Sunday, February 19, 2012

Random Thoughts from an Increasingly Infrequent Blogger

1. I listen to music while riding now. Yeah, I know, it's dangerous. Still not as dangerous as driving, of course! My new commute is around forty minutes each way, and truth is, I was getting a little bored, and also very, very tired of listening to nothing but wind and cacophonous engine noises. Right ear only, of course, and not ALL the time, although most of the time. I find my music choices on the bike are slightly different from my music choices at home: more dancey, electronic-y type stuff, no folk rock by bearded hipster dudes. Some current faves: Cut Copy, The Go! Team, Tune-Yards, Aesop Rock, Los Campesinos! (Looking at that list, the unifying factor seems to be "bands with exclamation points in their names." If only I liked !!! more.)

2. It's sorta funny to me that as much of a transportation snob as I am, and how much I truly believe in sustainability and urban living and whatnot... in some ways I will always be a suburbanite. Take my food choices, which would probably horrify most bike bloggers. My diet is that of the typical five year old without parental supervision: we're talking corn dogs, Mountain Dew, giant blocks of processed cheese, and candy. Oh, so much candy. And even though I know this stuff is bad for me (and the planet), it's easy to believe it's not, because I'm at a weight I'm happy with and I don't feel any better when I don't eat crappy. In fact, I feel worse, because I'm denying myself my favorite foods! So at least for now, I'm going to continue eating dirty and traveling clean, the exact opposite of most "health nuts" I know.

There's also the fact that I sort of love big box stores, at least in concept. I like doing all my shopping in one place, especially since I don't have a secure trunk to put my purchases in. Anything I buy has to come with me to the next store, so yeah, cutting down on trips is definitely something I look for when I'm planning any consumerist activities. Of course, in my fantasy world, big box stores would pay a living wage and not be surrounded by miles of shitty parking lot and would sell only fair trade or locally sourced goods. It's more about convenience than price, for me. (And hey, it's not like I could find locally sourced versions of most of the stuff I buy at Target anyway, no matter how much I'd be willing to spend.)

3. Drop bars: what's the deal with them? I'm starting to think my next bike is going to have drop bars. I have no interest in racing, but I DO have interest in doing recreational rides like Tour Dem Parks and although it's certainly possible to do a 30+ mile ride on a comfort hybrid with BMX handlebars, it seems like it might be easier on a more aerodynamic bike. Like, I even found myself struggling to keep up with Critical Mass and I don't know how much of that is because I'm just slow, and how much is the bike's set-up. A little of one, a little of the other, I'd reckon. But then, drop bar bikes look more difficult to ride and someone might mistake me for an athlete, which would be the worst thing ever, am I right? So, mental note: if I get a bike with drop bars, I have to be sure to always wear an evening gown and/or clown costume when I'm riding it.

4. I know it's old, but this Portlandia clip still cracks my shit up:

Cars, man, WHY???


  1. My husband sometimes sings to me when we ride together. And he can't carry a tune in a bucket and I find it vastly more distracting than listening to people who can carry a tune singing away in the tiny music player I carry that is attached to ear phones. So really if you think about it, isn't my husband more dangerous?

    All the environmental, social, economic issues aside, I find big box stores tiring. They're soooooo big that walking from one end to the other exhausts me. So I avoid them.

    1. Haha, good point!

      The problem I have with lots of little trips is that I have to carry everything with me into every store, meaning that I have to organize my trips so that I do the largest amount of shopping at the end, and I try not to carry food around, and well, it can get annoying organizing all that. Is there an easier way to do this I'm not thinking about? I HAVE wondered if locking panniers or trunk box would be a feasible invention but probably not.

      P.S. Did you get my email?