Last year I rode in the annual 12-mile Polka Ride. That was my first time. I was doing pretty good. Then, at mile 11, I fell on the ground and the bike fell on me really, really hard. The worst pain I’ve ever felt–and I’ve felt some pain in my life. As soon as I fell, people came to help me. This Irish guy named Steve had this bicycle taxicab–so I’m riding behind this cute guy. He rode me the rest of the way here. Someone rode my bike in for me. He made sure that I was OK, and everyone was checking in on me, and everybody was amazed that I was still walking around given all the noise I’d made when I fell. Even though my leg was getting bigger I could still walk, and I thought, “I’m going to polka since I came all this way.” I asked the bandleader to write a one-legged polka. He came up with something and dedicated it to me and I danced with my friends. What ethnomusicology major doesn’t like to polka? This year I think I’m going to park my bike outside here and pretend that I did the ride–no one will ever know, right?

–Cynthia Shern, direct marketing consultant