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Snow-bound

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I thought I did a pretty good job this holiday when it came to gift-giving.

Then my wife had to cut me down to size.

“So,” she asked Sunday, two days after she cleaned up (I thought) in the gift department and three days after the start of the Great Blizzard of 2009, “are you going to ride or drive to work today?”

What a low blow.

Surely she knew I’d been champing at the bit, eager to get back in the saddle after days of — gasp! — driving my car. The same vehicle that, literally, collects spider webs in the summer has been my steed of choice since Thursday.

Her much nicer/newer four-door sedan has been sedentary as my clunker has ferried us to and from Kansas City for holiday happenings and, well, everywhere else, its four-wheel-drive goodness keeping us from resorting to cannibalism (or at least from eating the cat or, heck, I don’t know, some of the dozens of cakes, cookies, candies, pretzels, figgy pudding, chocolate-covered things and assorted nuts we’ve piled as high as the average Lawrence snow drift on our kitchen counter) as we await the Great Thaw.

As I champ the bit, the kids champ themselves, and the wife and I champ the kids (we’re old and married; we don’t champ each other quite like we did when we were younger). The kids champ back, the cat runs and hides and … well, I almost actually look forward to going to work to get away from all that champing.

Except for one thing: I have to drive.

As my bikes sit forlornly in the garage, I sheepishly walk past and say out loud that maybe tomorrow the roads will be better and maybe, just maybe, we can go for a spin.

Technically, I could give it a go now, but I’m not sure I’d make it to the end of my street.

The major arterial streets are fine, but those seemingly random drifts that unexpectedly narrow two lanes to one make me nervous. It’s a tight squeeze on some roads when they’re clear; throw a bike into the mix, and it’s downright dangerous — to the guy on the bike.

And the drivers (not you; you’re good) are kinda scary, too.

For some reason, it seems the pow tends to make folks resort to survival mode. I can understand playing fast and loose with the rules in the middle of an actual blizzard. Sometimes you have to keep the momentum going and run a slightly red light. Sometimes when the lane markings are totally whited out, your best guess is good enough.

But two days after the flakes have stopped falling, there’s no excuse for executing a sloppy three-point turn in the middle of Sixth Street in the middle of the day, or making a second turn lane just because you’re tired of waiting for cars to claw their way through the intersection.

I’m almost afraid to drive in my big, steel cage; ain’t no way I’m going to brave these roads or the car crazies (again, not you; you’re golden) on a little bike.

So, no, dear, I’m not going to ride today, thankyouverymuch. I’m going to drive. Again.

And I kept the receipts. You can return it all for something you really want.

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