Again, I am sorry to not have any pictures to illustrate the ridiculousness of this story. I will just try and paint a vivid picture for ya. Last week was the first session of a LEED class that I am hosting with the US Green Building Council- something I have been planning for weeks. Since life has kept me pretty busy, I definitely was not as prepared as I had planned on when the day of the class arrived. Needless to say I had to re-structure the schedule, create a sign-in sheet, read the first section and create sample homework exercise (all of which was suppose to be neatly organized in a binder). In addition to the paperwork, I had to buy all of the refreshments for this shin-dig. Luckily, my amazing friends Sandra and James offered to hook me up with some carpooling. After going for my morning 4 mile bike ride (something I have been doing to try and build some endurance) Sandra scooped me up and we did some grocery shopping. I spent the rest of the afternoon preparing all of the paperwork until I realized that I had forgotten about the binders. With two hours until the James picked me up, I figured I could bike the two miles down to K-mart, get what I needed and be back in time for a quick shower. Ha. Was I ever wrong.
On the trip to the store I realized that the greenway was a mud-fest and that I might have a little bit of a challenge ahead, but I did not give up hope. My plan was to buy this little rack for behind my bike, fill my whole foods bags with binders, strap it all to back and be on my way. As I filled my cart with 34, 1/2 inch binders and two reams of paper I realized that it was quite a lot of stuff. I made my purchase and headed out to my bike, still hoping that I could still make this work. I unscrewed some of my reflectors and slid on the rack, only to realized that no matter how much I tightened it, it was waaaaaaay too loose. I wedged some paper in around it but the grease was just too slippery. I had to get this stuff home, I didn't have my cell-phone to call anyone, and I didn't have time to make more than one trip.
I stopped myself and thought: "What would Mcagyver do?" So, of course, I went back into K-mart and bought a roll of duct tape, a basket/trashcan thing, hemp string, and a pair of scissors. At this point, it was about 100 degrees outside, humidity 200 percent and I am covered in sweat, realizing that my time is running out fast. As I am strapping the rack on the back and the basket on the front with every last inch of tape/string, this jack-ass walks up and starts telling me how I should be attaching this ridiculous contraption. Man, did I ever get lucky! What are the odds that a professional rack-basket-bike-duct tape-string installer had come to my aide?! I turned to him and said: "Did you hear me? .....Oh, you didn't? Thats because I didn't ask for your help." He started to say something but instead just opened and shut his mouth silently in shock before walking away. Needless to say, I got the whole thing on and slowly started my trip to the greenway, without anyones help. This is the part when you are going to start thinking: "Really Nikki, are you making this up?". My answer: Believe me I wish I was.
Right as I hit the entrance of the greenway, the dark skies that had been threatening all day, opened up and poured down rain. I mean, there might have actually been cats and dogs coming down- I just couldn't see anything because my glasses were so wet. I guess the rain loosened up the hemp, the tape, or something, because the basket sagged down and hit my front tire. Not enough to stop me, but enough to feel like I was biking up a mountain (a very slippery, muddy one, at that) . Of course, as I rode past a fellow biker, he alerted me to the fact that this wasn't safe. While this should have triggered anger or tears, I was so far beyond either that I started laughing... the desperate on-the-edge-of-crazy kind of laugh. Realizing that I was never going to make it in time, I got off my bike and just started running with my bike for the last mile. I got home in time for my ride to pull into the driveway. I jumped in the shower only to wash off the mud and pulled on the first clothes I could find. We rushed together trying to load the car and deconstruct the abominable duct-hemp monster I had created. In the end, I showed up to my own class 15 minutes late with empty binders to a class room full of people expectantly waiting. In all of my hurry, I had not realized that I had managed to put on a white t-shirt that was at this point completely soaking wet. Ah.... the icing on the cake.
The moral of this story...
Know your limits, always come prepared, wear dark clothing in the rain, and however long it takes you in a car, double that time when you have a bike.
P.S. Don't worry-I am still optimistic about all of this :-)