Tag Archives: bikes v. cars

Cycling Randoms

1) There has been a woeful lack of posting on this blog, I know. Part of it is that whole pesky graduate school thing. I mean, really. There has GOT to be a way to get a Ph.D. without it being so time-consuming!! However, up until this past week, there has also been a woeful lack of cycling. It can be hard to fit rides in with my school schedule anyway, so often when I do ride during the year, it’s in the form of commuting to/from school. However, lately that has looked like this

Another cyclist, and two men with super-cute pit bulls and I all came to an abrupt stop here at the same time. The walkers turned around, and the other cyclist and I agreed that this patch was far too deep to ride through, even on my hybrid. So, up and over we went!

I was briefly jealous of his lightweight road bike, however, since this commute home included more puddles and off-roading, I was ultimately quite happy to be on All the Way Mae (hybrid).

2) This is the other thing that’s happening on the bike path recently:

Goslings as far as the eye can see!! So far, I have barely been hissed at by parent-geese. However, I have seen numerous undergrads in the campus area egging them on. Poor choice, friends. Poor choice. I can’t help but remember a friend of mine telling me about how one time a goose chased on her on the bike path. She was on her bike and it was flying behind her, and she could feel air from its wings on her back . . .  *shudders*

3) A friend deemed me to be a “legit cyclist” the other day, after I arrived at her house on my hybrid. As it turns out, what made me “legit” were the little bag under my seat, and the reflective bands around bottom of my pant legs.

4) I’ve been a physical therapy slacker this quarter. I was down to going once a month, but just didn’t prioritize making time for it in my schedule. (True Confession: I basically pulled the classic excuse of “My knee doesn’t hurt anymore! I’m cured!” Then I slacked on my exercises and canceled an appointment and well, my knew was very clearly letting me know if its displeasure.) I finally got back into it this past Wednesday, and all I can say is, Holy Quads, Batman!!! She was not pulling punches. She’s also very lucky that I like her so much. lol That’s what I get for skipping, I guess. At least she electrocuted my knee, and no it feels great! I have another appointment in two weeks, which I will freaking keep!

3) The weather and bike paths were finally dry enough that I got to do a 90-minute bike ride last Sunday, which equals about 22-miles. It was SO nice!! However, I seem to have gotten stronger and faster on my bike since last year, so my old 90-minute route no longer takes 90-minutes. I reworked it a bit so I could get in a couple of hill-climbs, which should come in handy if I can work up the nerve to go through with a 50km ride this summer. (I know I can do it physically, I just need to not psych myself out!)

4) Sometimes Sweet Thunder the Second (road bike) is so pretty that I just can’t help but take pictures.

5) The other day when I was commuting home, I was stopped a light. I always check behind me when I stop to see if any cars are behind me, especially when I’m leading a lane of traffic. There was no car behind me. Yet, a minute or two later, I thought I saw a hulking presence out of my peripheral vision. I slowly turned my head – you don’t want to let drivers see your fear, after all! – and a Prius had snuck up behind me, completely unnoticed. I could hear that fucker wonderful hybrid approaching AT ALL.


Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against hybrids. Anything closer to an electric car is something that I support. However, for the love of god, Toyota! For the sake of the visually impaired, pedestrians, and bike commuters, can’t you suck it up and make these make some sort of noise! Maybe they could sing some sort of pleasant tune.  Pleeeeeeeeease.

6) Yesterday on the bike path, there was a fellow who had pulled over, strung a rope between two trees, and was practicing tight-rope walking. I freaking love the bike path.

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My bubble has been decimated.

Disappointed?

Yeah. Me too.

Bad, bad news. It looks like our car needs about $2000 of work. We have to get it done, because we need the car to get to our obligations (i.e. work, meetings, etc.). It’s worth it to put the money into the car, but it sucks. It sucks a lot.

It means being really frugal this quarter. It means not going to the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference, and thus, not seeing a couple of my closest friends whom I sorely miss. It means being more anxious about money than we already are.

But what does this have to with cycling?

It also means no new road bike. At least, not for a while. I wanted to buy it this quarter because I could get it at such a great discount. And, realistically speaking, I need a new road bike if I’m going to do distance rides next summer. I need one that fits me so that I don’t injure or strain anything while riding. And I need one in time to train, which means I need it by next spring. But next spring, they may no longer have the discounted 2010 models. So, I’m not sure what I’ll do.

I’m incredibly disappointed. I can’t even find the words. There’s the deep disappointment, of course, that not getting the bike brings. I had been looking forward to this for months. But then, there is (was) the symbolism of allowing myself to spend $800 on a new road bike.

– The purchase of the bike was a grand reward for working incredibly hard to balance grad school and self-care, to take care of myself and my body despite being in a setting that does not really promote self-care or balance.

– The purchase of the bike was symbolic of the excitement of actually being so dedicated to a sport, to finding an athletic activity that I do because I really love it and am passionate about it.

– The purchase of the bike was representative of my commitment to cycling and dedicating time to something that I love – to something that I do out of sheer enjoyment, something really for myself now. In this moment.

– The bike was to be representative of working toward a goal on so many levels – cycling in a healthy way, making time for something that makes me feel so good regardless of the constant pressures of grad school to work all the time, dedicating the money from my graduate teaching fellowship to the bike as a symbol of my commitment to this and to keeping this in my life.

And, intellectually speaking, I know that not purchasing this bike as planned doesn’t mean any of these things will fall by the wayside. I can still be excited about cycling (though at this very moment it’s hard to feel anything but disappointment). I can still be serious about cycling. I can remain determined to keep it as a part of balanced self-care. I can still be a part of the cycling community in Columbus.

Intellectually, I still know that all of those things are true. Emotionally, this is a severe blow.