jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
So, um, yesterday I bought a bike.

This was not something I'd ever intended to do.

I used to bike-commute when I worked at A&W and lived at Apartment Six, a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. I never really got into cycling, though: the buses were free and pretty good for getting where one needed to go, and Emily had a car for the times when they weren't. Eventually the bike got stolen, and I didn't much miss it.

Back in 2009 I went out once with a neat woman in DC. A second date was postponed for several months on account of her getting a concussion and breaking her arm in several places in a bike accident. As near as she could reconstruct it, she got stung by a yellowjacket and fell over, at speed. That was enough to put me off the prospect of city biking altogether, if I'd even been considering it.

I spent a decent amount of the past six months driving around with Erin, who used to bike-commute daily to the middle of the next town over. She'd frequently point out the dedicated bike lanes next to the cars. Mostly this was in terms of "And here's where the cyclists have to cross three lanes of traffic to keep going straight" or "Oh, this one requires you to make a left into oncoming traffic." This did not increase my desire to try bike commuting.

The new (current) apartment's about five kilometres from work, and it's mostly pretty flat going. And they have showers at work. I'd started thinking "you know, once I get up to speed, I could run to work a couple days a week." This has foundered on a couple of points. First, getting up to speed is gonna take awhile. I've been trying to get out a couple of mornings a week since late January, and I'm up to ... running a mile (ten minutes) at a stretch. Second, it turns out I don't actually like running all that much.

I didn't realise that until recently because I didn't really have anything else to compare it to. But now that I've started doing yoga on the regular... I can tell the difference between something I want to do and something I push myself to do. Yoga flows through me. It pulls me. It's nice to be pulled. Running doesn't, running is something I do because I want to improve my lungs & general stamina. Even after a few months, I feel wrung out and beat after a run. I hate that.

In addition, yoga is sort of on the way to work, and sort of not. It's several blocks from the main bus route in the opposite direction from home. Be convenient if I had some sort of easy way to get from home to yoga to work in the mornings.

So yesterday I went into MEC (Canadian for "REI") and said "I'm interested in possibly getting a bike for commuting." Twenty minutes later I was test-riding, on a bicycle for the first time in at least fifteen years.

It was pretty great. Exhilarating. A combination of the sense of presence one gets from walking, and of the distance falling away from driving. The wind around me, and the /control/ and precision.

I gave the bike back for them to tune it up and proceeded to spend half the cost of the bike on various accessories (helmet, lock, lights, etc etc). Later today I'll go pick it up, and then tomorrow I get to ride it to yoga in the morning.

Assuming I manage to get some sleep, that is. Been sleeping poorly the last few nights. Too warm, or something.
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jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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