The Best Laid Plans

Remember how I had plans on Saturday?

Yeah. My bike class was on Sunday.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment before I describe to you what my Saturday morning was like. Specifically I was hot, sweaty and covered in spilled coffee (dumb travel mug) as I wrestled with my bike in an empty parking lot before realizing; (1) I had no idea how to reattach my front tire to my bike frame; and (2) this parking lot sure is empty.

I’d try to caution you from laughing too much, except, well, yeah. Laugh away. I was there on the wrong day, struggling with a simple bike procedure and basically swearing up a storm before throwing my bike (with great gusto) back into the car and driving to Trader Joe’s where I shopped for fruit and yogurt in compression fit bike pants and tried not to cry. B had taken the wheels off my bike to get it into the car and neither of us contemplated that I might not really know how to get them all back on properly and by properly I mean at all.

Saturday night I brushed up on my calendar reading skills and had B walk me through the processing of taking my bike tires on and off. I’m now a pro. By pro I mean I can do it, on a good day, in under 10 minutes. I’m sure the pros can too.

The class itself (ON SUNDAY, AHEM) was really quite great. I met some other people my age who were all muttering through the “changing a flat tire” activity as much as I was – hey, kindred spirits! I didn’t crash and I only had a moment of panic once, when we had to turn left at one of Chicago’s infamous 6 way intersections. I avoid them in my car, much less on a bike, with my stupid clip in pedals and general lack of coordination. (I hate those 6 way intersections because, well, six streets, Chicago drivers, it is obviously the making of an apocalyptic car movie…)

My new coach (is this the proper term?) also informed me that my gears were all wrong, I was riding at the wrong seat height and also, I really needed to not be so freaked out -but all I could say was HI DID YOU SEE THAT SIX WAY INTERSECTION WE HAD TO GO THROUGH SIR?

My coach (instructor?) did however send me this and once I finished laughing for a good 10 minutes I decided I was motivated enough to go back next week.

I JUST GOTTA PRACTICE AND BE HAPPY OF MYSELF.

I survived, but I’m definitely in the market for a good soap that washes bike grease off of one’s calves. For….my friend.

Saturday Plans

Today I paid for my first installment of Not Looking Like A Fool While Riding A Bike classes.

So I’m pretty much just asking you to pray for my soul and all of my appendages.

Although I hear that with modern medicine they can reattach most things these days.

At least I hope so.

The schedule looks simple enough, on day one we will learn how to change a flat tire- I hope I get to use one of my neat CO2 cartridges – and then we will take a little group ride. This is when I hope I can pull it together enough to not fall into someone, yell obscenities or scrape my shins up on my pedals while flailing around. A real test if you will. The next week we tackle a little more bike maintenance and more riding and rules and how to switch gears and not flip ourselves over the handlebars. I’ve never been good at physics so here is hoping it all sticks!

After that I embark on my 13 week class where I fear there will be many opportunities to embarrass myself because that is 13 weeks of compression fit clothes, moving parts and traffic signals, which if you ask me is a real bang up grouping of IMMINENT DISASTERS. Also, that is a lot of wearing cycling socks which apparently don’t really come in “plain” but instead come in patterns that are weird or outlandish or strangely 1970’s. I did the best I could picking mine out which is to say….that…they…match my blog name….

That isn’t weird, is it?

 

One For The Books

I work flex hours so yesterday I left my office at 3:00 p.m., as I normally do, and I can only describe to you how I felt when I pulled into my parking spot, 29.9 miles away from my office at 5:30 p.m. It felt…ragey. It was a perfect storm of an afternoon Cubs game, nice weather and open beaches, a stalled car blocking one lane, an accident blocking an off-ramp. Either way when I finally emerged from my car, sweaty and disheveled I needed to call my tailor to let my right pant leg out due to the muscle growth after 2.5 hours of stop and go traffic. It was mind-numbing traffic, the kind that sucks out your will to live and causes you to turn the radio off in disgust and just sit, sweltering, in the afternoon sunshine. It was, in a word, miserable.

