Wheels and heels and blister peels, alive, alive-o

It’s Friday day, or whatever that annoying song says, and I’m in a slightly better mood than I was yesterday.  That’s not a high bar to clear by any means, but clear it I have, for what it’s worth.

I’m at the bus stop again this morning, having arrived almost an hour before the bus is due, because I decided to give my feet one more morning of rest.  Yesterday wasn’t too bad—I taped up my most egregious blisters—but the atypical walking I did because of the blisters led my back pain to flare up quite a bit relative to its usual baseline, so I was a most unhappy camper.  However, I tolerated the walk back from the train at the end of the day, and my total mileage yesterday was right around eight, so it wasn’t as though I took it easy.  Nevertheless, this morning, though I’m wearing reliably non-problematic shoes, I figured I’d still give myself a slight break, though I’ll walk back this evening.

This weekend I’m off work, so that will help give a further comparative rest.

Given the difficulties with my tootsies, and the simple issue of time—I leave the house before five and get back after eight at night, giving me no chance to get a full night’s sleep even if I were not an insomniac of high order—I decided to break down and order a decent bicycle.

It will arrive at the office on Monday—that’s where I have my tool box—and I’ll assemble it and ride it to the train and thence to the house.  A five mile walk takes around an hour and a half, but a five mile trip on a bike, even at a relaxed pace, shouldn’t take more than about half an hour.  Although bicycles are welcomed on the Tri-rail trains, I don’t intend to bring it to work during the day, once I have it set up; I’ve done that before, and it’s a pain.  Instead, I have also bought a very good, double-lock system, and they have bike racks at the bus station well under the eye off all the other travelers, so it should be secure.  I’ll leave it at the station in the morning.

A bicycle is also good for shopping and the like on the weekend.  As I’m pretty sure you can probably tell, I’m not too intimidated by distance when it comes to walking; if it were not for blisters and time, I’d be happy to walk a marathon a day and more.  But walking takes a lot of time, especially if you want to go any significant distance.

I think, for instance, about trips to places like zoos and museums.  If traveling on foot, one would perforce simply use buses and or trains at least part of the way.  But, for instance, the Morikami Museum and Gardens, one of my favorite places, is about 40 miles from the house, and there aren’t good public transportation routes near it.  It’s in Palm Beach County, and the bus system there is a deep pile of crap, especially on weekends.

They really ought to be ashamed.

The Tri-rail trains are always good, but their stations are toward the east end of the county, and the Morikami is toward the west.  But forty miles on a bike, once one is accustomed to it, is not insurmountable—perhaps three or for hours of riding, even for a plodder like me.  Or one could take the Tri-rail to the beautiful Boca Raton station and ride from there.

I’m not suggesting that I’m going to be making regular trips to the Morikami, though that would be nice.  I’m just using it as a comparatively extreme example.  There are much nearer potential places—from grocery stores, to malls, to movie theaters and even science centers*, like the one in Fort Lauderdale—to visit.  Also, it can be good just to be able to get out and about to more distant places, like the beach and parks and so on, without having to worry about parking cars and catching buses or trains, or being in much of any way reliant on the structure of society and the acquiescence of humans.

We’ll see how it all works out.  Anyway, knowing me, the bloom will probably come off the rose very quickly, but I at least envision possible quite long journeys, once I become more accomplished at biking, as I used to be once upon a time.  As you can tell if you look back a long way on my Facebook account, before I was interrupted by my stint as a guest of the Florida Department of Corrections, I biked quite a bit, albeit on a cheap bike that contributed to two separate shoulder injuries when it went over on me.

I have to take some blame for at least one of those events—there were wet grass clippings in the path, and I took a bend far too quickly.  Also, I was using a leather shoulder bag, like a very large purse, rather than a backpack, so I was quite unbalanced.  I have much better backpacks now!  Also, the new bike has a cargo rack thingy above the rear wheel, so I can strap stuff there.

The only major downsides not already mentioned will be maintenance—which tends not to be my strong point—and fact that rain is slightly trickier to accommodate on a bike.  I’m not worried about getting wet.  I’ve ridden a 650 cc scooter on the highway in tropical storms, for goodness’ sake; I have excellent rain gear.  I’m more worried about getting my computer wet in my backpack.  But there are ways to waterproof that, so I’m not all that worried.

Anyway, on too rainy a day, I can always walk and carry an umbrella.  Walking in the rain, frankly, is very nice.  One doesn’t need to worry overmuch about sweat, for one thing.

Well, that’s enough of that, for a comparatively optimistic and forward-thinking post from me.  Sorry to disappoint you, if you enjoy the darker aspect of my personality (it is a major one, I’ll admit).  I’m sure it will return.  Why would it suddenly be cured, after all?  Still, hopefully I’ll have a comparatively restful weekend, and my blisters will largely heal themselves, and by Monday morning I’ll be able cheerily to take what may be my last regular morning walk to the train station.

And you might as well have a good weekend, if you can.


*The trouble with science centers, for me, is that I don’t really want to go to such places alone.  Mostly, I tend already to know the stuff they are presenting, and so—though it’s at least a bit of fun to see the exhibits—I don’t get the joy out of them that I did when I was younger, or when going with kids and so on.

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