Monday, February 27, 2012

A Distracted Mind

Last Thursday, as the temperature approached 60 degrees (in February!!), I was excited to go on my first bike ride of this alarmingly early spring. I put my bike, which is still super-dirty from riding around in post-flood mud last fall, in the back of my Nissan and drove to the parking area at the end of the Union Canal trail outside of Reading. I took out the bike, pumped up the tires, locked up the car, and started off down the trail.

After a couple hundred feet, I suddenly became conscious of a disturbing contradiction between two things I had just done: I had hidden my keys under a floor mat in my car and I had locked all the doors. Not only was that exceptionally dumb, but I had even thought to myself, while locking the doors, something along the lines of, "I better lock the doors so no one steals my keys." Clearly, the beautiful weather had utterly dismantled all logical cognition in my brain.

I stopped my bike in the middle of the trail, turned around, and pedaled back to the car, just to make sure I had really done what I had done. Yup -- all four doors locked, keys inside. Also locked inside the car were my cell phone and wallet. What could I do? I decided to ride my bike to Penn State Berks (only about 2.5 miles away), where Yuriko Beaman--the love of my life--works. Luckily, as over-worked as she is, I caught her at a moment which wasn't too terribly disruptive for her. She generously agreed to lend me her phone and her car and to permit me to store my bike in her office. I was then able to get back to my own car and call roadside assistance. An hour and twenty minutes later (!!!), a "rescue ranger" showed up and finagled his way into my car.

One more thing to pile onto this heap of foolishness -- I realized I had never had a spare car key made. Before calling roadside assistance, I scrambled through my things at home looking for one. Then I realized the key I was hunting for was actually the spare key to my old Nissan. (Two days after this incident I had a new spare key made. I'm also planning on buying a little pouch to stick on my bike seat so I can take my wallet, keys, and phone with me on future rides).

Why blog about this? Well, I'm hoping it's amusing, but additionally--and more importantly--I'm hoping that publicly writing about this moment of personal idiocy will exorcise whatever unthinking spirits invaded my brain last week.

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