Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I am right-handed, so naturally there are some things I expect to do better with my right hand: writing, eating, crocheting, putting on make-up.

Some things that SHOULDN'T be limited to one hand, though, apparently are for me. For example, I always hold the telephone up to my left ear. Even in very long conversations when my left ear goes numb and I need to switch to the other side, I can't do it. The phone has to be in my left hand. Maybe that goes back to all those years I smoked, when my right hand had to be free to hold a cigarette. (There's another one.)

This (admittedly not very profound) thought occurred to me today when I was riding my bike. I usually reach for my water bottle with my right hand, which I guess is to be expected. That leaves me steering with my LEFT hand, which is not my dominant hand. Is that even smart? The reason this occurred to me today was that there were some dogs out in their yard just down the street from school, and sometimes they chase me. They don't appear to be vicious, and sometimes their owner is out there with them, so I don't feel all that threatened by them. Still, it never hurts to be cautious.

Whenever I see dogs loose when I'm on my bike, I reach for my water bottle. I've discovered that a shot of cold water to the face is just as good a dog deterrent as the pepper spray stuff they sell specifically for cyclists. Only the water is much cheaper, and you don't have to be close enough to smell the dog's breath to reach your target. The dogs today were on my left, so I reached for my water bottle with my left hand. The dogs weren't all that serious, and they decided the oncoming car was more of a threat to them than a middle-aged woman on a bicycle, so I didn't actually have to squirt them. The cool thing about this tactic is that if the dogs DON'T turn out to be a danger to me, I can just take a swig of water and pretend that was my goal all along. Otherwise the dogs might be rolling on their backs in the road, waving their paws in the air and laughing at me.

It didn't feel natural. It was awkward almost to the point of being dangerous. I was steering with my right hand, which is my dominant hand, and it should do the better job of steering one-handed. But it didn't feel right. In fact, I had to switch the water bottle to my right hand to put it back in its cage while steering with my left hand.

I'm also left-footed when it comes to water skiing. On a slalom ski, I put my left foot in front instead of my right.

I don't know the point of all this. Just some observations.

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