Friday, September 16, 2011

No Handlebars, No Handlebars…

I think I did something really stupid. Actually, take that back, I know I did something really stupid.

After work last night, I had this wild hair to spend some money. (God forbid I actually practice SAVING money.) Just 20 minutes after I locked up my office for the day, I became the proud owner of Walmart’s cheapest Huffy bicycle – complete with a wicker basket, a tire pump, a tire patch kit, and a lock.

I’m not sure what compelled me to purchase a bicycle. I mostly blame Norman’s hipster crowd, lookin’ all cute in their skinny jeans, fake grandma glasses, and constant efforts to save the planet. I figured, hey, if they can figure out how to peddle a bike around town, then why can’t I?

A hundred dollars later, I walked out of Walmart with a sense of pride. I, Jessica Schwager, was saving this muthafuckin’ earth, not to mention I was bound to develop the hottest gams in the entire world. The 90-year-old Walmart greeter even told me that I made a fantastic purchase. I guess he used to ride bikes back in the ‘40s and assured me that my giant fenders (do bikes even have fenders?) would repel water away from my legs if I ever rode in the rain. I thanked him for his wonderful observation, but secretly thought, “Riding in the rain? Are you nuts? Duhhhh, it doesn’t rain in Oklahoma. And if the clouds so much as look like they’re going to spit, I’m hoppin’ in my gas guzzler.”

Not more than two minutes later, I was forced to eat my own word-thoughts. It didn’t matter how much pushing, shoving, prying, jumping or praying I did, my new bike was not fitting in the back of my Grand Prix (I think that was just my car’s way of saying, “Hobag, if you’re not driving me anymore, then I’m sure as shit not going to let your new mode of transportation fit in my trunk.”). So, after air kicking my car, my bicycle and I set forth – in the freaking rain – toward my house, which was nearly a mile away.

Here’s the deal though – I wasn’t about to ride my bike home. I’m a freaking terrible bike rider.

Growing up in the country, you'd think I’d be a good bike rider, considering we had to learn on gravel roads and small slabs of cement sidewalks. But right around my crucial bike-training time, I fell off of a devil horse and broke my ankle. I was basically forced to sit around on my ass for eight weeks in a thigh-high cast. The only moving around I did do was with an old lady’s walker because I was too dumb/uncoordinated/fat to figure out how to use crutches.

After virtually eating my weight in ice cream every day and doing nothing active to burn those calories, I gained, oh, 100 pounds or so. Okay, maybe not THAT much, but I bet my average daily gain was, like, 2 lbs a day – yes, I just likened myself to a cow. Moo. (But seriously, I remember my older sister – who was hot as all hell and had a body similar to Jennifer Aniston – telling my mom to send me to a fat camp. So I wasn’t that much different than a cow…)

Between the weight gain and the utter fear of falling off of moving objects, biking wasn’t really my thing. Every time I did try to ride, I’d do something completely embarrassing, like riding my bike into a bike rack and, ultimately, racking myself. Or failing to adjust my seat properly in college and, about half-way to class one day, my bike seat decided to adjust itself, causing my knees to swipe my nose for about a mile. Let’s just say I locked that bike up to my dorm’s bike rack and left it there.

Because my experiences with bikes haven't exactly been great, I decided to just walk my bike back to my house. Did I mention it was raining out? And cold? And I had to walk down one of the busiest streets in Norman?

No one really knows me around these parts quite yet and I just recently dyed my hair from blonde to red, so I didn’t think anyone would recognize the fool pushing her bike down 12th Avenue. Boy, was I wrong. As soon as I got back to my house, I checked my phone (now that I have one again -- that'll have to be another blog in itself) and found a text from my roommate (of all freaking people) that said, “Did someone steal your car? I saw you walking a bike down 12th street…” I guess I looked really pissed off while I walked my bike home, so he assumed that someone jacked my car. Awesome.

As soon as I got home from Walmart, I pumped up the tires and practiced riding around our little cul-de-sac. My neighbors looked at me like I was nuts. I was wobbly as hell, my seat was entirely too short, and I kept running into curbs. I wanted to ride my bike to work today, but I guess God wanted me to live for another day because he sent rain this way, which gave me a good enough excuse to stick to my car.

Unless it rains, I’m going to try to ride to work every day next week. Hopefully it will help me save some money in gas for the next two months (because I need to save up for my November trip to LA, beeeches!). But then my roommate pointed out that my drive to work was only two miles and I really wouldn’t be saving anything. Logical little shit he is. Maybe I’ll just attach a video camera to my basket instead. That way I can make unlimited profits from the videos I sell to MTV full of my bloopers and collisions…

How seriously fecking stupid do I look on this bike? I step on the thing and I go freaking cross-eyed.

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