Sep 26, 2008

Freshers Fayre and Diesel Exhaust

I think I'm on track with school at this point. I met with my professor, signed a lot of forms, and got the basics on the course. I then went to the "Freshers Fayre". Now this was about 40% great and about 60% consumerist. I loved seeing the different clubs/societies that are a part of the campus and even signed up for a few email lists (Disarm UCL, UCL Union Stop the War, Friends of Palestine). I turned down free vita water and plastic bags from Waistrose (?), a fancy grocery store chain that I bet is something like Whole Paycheck. I also got my left knee bandaged. Those first aid folks were totally excited to see my injuries from Wednesday's moment of grace. I had on (as ever) convertible pants so it was perfectly easy to get a proper bandage put on the mess I've made. Very cosy cycling now.

Speaking of cycling, diesel fuel is gross! I know it's generally used more efficiently by car engines, but it tastes disgusting and activates my mild asthma. Those tiny particles definitely get into my lungs when I'm cycling hard. Today my chest started to hurt and I thought I was going to have to stop for a break. I think I'm going to get one of those fancy masks that I see about 1 of 15 cyclists wearing. They make you look pretty weird and I bet they're hot, but my throat feels all weird and my lungs just don't feel right. As in SF, bikes and buses are constantly vying for the same spots in the road, so I'm aerobically sucking in a heavy load of exhaust. Ugh.

I've read mixed reviews about face masks, but I'll probably try one. Biking is the best way to get around, but only if you can breathe. And believe me, no part of London has challenged me in terms of gradient, so I'm not huffing or puffing because it's a work out. This place is like Kansas next to San Francisco. And the traffic is so dense that speeds aren't often very high either, at least during the day. Besides, I'm constantly wiping black sweat off my face, so I don't even want to know what my lungs look like.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Actually, and unusually for a supermarket, Waitrose is quite the advocate of fair trade and ecological friendliness.

Here's a link to their annual corporate review, which has lots of info.

Keep up the good work!
(And no, I don't work for them!)