Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I can ride my bike with no handlebars

There are a lot of things I can do, a whole lot of things I can do very well, and a specific number of things I can do quite above average.

For example, I can sew; but I can type very well; but I can edit your paper quite above average. It actually irritates me to read facebook posts, because I'm always correcting them in my mind (except for one friend whom I always publicly correct. I don't think he likes it that much...).

Another example: I can cook (stop laughing, I can!); but I can understand and follow a map very well; but I can read quite above average (faster, and with better reading comprehension skills than most).

However, this is not a post about what I can do, but rather a post about what I cannot do. Especially while riding my bike.

I ride my bike every day: three kilometers to the gym, then about 300 meters to my school, then 3 kilometers back home (with the occasional stop for groceries 300 meters from my home). When I leave home, it's daylight (not bright and shinny because it is fall in Germany, afterall); when I come home, it seems like it's midnight. That's how dark it is at 5 p.m. these days.

I've mentioned a couple of times that the Germans are very strict about bike rules. They have only-for-bikes streets, and only-for-bikes traffic lights, and only-for-bikes directions. It's awesome. I actually was scolded in German by a German officer in Germany (that was on purpose...) because I was riding my bike on the sidewalk, which is only for pedestrains--Fuβgänger--and I should be auf der Straβe. When riding a bike, a person has to follow all the traffic rules he would follow in a car. For example, signaling when turning left or right. Which brings me to...

THING # 1 I CAN'T DO WHILE RIDING MY BIKE
I can't signal. I can't signal because I can't take my hands off the handlebars. If I do so, I will fall. And having fallen several times before, and knowing how unpleasant it is, I try not to fall. Therefore, I don't take my hands off the handlebars to signal. What do I do then? I come to a full stop at the corner, look both ways, and then continue. I lose a lot of time doing this, and I must also add I interrupt bike traffic behind me.

THING # 2 I CAN'T DO WHILE RIDING MY BIKE
I can't stop or brake properly. I blame it on my German bike. I've mentioned a couple of times that I'm too short, and that my feet hang everywhere I sit. This includes the toilet and, of course, my bike. In order to come to a complete halt, I must brake, brake, brake, brake, and then proceed to jump off my bike so that my feet touch the ground and finish the braking process.

THING # 3 I CAN'T DO WHILE RIDING MY BIKE
Because I can't take my hands off the handlebars, I can't scratch my nose while riding my bike. It's a bit of hassle, to be honest. No matter where I am, or how fast I'm riding (please read THING # 5), I have to evaluate the severity of the itch: Can it wait until the next light, hoping it's red so that it forces me to stop and allows me to scratch? Or should I move aside and stop NOW and scratch it?

THING # 4 I CAN'T DO WHILE RIDING MY BIKE
Again the handlebars thingy.... I can't talk on my cell phone while riding my bike. I tried it once. But it brought about the "Patético II" poem incident. If you're not familiar with it, e-mail me and I will gladly share my embarrassment with you. If my phone rings while I'm riding my bike, I am again forced to evaluate the importance of this call: Should I pull over, jump off my bike to brake, and answer the call? Or can this person wait until I return the call? Will they leave a message? Will it be an international call? Honey has his own ringtone, and he knows exactly when not to call me...so it might be my mom or my dad, the only other two people who call me (because my sister is running for "Worst Sister of the Universe", and is close to winning...)...

THING # 5 I CAN'T DO WHILE RIDING MY BIKE
I can't ride fast. And I should. People actually ring their bells at me (I would say "honk their horns", but bikes don't have horns, rather these cute little ding-ding-ding bells)--and remember, making noise in Germany is illegal! I have a couple of nice down-hill routes I could take, but that includes gaining speed, and speed means accidents, and accidents mean pain, and horrible bruises... so I take the long route. Uphill. I don't understand why I'm not skinny.

THING # 6 I CAN'T DO WHILE RIDING MY BIKE
I can't fix my hat, or my scarf, or my mittens, or my jeans, or my shirt. Or my hair. Ugh! I can't get my hair out of my face!! I think I should have reduced a couple of THINGS to: I can't take my hands off the handlebars.

But things are slowly getting better. I haven't fallen in about two weeks. Now I have accidents while standing on my own two feet, against objects stuck to the groud. I guess I should have written that in "Things I can do well above average": harm and injure myself.

5 comments:

  1. lol, you always make me laugh! love reading your posts. A good tip for #6 though (the hair problem) you should buy those headbands that also work as earwarmers. then you put the rest of the hair in the hat and a small hair pin to fasten it even more. Hope it works, it did for me. Good luck with the bike!

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  2. Patetico II, eh? Glad you're still writing :)

    In that case, I'll take the Patetico duo pack (Patetico I & II, cause, you know, si no leo el primero despues no entiendo el segundo :p )

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  3. Cata, I do have to buy that headband thingy... Aprovecho que me acaban de pagar para salir de compras... AGAIN! I need winter boots :-)

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  4. Mario & Bobby: son un par de tontos, Ustedes ya leyeron el Patético II; fueron de los primeritos... pero bueno, revisen sus correos.

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