I made it inside and promptly began rushing around to make it to a friend’s house for dinner – and after taking the dog out, feeding him dinner I remembered I forgot to grab the mail and on my way down to the box, I locked myself out of the house.

Par. For. Course.

After staring at the door for what seemed like an eternity – and remembering B was sailing so there was no way I was getting back inside any time soon- I thanked my lucky stars I had my purse with me and I left for my friend’s house, reminding myself to stop for some wine and cheese along the way. The whole way to the corner market I lamented my rotten luck but once inside I grabbed some goodies and got in the self checkout line, figuring that if nothing else I wouldn’t be late for dinner.

It was as I began checking myself out that the real ruckus began. A woman- a mother of a teenage employee I think – was a wee bit angry her daughter had been sent home early. She expressed her displeasure in having to come get her with a loud assortment of swear words, emphasized by the tearing off of her daughter’s grocery-store-branded clothes, notably her vest, shirt and badges. At this point the store became eerily quiet save for the demonstration going on in front of the credit union, and more and more store employees began walking up to the scene. This was unfortunate for me as I’d just rung up my bottle of wine, and what do you know, that self service machine kept bleating for “store verification” of my age and no one was around to do any verifying. Around this time the woman became even angrier and began to physically assault anyone within arms length of her while her daughter stared dispassionately on. Then, in a fit of what can only be described as unadulterated rage the woman informed the shocked patrons and employees she was going to shoot us all.

That was pretty awesome. And by awesome I mean she was body slammed, dragged out and the overhead speaker system went crazy with demands for store security and police and OH MY GOD THIS WOMAN IS INSANE. Someone kicked a box cutter away from her – say what now?- and once she was outside you could hear the collective rush of air that everyone had been holding in their lungs for the past few moments. Mostly because we were not on the set of Grey’s Anatomy and yet someone was planning on shooting the place up! In a fit of rage! Ha! WHAT DO YOU MEAN CITY LIVING ISN’T SAFE?

It was then that I demanded someone come verify my age because at this point I really needed that damn bottle of wine. And when I showed up at my friend’s house five minutes late I only re-enacted the scene for my girlfriends three times. You would have been proud of my restraint.

New York the Wrap-Up

So last week I went to New York City for an entire week with the Curvy Girl Guide .

It was, to put it mildly, a once in a life time trip.

You can read some day by day accounts here, here and here.

But I’m here to tell you that going to bed after midnight and waking up at 4 every day is downright exhausting. This kind of sleep deprivation has you wondering- for entirely too long- why the green room is red.


(This is what a 4 am wake up call looks like.)

(Oh, well, while we are at it, this is what *I* look like. I figured after being on television for a week the mystery is over, no?)

We even made it to Central Park while we were in town and most certainly did not pay a rickshaw driver, in pure panic, $20 to take us 100 yards when we were incredibly lost and turned around. Lesson learned.


Our first morning was a bit whirl-wind and so while I was the 2nd “model” on screen I was last to sit down in hair and make up. This was an unfortunate choice, seeing as how the “2 minutes until broadcast” signal was given while I was just getting settled in the chair. If you ever want to see me pseudo-cry, tell me I’m going on television with bedhead and under-eye circles while everyone around me wears full high-definition make up.

(Don’t worry, they got me all prettied up in time.)

(Then I dropped my sarong while walking across screen.)

(In a not-funny kind of way.)

Anyway, all of the women I spent the week with were amazing, I got to see a few other blogging friends and I basically ran around until my feet were covered in blisters.

In fact, right before I ate a delicious lobster, a lady in the bathroom saw me putting a band-aid on my foot and told me, in her best Grandma voice, that one day I would get used to city living. Chalk that up to…something.

Sorry, but seriously now, why is the green room red?

 

Really. It was red. And yet they kept telling all the models to go back to the green room I MEAN REALLY WHAT GIVES I AM SO CONFUSED AND SLEEP DEPRIVED.

 

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