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Trevor Stone's Journal
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Two Wheels Are Better Than One 
21st-Jul-2007 12:34 am
Trevor baby stare
One of the attractions of my new apartment is that it is in biking distance of work. I'd been concerned about my health and the amount of exercise I was (not) getting, but hadn't done much about it because work/girls/wikipedia typically provided a more convincing reason for immediate attention. There's always an excuse and the excuse is usually better when you don't live near much that's worth biking to.

The first week I lived here I didn't bike because I was still moving stuff from my old apartment.

Then I went to California for two weeks. (Pictures here and here.)

The week I got back I was still recovering from a lack of sleep so didn't get out of bed much before nine.

The second week (that is, this week) I got back I was still recovering from a lack of sleep so didn't get out of bed much before nine. I was on level 3 support, so I had some grumpiness building up to mix with sleep absence to cause bickering with Tam.

Last night I went to bed a little after nine, I think. I woke up, like usual, at 7. Unlike usual, I was completely lucid for the beginning of Democracy Now! and got up at the second break. I cast about and found my helmet and water bottle. I didn't know where most of my bike accessories were, but I found the standing pump on the porch and inflated my tires to reasonable levels. A little after eight I was out the door.

This made me very happy. The only time I'd biked to Tyler was over three years ago, when I was living in Golden, when I came in to work on a weekend. The "back way" was mostly free of traffic and I hit most of the lights. I had to stop for breath for a minute or two on a fairly wimpy hill, but there are no major obstacles between points A and B. Well, no major obstacles not circumvented by an over- or under-pass.

The two-wheeled commute took thirty minutes. That's about twice as long as my four-wheeled commute (speed is directly proportional to wheel count, apparently), but it gets me far more than twice as much exercise. I was a little winded when I got to work, but after a few deep drinks of water and a support incident, I was in fine shape. A little after noon I sauntered down the road for a Chipotle burrito (my most regular form of exercise in the last year).

The afternoon was rather frustrating. It featured a coworker deleting key settings from a client's live database, a convoluted VPN process crashing my computer, and four or five "emergency" incidents filed after 4 PM on a Friday. As I was getting ready to leave, I discovered I'd agreed to run a utility for a client on the weekend. When asked a few minutes later if I'd be the on-call developer on Saturday for an install, I sighed and agreed.

Heading home, the traffic was heavier and my stop light karma was not as good. I made it over and under the freeways in fifteen minutes, then turned east for the hill that had winded me in the morning. Unfortunately, this time I wasn't the one blowing too much air. I heard a loud and sudden BANG! and I did not have a Mancato! I think I ran over a piece of glass, the net effect being an immediate end of my rear tire's usefulness. The glass didn't even have the decency to pop my tube with a Schraeder valve, though the now-popped Presta tube was the flatter of the two this morning.

I normally bike with a patch kit and a pump, but if I've unpacked those yet I don't know where I put them. Riding without anything on my back felt good and I figured I wouldn't have any problems on five miles of pavement. Maybe I should have stayed off the sidewalk.

I now know that it takes about an hour to walk between the local family Italian restaurant and my apartment. I also know that the park I was wondering about does not feature paths which go from one side to the other.

To add a sense of fatalism, after walking thirty blocks along bus routes, the 21 passed me one stop before the one two blocks from my place. Around that time, I realized I probably could have locked my bike somewhere and returned with a bike-rack enabled Subaru. Not a big deal -- exercise was the goal and even a flat tire will slowly roll.

I got home feeling tired and annoyed, but probably more of the latter. I took a gander at the fridge and decided I didn't want to expend additional effort cooking the marinating chicken, so I walked around the corner to Burrito Express and got a burrito de lengua. Pretty good for less than $4.

As I finished my second burrito of the day, Tam came home with two friends and made chicken burritos. Writing about it seems less exciting than it was in my head. Maybe it's a good thing I don't blog every day.

Final Score

Wheels: 1
Burritos: 3
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