Jonathan’s Bike Adventure

Jul 30th, 2013 | By | Category: Columns

Every weekend, I go to my favorite coffee shop for writing time. I hate driving there – it’s only two miles and comes with a residual guilt of being lazy, wasting gas and adding to our carbon footprint. Still, two miles is a long walk and time consuming because of all the major roads.

So I bought a bike. I figured this was a fantastic solution – I checked online and it should only take about fifteen minutes to bike up. There’s no pollution involved and this would be an excellent source of exercise. Needless to say, I was thrilled with my decision and was looking forward to incorporating this bike ride into my writing schedule.

Well, things don’t always go as planned. And let me remind you, according to the trusty internet, this was supposed to take 15 minutes. There is no way to accurately summarize this ordeal – you really have to join me minute-by-minute for this journey.


12:00: What a glorious day to be alive! And finally starting a new tradition – I’m going to get healthy and keep to my writing schedule. How fantastic. And the weather is perfect! I wish nothing but goodness to the entire earth.

12:02: Hmph. My messenger bag keeps slipping to my side and bouncing uncomfortably against my hip. I wonder how my fellow bicyclists handle this. Oh well, nothing to worry about. I’ll just pause here for a sec and reposition it. Life is beautiful.

12:03: Oh yeah, I forgot about the road work here. No sidewalk, no problem.

12:04: Red light. This is a good place to pause. I didn’t realize my legs were already feeling sore. Isn’t exercise grand? I can already tell I’m getting healthier.

12:06: Ok, Mr. Angry Driver. I do have the green light AND I’m in the crosswalk. So there’s no need to get all feisty with your horn. Rude.

12:07: Hmph. Perhaps sticking to the main road isn’t a wise idea. No sidewalk and very angry motorists. You’d think they’d never seen a dude on the bicycle before. And why are they glaring? Is my helmet on backwards? Does this messenger bag make me look fat or something? Perhaps a detour is in order.

12:10: Who knew this street was a dead end? Nice gardens over here. That reminds me – I haven’t mowed my lawn in like … ever. I should probably take care of that.

12:12: Ok, correct street. But that’s a big-ass hill. Whatever. I’ll be fine.

12:14: I AM NOT FINE! Oh my God, my legs feel like they’re on fire! Why didn’t anyone tell me it was going to be like this? And why the f@ck does my messenger bag keep slipping?!

12:15: Am I missing a flip flop?

12:16: I have regained my flip flop but somehow, by some dark magic, I find myself back at the bottom of the hill.

12:18: The dude watering his azaleas mocks me with his evil grin. I hate him.

12:21: I have managed to arrive at the exact location of the flip flop incident. Legs hurt. It is suddenly hard to breath and my bag has now slipped down from my shoulder and is hanging over my elbow, dangerously low to the ground. I must stop here a moment and catch my breath. This hill goes much farther than I realized.

12:22: Did that four year old on the tricycle really just pass me? Stupid four year old. Stupid messenger bag.

12:24: As the hill continues to grow steeper, I realize that this was perhaps not the best route to take. My only option is to continue on or to return to bottom and find another way. I should have brought water with me, but then I have no place to carry it. I have decided to move forward.

12:25: Legs hurt so much. Amputation may be the only option.

12:27: Time itself moves at a strange pace here. It has taken me eleven minutes to climb up about four blocks and I’m sure I’ve seen that grimy asshole with the azaleas twice now on my left, his eyes always watching with insidious intentions. I feel like I’ve inadvertently wandered into the maze of some obscure Borges story. My thirst increases with each second. This may be my last entry.

12:28: When in doubt, walk your freakin’ bike up the hill. There’s no shame in it. Got a smug look from the 4 year old though. Stupid tricycle.

12:30: The road is now level again and though my legs are sore, they are still strong. But thanks to a slight miscalculation, I am nowhere near a crosswalk and this street is too perilous for me to simply bike across. Wish me luck.

12:32: I wonder if Cate Blanchett has a new movie coming out soon. And will she ever answer my fan letters?

12:35: I have crossed Rt. 29 by the skin of my teeth. To whoever was driving that Ford Focus, I must have wronged you in a past life and for that I am sorry. But there is no reason to come seeking revenge now. You’ve had your chance.

12:36: Funnily enough, I’ve driven passed this little park on my morning commute a million times and never realized there was a bike path here. I think this leads to Broad Street. Worth a try – it’s safer than the main road.

12:38: To the husky bearded dude jogging. Thank you. For looking that good.

12:39: Apparently, this bike path does not lead to Broad Street. Despite the level terrain, my legs have literally turned to Jell-O. My shirt is carrying an extra ten pounds of water weight from all my sweating. While I have a general idea of where I am, I am not sure which road leads up to Broad Street.

12:40: Asked a nice lady pushing a stroller for directions. When she smiled, I noticed she had a forked tongue. I will not take her advice.

12:42: I can no longer feel my legs. I only know they paddle through force of will.

12:43: To my left is a familiar face: a man watering his azaleas. I have stopped and grabbed his garden hose, disregarding all dignity, and drink from it. Some of my vitality has been restored.

12:45: I recognize this house. No. No, I do not.

12:48: The taxi cab driver told me that my bike would not fit in his car, but wondered why I would ask to be driven literally two blocks down the road. Not even my crying helped.

12:50: I am within sight of the coffee shop but have succumbed to exhaustion. Sweet Heaven, please deliver me from the toils of this life.

1:00: I have arrived. The epic journey is over and the hero may now rest. My bike is secured on the rack, I have ordered my ice coffee and have already called my husband to come pick me up. I have yet to determine if the bike will return with me.


In other news, Sharknado really did happen. I didn’t watch all of it. But I am happy to report that Tara Reid is still able to find work and that blonde dude from 90210 has come out of hiding.


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