Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Biking again

Elizabeth and I biked to school again this morning, and from there I went to Cafe Barrone for my usual hour of tea and writing, then up to the Institute. (I bought her a new helmet yesterday, so she was keen to put it to use today.) It takes me about 25 minutes or so to get from Barrone to the top of Sand Hill, but I’m not at all speedy: a couple Serious Cyclists passed me at the intersection of Avy and Alameda, right where my Big Shortcut Up to the Institute begins, and we intersected again when I turned onto Sand Hill. They’d gone the long, harder way.

And it’s not like I’d biked from SF to Sunnyvale.

I know that at this point in my life I can’t live without a car, but at the same time I’ve come to see car ownership as a microcosm of Everything That’s Paradoxical About Industrial Civilization. I work so I can afford to spend money on something that makes me less healthy, pollutes the environment, and consumes lots of nonrenewable resources.

It’s not an arrangement one would have designed from scratch.

[To the tune of Rush, “Red Barchetta,” from the album Moving Pictures.]

1 Comment

  1. I also go by bike to the institute (in my case, The Research Policy Institute, Lund, Sweden) after leaving my daughter at school. Sometimes I stop by my favourite café along the way for some coffe and some tapping on my Powerbook 12″ (the café has wi-fi).

    Anyway, I often find that I get good ideas during those morning cycle rides. When I park the bike at work the day has got a creative start. Fresh air and moderately hard and repetetitive physical activity could play a role. The route through Lund is also a very varied one when it comes to geography, architecture, people.

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