Monday, 21 March 2011

Wheely Bad

Today at work I was asked to stay on all day. A 12 hour shift? Yes please.

I decided to go home at lunch to collect the soup Steven had so lovely-ly put out for me to take to work this morning but given I usually come home for the afternoon I decided to put it back in the fridge. So having left my lunch at home it's only natural they should ask me to stay on.

When working a full day we get half an hour for lunch. It takes me 15 minutes to get to/from work by foot. SO I thought a good plan would be to walk home, get the soup, get the bike out of the garage, that I inherited from my mum and step dad when they moved to Africa in February, and cycle straight back to work.

An excellent idea in theory - not so much in practice.

I've not ridden a bike for at least ten years and I hereby declare the definition of 'it's like riding a bike' to mean that something is bloody difficult, if not impossible.

I got on it and realised that the pedals have those cages on them so your feet can't come out. Do they not know me at all?! This is the girl who used to have to take her feet off her moped and place them millimeters off the ground when going round corners for fear of losing her balance. Cages on your feet is just asking for trouble.

I walked the bike a few wheel rotations (sorry distances aren't my thing) down the road and had a fiddle with the brakes. The front ones weren't working. I tried to figure out if I could get to work without catapulting myself over the handlebars. I decided I couldn't. Somehow the man in me figured out how to reattach the front brake. I had a stab at riding it a few wheel rotations and wondered how long it would take me to go back home, get into the house to get the garage key I'd posted back through the door, open the fiddly garage door, step over the ladder to get the bike in, close the fiddly garage door and walk back to work.

I thought it'd be quicker to try and ride/walk the bike to work.

I rode it about a quarter of the way down my road - getting off to get onto the pavement. (When I was about 14 I managed to fall off my bike attempting a road to pavement mount and was not going to relive it especially with vegetable soup swinging from the handlebars.) I walked it up the main road and got back on for a downhill side road. Pot holes + downhill speed = not doing that again. Three quarters of the way down the hill I decided enough was enough and wheeled that damn bike the rest of the way.

It was the start of the warm weather and I had a couple of hills to climb whilst pushing this bit of wheeled metal. You could say I was flustered when I got back to work.

The girl who's down with me on reception at the moment told me that the seat shouldn't move (I didn't mention that did I?... As you sit on it it points down - if the cross bar wasn't there you'd slide right off) and that it was a boys' bike which probably didn't help me not being able to ride it.

8.30pm came around and I forced myself to wheel the thing back. As I was making my way out of the building a staff member asked if I'd like the bike shed key for future use. I told her I'd have to learn to ride the bloody bike before I needed storage for it.

I thought I'd see if night time bike riding was a little easier but less than ten seconds into it decided I should stop before I ran over the man coming the other way (yes I was on the pavement). I stopped and pretended to be looking for something in my bag. I didn't want him to think I was cyclically challenged. I waited until he'd passed before I dismounted and wheeled the enemy home to a life of imprisonment and dust collection.

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