Solid Distractions

Most of yesterday was spent reading Harry Pottter, cover to cover. The whole controversy about the death of character seems to be created to generate buzz for the book


Of course Rowling would never kill off a main character of the likes of Ron or Hermione. Deus ex machina can resurrect anyone you want, even Dumbledore. The epilogue was bit of a sappy overkill. Maybe someone will write a sequel where Harrry becomes the equivalent of overweight Elvis in a sequinned jumpsuit.

There’s so much going on the the Harry Potter books that I’m always amazed at how all the details tie together. I think Harry Pottter would have been better adapted as a telenovela than a series of movies, so that all those twists and turns and side plots could be properly and more thoroughly covered.

In the evening we went to see The Simpson’s movie. I fell asleep for about ten minutes of it. Given it’s longer format than the usual half-hour show, I wished it had featured more of the other characters, instead of just focusing on the Simpson’s nuclear family itself.

Today we woke up in time to ride the Tour de Peninsula (even though I had a slight hangover from a wickedly strong margarita at Los Charros that had quite caught me unawares.) While it offered convenient shortcuts at the 17 and 21 mile distance, we decided we wanted full-bragging rights and went for the full 33-mile ride, along with the torturous 3 days of sore muscles that come with it. The ride was actually started by someone at my current agency, when he was with the SF Chronicle. So when my colleagues asked me on Friday if I was riding it . . . well I guess I couldn’t say no, since after all I am a bike planner.

It’s actually pretty well organized; if you sign up day of, it costs an extra $5, but I think it was quicker to process than if we had pre-registered and had to stand in line to pick up our tags. How we’ve changed: back in high school, we used to look eagerly in the newspaper for first sign of the Bay-to-Breakers registration form so that we could register as quickly as possible and get a low registration number.

But then some things don’t change about sporting events. The first few miles are always very clogged and crowded and slow, and as you get further in the race, the wheat and chaff are separated by speed differential.

I got reminded about why I don’t really like recreational cyclists (as opposed to people who transport themselves purposefully by bicycle) is that they tend to be a bunch of posers who really don’t know how to ride considerately. The spend good money of flashy bikes, fancy gear and ostentatious clothing, yet still tend to ride s.l.o.w.l.y on the left.

I actually ran into a few people I knew, including Thanh, whom I hadn’t seen since high school, and couldn’t recognise at first. (Well, everyone looks anonymous in sunglasses and a bike helmet.) And actually, she looks the same as she did in high school after all. And I actually found my colleagues at the end of the race.

It took us 3.5 hours, with some long stops. The hills weren’t too bad; even though Joe and I did no training in advance, I think the fact that we frequently have to tackle two overpasses between home and downtown Mountain View have somewhat conditioned us for climbs. We came home and soaked in the hot-tub. I was stretching every moment I wasn’t on the bike. In fact when we got to the end of the ride, I was rather sad to stop, because it meant my muscles would start to feel tired.

Pushing on, we went to a movie double header tonight. Offside (a benefit showing) . . . I don’t think I’ll take for granted being able to go see a sporting event on my own as a woman. The movie isn’t so much about soccer as it is about women’s rights, you don’t really get to see the grass, or even a soccer ball in this movie. Through lots of dialog, it also gives you insight into contemporary life in Iran (I’d like to think that the soldier characters are not caricatures), which for women, seems slightly less repressive than Saudi Arabia. Even if women are not allowed into stadiums to watch soccer matches.

We snuck into watch The Bourne Ultimatum afterwards. Still more foreign locales, in which Americans are chasing each other with guns and fossil-fueled vehicles, with very little interaction with the natives of thoss places. (Just like real life?!)

The vicarious travelling makes the mindless violence more bearable, but I didn’t like this one as much as the other two. Still, I’m envious of the fantasy life Jason Bourne leads, moving from place to place, constantly in flux, never rooted anywhere . . . he seems most at home in transit stations. But being constantly shot at can’t be fun.


4 thoughts on “Solid Distractions

  1. >recreational cyclists (as opposed to people who transport themselves purposefully by bicycle) is that they tend to be a bunch of posers who really don’t know how to ride considerately. The spend good money of flashy bikes, fancy gear and ostentatious clothing, yet still tend to ride s.l.o.w.l.y on the left.

    they be real purty! Why didn’t you ring your bell to pass? The more money posers spend on cyclery, more and cheaper goods become available for everyone.

    or you can ride on the city streets like i do; posers don’t quite have the balance to ride in a narrow line and are afraid of cars, so they avoid busy street riding.

  2. Actually, come to think of it, the two things poser cyclists never buy are (1) a bell or horn, and (2) a kickstand. The extra weight . . .

    No, having posers spend more money on cycling goods doesn’t make more goods available for me cheaper. It makes it worse, it just makes more high end goods available, and the bike shops don’t stock things I want like, cheap sit-up-and-beg bikes, kickstands and bells.

  3. You can order bells online… or have you tried missinglink in berkeley?

    I’ve always removed kickstands, but i need some spandex to show off my poser beerbelly!! Oh, and a codpiece for good measure.


  4. I always have a bell and kickstand for all my bikes. It started back in the early 90’s when East Bay Parks required bells on all bikes in the parks. It’s actually useful, because in case I have laryngitis, I can’t yell at people that I’m passing. And then in the Bay Area, you’d have to yell “Passing on the left” in about five languages, takes too long!

    Why do you remove something so remarkably useful as a kickstand?

    Spandex beer belly: the other thing I was going to mention . . .oh well, see next post.

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