Coats and Bikes on Friday

I’m writing just because I feel like writing. This post doesn’t have a point or focus or anything. It’ll help me get out of my head for a while, at least.

It’s a pretty nice day today. I hear that it is going to rain later, but for now it is partly cloudy with some sun. It’s warm enough for me to go out in just my Columbia sweater. I realized yesterday that I wore my off-white REI all-weather jacket pretty much every day this fall and winter. It was indispensable in my trudges to work in the snow. And blizzards. My parents bought that coat for me in 2007 before I headed off for a year at Waseda because I needed a raincoat for the rainy season. (It’s strange to think that I didn’t buy a raincoat for famously rainy PORTLAND, OREGON, but I bought one for Tokyo…) It really is a rain jacket, but I just wear tons of layers underneath and… presto, winter coat!

Thank you to my parents for this coat. I will continue to wear it until it falls apart. Rainy Season 2012, here we come!

Well, yesterday as I was biking to work, I saw Mt. Iwaki clearly. It was a lot clearer than it has been in a while and the sun was out. I am so lucky to live at the base of such an awesome mountain.

Speaking of biking… The snow is gone and it is SAFE to ride my bike again.

Well. It is safe now, but it wasn’t last week.

Last week it was still snowing, but melting quickly. There had been some snowfall the night before, but I didn’t let that stop me from riding my bike to work. Besides, I had ridden my bike the previous day anyways and it had been fine. The streets tended to dry in the afternoon. I was so tired of walking and forth to work in the snow.

So, I got on my bike a little earlier that morning because I knew I would be riding a little slower. The streets were snowy, wet, and a little icy in some spots. Ew. But I continued along my merry way, riding on the streets with the cars. The streets were a lot better than the sidewalks because the sidewalks were still covered in snow for the most part.

I was over halfway there when I crossed a big intersection and continued on. I saw a rather large truck ahead of me and I knew there wouldn’t be enough space for me to pass between him and the sidewalk. The sidewalk looked a little iffy as well, so I decided to slow down and follow him like a car. Well, as I slowed down, my tires did not like that ice. I lost control of my bike and couldn’t stop. It looked like I was going to crash right into the truck. I turned my wheel and my bike toppled over to the right. My bike fell on me and I skidded on the street a little. I had stopped right behind the truck. And the truck had stopped too.

I looked up and realized that everyone was stopped. The car behind me had been slowing down anyways for the red light, so it had had time to slow down and not run me over. The light had changed just as I had fallen. God was looking out for me on that one.

I realized that I had to get out of the middle of the street before the light changed back to green, so I hauled my bike over to the sidewalk, picked up my purse and lunchbag (thank goodness I had zipped my purse closed), and got myself onto the sidewalk as well. In true Japanese fashion, I turned to the car behind me and bowed to the woman inside. It was kind of a “Sorry for freaking you out by wiping out in the middle of the road and thank you for not running me over” kind of bow.

I then realized that my shins were throbbing painfully… It turned out that I had taken a sharp bike pedal to my left shin and I already had quite a large blood bruise. I was wearing my favorite pair of pants and I am happy to report that they were not ripped. I picked up the shattered remains of my pride, took a deep breath, collected my wits (which were kind of shaky after a scary experience), and rode the rest of the way to work on the sidewalks. I avoided the cars completely.

When I sat down at my desk in the office, my co-workers asked me if I had biked or walked to work. They were just making conversation. I shrugged it off casually and was replied, “Oh, yeah, I biked…” But they were like, “You’ll slip and slide…” Inside, I was pretty embarrassed, but I acted as if I hadn’t actually just wiped out in the middle of the street. “Oh, I am very careful. Don’t worry.” ……Cue nervous laughter.

Lesson learned.

My first official day back teaching is April 19th, Thursday of next week. It’s at one of my favorite schools. But I haven’t taught a class since March 15th! I am sure I will get an even longer break for summer… The long, hot days in the sweltering office where I have little to do. I will try to keep busy with organizing files and studying Japanese, but mostly I will be cursing the heat and sweat my butt off. But there will be more posts about that later, I guarantee you.

Now I am sitting in my desk chair with my electric blanket draped over me. I wonder when I will no longer need it in this cold office. I had it on full-heat in the morning, but now that it is afternoon and a little warmer, I have it on low.

It is a Friday afternoon. I shall try not to stare at the clock and watch time crawl. I can smell freedom, but I will just have to wait a little longer.


4 Comments to “Coats and Bikes on Friday”

  1. I am glad that a) your leg was not seriously injured, and b) you did not rip your pants. Also, I will kind of miss your white/cream jacket. It has been a faithful companion. ;-;

  2. Reminds me of the time I flew over my handlebars last fall…LAST FALL.
    But glad you’re okay! I fell on some rocks last week and still have an awesome blue bruise on my thigh and a cut on my hand. You can say you battled a Japanese gorilla and won.

  3. Well, I am glad I found out about your little accident way after it happened. I would have been so worried about you. Please walk until the ice is gone! If not for your own safety but for your mother’s heart! I thank the Lord you were not badly injured. Be smart, my little one!

  4. dear God but you do have time!So glad you wereok and let it be
    a lesson -no bike riding on the ice—in the street.Loved talking
    to you!love Nana

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