Trail anyway. I make it home and cut the taped shoe off.

Even with goofy events of the day, still beats driving and sitting in traffic. Mini adventures are part of the fun of bike commuting - equipment, weather or people related.

It all makes for good stories and funny stuff to remember. You need to put yourself out there for things to happen.

Happy commuting.

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