Friday, September 27, 2013

At least it isn't snowing...yet

When it rains it pours, or so the saying goes. And it's been raining again this week. Which, I guess on some levels is better than snow and ice, though I am hesitant to say that I prefer fall to winter.

In popular culture the Morton's catch phrase has come to mean that when something bad happens, it tends to follow that many, many bad things will happen and that minor annoyances can become big disturbances.

That's the run of my week. Minor annoyances becoming nearly overwhelming. You see, when it rains, it pours.

It started on Tuesday, this metaphorical and literal rain. Tuesday morning. I head out to the garage to load up the bike and cut out for the day. I go out to load up the bike and as soon as I start wheeling it out from its parking space, I could feel the familiar and stomach churning creakly crack of deflated rubber slapping pavement.

Now, in my old age I've gotten pretty darned adept at changing tubes. I was able to, in less than two minutes, swap the tube and get it pumped up to a ridable level. That said, I still ended up hitching a ride half way to the bus stop to ensure that I didn't miss it.

Not a big deal. I make it to work and back again without issue. I check the tire when I get home and things are looking good. I adjust the pressure to roll a bit fast the next day.

The next morning I wake up and head out the door and things are fine. The tire's still full and life is good. Well, apart from the 40 degrees and medium heavy rain, but even that's not going to dampen my mood.

I get on the bus and it is uneventful. I ride contented in the knowledge that all is right and good.

Yet when I get off the buss and pull my bike out, I feel that same sickening feeling. Flat. Again. WTF?

I pump the tire with my little portable pump, thinking I can limp to work and then worry about fixing the tube once there - you know, out of the rain. Nope. Not so much. I can hear the air escaping over the sizzle of the rain on the streets.

I know what I have to do and it pisses me off. It's just not the way I want to start the day. The rain is getting harder. It's in the low 40s, and my quote unquote rain jacket is soaking through.

To make a long story short, I patch the tube, get it put back in and take the requisite twelve point two minutes to pump the damned thing up to enough pressure to hold my fat butt off the ground and hustle to work through the rain and cold. I get to work just as the rain turns from a steady heavy drizzle into a cloudburst downpour - drops the size of silver dollars pounding the ground all around me. Doesn't matter one way or the other. I'm still soaked and not looking forward to work.

Let's move forward to the next day, Thursday. Thursday starts out auspiciously enough. Yes it's raining, but it is closer to 50 degrees than to 40 and I am wearing full rain gear so I'm not too bothered by the weather.

I get to the bus stop and realize that I have forgotten both my ID card and my badge for work. My ID card is what gets me on the bus, but I'm not too worried, as the drivers all know me by now. Rather they know my bike, so that might as well be my ID. And I'm not worried about my work badge. I can get a temp. But it's a bad sign. I don't forget things in general. Not for the commute and work day, that is. Well, there have been occasions when I've forgotten my underwear, but that might just be a fetish my subconscious is trying to tell me to explore or something. Who knows?

So I get to Anchorage and all is good. It's still raining, but not hard. The bus is even a bit early. So I load up and hump it to work, only to realize as I pull onto the campus that, Oh shit, I don't have a lock. I'd taken it home the prior day, against routine, and completely forgot that it was not in my bag.

I work at the building owned by a multi-national corporation who has so much security on premesis that they give tickets to people they catch talking on their cell phones while in their cars in the parking lot. They give tickets to people who don't wear their seat belts. They have cameras throughout the inside and outside of the building and they pay people to watch those cameras 24X7. Yet bikes get stolen from the rack right in front of the building. While it is not a regular occurrence, it happens enough that the company has taken to putting up reminder posters throughout the building to lock it or lose it. Seems maybe security is looking for the wrong things.

At any rate, I couldn't just leave my bike sitting out front all day unlocked. So I did what anyone would do. I grabbed a cable lock, made it look like it was locking my bike to the rack, went up stairs and changed and waited until the store across the street opened so I could get a lock for the day.

Needless to say, just the week of bike commuting was a challenge and a pain. Not to mention all the other stuff going on in the rest of my life.

That said, the ride home yesterday ended on a high note with some great views of the mountains.

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