Thursday afternoon I found myself in a tight spot. I’d neglected my midday dog walking duties after getting pulled into three back-to-back, spur-of-the-moment meetings. Outside, the wintery mix the local weather forecasters had promised was in full effect. Freezing rain had turned to snow and it was rapidly accumulating. Did I mention my only mode of transportation was a bicycle?
With my eye on the clock, I counted the number of hours Woody had been locked away in his crate. Holding my hands out, my complex mathematical process showed eight fingers. We’ve never left him that long. I grabbed my helmet, changed my shoes and zipped up my reflective layers.
Riding a bike in the snow isn’t as bad as it may seem. As a matter of fact, it’s sorta fun. Not to mention the fact that my commute home is roughly two miles of flat, relatively calm city streets. While cars were sliding all over the place, I kept a slow, but steady pace and made it home in roughly 20 minutes without incident. Mr. Woods and I went on a pleasant stroll through the neighborhood and I was ready to go back to work. He was happy and so was I. I mentally prepared myself for the second leg of my slow, snowy ride back to work and hit the road—this time with flashers as it was starting to get dark.
This trip, however, was a little different than the first. I was fighting wind out of the north and snow eventually started collecting in my eye sockets. My visibility was already compromised without icicles hanging from my eyebrows. There was also a lot more traffic. It seemed most people in town had decided to leave work early and lines of cars were backed up at every intersection. Inside the warm vehicles a number of people pointed and laughed at me. I started to feel like a dumb ass.
Roughly thirty minutes on the road this time, I finally showed up back at the office. My head, shoulders and thighs were covered in cold powder. My cheeks were starting to sting from the temperature and the whole situation was feeling a bit absurd. One kid stood on the steps the building our office shares with the MSU art school. With a polka-dotted iPhone in her hand, she glanced my direction and smiled as I wiped a chunk of ice from my face.
“You’re stupid,” she said just before I walked into the building.
While her comment was totally unnecessary and I wanted to respond with an array of childish insults to match hers, she was actually probably right. My decision to ride home wasn’t very smart. Of course, if I ever see the brat again I may be tempted to tell her what I thought about her. Fortunately, I can sum it up in two words…