Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Spare Change Fairy Waves Her Wand

Rocking fore and aft, that track stand is impressive there chief, but it’s not going to pay the bills.  You think of stop lights as a momentum sapping inconvenience, a speed bump in your average speed, but I treat stoplights like a lottery.  Too many times you spend your time at stoplights trying to look P.R.O. sitting on the top tube with your forearms on the tops of your bars as you stare off across the intersection like The Lion King on a cliff.  Sadly no one notices that you’re flexing your left quad in an attempt to impress the people in the car on your left.  Like a drag racer watching the sequence of lights on the starting tree, you keep an eye on the cross traffic light waiting for the yellow to jump on your clip-in.  You didn’t even notice the 71 cents scattered on the ground below you.

71 cents…that’s a pack of bonk saving Lance brand peanut butter crackers my friend.

“It’s six years of interest on our checking account!”  My wife exclaimed as she scooped up the scuffed quarters, nickels and penny.  Sadly, it’s true.  Our checking account makes a penny or two a month in interest.  We have a little bank in our laundry room for the spare change we find on rides.  It’s a Jelly Belly candy bank made to look like an old soda-pop machine.  About the size of small brick, it’s half full of roadside change and weighs nearly 2 pounds.  Clink.  Clink.  Clinkity clink.  I haven’t opened it up all summer, but no doubt we’ve found close to four or five bucks in change since April/ May.  We’re pretty close to a free inner tube at this point.

The other day, my buddy Scott found a crisp $1 dollar bill on his ride.  Paper sticks to summer’s hot pavement.  There are no toll roads in Cincinnati, but we find more money at non-descript intersections: Delta and Columbia Parkway, Erie and Murray.  Take a look around at the light wherever you ride.  Maybe drivers lean out the window to pay the vendor at Mt. Lookout Square for a copy of the Sunday morning Enquirer fat and loaded with coupons.  Maybe somebody really tipped the valet at the Precinct steakhouse with change.  Maybe a quarter was fumbled for a McDonalds drive thru Quarter Pounder.  The change bounced off the door panel and lodged itself in the crevice under the door.  Now and then you accidently close your door on a long jacket or dress.  Occasionally, you don’t see the Door Ajar light on your dash till you get to a long stop light.  You open the door, the change falls out, and the spare change fairy waves her wand at an observant cyclist.  Clink.

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