Some were born to bike. I wasn’t.

Well, I had my first bike crash of the summer today. It wasn’t too bad of a wipeout, as far as wipeouts go – I banged up my shins and elbows, but my crash last summer was definitely much worse. Last year I managed to simultaneously make my arm look like a bear mauled me and cause my friend biking behind me to go careening into the concrete, so actually, in retrospect, this crash wasn’t bad at all. Regardless, I took the shuttle home and I’m now looking mournfully at my blossoming bruises and wondering if I’ll have the guts to bike to work tomorrow morning.

I think I have very mixed feelings about commuting via bike to work. I did it all last summer and I’m doing it this summer as well, but I’m starting to get this feeling that these crashes are the universe’s way of trying to tell me something (i.e. Shannon, STOP BIKING). I’ll be the first one to admit that I am no bike pro – I can make the thing go and stop (most of the time on command), but that’s about the extent of my skills. So on one hand, every time I get on one of these wheeled contraptions of death I am lessening my chance of living to old age and dying peacefully in my sleep surrounded by kittens and rainbows. On the other hand, Google is pretty much equated with food, and biking to work helps mitigate some of the damage my internship is doing to my waistline. It’s a toughie.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that my opinion on who should have priority on the road varies hugely depending on my status at the time. By this I mean that if I’m driving, I hate cyclists and pedestrians with a passion, and will curse under my breath every time I see somebody doing something as inane as crossing the street. If I’m on my bike, cars are living breathing demons that scare the crap out of me every time they come even remotely close. If I’m walking, I wonder why everyone’s mad at me for being so slow and smirk at them because it’s my right to cross the road while they wait. It’s very interesting how the perspectives change.

Regardless, I think the mitigating-damage-to-waistline wins out over fear of moving vehicles around me, so I’ll probably climb back on my bike and teeter off into the sunset (otherwise known as Google). But I’d like to think that if there’s any fairness in the world, the universe only deals out one crash per summer, so I should hopefully be good for the next few months. (Unless this grace period only lasts until the scabs heal? I shudder to think…)

 

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A Googler once more

Well, it’s the end of my first week! I’ve officially been in California – and at Google – for a week now.

It’s been a really busy week, but I’m remembering just how much I liked the Googleplex. I’m kind of settling into my new apartment now and starting to get a better sense of the area. I’m actually a lot closer than I thought to my old apartment from last summer – so I’m not as far out as I thought I might be. The apartment I’m living in isn’t bad. It’s a bit cramped for four people, especially in the bedrooms, but otherwise it’s a pretty good location relative to work and pretty well stocked with pots and pans and things. I did have to buy a blender though to support my smoothie addiction. The thing is wicked loud and wakes up my roommates if I’m not careful.

I also figured out the bike route from my apartment to work after a few tries between my roommate and I. It’s a half an hour ride but relatively flat, so I think I’ll be biking most of the time. It’s a very good thing, because I am also remembering how freaking good the food is here. I had duck confit and gnocchi yesterday for lunch and it was AMAZING. The whole biking thing will definitely be helping balance out food consumption.

My project and host are really good too, so I’m settling in nicely. I’m tired though – I haven’t quite gotten myself used to waking up earlier than 9:30 – 10, so my body is getting a little upset with me. I’m not very good at this waking-up-at-a-normal-time-like-a-normal-person thing. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though, and I have the weekend to recharge! So far not too many plans, but I’m really excited to see some of my friends from last summer who will be arriving in the next few days. Reunions galore! Can’t wait!

I feel like this summer is going to be another blur, just like last time. A fantastic sunny food-filled mess of friends and Google and whatnot. Even though I’m still missing people at home, it should be a good ride :)