A Vashon cyclist sings a show tune about her commute

The scene: Me, speaking to adoring friends crowded around asking about commuting to Seattle by bicycle in the fall and winter.

The scene: Me, speaking to adoring friends crowded around asking about commuting to Seattle by bicycle in the fall and winter.

Me: Now, if anything bothers me and I’m feeling worried, I just try to remember my least favorite things.

Friends (clamoring): What kind of least favorite things?

Me (settling in): Oh, well, let me see, glittering shards of glass … punctured tires, wet pavement, skies full of clouds…

Me (now breaking into song to the tune of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things):

Raindrops on eyeglasses no windshield wipers / Rain seeping into my fancy gear zippers / Rolling off ferries incoming wrong lane / Tracks not for bike tires but mega-ton trains.

Dark winter mornings that have me all muddled / Glide in a hole covered up by a puddle / Trucks that will rattle the teeth in my head / These are a few of the things that I dread.

Grit, sticks and glass that will slow down my fast pace / Maybe I’ll pick some gravel out of my face / Uphill and downhill out here in the rain / So much damned water it comes up the drain.

When the chain pops, when the angst drops, when my fear connives / I simply remember the deadliest things and hope I can stay alive.

Leaves slick as snot tumble and cover the ground / if I wipe out, I pray I’ll quickly get found / Count one hand’s fingers yes, I still have five / These are the things that will keep me alive.

Very steep downhill in summer felt real nice / Now I realize it could fell me with black ice / Promise myself I will limit my speed / Reduce the number of Band-Aids I’ll need.

Hulking black van on the road is a new park / A surprise hurdle cycling in the ink dark / Egos that want to take over the roads / Rewriting rules reinventing the codes.

When the dog barks, when the girl yells, when they’re in my head / I simply remember these perilous things / And then I don’t feel so dead.

Seattle cyclists with muscles that have heft / How hard can it be to say “Hey! I’m on your left” / Riding so close it just doesn’t seem fair / Grim-faced in spandex and putting on airs.

Rolling on sidewalks like a shooting gallery / people pop out of doors, windows and alleys / Restaurant door-fronts all shiny with grease / Wonder when all this madness will cease.

Almost got hit in an SLU four-way / Got to keep temper and blind road-rage at bay / Slamming on brakes the guy just didn’t see / Soggy, pathetic, pedaling ol’ me.

When the squirrel runs, under my wheels, when these things adhere / I simply squeeze my brakes and take one more breath / And then I can just stay here.

Come on the black eve I must cycle again / This is some exercise so I can’t complain / Pummeled by wind gusts I bravely go on / Catching the ferry priority one.

Car doors swing open that really should stay closed / Self-righteous attitudes from great big bozos / I want to spit out a clever and choice name / But it’s a fan going out to a game.

Peddling back home I slog up a big hill / Electric-assist bikes give a secret thrill / Those cyclists are fakers, and they are no fun / But deep in my jealous heart I just want one.

Staying upright, in the moonlight, when I’m all alone / I simply remember my least favorite things / So in one piece I get home.

Marie Koltchak writes from Vashon Island, and pizza is her most favorite thing.