Thursday, September 15, 2011

On biking

Pros:

-Quicker than walking.

-Trip back from "town" downhill, thus making major grocery purchases kind of doable.

-There are groceries downtown. Kind of.

-There's at any rate really good coffee, and a CVS.

-Physical activity means avoiding "summer of George"-style muscle weakness.

Cons:

-Trip downhill back means trip uphill there. They say running is more rigorous exercise than biking, but whichever muscles are needed for uphill I barely have. It's not normal, I suspect, for one's leg to quiver after a short hill that's barely apparent when walking. It's entirely possible that I'm out of shape, because it's not as though I've done all that much running lately, either.

-Strenuous exercise must be rewarded with an iced mocha which, though delicious, is minute, yet $3.85, or $4 when you add on the guilt-tip tax (and if anything calls for that it's an iced mocha). This could get about as pricey as having a car.

-Downtown is now accessible, but what do I do with it? Kate Spade? Ralph Lauren? Talbots? Fine wine? Cutesy/precious boutiques selling hand-crafted one-of-a-kind knick-knacks? There are more than a few useful things in the town, as compared with in the woods, such as the aforementioned coffee, and an Italian grocery that I plan on commuting to my apartment from, and human beings doing things other than pondering on the same paths as Einstein pondered on back in the day (making me feel bad when I'm walking and pondering the cultural implications of "The Millionaire Matchmaker") but it's clearly designed for a certain kind of person, not necessarily a Princeton undergrad (maybe a stay-at-home mom from a nearby suburb? a parent visiting an undergrad?) whose interests differ a bit from my own.

6 comments:

X.Trapnel said...

You'll get used to the hill surprisingly quickly. As you say, it's just that your muscles are completely new to it.

Phoebe said...

I sure hope so! It does seem crucial that the hill is in the direction it is, because I brought back all kinds of heavy stuff, even winded as I was, and it couldn't have been easier.

aardvark said...

My favorite thing to do in town was eat ice cream at bent spoon/thomas sweet/halo pub...also the public library was nice for working when I didn't want to sit in total isolation.

For grocery biking, the canal towpath is your friend (esp because less hilly). IIRC you can get to whole foods w/o taking any major roads, and almost all the way to wegmans (there is a kind of busy road at the end).

jim said...

Ah yes, Talbots. A few years ago, My wife and I were in Princeton for an Intellectual Property conference. We stayed at the Nassau Club and walked across campus each day to the conference. One day we were halfway across when there was a sudden downpour. We dashed across the street into the nearest store and asked to buy an umbrella. The cheapest one they had, they claimed, was this tiny pink thing for $40. At least the tops of our heads stayed dry as we walked the rest of the way.

Phoebe said...

Aardvark,

I have now driven (well, been driven, obvs.) past the Wegmans, and it, like most everything else, is close but off a highway. I'm just reacquainting myself with traffic, period, so that could be tough. But I will try that path... Ice cream, I'm convinced, although it's one of the few things I've made sure to have in the house, so I may not be making special trips for that just yet.

Jim,

It seems like everything sold on that street is tiny, pink, and four times what you'd expect to pay.

Britta said...

If it makes you feel better, iced mochas in China are even more expensive (4.50-5.50), which is kind of ridiculous, especially given the average wage differential.

Also, Hagen Daasz is ridiculously expensive in China--an ice cream bar is about $7, and a single scoop about $6. A pint is about $15.