Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Follow the white rabbit

Black and White Bike
Originally uploaded by Nyx.
I thought things might have improved a little by now, I've certainly made the effort. But no matter how hard I try I am still suffering from a severe dose of acute underestimation disorder.

'This activity will take x amount of time' I say
I'll give myself 10 minutes extra allowance to be safe though (try 30, moron)

Oh, the old habits, sigh.
I don't know why I still automatically assume that if I get a bit lost-ish, I should be able to generally correct my trajectory within a few moments.
I don't know why I think that simply because the route between two identifiable points is a straight line, that I will be able to locate and follow that line.
I don't know why I still think everything should take about 20 minutes.

I went to buy a bike today during my lunch hour. It's a couple of kilometres to La Defense from where I work, and its dead straight up the road.
Now by the time they'd got my bike all sorted, I was already running a little late, but still, only a short dash back to work, no problem.
La Defense, however, is enormous. And there are a multitude of exits. Chances of picking the wrong one if you don't know what you're doing are pretty good.
Never mind, I should be able to find a sign somewhere around here that will point me in the right direction (and suddenly back on the road again and a little unsure about what I'm doing).
So about half an hour later, it's pretty clear that while the neighbouring district of Puteaux has an interesting proportion of very big hills (and a name that I like to phoenetically translate to 'whore waters' haha), I'm not going remotely in the right direction. After finally finding a couple of arrows both pointing to the bridge I was looking for - but pointing in opposite directions - and after realising that to follow the arrows advice would mean certain death along a road strictly designed for nothing but cars, I rattled along a very cyclist unfriendly footpath (sort of) to get myself to the base of my long sought after bridge. At the base mind you. My work is on the other side of the bridge, and short of swimming across the Seine or climbing a ridulous number of steep steps with a bike, I can't see any way of getting up to the bridge. So I cycle all the way down to the next bridge (by now I'm practically halfway home, and tempted to continue)just to cross the river.
* Time elapsed: 1h30min
* Late for work by: 1hr
* Points for effort: 10/15
* Bonus points awarded for style - responded to a rude motorbike man with my middle finger (French women probably don't do that as a rule right?)
* Points subtracted for falling off bike
* Points for achievement 1/15

What's my total? ;)

I did get a slight telling off, and my colleague noted I had some issues with punctuality. He's right though, and his comment was deserved. But whats stings, is that up till moving to Paris, I have been, as a rule, Little Miss Punctuality. In a town where ideas of time and punctuality were lax, I was on the dot. In a city where punctuality is a must, I'm off chasing the white rabbit.


Antipodeesse said...

Ouf! I'm glad to be able to read you again: for several days your site wasn't opening properly on my computer!
You are very courageuse (or mad!) to be cycling in the city. Good luck girl!

Nyx said...

blame blogger! ;) certainly I know nothing about such technical blather, teehee.

Um, yes, crash course (not literally I hope) on cycling in a big mad city that is full of roads that are not so much cyclist unfriendly, as cyclist hostile.

If the posts stop one day you can assume I've come a-cropper...

wandering lizard said...

good luck cycling in the city! I did my time in Los Angeles - a distinctly cycle-unfriendly city - and survived with only a bad temper. then again, it is easy to avoid the cars there while their drivers are talking on the phone.