Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bike Fall can kiss my Ass

I cut out of work early the day before Thanksgiving. I had errands to run before I caught a train to Milwaukee later that evening. When I rode to work that morning the weather was windy and brisk, but quite nice. Apparently all hell broke loose while I toiled in my office. Once outside I encountered a horrible mix of freezing rain, hail and sleet--turning to an icy slush on the ground. My clothes were soaked in short order. Additionally, there was a 35MPH North wind, gusting to 45MPH--and I was headed North. Fuckity fukc fuc fuck.

At first the worst part was not being able to see because my glasses were fogged/slushed up. Soon I noticed other unpleasant factors, though. I was getting really cold--apparently biking into a 35MPH wind while soaking wet makes the wind-chill Gods angry as they attempt to drain my body of all heat. But I perservered to reach my destination...the Crate and Barrel Outlet store. I was in search of a wedding gift for my cousin. Upon entering the store I quickly realized how shabby I was. I was a kitten just in from a storm among the other yuppie shoppers. There was nothing there that seemed satisfactory, so I went to the real Crate and Barrel store. Another bike ride in the cold.

At the real C&B store I felt even more bedraggled--puddles were forming everytime I paused. No salesperson would make eye contact with me, so finally I flagged one down. While I waited for her to bring me the pan I wished to purchase I began to get cold. Really cold. She brought back the wrong pan and then tried to argue with me that it was correct. She agreed to look once more. During this second wait, the checkout staff noticed me (probably because I was dripping on their floor) and offered me a thimble of hot coffee to warm me up. I declined because of the caffeine and because I was so cold it was pointless. I think they seriously thought that a tablespoon of coffee would warm me up. Silly.

Finally I got the correct pan in my hands and paid for it. We wrapped it up tightly in a plastic bag so it could survive the bike ride home. I tried to help the woman wrap it, but kept getting everything I touched wet--I was completely saturated with water. I donned my dripping wool gloves, bungeed the pan to my rack and began the trek home. I was seriously cold and could barely feel my feet and hands. About a half mile from my house I started having trouble controling my bike because I couldn't feel my extremities, and I began to feel really bad.

Once I got to my front door I realized that I might not be able to work my key because my fingers weren't moving. I considered asking people on the street to help me, but finally I managed on my own. I was miserable and painfully cold. I stood in the lobby for many seconds on the verge of whimpering as I contemplated carrying my bike up the steps. Finally I just did it and got to my door. Inside I encountered my shirtless housemate talking on the phone in the bathroom doorway. I ordered him out of my way and began stripping down for a hot shower. Even after the shower, my feet and hands didn't feel right. My hands felt weird even the next day. I will have to be much more careful about watching the weather in the future.

So far Bike Fall doesn't make me happy. Hopefully bike winter will be better.


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