Thursday, July 16, 2009

BIKING TO WORK

Well, I wish I had a video. Or even a photo. But didn't have the foresight to have a photographer accompany me.

My first day at the gym job. I was supposed to open the facility at 7:00a.m. I left at 6:05 on my bike allowing me plenty of time for an effortless 7.5 miles, planning to get there at 7:45.

Until I rode through the glass.

There must have been a wreck. There was crumbled windshield glass all over the road. There was no way I could ride around it, and by the time I saw it, I was already in it.

And of course a tire went immediately flat.

I was only about half a mile out from the gym, and thought, "I could walk the bike there as fast as I can change the flat." So I pulled my running shoes out of my backpack, changed shoes, and started walking.

The County Fairground is right there, and I saw that the lower gate was open. I could cross the hypoteneuse of a right triangle, rather than its sides, by going through the fairgrounds. Good! That'll save time.

Until I discovered that the upper gate, right across the road from the gym entrance, was locked. Chainlink fence, 6 feet high, topped with barbed wire, gate of the same. Locked.

By now, if I go back down through the fairgrounds and back around the right-angle of the road, I will be late. I'm opening the gym; there's no one else there. I can't go back around the road.

I have to get over the fence. Chainlink. Six feet high. With barbed wire at the top.

I saw an above-ground electric box, about 2 feet high, a few yards along the fence. And above the box.... a place where the barbed wire was broken. We're on! It's the only way I can even get close to opening the gym on time.

I climbed up onto the electric box, picked up my bike, hoisted it over the fence, and dropped it down on the other side, keeping my arms out of the way of the barbed wire.

Then I tried to find a foothold.

Yeah, right. Chainlink has little diamond-shaped structures about 2.5 inches across. Standing on the electric box, I only had to climb up about 4 feet of them. But my toes wouldn't fit in, and the little x's formed by the chainlink structure protruded above the top rail, even where the barbed wire was broken. I had to navigate over those sharp wire x's as well as through the little sagging place in the barbed wire.

It took half a dozen tries. I had to find a handhold between the x's to give me some leverage and stability, and stick the tips of the toes of my bike shoes in between the chainlinks and hope friction or something would hold me in place, while I dodged the sharp x's and maneuvered into the narrow spot where the barbed wire was loose.

I had to unhook my shorts from the fencing and barbed wire several times, while not losing my grip with the other hand. From the top of the fence, it was 6 feet down (no electric box on the other side.) I dropped my daypack over as something, anything, to land/fall on.

Several cars passed during all this. No one stopped to see if I needed help or to ask what the heck I was doing. I guess a small, skinny, older woman in shorts and a bike helmet, climbing over a barbed-wire-topped chainlink fence at the fairgrounds with her bike waiting on the other side, is an everyday occurrence.

I prayed, "Lord, I'm training for SavageMan... Please don't let me get hurt."

And with that, I Spidermanned up one side, through the hooks and spikes, and down the other. I was not hurt. My clothes were not torn. I was over!!

I had the gym open at 5 minutes before 7.

Whew!!

3 comments:

bunnygirl said...

That's one heck of a commute!

Jade Lady said...

You are so committed! I'm glad you didn't get hurt!

fiberjoy said...

Well told story - I could see you climbing over that chain link fence.
Even more, I'm impressed that you casually mention hefting the bike up and over. :-)