It's really a no-brainier, you see, as i live less than two miles away. My commute to work presently takes ~ 4 1/2 minutes, with up to half of that waiting at the one lighted intersection i must pass en-route. My brother (ahem) has also been encouraging me to bike as it's healthy, and saves money on gas, and gives me some peace and quite alone. Plus a final point: It really can't take that much longer to bike to work. I mean really.
Yes, yes, i say. Alright! I'll give it a shot. Now, mind you, we don't have a locker room, or showers, or gym, or any of that good stuff at work. So i would have to either bring a change of clothes, or sit in sweaty pants all day. Clearly, i must bring a change of clothes. I pack my back pack, while getting dressed in jeans & a t-shirt. It's a bit chilly this morning, so i need a sweatshirt. No problem. Unfortunately, my closet is an utter disaster, as Alexander has been playing hide and seek in there. I take a few minutes to clean it up a bit.
After breakfast, i go to open the gate. Well, it's locked. Back inside to get the key. I unlock it, and put the gate key back. I then proceed towards the garage to get the bike. I see that Sarah has left a couple of cushions out overnight again. They're brand new, and we made an agreement that we'd toss them in the garage every night. No sweat, i'll grab them. I go around the side door, and step into a puddle of yellow piss. What the....
OH! That's right. That little turd of Sarah's dog woke me up barking to go outside in the wee hours of the morning. Not once, mind you, not twice, but three times. At 1:30, 4:00, and 5:30 this morning, respectively. After the third time, being severely under slept, i tossed the little shit into the garage so i could get, maybe an hours more of sleep. That didn't work out so well, as Sarah burst into the bedroom with a shrieking Maggie just after 8am. She throws on the lights, frantically screaming that Maggie has stuck a wheat puff up her nose, and then proceeds to, albeit inadvertently, punch me in the balls as she's hurling my daughter down onto the bed. FOURTH time woken up. Now i'm groggy, confused, and wincing in pain. Wielding a pair of sharp, purple tweezers, i am instructed to hold down this flailing toddler while my wife performs what amount to nasal surgery on an errant manatee in the middle of category 4 storm, on the wet, slippery deck of an aging trawler.
I'd be pushing it to say i got 4 hours of sleep last night.
Back to the pee. Well, i can't just leave it there, can i? I get a paper towel. Oh, wait they're inside. I grab some. Not enough. I go back and get the whole roll this time. But it's not doing anything now, as it's too dry. So i turn on and unravel the hose to get a little bit of water on it. I spend the next 5 minutes or so cleaning up that dammed dog's piss.
Ok, done. I shan't be deterred from my mission! I open the garage door. Oh, those cushions are still outside. Let me grab those real quick. Done. Anticipating this monumental day, i had purchased a bike helmet about two months ago. I go to un-package this item, only to find it has one of those unbreakable theft-proof plastic bands, securely locking it to it's cardboard packaging. And by one, i mean like fourteen of them. Back inside for a pair of scissors.
Got it. The helmet is now free. Seems nice and light. I try it on. Adjusting the straps. Again. Nope. A couple more adjustments later, it fits like a glove. Now i trek on over to the trash cans to throw out the packaging, because i can't just leave it for someone else to pick up. That'd be rude. Of course, on my way i find a dirty diaper, some random trash, and a half-drank box of juice that's just crawling with ants. I pick those up and throw them out as well. I go back inside, again, to wash my hands.
Now i also purchased a lock for the bike. This bike, see, belongs to Sarah. It's a cherry red beach cruiser that she won at a raffle. And everyone who knows Sarah, knows she gets a bit... mmmm.. attached to her possessions. So I'll be dammed if it gets stolen on my watch. Well, i put the lock right here and it's....
Gone. I look around. Nope. Darn those kids! They've absconded with yet ANOTHER item! I should have locked it to the bike when i had the chance. I spend a good 5 minutes tearing apart the garage for this lock. No dice.
Whatever! I'll risk going without it. I check the time. It's 9:30. I started getting dressed at 8:40. This foolish crusade has been going on for FIFTY MINUTES!
But i'm not giving up. I can do it.
The bike, not having been used in well over three or four months, is stuck behind the couch. I move the couch, and make a path through the minutia of children's costumes literally littered across the entire garage floor. How many times have i told Alexander to put them away.....
I finally pull the bike out. And i take a good look at it. There's a kids seat attached to the back. Come on, now. It's bad enough that i'm riding a cherry red beach cruiser into work, but there's NO WAY i'm riding it with a kids seat in the back. I pull it closer, and notice it's attached in numerous places with screws. Arg! What a pain. That will take a couple of minutes to remove.
I pull it closer. And guess what. But of COURSE. The tires are flat. I don't have a hand pump. But i do have a compressor. Which is stuck behind another pile of tools & strollers. Which then would require me to find a spare outlet to plug it in, which then needs to fill up with air...
I check the clock again. It's 9:37.
A deep sigh.
I don't have time for this. I'm never going to make it. I've got a meeting at 10am.
I have been defeated.
My 4 1/2 minute commute has turned into an hour crusade. I close the garage door, lock the gate, and with my head hung low, drive into work. I arrive at my desk at 9:48.