Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Poppin' wheelies over the dog-

In Germany there are several laws dedicated to recycling. In this house there are four types of trash. Plastic, glass and cans, paper, and trash. After making some cornbread, I decided to take the dog, Prince, on a nice bike ride around the block to the paper recycling bin.

Walking the dog is a trick. You have to give him enough room to walk, without letting him overpower you. Prince has lots of power. He is a one year old golden retriever and has not had much exercise this week on account of the chilly weather.

Biking with Prince is even more of an adventure. First,  you must take the dog outside and get the bike. The bike is in a shed, so you must hold the leash, while first opening the garage like door, and detangling the mountain bikes. You cannot set the bike on a kickstand. Mountain bikes have no such stand. You might perhaps lean it against a nearby tree, or place it sideways, straight on the cement. 

In order to keep the bike from getting in the way of the closing shed door, you must put the bike far enough away from you to keep it from getting in the way of the door. Meanwhile, the anxious golden retriever tugs on his leash, so you must keep a firm hold on the leash, or if you have already bound them together, the bicycle. 

To keep the dog from pulling your bike sideways during the ride, you must wrap his leash around your bike frame. But wait, is this wise? I will tell you. Yes, if you and the dog are riding alone. No, if you happen to be balancing a bag of paper or other types of recycling in front of you between seat and handlebars. 

"What could possibly happen to me?" you may think. "I have been biking with this hound on numerous occasions and nothing amuck has ever occurred." I will tell you what could happen if you were thinking these foolhardy thoughts.

Hypothetically, if you are riding your mountain bike with fantastic brakes through the neighborhood, with Prince's leash possibly looser than it should be, you may be full of confidence. You may be riding along, waving at neighbors and feeling quite prideful about your prowess riding a bicycle, walking the dog, and dispensing with the paper recycling all at the same time.

You may even begin to feel quite popular in your teal bicycle helmet. Then, the dog may veer in front of your bicycle, causing you to hit the excellent brakes. With about 6 people surrounding you, on an otherwise deserted street, you might pop a wheelie over top of said dog and let go to keep from losing all of your adult teeth.

The dog may then take off at full speed, with the bike trailing behind him, in terror of the noises he himself is making by dragging it along. In your mind you will probably wonder how much you will have to pay to replace this bike lent by your cousins. In process of wheelie, the paper recycling may also explode from the paper bag and make a complete mess in the driveway of your cousin's gawking neighbors, who may also go to your same church.

The other neighbors may possibly repack the paper into your carrying bag and look at you with concern in their eyes as you try and remount the bicycle with your recycling. As the bag drops three more times to the ground, they may even ask if you need any assistance. No assistance needed. Not for a simple errand like taking the recycling out. 

The dog may then insist on pulling you along, since the bike seems to be broken and having some troubles, and the dog is cemented to the body of the bike by leash. As he pulls, the bike clicks in full resistance. He pulls, you stop and pull back. Each time, three or four pieces of paper fall from the sack and you curse the day you made such excellent plans for multitasking.

This could possibly go on for 10 minutes, when it would usually take roughly 1.3 seconds. On the way to the recycle bins, your dog may also relieve himself of all remaining wastes and keep you within 15 feet of tossing the recycling alone. You can either leave the dog pooping, but tied to the bike, giving yourself a 30 second window to run there and back before he has recovered. 

Or, you have a 79 percent chance of leaving the dog, tossing the recycling, and having to run after the dog, who has finished and decided again to pull the bicycle behind him, which would then be covered with his own fecal matter. So I waited, erstwhile untangling the leash from the bike frame and handlebars. I put the leash on my handlebar and tried to remount the bicycle. This was when I figured out the handlebars were backwards, which is why the bike was having certain problems after our earlier escapade. 

I flipped the handlebars and put the least on the handlebars. Prince jerked hard, the plastic leash dispenser almost ripped my hand off, I swore in my head, and walked Prince the rest of the way to deposit my recycling. I walked to the doggy doo container, grabbed a little poopy bag, walked the bike-dog combo to scoop the poo, with the dog tugging the entire time, and tossed the little bag of trouble. We then biked around the block with no incident. It could happen to you, it would happen to me. I have a monopoly on such stories.

Second of all, I walked on a treadmill for the second time in my life. I got on and wasn't sure what to do. I looked at Danielle and looked back at my treadmill. She seemed to be rapidly running in place. To my dismay, I had to jog in place. It did not feel natural, and when Danielle looked me, she asked me what I was doing. I said I had no idea. So she helped me. We put the mileage up to 5 mph. Wow, I'm a speed demon. Well, it was our exercise off day. Just know now, with grateful heart, that I know how to use a treadmill and I wear biking helmets with good reason.


Joel said...

Hi Merilee. I have your letter. It is sitting in my glove box. I am scared to go to the post office to mail it because I don't know how much postage to affix to it. Ok, I may just be lazy. The letter has been sitting there for about two weeks now. Eeek.

Barry Cann said...

I love golden retrievers! I hope future experiences with your dog are not as crashtastic as this one was.

Raymond and Amy Lambert Family said...

Oh dear, Merilee! I am just laughing right now. Sorry it was such a disaster. Thanks for the good story though!