Friday, June 13, 2008

The Wheels on My Bike Go Round and Round

So, I have a bike. T bought a bike because he is sick of driving the car and it takes too long on the bus and it's too far for him to walk/run everyday to work. After he bought a bike, and was having so much fun with it, I said, "Can I play too?" (We thought about getting a tandem bike, so that I can put my feet up on the handle bars and lean back and wave to people we pass as T does all the work (like T's mom did while pregnant!), but those are more expensive and we can't go different places. I also thought about getting one of those 1/2 bikes for kids that you attach to the back of an adult bike, but we couldn't really find any made for grown ups.) And T said yes, so on Wednesday we picked out my very own, cute little blue Cypress bike! I've been enjoying it very much so far! There are some complications, though, like the fact that the road to work is perfectly split between uphill and downhill. So it doesn't matter if I'm going or coming, it's still a hard uphill at the end. Another difficulty is how to do my hair in the morning so that it 1) looks nice all day, 2) will fit under a helmet, and 3) will be cool during the summer. (I think I have one that works.) (And the hair thing might seem silly to a lot of people, but those people probably don't have really curly hair. My hair isn't as easy to comb out and put up/take down as straight hair (in fact, I can't comb it out at all). If I put it up, it dries that way and is kinked if I take it down (the same thing happens if I left it down first and then put it up)). Another complication is the extra time it takes to change into my work clothes (I wear skirts a lot) from the pants I bike in. I do have pants that I wear to work, and I wore a pair today, but I smudged them against the tire and they've got a spot on them now (it will come out, thankfully, but it's still inconvenient). I'll just have to keep trying different things! The last two aren't complications, though, unless I'm going to work. T and I want to bike downtown to do yoga on Sundays, and clothes and hair shouldn't be a problem then! We'll bike downtown, do yoga, shower at the studio, change for Mass (the church is right across the street from the studio!), and then change again before we bike home after Mass . T also recently found a nice pilates place (which is closer) so we might try that too. The other great thing about having a bike is that, even though it was a big investment (not horrendous, but still big for a poor student couple), we'll save lots of money by being able to bike almost anywhere during the summer (and quite often during the fall, spring, and maybe even winter--depending on the precipitation). We'll save $3.40 each if we bike instead of taking the T somewhere, and we'll save a whole gallon of gas (soon to be $8, right?) per week if we bike to and from work everyday. AND! Not only are there monetary benefits, but I'll be getting in better shape! The hill problem mentioned above is only a problem while I'm still an out-of-shape-weakling. I'm really looking forward to using my body to get places without the frustration of the slowness of walking. Suddenly "3 MILES?!" becomes "Oh, 3 miles? That's nothing." Also, carrying things on a bike (except when riding up a very difficult hill) is a lot easier than carrying them while walking. So, grocery shopping should be easier :) Finally, biking gives me a lot more flexibility while the BC shuttle is on its summer schedule. During the school year the shuttle is ideal: it's free, quick, and it comes often enough to make it realistic (every 10 to 20 minutes) and practical. The summer schedule is... less practical. There is only one shuttle during the summer (the two normally-separate routes are combined into a huge, complicated, three-holed loop) and it only comes every hour. If you miss it, you have to wait for an hour or walk home or take the $1.70/ride T. Sometimes, it doesn't even come. So... having a bike means that I can 1) leave work whenever I want and 2) get home without waiting for 40 minutes at a bus stop, or giving up on the shuttle and walking half a mile in nice dress shoes to catch the T that gets ordered express past my stop and having to wait for another T, wait some more for it to start its route, only to sit on it for just the 7 minute ride to my stop. Not that that's happened or anything ;) Anyway, in short, I like my bike!

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