Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Modest Bike Brag

I don't often brag about my athleticism. Frankly, there's not much to brag about. Oh, I look athletic enough - especially with clothes on. But functionally? I'm a klutz and a sloth. At best, I'm good for an occasional short burst of activity, much like your average feline but completely minus the grace and power.

So no one is more amazed than I at my perseverance in biking to school this fall. I used my bike every single day, with just three exceptions: once when my husband's complicated schedule required me to drive our car home again, once when I had an appointment at the far end of town, and once when I saw the eye doctor right before teaching and my dear spouse chauffeured me. (By the way, it is downright imbecilic to get your eyes dilated and then expect to function well in the classroom. I don't recommend it.)

I even biked to the post office through sleet yesterday. Well, the truth is that I got caught in sleet on my way home - the sky was clear on the trip over - but the first version of the story sounds more intrepid, don't you think?

This morning I biked through actual snow. Here's the scene mere seconds before takeoff.

Okay, I just exaggerated for effect once again. The roads were clear this morning, although the air was sub-zero (celsius, that is).

I'm sure you're wondering about my snazzy fender ornament, so here he is: the original Janosch Little Tiger. He's not only cute; he also makes me look way faster than I'll ever actually be.

Seriously, I don't expect to keep this up throughout the winter. This morning, my sinuses wanted to pack up and move to San Diego. I realize that as a born-and-bred North Dakotan, I ought to be hardier; today, a friend opined that I used up all my cold tolerance in my first sixteen winters. I like his theory since it makes me sound like less of a wimp.

I'm still a sloth (or feline) at heart, and in every other muscle, too. But I've gotten just old enough to realize that I have to do something to fight decrepitude, or entropy will prevail.

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