Adventures with the fatgirl

It was not the ride up the hill of what turned out to be quick-sand-like mud (unsurprisingly, Karla had to push half the way). 
It was not the kilometre of walking her heavily mud-encrusted bike over a further mud-encrusted shoulder while cars hurtled past on Fermor. 
It was not trying to keep herself and her bike from tumbling off the little goat path to find the entrance to the obviously unused bridge sidewalk. 
It was not the fact that the rear derailleur was so full of mud, her crank couldn't make a full rotation without the chain being stretched to the max and freezing up.
It was not resting the Moose in curbside puddles of filthy, frigid water to try to get the mud off, soaking her mitts and chilling her feet in the process.
It was not fouling her travel coffee mug scooping filthy road water to pour over her chain.
It was not the next 10 or more minutes with her bike upside-down on the sidewalk, trying to get enough mud off the chain that it would fit on the front cog without skipping off – a time during which she wondered if she'd possibly ruined her bike forever. 
No, it wasn't until she got lost in the bays upon bays of identical names of suburbia that she nearly succumbed to despair. 

She came off the kilometre of waddenlopen at 19:40, spent probably the next half hour or more getting the chain to work, and the rest of it riding in circles around suburbia, unable to read house numbers in the dark. 

Fortunately, she had a paper map printed out. 
Unfortunately, it was insufficiently detailed. (Doubly unfortunately, she didn't consult the map BEFORE going up the mud-encrusted hill to realize *she didn't have to go up the muddy hill NOR walk/ride along Fermor*. She should have turned down Niakwa!!) 
Fortunately, she'd anticipated her phone would likely give up and feign dead battery due to the cold, so she packed her nicely charged up battery pack. 
Unfortunately, when her phone predictably died exactly as she was attempting to inform people she'd be late, she couldn't find the cord to connect the battery pack with her phone. 
Fortunately, the young man at the house where she knocked on the door to ask for directions was kind and unalarmed by the strange, helmeted, slightly teary woman, getting out his not-dead phone to show her the destination on Google street view, with assurances it was right up the street.
Unfortunately, she discovered she'd biked past the house a good 10 minutes or more earlier that evening. 

In fact, she was more than an hour and a half late for her meeting, mud splattered, chilled, and a nearly unhinged. 

But what a story it makes!


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