Got a Bike

Posted May 13, 2006 in California

I left my apartent around noon on foot, planning to return on a bike. I walked downtown. I didn't get lost, but I did find bike stores rather rare. The first one I walked by is a Specialized "concept" store, which looked really cool but only opens in July. The next one I walked by (at least 30 minutes later) was big and open. The salesperson really liked me; he got the impression I know bikes more than most of his customers (I guess I can give that impression; all I do is ride them, really...). He told me another Google intern (a Russian) had recently bought a bike from him. He hooked me up with a GT Timberline 2005 for $300:

GT Timberline 2005

I also got a helmet and lock, both on sale. I rode my new bike around the Google complex. I saw somebody else biking on a trail there. I like to imagine it was a Russian with a new GT Timberline 2005, but I didn't stare so I really don't know.

The new bike is much nicer than my 12-year-old mountain bike back home. It has shocks on the front wheels, which make it feel squishy. They also make a small deflating noise when going over a bump, which makes me scared my tire is deflating (I'm used to a 12-year-old bike). The seat is low and the handlebars are high, which is the "comfortable" style (I'm old); I think I'd prefer lower handlebars but I'm not complaining: it's a bike I'll be using for less than four months, and biking in Mountain View is easy compared with Montreal.

So I got to see more of Mountain View. With a bike, everything is the perfect distance (but I have a hard time finding stands to park my bike). I went to a Safeway and bought myself some orange juice and some "frappuccino" coffee drinks.

While biking, I pondered more about Mountain View. It's rich: I guess there's just money everywhere, so it makes things different from Montreal. No homeless people, very few unappealing store fronts, trees everywhere, big signs, roads in perfect conditions, etc. I think the roads are so big because, duh, everybody has a car. In Montreal it's easy to use nothing but public transportation; I think Mountain View is too spread-out for the same to apply (nobody would dream of building a subway system here, and busses are less useful). Apartments are certainly more expensive, but then again, they're much nicer.

I got home and put my beverages in the fridge in my apartment. I'm not sure, but I think the fridge might be broken.

I've used rent.com to try and find an apartment. It lets me send out emails to tons of places. I have a feeling it'll be trivial to get an apartment here (compared to my last apartment hunt in Montreal). I emailed a bunch of places; if by tomorrow I haven't gotten any responses, I'll bike around and haunt the places. Most rental offices are open weekends. I'm not that picky at this point about where I stay. I should be fine.