You know those days. I am sure you have had them too. You wake up and know that something is going to happen. You just need to experience a little of your day before it all starts to come into focus. I had one of those days this week.
On average, I wake up bright and early 6-7 days a week to walk, run, bike ride, etc. By bright and early, I mean 4:45 AM! I mean bright and early!! I do this so that I can get my exercise done BEFORE my family responsibilities start. It is my time. I get dressed appropriately for the weather–long sleeves, short sleeves, shorts, sweats, etc. I put my Ipod head phones in, crank up the tunes–mainly 70’s, 80’s, and Country music, though I do have a few current tunes. I set off into the darkness and “git’r done”!
When I ride my bike, I wear light-colored clothes, a reflective vest and have a flashing light on my bike. I like to stay on well-lit roads for obvious reasons. This week I had a course in mind and set off for a 10-mile ride. About 6 miles into the ride, I felt my bike pull to the side a bit. Even with the tunes going, I could hear that something was not right. I stopped to investigate and my fears were confirmed–a flat rear tire. Not just a flat rear tire, but a flat rear tire 4 miles from home!!
I had heard someone once say that a flat bike tire changes a short bike ride into a LONG walk home. I assure you this is a true statement! I rode my bike about 1/4 mile on a “flattish” tire by standing up and putting as much weight on the front tire as I could. That made for some very sore arms. I dismounted my bike and pushed it home. As I walked I kept thinking about the breakfast for the kids–remember the family responsibilities I referenced earlier?
I walked and walked and walked and walked. First pushing the bike with my right hand, then switching to the left hand. I even tried running, but that became a bit unsafe for me and the bike. I kept hoping a driver in a pickup truck would stop and offer to give me a lift. I kept hoping I would find a business open so I could borrow the phone. I assure you that at 5:15 in the morning, no business is open. ( I was beginning to think I had no business being out at that early hour.) Even the gas stations I passed only had their “pay at the pump” open!!
I finally made it home at about 6:15. That 45 minute bike ride turned into a one and a half hour ride/walk. My kids were concerned about me being late–mostly because their mom had to get them breakfast!! She is a great cook, she just does not do breakfast–it is her time to get ready for the day. (It has been that way since the day we got married. It is an arrangement that really works for us!) I really was not harmed in any way as a result of this ride. I did have time to think.
First I considered the “premonition” I had as I woke up. (“What if I really need my cell phone and don’t have it?” “What does a bike rider do if they find themselves stranded?”) These are all really good questions. As Boy Scout and a Boy Scout leader the motto, “Be Prepared”, was memorized and practiced (somewhat). This week I found myself unprepared and even worse, not listening to the thoughts in my head when I woke.
Through it all I have learned to live, laugh and learn. Stay positive, and if life deals you a flat tire, dismount and walk. It may be an inconvenience, but it will not be an “exercise in futility”!!!!!
Until next time, keep on smiling!!