Riding to my new place

It’s been nine days short of a year since I wrote in this category, ‘Riding’. Only because I forgot I had it…. that and I tend to mention my cycling off hand inbetween other things, usually Ramblings.

Anyway… so weekend before last I did the Steven’s Canyon Road ride as per usual. And I felt pretty good – I’ve finally gotten past my bloody-minded stubbornness and conceded that using gears below the highest one is, in fact, advisable. And that has helped immensely, though it’s still a challenging ride.

I decided, when I reached Pierce Road, that it’d be nice to go south for a change to 9, and down to the very bottom of Saratoga that way. I’ve done it a couple of times before, but recently have always been cutting north from there… usually because it’s all downhill. :)

In fact, probably key to my casual change of route was that I’d forgotten entirely that there’s a bloody sodding great big hill on that part of the Pierce road. D’oh.

Still, my newfound love of lower gears got me over that without too much stress, and I was just starting to enjoy flying down the hill – my beautiful, relaxing reward – when I reached the junction with 9 and found it blocked by a police car, with the officer standing in the middle of the road diverting people who otherwise might wish to go east on 9. Great. As it turned out they’d had three accidents on that section of 9 already that day – this was mid afternoon – and the most recent was still being cleaned up. Quite bad, apparently – not a fatality, everyone involved would be fine, but, more than just some yokel side-swipping a signpost. I can’t recall what it was exactly, though at least one of the accidents that morning had involved a motorcyclist. There are apparently a lot of very serious motorbike accidents along 9, and it’s quite understandable – it’s a beautiful road to cruise along, not less than half because it’s winding and mountainous. Ah, humans; what other species would so closely entangle beauty and danger?

So I had no real bloody choice, short of sitting it out for some indeterminate length of time, but to ride back over the damn hill and go my completely unoriginal route. Gah! :)

It was quite easy, surprisingly, and by the time I got home I was feeling good and happy.

Fast forward to the weekend gone most recently, where I decided I’d test out how long it took to ride between work and my new place. It’s about 25km, so I was figuring somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour. As it turns out, it’s a good hour, though it’s not a difficult ride; indeed it’s quite pleasant – just up Foothill Expressway and whatnot. I stayed at the house for about two hoursish, taking a break, drinking some water, and evaluating the place for the third time. I felt more positive about it this time. When we’d first seen it, I’d been in an above-average mood, evidently, and had thought it quite smashing. The second time, mid last week I think, when we picked up the keys and received it formally, I was less excited… it seemed so much smaller then than I’d remembered, and darker, and suddenly I was not nearly so sure it was a good idea.

But, this third time I went in somewhat pessimistic and converted myself to somewhat optimistic. The room it seems I’m fated to isn’t great, and I fear may be a little noisy; it faces an apartment complex right behind, but nonetheless – the universe hates me – there’s a clear path to a major road, which has a lot of truck traffic…. but then again I always remember staying with Lee that summer and becoming completely used to the noise of trucks along Glenhuntly road – it was almost comforting after a while. So perhaps it’ll turn out fine, whether because it’s not too loud or I grow fond of it.

It’s not a big room – perhaps two thirds the size of my current one, and without the ensuite bathroom of course. :( And it’s more expensive, so, I’m really banking on other benefits – many of which are still fuzzy and intangible at this point, alas – to balance out the value equation. :/

Nonetheless it has room for a bed, shelves, a desk – all the fundamentals. I think I shall commandeer some portion of one of the living/dining/whatever-the-heck-they-are rooms for some of my crap, though, rather than squish it all into my bedroom.

It has no ceiling lights though. I hate American houses; they are so incredibly stupidly designed. This place is especially befuddling because the kitchen has something like a full dozen ceiling lights, in no real pattern, which just defies explanation. I hate places without ceiling lights.

I still have the however-many bright LEDs that I bought years back with the intent of lighting my room then, so… perhaps this would be an opportunity to actually make good on that intent. It’d mean buying a soldering iron, though, which I cannot possibly do with a straight face since these crazy Americans insist on calling them “sod ‘er” irons, which, well… call me juvenile, but it still makes me laugh as hard as it did when I first encountered it in the bad electronics eduction videos we watched at uni. :)

I can think of only llama and salmon as words with silent ‘l’s. No American has ever been able to justify losing it from solder. Presumably it’s an important pillar of Freedom, Justice and Democracy.

After that I rode back, via work to test my suspicion that it was more down hill than up going that direction – which turned out, perplexingly, to not appear to be the case, which defies logic since it was most definitely uphill getting there… Alas, 60km in one day, in the heat of a high-20’s afternoon, got the better of me and I ended up dehydrated and sick by midnight. That put me in bed or moping about wishing my head would implode already on Sunday… I finally recovered my energy and motivation, having drunk roughly 5 litres of water in 12 hours by my own measure, at around midnight… on Sunday… eight hours before work. Frickin’ awesome… it took nearly three hours to fall asleep.

*rolls eyes*

Clearly with proper preparation and sufficient care I can make the ride without undue difficulty, so it’s my hope that I’ll do so at least one day a week, at least while the weather still permits me to do so. It may be worth investing in some ridiculous fluorescent, pansy bike shorts and shirt, I suppose. Though I really do think they look so poncy, honestly.

Thank you, Mac OS X dictionary, yes I really did think they looked pony, that’s exactly right. *smacks forehead*

We’ll see. I’m also hoping I can telecommute one day or so a week, too… anything to minimise use of my car. Maybe I’ll just start sleeping under my desk. ;)

Lastly, since I’m about to turn into a pumpkin, I have no update on travel plans, other than to say I’m considering my options for exploring more of Oz – particularly W.A. and/or N.T. – and probably will be happily coerced into doing so if Bobo makes good her somewhat airy intention to save up and join me in such an adventure. Presumably because her continent-spanning romance with The Pot Tosser of Cairns has come to an unfortunate end, and she’s relying on me making it an annual thing to unintentionally hook her up with dashing, rich foreign men. :P

P.S. She’s still scared shitless of Jens, thanks to his little yellow-raincoat-in-a-thunderstorm routine. I will never in this lifetime be able to repay him for the joy he brought to my life with that. :)

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