Toto Deserved It

I had a life-changing realization early this morning. The exact moment of my paradigm shift is hard to pin down exactly. It gradually came to light as I drifted from sleep into consciousness, and the more alert I became, the more urgent and important this thought seemed to me.

You know how in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz, Elmira Gulch comes to Dorothy's house to collect Toto and take him away to be put down. And Dorothy's all freaking out and everyone's mad at Ms. Gulch.

A Victim of Animal Cruelty
Well, the dumb mutt deserved it for biting a cyclist!

That's my life-changing realization, and I'm going to make it my mission to vindicate Elmira Gulch. All these years, we've all been on Dorothy and Toto's side. In reality, Ms. Gulch was the good guy. She was the victim, standing up for her right to live in safety, and we've vilified her for it!

Put Toto down! That's what I say.

Of course, by the time I got in the shower it didn't seem so important anymore. Just really funny. I'm sure it had something to do with riding my wicked-witch bike home after dark last night.

My Wicked Witch Bike
See, I have this other side of me that you people who only know me from this blog have never seen. (No, I'm not a witch. Silly.) It's not a secret life, it just doesn't have much to do with writing. Except that it's pronounced exactly the same:  riding.

(Oh, stop! It IS pronounced the same by me and most red-blooded Americans. (That's for my wife, who pronounces her Ts.))

I love bicycles. Do you know the formula for determining how many bikes you need?

b = n + 1

Where b is the number of bikes you need, and n is the number of bikes you have. That's why I have two road bikes, my ride-to-church bike (the wicked witch bike), a John Deere bike frame (I know! It's so cool!), and a recumbent trike (which my wife has commandeered), two more bikes for my wife, and at least two or three bikes for each of my kids. That includes an awesome tractor-bike my son drives around all day long. He even drives it up to the bus stop to get his sisters after school. Oh, and there's a Schwinn Varsity that I'm going to put a mailbox on someday.

I used to ride upwards of 150 miles a week commuting 30 miles round trip to work each day. Then I started writing.

Now I'm soft around the middle.

I kind of feel bad and miss riding. I miss being in shape. (I don't miss coming home dripping saltwater so much. Usually.) I just love writing more, and my time is limited. I still ride to church! It's a mile and a half away. *sigh*

But here's a picture of me in my glory days, wearing my super-suit:

Mr. Incredible
(That's during Lotoja, a 200 mile bike race that I did. Once.)


  1. Okay that formula is absolutely hilarious. I might steal and adapt it 10 years from now after we no longer know each other. Or maybe I won't. IT JUST DEPENDS.

  2. That's awesome :D

    I've done a lot of mountain biking - but WAY less since having kids. It's not a two-year-old friendly sport. AND the best trails up here have bear issues. I'm SO not into that, lol.

    My brother got me started. My first big trip was Moab, in 105 degree heat. We biked 35 miles of Moab country the first day and I thought I was going to DIE.

    Now I have like a 7 mile trail circuit I do near my house, but I feel like my legs will melt away when I'm done. . .

  3. Okay, so if I'm being honest, the bike stuff made my eyes glaze over a little. But the Toto part made me laugh out loud. Literally.

  4. This helps to offer proof, along with Wicked, that the Wicked Witch of the West was innocent. ;) Do you have any bicycling horror stories to share, regarding aggressive or maybe just grouchy dogs?

  5. Jaimie, I didn't come up with that formula, so steal away. It's pretty well-known among cyclists--at least the ones who haunt internet forums.

    Jolene, I don't mountain bike for basically the same reasons. Also, I'd either have to drive to get to trails or ride a mountain bike on the roads, and I can't stand that. It's so slow!

    Thanks, Krista.

    And Kristin, I've been chased by all sorts of aggressive, grouchy dogs, and I don't actually advocate putting down ankle-biters. None of them have ever caught me, but the bigger ones sometimes scare me. That's part of the reason I carry a long frame-mounted pump. It's like an extendable aluminum Dobermann beater—just in case.

  6. You should see Wicked then. Great show vindicating Elfa, the Wicked Witch. Anyway, I'm into spinning. No traffic. No worries about falling off the bike or smashing into anything.

  7. Okay, that's just proof of two things. 1) you're officially mad, 2) Elmira/Elphaba was TOTALLY the good guy! I knew it!

  8. Ahhh. I've always wondered what the Schwinn was for ;)

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