The Oh My God This is Insane Edition...and Other Observations

- You know what I found to be a really awesome idea?  Riding our new bikes home after dark from the bike shop.  Jolly good fun, that!

Allow me to set the stage...Michelle and I finished eating at our traditional Thai place (with the quirky Thai waitress who we still can't really understand, is pleasantly neurotic, and asks me all the questions because she knows what's up) as dusk was settling in over beautiful Cambridge.  After our waitress finished rearranging the dishes on our table, we walked several blocks back to where our new bikes were parked in the mall bike garage. 

After we got everything unchained and our lights affixed...we made our way out onto the street.  Now, the streets in the city centre are quite narrow (more like pedestrian paths) and don't have many cars, especially at night...but the few cars do tend to drive at breakneck speed.  So car wise we were pretty much ok...however, I failed to properly account for the fence on the left side of the road as I launched myself out of the parking lot in a grand display of cycling acumen.  The good news is...I drove on the correct side of the road.  The bad news is...I pretty much missed the road entirely.  Turns out that riding a bike isn't "just like riding a bike" after all.  14 years of bike-free living does create a bit of rust...especially with turning.  Fortunately there were only 6 or 8 pedestrians that saw my little adventure with the side railing.  I played it off pretty well though...pretending like I just failed to pull off a new and daring bike trick (or something)...if I ever see the onlookers again...I won't make eye contact.

As an aside, I was quite appalled that I could be so bad at such a simple athletic task.  I mean, there are a bunch of uncoordinated nerds around here...a bunch.  And they all seem to manage to zip around on their bikes like it's nothing at all.  I don't allow myself to be subpar at athletic there will be serious practice sessions this weekend.  Otherwise, the bike will stay safely locked to the rack outside.

Anyway, after the inauspicious start...things marginally improved.  We (by that I mean I...Michelle seemed to have no problem) made it home in one piece.  I still had significant trouble keeping the vehicle going dead straight when close to the curb and being passed by cars, but I managed with little incident.  The main problem is that I can't signal for turns (lose my balance) and I can't turn efficiently (I think I was over-analyzing it...I was trying to decide if I needed to shift my body weight as well as turn the wheel or just let it happen).  Other than that I'm good.  Unfortunately our route isn't a straight line.  Hence, I was terrified for the entire 8 minute ride (or hour's all a blur really) that I would either careen into a pedestrian, the curb or another fixed object.  However, as I said, we did make it home safely, where I promptly fell asleep for several hours...out of sheer terror no doubt.

-  The Cambridge equivalent to texting while driving is apparently texting while biking.  I've seen it several times and it somehow seems even more dangerous.  I can just picture someone riding straight into a poll or sliding into a group of Japanese tourists (the good news is the latter would be chronicled on film).  Oh wait...that was my ride home.

-  First two days of lecture went quite well.  Pretty interesting stuff.  A lot of information, so it's hard to take everything in and the 2-hour lectures are too long as I lose my focus and start thinking about my awesomeness (or whatever) sometime during hour 2.  I also met some more classmates and got scooped up for lunch dates both days.  I've decided that this is all very nice...but I'll try to limit it somewhat in the future.  When it comes to school...I tend to revert to the high school mentality that who you hang out with is important for some reason.  Worrying about socializing with different people (which doesn't come naturally) tends to get in the way of why I'm really study and learn.  My goal is to play it more cool this time, chart my own course, and let others follow me if they are so inclined.

-  This weekend we have some college matriculation activities and a field trip to Winston Churhill's home just south of London.  Should be smashing.