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Friday, December 27, 2002

Biking to the east side

It was so beautiful today that I thought I would ride my bike down to the post office by the university. Since I was there I thought I would see how long it would take me to ride to the east side where I'm looking at apartments. It took me an hour and that was riding casually. Actually it took me over two hours as I kept stopping to look at other apartments on the way but I carefully kept track of the time outs. Nothing looked that good so I kept on going. The worst part of the ride is when I hit Wilmot since this is a very busy, very dangerous street and when it hits Broadway becomes one of the most dangerous intersections. Since I need to get to the far side of Wilmot it's going to be a bit sticky. I may actually go around Carondelet even though it adds just a bit to the ride.

When I lived here ten years ago I could cut through the office buildings on the west side of Wilmot and out to the street behind and so to the bike routes but the little places a bike could get through have been fenced off. How tacky! So heading east I'll have to use the bike/bus lane which is ok except that the buses come frequently so I'll want to get off Broadway as soon as I can. There seem to be fewer and fewer streets that actually come through to Broadway and Wilmot which is fine if you have a car but a real bitch if you are walking or biking.

I doubt I would be riding my bike more that occasionally but I want to know I can in case of a bus strike. That is always the zinger when depending on buses. We had one a year ago so hopefully won't for a few years now. I'm not sure how long their contract runs.

I took a rest at Park Place Mall and then stopped by Beyond Bread and Bookmans before riding back to Speedway and Craycroft to take the bus home. I hate lifting my bike on the bus. Other people make it look so easy but I don't have that much upper body strength and I'm short so I'm always clumsy about it.

I was nicely tired when I got home. That's a good feeling.

Yesterday I finished reading "The Scar" by China Mieville. It's a science fiction/spy book and is unlike any book I've read before. Bellis is running away from being questioned by the police of New Crobuzon. She heads out to a frontier as they don't ask many questions of people going there. The ship she is on is hijacked by pirates and they are taken to a floating city, Armada, where they are told they will never be allowed to leave as they don't want the outside to find out about them. She becomes acquainted with "remades", prisoners whose bodies had been remade to suit the slave labor they were planned for, who are delighted to be set free and treated as human beings again. The "cities" of Armada are different and various and the characters of Armada and the journey they go on are truly creative storytelling. I did not want to put it down till I finished it. Mieville is an inspired mythmaker and storyteller.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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