May 21st, 2009

hello city

Citybiking Experiment #1

Have just ridden bike from home to school, and am not dead! According to CycleVancouver, I covered a distance of 8.6km that going 15kph should have taken me about 35 minutes. I think it actually took me more like an hour and twenty minutes, but I think that's probably because I was by no means doing 15kph the whole way (maybe 5kph?). I had to stop and rest a couple of times, and what they mean by a gentle hill is not what I mean by a gentle hill.

Not that there weren't several lovely effort-free coasts downhill - Ontario Street and the Mountain View Cemetery spring to mind. Gorgeous, of course - even if I can't really feel my legs. I'm not gasping or passing out or anything, but there's a definite jelly-leg thing going on. Upside, after the first half-hour or so I was more or less into a groove, even if when I finally got to school I was bright pink in the bathroom mirror - exertion, not sunburn, fortunately. I always turn pink.

We'll see how pretty it looks on the way back, when I have to go back up the hills I came down and down the hills I struggled up. On the whole I think the uphill parts were more on the way here than the way back. *crosses fingers*

Citybiking Experiment #1 (cooldown)

So, trip home took about the same as trip there, plus about fifteen minutes of Lost as I somehow managed to miss Trout Lake Park entirely when Gladstone Trail suddenly ended. Took a different route home than there, which was better in that it had fewer gentle inclines and worse in that instead it had one or two really big ones. Ah, well. Got off and walked. Also, during the period of Lost, I stopped to have a drink in front of a little Bodega somewhere in the region of Vanness & 27th and must have looked forlorn at the news my water bottle was empty, because a tiny, ancient Hispanic woman gave me a handful of grapes from the display she was stocking. Spirit restored, I located East 18th and found myself home in about ten minutes. Hurrah!

Aftermath: Legs extremely wobbly, but no actual pain as yet - will know in the morning for certain. Possible sunburn due to stupidity of not applying any (slightly underestimated outside temperature upon leaving the house), but mostly on my face (after exertion it's hard to tell the difference) the back of my neck, not on the part of my chest where if it burns it stays pink for eight months. Score.

Conclusions: Need to do more shorter bike-trips on a regular basis. Need to remember to apply sunscreen (idiot). Need to be more religious about re-filling water bottle at Ontario Street stopover (I think it's Greys Park - there's a weird little setup with funny benches whose sunshades are giant bike seats.). Need to wear something other than jeans next time. Need to remember sunglasses going both ways.

Also, it seems I've gotten a lot better at orienting myself in East Van. The reason I got lost at the end of Gladstone was because there were three possible directions I could go and I chose the one that went towards home - this was the wrong choice, as it turned out, but technically the right direction.