Is it hard to always ride your bike around?

Yeah.  Sometimes.

For example, on Tuesday I left on a business trip to Houston.  Monday night I had a headache and a fever, and spent the entire night flopping around the bed drenched in a cold sweat, and coughing.  My flight left at 7:06 AM, from terminal one (Lindberg).

Here is a picture of Darcy playing by a tree.  Just a picture.  Got nothing to do with the post.  keep reading.

So here is the calculation, working backwards:

7:06 – Flight leaves
6:22 – Flight begins boarding
6:20 – last moment to check in
6:08 – The light rail leaves from VA medical center in order to get to Terminal 1 by 6:12 (in time to check in)
5:28 – Time I have to leave the house in order to get to the light rail station in time to lock up the bike.
5:00 – Time I have to wake up in order to leave by 5:28.  that is, without showering.  Because I have not fully packed up my stuff.

Here is what happened:

This is a picture of Grant’s basketball team.  Don’t get distracted.

5:17 – My alarm clock goes off on my wristwatch.  I am a little fuzzy still, and I lay in bed.  “I bet I don’t actually have to leave until six.” my mind says to me, maliciously.  “I bet I can take my time this morning.”

I focus in on the area just behind my eyeballs to see if I can feel a headache.  It is there, but laying in bed keeps it at bay.  Kind of like sitting by a fire, and staring out at the glowing eyes of wolves.  The wolves are there, but they not a problem if you don’t move from your comfortable, cozy fire.

5:20 – I move from my comfortable, cozy bed and stumble downstairs.  I have sweated through my shirt, and my forehead is now in a vise.  I look at my face in the mirror.  I have face dandruff.  (is this a real thing?  sometimes my face is all flaky, especially around my nose.  It is either dandruff, or terminal skin cancer.  Time will tell.)

5:23 – I hop in the shower, and start to work through the time schedule in my head.  “I really should have thought this through yesterday.” I think to myself, and rub my face with the loofah.  The loofah smells nice, like lavender, on account of some fancy soaps that Steph has purchased from Aldi’s.

5:25 – I frantically jump out of the shower, and start packing my backpack, still dressed in a towel.

5:35 – I finish packing my backpack, and race upstairs to get my toothbrush and floss.  I grab two little white containers of floss.  I do not know why I grabbed two floss containers.  that makes no sense at all.  In case I use up one entire container of floss on my trip?

5:40 – I pull my bike out of the garage and ride down the driveway.

5:41 – I ride back up the driveway, and go inside to put on some gloves.  It is cold outside.  The cold makes me cough some more.  Coughing for me is like an ab workout, so it don’t mind it all that much.  Unfortunately, my head feels like it was ran over by a truck.  And my left eye feels like it might have jarred loose from all the coughin.

As I am running back out the door, I grab a banana from the kitchen.  Breakfast of champions.

Focus!  Focus!  the story continues, below.  This is me and Steph though.  on a bridge.  I think we were on a date in this shot..  If I remember right, after steph put the camera in her pocket, she kissed me.  I am a lucky dude.

5:42 – I ride down the street.

5:43 – I ride back up the street, and run inside to get my wallet.  Also, toothpaste.

5:47 – I ride back up the street and run inside to get my phone.

5:55 – I cruise down 50th street hill, towards Minnehaha parkway, my breath steaming out behind me, coughing every couple of pedal strokes.  My eyeball is really hurting now.  For those keeping score, I now have a bloodshot left eyeball and face dandruff.

On the path by the road there is a fully grown man running, wearing only little blue underpants.  Sweet Lord.  I am about to ask the man if he is OK, or if, perhaps, he is running away from a mugger.  But then I notice he has a watch on.   Muggers would have taken the watch.  Also, it was starting to sink in that I might miss my flight.  Also, what with my face dandruff and loose eyeball, he might have asked me the same thing.

6:07 – I am about a half mile down the street from the VA medical station, when I see the light rail crossing guardrails go down.  Lights start blinking, and the light rail blows its horn.  There is absolutely no way I am going to make it to the VA medical center in time to lock up my bike and catch the train.  Logically, what I should do is pedal slower, and calmly take the next train.  Instead I pedal faster.  I am steaming pretty good now, and I can feel little rivulets of sweat trickling down my back.

6:08 – I watch the train leave the VA medical center station from about a block away.  I  lock up my bike and walk over to the now empty platform.   Think about life choices that brought me to this point.  I touch the left side of my nose.

6:17 – The next train arrives.  In three minutes check in will be closed for my flight, and I have still not checked in.  Plus, I am flying Spirit Airlines, which is a carrier I have not used before.  The X factor.  This is what I am considering as I enter the train. 

6:23 – The doors whoosh open at terminal one and I run up the stairs,  Faster than the crowded escalator.  I catch the tram to the terminal just as the doors close.  As the tram pulls away, I can see the people who took the escalator lining up to wait for the next tram.  I cough.  Ab workout, big time.

Maybe some of you do not know terminal one at MSP.  it is in the basement of the airport.  it is three flights of stairs and one escalator from the check in counter.  Plus, a long and crowded hallway.

6:27 – I show up at the Spirit Airline check in counter.  “Hi”. I am here to check in for my flight.” I say.  I pass the attendant my drivers license.

“Where are you headed today?” She asks.  Her nametag says “Katie”


“Sir, you are too late.”  Katie says, sternly.

It is always trouble when they say “Sir.”  I would much prefer they said “Honey, you are too late.”  “Honey” makes it seem like there is wiggle room.  If they go straight to “Sir” things are looking grim.

“I am really sorry” I say, “Is there any way I can still get on the flight?”

This is a rhetorical question.  There are loads of ways to get on the flight – I am not that late at all. 

If, for example, if I were the President of the United States of America, and I was riding Spirit Airlines, the attendant would hold the plane for me, no sweat.

“Yes Mr. President, let me hold that flight for you!” she would say.  “Of course!  No problem at all.  Have a soda Mr. President.”

Then Katie might even press some buttons on her keyboard to keep the gate open for a couple of extra minutes while I went through security.

Alternatively, if I were a Spirit Airlines employee, Katie would hold the flight for me.  “Of course, Bill!” She would say.  But with less of a smile and more of an eye roll.  Finally, if I were Katie’s friend, she would figure out a way to get me on the flight.  “Shhh.” She would say, “I am really not supposed to do this.”  But she would do it anyway. 

I am not the President of the United States of America, and I am not an employee of Spirit Airlines.

So I go with trying to be Katie’s friend.

“I am so sorry Katie.” I say, “Thank you for helping.”  I smile at her.  Hope she doesn’t notice my face.  My best shot.  All I could come up with in two minutes.

Katie looks at me.

“You are lucky.” Katie says.

I am lucky.

I cough.

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