Last week, I decided to try biking to work. With the best intentions, I researched potential routes, gathered weather-appropriate gear, and purchased a safety light and reflective vest. Rain was expected for Monday, so Max loaned me a rain jacket. I felt prepared and excited.
Things did not go according to plan.
Leaving the house, there were some ominous clouds in the distance, but no rain just yet. Cruising along the route as planned, I was quickly reminded how little physical exertion I’m accustomed to. Sweating through three layers, I arrived in a quiet neighborhood and estimated that it was the halfway point. Someone’s adorable golden retriever got loose and began running along the road beside me, which was encouraging. But in a moment, the dog miscalculated his enthusiasm and crashed into the back wheel. Shocked and convinced that I had just killed my spirit animal, I threw the bike into a ditch and ran back.
After several minutes of pure panic, the dog was actually running around like normal, so it was time to go. Arriving at the next intersection, however, it was clear that someone (the map or I) had really messed up. Not only was I tired and very late for work, I was also lost.
Cue torrential downpour.
For a minute, I considered calling someone from the office to come find me. It also became apparent that Max’s jacket was not suited for rain at all. But another half mile down the road, I finally found a familiar road and knew the office wasn’t too far. Distance is relative when you’re struggling to maneuver a bike uphill on a busy road in the rain. Finally I arrived at the office, exhaused and soaking wet, a full hour late.
Where did it all go wrong?
Sure there are things I could’ve done differently. Bike the route ahead of time, get an earlier start, bring an actual rain jacket… details.
Will I ever bike again?
Absolutely. Maybe even tomorrow. But I’ll probably catch a ride from a coworker in the morning and stick to the mostly-downhill ride home for now.