Finally done with classes for the week, it’s time to explore Copenhagen, I thought to myself as I walked outside. My hands immediately froze from the cold. I quickly took my glove off and dug my hand inside of my jacket, looking for my bike key.
Rust was working its magic on the lock, making it harder and harder every day to open. When I felt the familiar piece of metal, I grabbed it and shoved it into the lock. Of course, it didn’t unlock right away. I felt my hands growing stiff from the cold with every passing second.
I gave it one hard turn, and then suddenly, it moved. Yes! I put the key back into my pocket and put my glove back on.
Wait a second…my key was supposed to stay inside of the lock. I took my key back out of my pocket, and looked at it.
Half of my key was in my hand, and the other half was inside of the lock. Of course this would happen to me.
I looked around, unsure of what to do. The chains on my bike started to shake every so slightly, and I pictured my bike laughing in mockery at me, hah, now you’re the one that has to carry my heavy ass everywhere! Payback.
This was my main (only) mode of transportation, and I was a little less than a mile from the bike shop. I started laughing as I pictured myself carrying my bike through the street. And then I stopped laughing, because I realized that’s exactly what I needed to do.
The lock was in the front of the bike, so the back tire still worked. I hoisted up my handle bars into my forearms like I was cradling a baby. I nonchalantly carried my bike down the busy streets of Copenhagen, trying to ignore the people around me.
Everyone was staring. And I mean everyone. I tried to stare back and smile at them, but I realized I only looked like a creepy robber trying to play off this steal like it was nothing.
“It’s my bike, don’t worry,” I whispered to no one in case anyone was listening. I pictured a Danish cop seeing me, running over, and arresting me as I pleaded my innocence and shoved a broken key into his face. Does this happen to anyone else or am I the lucky one?
Blonde heads stopped in their tracks and watched as I struggled to carry my bike, as if it was more helpful for me to have an audience then have anyone help.
Yes, I bet it’s so funny, the American who breaks their key inside of their lock. My arms turned into jello when I was halfway there. I stopped for a moment, waiting for my arms to man up again.
I decided I needed some type of Schwarzenegger will power, so after a few minutes, I grabbed my bike and powered through.
The bike shop sign that read “Der Bor En Cykelsmed I Norregade,” (which I couldn’t understand) seemed to shine as I struggled to walk towards it. Finally.
I sauntered inside like nothing was wrong, and smiled at the bike shop owners.
“Hi, I broke my key inside of my lock.” The two men smiled at each other. One of them walked over, picked up my bike with no effort like it was a purse, and took it into the back.
“Would you like a new lock or a new bike?” My heart sunk at the thought of leaving Eggplant (yes, I named my bike, all of my friends did. Once you name a bike, there’s no going back).
“A new lock!” I said, too eagerly. He looked at me strangely for a second (I don’t think Danes name their bikes, however, I have also named my car, so maybe it’s not so weird).
“Okay, but it’s going to be about forty minutes.” It was worth it.
“That’s fine!” I decided to go grocery shopping in the meantime.
I thanked him and walked to the grocery store, satisfied I made it to the shop without any real trouble.
After I bought a few things, I put most of them into my backpack. I love how grocery shopping works in Denmark, they make you pay for plastic bags, which of course my cheap self would never do, so I always stuff my backpack to the brim and then carry the rest.
The carton of 15 eggs I had purchased was the only item that didn’t fit, so I carried them with me to the store, my head in the clouds, excited to have my bike back.
Of course, I forgot I had to bike home. While holding a carton of 15 eggs.
I left the bike store with only one thing in mind: Do not drop the eggs.
It was a circus act. I have never seen anyone else biking while balancing eggs before (although I have seen stranger things, like someone lighting a cigarette mid bike ride while also shielding it from with wind…with both hands).
After almost crashing into several people, ‘scuse me, sorry, ‘scuse me, while simultaneously earning a name for myself, “The Cheap-o Bike Stealer”, I made it home, safely.
After mastering that, everything else having to do with a bike was child’s play (which is not saying much).