How is this even possible?

I'm sure that you all recall the unfortunate incident of July 4th---the one where I wanted to be independent, so I tried to ride my bike to Walmart but I popped a tire and had to walk it for a mile. Well, let me update you on my self-sufficiency since then.

I have gone several places all by myself on my bike. I went to Orem one night. Orem from Provo is uphill. Ugh. But I rode my bike all the way up to Orem and I would mention that it was dark outside but my mother will read this and get mad at me. But darnit, I was self-sufficient!

I went to a French friend's house last night in the rain. That was also a very uphill trip. I arrived, damp and very sweaty (my hostess forwent the habitual greeting cheek kisses and I didn't have to wonder why). I am learning that when a host or hostess gasps, "Can I get you something to drink" while running to the sink actually means two things: 1) I am sweaty and gross, 2) I am shamefully out of shape.

I went to the grocery store on Saturday while Perv was sleeping and I bought three full-sized pumpkins, five decorative gourds, and a pile of candy for all the guests that come to visit me (guests? What guests?). I brought them all home while riding my bike. Ha. When Perv woke up and saw the three large pumpkins, he said, "How did you do that?" I said, "On my bike!" He said, "You did not do that on your bike. There's no possible way you did that on your bike."

I went to the grocery store last Wednesday to pick up fruit for a large fruit salad. I was distracted by other things I wanted, like Chunky soup. So I only grabbed two things of Chunky soup (one must make sacrifices). As I was riding home, I heard a thunk, and looked back to see a can of Chunky soup on the sidewalk behind me. I laid down my bike, walked back and grabbed the can and put it in my purse. I inspected the bag and decided that despite the massive hole in the middle, the rest of the contents seemed sufficiently balanced on the intact sides of the bag, so I'd simply continue to ride. I rode slowly, but then realized that that meant the bag would have to hold up for a longer period of time. So I thought that I could go faster, but that meant that the bag would be subjected to more frequent and forceful bumps. Then I came across an automatic sprinkler system that was spraying the sidewalk. I couldn't avoid it since moving to the road meant a violent change in course and would put undue stress on the bag. So I went through the sprinklers. And I heard a thunk. I laid down my bike and went to grab my other can of Chunky soup, which was right in the middle of all the sprinkers. I went back into the four-square-meter monsoon and grabbed my can of Chunky soup. I returned to my bike and put the soup in my purse. I shoved the rest of the bags contents in my purse and as I did so, the automatic sprinkler system shut off.

So there you have it. Self-sufficiency. Well, Brothers 1 and 2 biked a century this weekend. That means they biked a hundred miles (actually, it was 103, which I think is cruel). They biked a hundred miles without incident.

I, on the other hand, wanted to go to the grocery store. I set out on my bike, and not three blocks away, I started to hear a hissing. "That better be a sprinkler," I thought, looking around and seeing nothing. Then I felt that my tire was completely flat. I have no idea what I even hit! But I had to turn around and walk my bike back home, unable to make a trip to the grocery store.

So much for self-sufficiency, again. Brother 2 is coming this week to help me replace the tube.


Coop said...

Being self sufficient is way overrated anyway.

There was this one time I tried to be self sufficient. Yeah, I went broke.

I didn't fully understand what you were saying in your post until that illustration. Brilliant!

gregory hines said...

Stop riding your bike through the thumb-tack factory. That should clear up the tube-popping problem.

Yeah, I know--anytime, anytime...

I still haven't popped a tube, and I'm on week 3 of bicycle ownership/daily ride. I'm not looking forward to having to do that later. I'd also advise getting really thick tires, unless you're planning on a 100 mi. trip.
Got any WD-40 I could borrow?

DP said...

A few weeks ago I was on my bike and saw another bike at a yard sale, so I bought it. Then I rode to the grocery store on the old bike while pushing the new bike, and then rode home. My point: YOU'RE CRAZY. Call me for a ride to the store next time you're going; I'd be happy to take you. And you can wash my car, so you'll still be self-sufficient.

Limon said...

Heck, I'll take you to the store, as long as you buy ingredients for a freshly made lasagna.

I remember the biking days on the mission: backpack filled, three plastic bags on each handle bar, wobbly wobbly slow moving, and bruising my bread with my knees. Ahh, those were the days.

dp said...

I remember the WALKING days on the mission. Same deal, except more wobbly. Oh, and instead of bruising the bread with our knees, we bruised our knees with the bread. Bread is hard in Brazil.

Tolkien Boy said...

I had a companion whose bike tire exploded regularly every third week. It was always exciting to figure out when it would the rain, while we were teaching an outdoor discussion, at a member's house...

Coop said...

Yeah, it's always funny for me to hang out with my wife's mission buddies when they're all complaining about how they had to ride bikes in two of their areas and then in one area they had a car WITHOUT air conditioning! In the summer! Oh, how horrible! I once SAW a house with air conditioning in Brasil. That was sweet. And a bike would have been heavenly.

Brasilian bread is hard though.

daltongirl said...

I used to set up a bike repair shop outside the church every p-day. All the elders would bring their wounded bikes, and I would fix their flats. Don't ask me how they all got flats on Sunday night/Monday morning. Anyway, they'd stand around and chew the fat, and talk about how cool I was, and I'd fix their tires in about seven minutes each. Then they'd throw a few yen my way, and I'd buy more patches for the next week.

I thought about teaching them to fish, you know, so they could eat for a lifetime or whatever, but then they wouldn't have thought I was cool anymore. Knowledge is power, and if they were too stupid to come on a bike-riding mission without bringing that particular knowledge, too bad for them. It cost them like a thousand yen to have the bike shop do it, so once in a while I'd point that out, and then they were even more my servants than ever.