December 8, 2005

In Which I Attempt a Bicycle Ride


I have a rather fundamental paradox in my nature. To wit, I am fond both of sedentary pursuits and being thin. These two, as you might imagine, don't combine terribly well.

So about 5:00 this evening I realised that I had not been outside in days, except for a few shivering, barefoot dashes to the mailbox. I decided to go for a spin around the block and get some fresh air. I was feeling all gun-ho and athletic, until the dismayful moment when I realised that I do not own a pair of sneakers. My shoes are all very fashionable, you see. I do not like to flatter myself, but my friends do say that I am not devoid of taste!

Ok, enough Mrs. Elton. To continue my story, I, in a moment of unparalleled resourcefulness, remembered that Spuddy Buddy owns a pair of sneakers. And that Spuddy Buddy is a moose. And that I have small feet. I wandered the house until I found his sneakers, and tried them on. They fit quite well. Please don't laugh.

So, clad in not enough clothing and my brother's sneakers, I ventured out into the great manicured wild that is my corner of Dallas. I had only been out for about 20 seconds when it was rather forcefully brought to my attention that the weather was more deeply subarctic than I had anticipated. In about 25 seconds I discovered that it was so cold I couldn't breathe without gasping like an asthmatic. In about 3o seconds I discovered that it was so cold that breathing at all induced severe pain in my southern lungs.

But, being the stoic type, I decided to perservere. And it wasn't too long until I remembered that pierced ears get much colder than unpierced ones (trust me on this, guys -- not sure why, but it's the truth). And in a bit I remembered that my southern eyes don't work properly in cold air. The world began to scramble itself like eggs before me. In another bit I remembered that the combination of cold air on the lungs and cold scrambled vision makes me dizzy. And there I was, atop a vehicle with two wheels that required balance. It was perilous in the extreme.

The defining moment of the adventure came when, upon approaching an intersection, I found that my hands were so numb that they had been relying on muscle memory to clutch the handlebars, and that I simply could not operate the dumb handlebar brakes. And here came a car. It was exciting. In the end, I decided to use the brakes God has so graciously given, and planted my feet vigorously on the pavement in the hope that the bike would stop. It did. But then you had probably guessed that, because I survived to write about it.

That peril over, I looked down at my hands and realised that the cold-induced, healthfully ruddy glow had disappeared from my fingertips, and that they were now a rather hideous shade of lilac. That was the last straw. I skidded down our ice-coated alley and got myself inside and back to sedentary pursuits.

All in all, I had a fantastic time. My eight-year-old dramatic sensibilities are happy and satisfied with my 15 minutes of cold and uncertainty and peril. In fact, the only thing that would have rendered the outing more satisfying would have been if I had fallen off the bike unconscious and numb from the cold and Prince Charming had happened along and saved me. But one can't have everything.


Lynn Bruce said...

::gasping in hysterics::

Honey... really... I'll buy you some sneakers. Why didn't you tell me you had this wardrobe deficit?

Oh, my sides hurt now. Thanks for always making me laugh "to the pain."

polemic turtle said...

"Not everyone can be both an avid scholar and a mountain climber" -- A.

A lot of that was funny. :-)

JennyAnyDots said...

Thank you for sharing that story! I mean to seem rude or anything, but that was so funny!! :) I hope you were able to warm up soon.

JennyAnyDots said...

Ooops, sorry. I meant to say "I don't mean to seem rud or anything..."

X said...

Nice. Sounds like you had a fun ride.