Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Toe, a Truck, and a Bike, Or: There's Probably a Message in Here Somewhere

I'm training myself to run - without walking in between - for a full three miles. But I wasn't doing well enough on my own. So a while back, I got an app for my phone that said it would help me do this. Once it downloaded, I laced up my hot-pink-and-black sneaks, plugged in my headphones, started my tunes, fired up the app, and out the door I went.

I ran when it said ran. I walked when it said walk. After a couple of weeks, the walks were shorter, the runs were longer, and things were going well. Then one day, about half-way through the session, it told me to run...

...right as I got to the base of a short-but-steep hill.

Of course.

But run it said, so run I did.

The next morning, Her Highness, My Big Toe rather painfully let me know she had taken entirely too much abuse from that hill. After watching me limp around for a week, my husband C put his own (uninjured) foot down. So I went to see the doctor. X-rays were taken, a referral was made, and then, the verdict was in: I have Turf Toe. 

AKA: Her Highness, My Injured Big Toe. 

Which means: No Running For Me. 

For a while, anyway. 

But now, after three weeks of not being able to do much, the doctor raised my toe's rank to Her Highness, My Injured-But-Healing Big Toe, and said I can try biking - if I take it easy.

So I tried that today. 

And it was anything but.

See, I thought I would try the local park trail, which is less hilly than my neighborhood. But I'd need to drive to get to it. Which meant getting my bike into my truck. Shouldn't be a problem, right? So I unlatched the front half of the truck bed cover, lowered the lift gate, held up the bed extender cage with one arm, lifted up my ancient-and-therefore-heavy mountain bike with the other, and shoved-scooted-squeezed it underneath the cage and into truck bed. All that was left was to lower the cage back down, and then shut the cover. Except that the bike stretched out underneath the cage. So it wouldn't lower. Which meant the cover wouldn't shut.

Fine, I figured. I'll just take out the cage. But to remove the cage, it has to be all the way down. Which meant I would have to take the bike back out. Well. After all it took for me to get that thing in there, taking it back out was just plain NGH (Not Gonna Happen). 

So, several finagles later, I found a way to get the bike wedged in so I could lower the cage. Success!

Until the cover wouldn't close, because the handlebars stuck up too far.

Of course.

By this time, I was sure my struggles had made an entertaining spectacle for the neighbors, and I was tempted to just shut my garage door and call it a day. But, I had put too much effort into it to quit now. So, I left the cover as it was, grabbed some bungee cords and strapped it down as best I could, fired up the truck, and away I went to the park trail.

I was pleased to discover that getting the bike out of the truck was a decidedly easier process. Once the bike was out, I unhooked the bungee cords, flipped the extender cage in, slammed the tailgate shut, and then swung the truck bed cover over to drop it closed.

Only, it didn't close.

Of course.

See, one of the latches flipped closed before it was supposed to. So one side was latched properly, and one wasn't latched at all, which meant the whole cover was stuck halfway closed and halfway not. And no matter how much I pulled and pried and jimmied, it would not for the life of it come unstuck. Which meant I had no way to get my bike back home. And I hadn't even gotten to ride it yet.

By now, I was blaming Her Highness, My Injured-But-Healing Big Toe for all the trouble she was causing. I wouldn't even be in this mess if she hadn't up and decided to go on strike.

So I did the only thing I could do: I turned my back on that flippin' truck cover, and I strapped on my bike helmet, and I got me my bike ride. Darn it.

But, like Her Highness, My Injured-But-Healing Big Toe, I couldn't ignore that stuck truck cover for long. So when my ride was done, I tried again - and failed again - to fix the cover. 

Since the bike Would Not Even Remotely Fit in the cab of the truck (despite much seat-folding and bike wrestling and even a not-well-thought-out attempt to remove one bike wheel), I had to open the back end of the truck cover and lift the ancient-and-therefore-heavy mountain bike up over my head and drop said bike down in the back end of the truck bed. 

It didn't fit there, either. 

Of course. 

The best I could do was to have most of the bike in the back part of the truck bed, with one bike tire hanging over the side. By then I was so tired of trying to fix things, I just left it that way and drove home. And if the bike fell out on the way, well, I wasn't sure I cared.

But it didn't fall out, so I guess I'll keep it a while longer.

And that stuck truck cover? Well, I did a little web search, and found a message board with a suggested fix. It said: Sit on the cover. Then turn the key and the latch will release. I laughed out loud. But then I tried it.

And it worked!

Which I hope Her Highness, My Injured-But-Healing Big Toe will be doing very soon.

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