In which I test-drive a road bike and get contact lenses and a pair of new roommates.
I headed up Alpine Road. From Stanford, this is about a 20-mile round trip. Outgoing, there are three segments: six miles of gently rolling hills in the hot sun, three and a half miles of gentle but shaded climbing, and half a mile of shady, moderate climbing that comes to a dead end. When Joel and Ramesh and I had come this way before, the last time just two days ago, the first part was bad, the second was pleasant, and the finale was awful. This time, though, the first part wasn't quite so bad, though the sun was just as hot, the second part was just as pleasant, and somehow I missed the third part entirely because I arrived at the end of the road without having gone through it. Perhaps I discovered an alternate route by accident.
On the return trip, I'm pretty sure I set a new personal speed record or two. Cars were passing me, but not very fast. I wish I'd had a bike computer so I'd know how fast I was going.
In the afternoon, Joel and Ramesh and I went biking around Shoreline Park in Mountain View. Without meaning it, I kept finding myself far enough ahead that I couldn't see them behind me and had to stop and wait. This bike wants to go fast. It takes careful attention to keep its speed down.
I think I've decided to go with the Trek 2300 instead of the Lemond. Sure, it's a little more expensive, but it's a sweet ride. Tomorrow or Monday, I'm going to go over to Palo Alto Bicycles and order the bike, cycling shoes, and a Flight Deck bike computer. I'm not sure whether the bike comes with pedals, so I might have to order those too. It's all going to run me somewhere between $2,200 and $2,500 after tax, but I know I'll enjoy the bike.
Tuesday I went back to Stanford. Flying is so boring. I spent the flight from Detroit to San Francisco composing emails on my laptop.
I have two new roommates now: Carl from southern California and Joris ("George") from Belgium. They seem like good guys. I think we'll get along just fine.
On Thursday I went into the eye clinic for a lesson on contact lenses. Putting them in is difficult because my eyes want to snap shut when anything gets near them and it's hard to get a good grip on the lids. But after half an hour of struggle I managed it, and they let me keep them and scheduled a follow-up appointment to check progress.
I wore the contacts for part of Thursday and Friday. It takes a little getting used to not wearing glasses after 17 years of wearing them almost constantly. I found myself reaching up, from time to time, to adjust glasses that weren't there. And I can't see things that are close to me, like computer screens, as well as with my glasses. I wonder if that's the prescription or if it'll seem better over time.
My California drivers license finally showed up on Friday. I guess the state motor vehicles department ran out of excuses not to issue me one.
My watch stopped about 11:00 a.m. on Friday. It was 1:00 p.m. before I noticed. I was really hungry and it seemed like lunch time would never come...
I've got bean soup cooking out in the kitchen. It smells so good.