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The bike

6 May

Monday morning as I was running to catch a bus to class, it occurred to me that I might be better off biking at a leisurely pace than chasing after buses. After buying a new helmet last night, I left home this morning on my bike about twenty minutes before class started. This allowed me plenty of time to get to campus even though I was leaving close to twenty minutes later than I would have to catch the bus.

Things didn’t go quite as planned. As soon as I shifted gears, I started hearing the chain rubbing against something. The sound seemed to be coming from the rear, but beyond that, I couldn’t tell much. I stopped a few times along the way, but the noise persisted, except at the highest gears. Fortunately, I was still able to get into class almost on time.

I had previously given the bike a cursory inspection and concluded that it hadn’t been damaged in the accident, but this morning, I noticed that, in fact, the derailleur was badly scratched. The scratches, I reasoned, wouldn’t be likely to affect the functionality, but if the derailleur scraped against the ground, something could easily have bent and caused the chain to come in contact with something it wasn’t supposed to. A quick look in a bike maintenance guide suggested that it was probably the hanger that was bent.

I ordered a new hanger after some unsuccessful attempts to bend the hanger back into shape. Until it arrives, I’ll be using my secondary bike or taking the buses.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time

27 Apr

Lately, I’ve been having trouble catching buses that will get me to campus in time for my 8:10AM class. The general pattern is that I spend too much time blending things for breakfast or to take to the office with me, causing me to miss the last buses that come through the hills (lines 65 and 67) that will get me in on time. These buses only run every half hour, so if I catch them, they’ll get me there with at least 10 minutes to spare. As I said, though, I’ve been tending to miss these buses lately. The result is that I have to walk down the hills to other buses that run more frequently but require more walking on both ends.

Today, it occurred to me that I could save a bit of time by packing my breakfast smoothie in a container, catching the earlier bus, and then drinking my breakfast when I got to the office. In practice, it didn’t work out so well. I ended up missing the hill buses anyway, and when I got to the stop at the bottom of the hills, I saw a bus pulling away. I ended up getting to class six minutes late and hungry.

I still think the problem is more with the execution than the idea itself, but I’ll only have one more opportunity to get it right, assuming I don’t need to blend everything after Wednesday (and I don’t have an early class on Tuesdays). Even Wednesday, I’m hoping I won’t have to pack a full day’s worth of liquid food, since I’m getting the wires off in the middle of the day.

Shopping

11 Apr

My brother has come to visit and drive me around in a rental car for a few days. Our first trip was to Whole Foods, where I bought some canned soups, soy yogurts, rice milk, and chocolate soy milk. The chocolate soy milk is just to make things a little bit more interesting, and the rice milk is so that I won’t be drinking several smoothies a day with soy milk, soy protein powder, and soy yogurt.

Thereafter, we went to Bed Bath and Beyond, where I purchased a strainer, which I plan to use to remove particles that are too big to blend from my soups. In buying the strainer, I also hoped to be able to remove the oatmeal from the smoothie I made the other day. Also in Bed Bath and Beyond, I found that there were towels on sale, so I purchased a couple. For reasons I don’t understand, I intended to buy two towels in different colors, but somehow I managed to inadvertently choose two of the same color without noticing that they were the same color until after I had checked out.

Upon my return home, the strainer did prove successful in removing the oatmeal from the smoothie.

Getting around

7 Apr

I decided in the hospital the other day that I would stay off the bike while I’m recovering from my injuries. I might be walking some shorter distances, but for the most part, I’ll be taking buses. Most trips I take will require longer than they would take on a bike. My commute, for example, has taken almost three times as long since the accident. The nearest bus stops to my home are just under a third of a mile away, so my walk to the bust stop will be almost as long as my usual commute by bike (about 10 minutes). Many of the bus lines run infrequently (some every half hour on weekdays and every hour on weekends), so arriving just a little bit too late can cause major delays. Furthermore, when I get to a bus stop (with a few exceptions), I have no way of knowing whether the bus I’m looking for has already come. Sometimes buses come a few minutes early, but more frequently the run late. On some occasions, a bus doesn’t come at all. When the line runs only every hour or every half hour, that’s a pretty big deal.

So, yeah, I’m certainly not looking forward to being dependent on buses, but I’ll deal with it.

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