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Friday miscellanea (bicycling, stuff)

It seems fitting, after my prior post, to blog about stuff in a more concrete form. In particular, I've been puzzling over something for the past month or two. When I moved from Lincoln, I got rid of my twin-size bed, which was over 10 years old and starting that gradual decline that spring mattresses experience. Instead, I've been sleeping on a queen-size roll-up futon. The futon doesn't provide quite enough cushion, so I have stuck a foam camp pad underneath it, but I would kind of like something more substantial than that that would promote better airflow. I've actually been vaguely wanting to upgrade to a queen-size bed for several years now. I think I could make things work pretty well if I continue down the futon route, by adding in a pair of tatmi mats and a bedframe. Two advantages of a bedframe would include a headboard and better organization around/under the bed.

But bedframes and tatmi mats aren't especially cheap. For the last couple of months, I've been keeping an eye on how much money I have left over at the end of the month, figuring that if the amount is sufficient, I'll just go for it. For some reason, it has taken me a ridiculously long time to have an alternative epiphany, which is that instead I should save up for these things using the same strategy I've used to save up for other purchases at this order of magnitude. Namely, use my savings account for it. It used to be that any money I put in savings was divided in quarters, one-quarter going towards Sallie Mae student loans, one-quarter to loans from my parents, one-quarter for long-term savings, and one-quarter towards things like the erg or shiny bicycles. I've also used this pool of money to cover moving expenses and big, fancy trips. Now that student loans are all paid off, things are weighted more heavily towards long-term savings, but overall the system still stands as a nice way to incrementally gather funds for larger purchases. Plus, I won't feel so guilty about immediate spending if I am simultaneously saving money.

So, back at it.


This week I have been doing some exploring of the hills in this area. On Wednesday, I biked over to the El Cerrito recycling center to drop off some books and three pairs of blown-out jeans. There are two ways to get to the recycling center. The easy route follows the Ohlone Greenway, then gradually climbs up Schmidt Lane to the lovely little spot where the recycling center is nestled in among the Hillside Natural Area. The other route involved riding towards the El Cerrito pool and then up Moeser Lane (steep) and onto Navelier St (steepish). Those who put in the work are rewarded with a nice view:


The hill of El Cerrito is on the left, and you can barely make it out in the photo (large size), but the Golden Gate Bridge is off in the distance on the right.

I continued my hill-climbing explorations yesterday evening on my way home from work. In the morning, I made it in to campus in time for a 6 am task, but then I couldn't motivate myself to go from campus to the boathouse, because apparently trying to motivate for TWO things early in the morning is too much. So instead it was time to check out Spruce Street, as recommended by sytharin, as a good commuting-workout route home.

She wasn't wrong - that was a good hill climb! The climbing takes a good 20 minutes or so and I was glad to have good gearing on the Jolly Roger. The descent was where things got more interesting. The top of the climb is basically at Summit Reservoir, which is also near the entrance to Tilden Park and some other fun-looking roads for longer rides. From there, I had to pull out my smart-o-phone a couple of times to sort out her suggestions for how to wind my way back over towards the Sunset View Cemetary and home.

I was heading down Beloit Ave, having missed a right turn on Purdue, when I decided I should pull over and check again. As I went to turn right on Trinity Ave, I crossed a tiny trickle of water in a ditch, lost control, and felt the bike skid out from under me. Ka-WHAM I landed on my side. Fortunately I wasn't going too fast, so I just have some gross road rash to show for it all.


It stings, but it scabbed over well and didn't ooze in the way I was worried it would.

And so I was able to get back on the Jolly Roger this morning for our usual weekly expedition to a coffeeshop, this time to Algorithm Coffee in Berkeley:

Algorithm Coffee

Exceedingly hipster-esque, and no official bike parking, but the best latte I've had so far in this area, and delicious pastries to boot.


( 13 remarks — Remark )
Apr. 1st, 2016 08:24 pm (UTC)
Apr. 2nd, 2016 01:31 am (UTC)
Zowie! That's going to sting! I'm glad it wasn't worse. I don't know if you've had a nice broad road rash before. If not: vaseline rubbed into the scab on days 4-8 reduces the itchy agony by about 10:1 by keeping the scab soft so it doesn't pull itself apart.
Apr. 4th, 2016 06:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip! I've had bits of road rash before but didn't know to do anything to it.

I had some neosporin lying around, so I tried that this morning, but swabbing it on the scab may have done more harm than good, argh. Plus, now that I have actually read about the active ingredients in neosporin (antibiotics), I'm inclined to not use it anymore. Ah well. It will heal eventually.
Apr. 5th, 2016 12:32 am (UTC)
It will, and something to soften the scab doesn't hurry it up much, but it does _vast_ amounts to make it more tolerable.

I have more than my share of roadrash experience, but not, thankfully, very recently.
Apr. 5th, 2016 05:25 pm (UTC)
wait, neosporin is worse than vaseline? I'm mostly worried about keeping MRSA at bay.
Apr. 5th, 2016 05:36 pm (UTC)
The thing is, Neosporin is full of antibiotics, and profligate use of antibiotics just makes conditions better for nasty bugs like MRSA to spread. So it's probably fine for short-term use, really. I just don't think I really need it in this case because I'm seeing zero signs of infection and the scab has scabbed up pretty well.

Oh - also, right after I got scraped up, I applied a liberal amount of hydrogen peroxide. THAT seemed like the best way to prevent infection of the large exposed surface. Also, it hurt way less than washing it with water did, for some reason.
Apr. 16th, 2016 10:15 pm (UTC)
oh yeah, I totally agree. I worked so many places that used antibacterial stuff where it wasn't really necessary. I'm guessing road rash doesn't get infected very often? Unless there was roadkill nearby? Is that how the zombie apocalypse will start? Road rash near roadkill?
Apr. 18th, 2016 05:06 pm (UTC)
I think there's still some chance of infection with road rash because a large surface area gets exposed. But the appropriate first aid treatment is pretty straightforward: just use something like hydrogen peroxide to kill microbes and clean the wound while the wound is still fresh, keep it clean while it dries out, and let it air and dry out. Scabs are the best band-aids. The only time I use band-aids are when I have a wound in a place that gets submerged in water a bunch (e.g. cuts on my fingers).
Apr. 2nd, 2016 01:53 am (UTC)
Oh no! booo. :( I've had great luck with aquaphor on friction burns/mild scrape-rash for keeping the scab soft and the skin calm.

Hope it heals up quickly!
Apr. 4th, 2016 06:08 pm (UTC)
Ahh, looks like it's similar to vaseline, so I can see how that would help! Thanks!
Apr. 2nd, 2016 11:53 pm (UTC)
Ya done capsized the Jolly Roger and run yerself aground diddnay. Put some codliver oil on that and the boils won't fester quite so bad.
Apr. 4th, 2016 06:10 pm (UTC)
Thankee, matey! :^)
( 13 remarks — Remark )

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