Okay, this may be a minor rant:
This is not a city that is pedestrian-friendly. To begin with, most of the sidewalks are on east-west streets. If you want to go north or south, you're on your own. And pedestrian crossings are a joke, where they exist at all. If you're lucky, the "Walk" signal will get you to the middle of the street (you know, just where the traffic turning left can run over you). And that's if you're lucky. Usually I get about three steps before I'm staring a flashing "Dont Walk" in the face. Very helpful. (How I long for the nicely planned pedestrian crossings in the UK...)
Cyclists are a little better off, because there are at least planned bike routes around. However, the city planners didn't take into account that cyclists might want to go, say, to the grocery store. Or the movies. Or the bank. Or anywhere but a public park, really. Which really strikes me as hilarious-- do cyclists only go to parks? Who needs a park if you are already out riding your bike? I don't know what I would do after riding to a park. Walk around and enjoy the... um... flatness?
Upon further reflection, riding my bike to the park would allow me a grand revenge on the mad ducks. Heh heh heh.
Anyway... mini-rant over.
Having said that, I will say for the umpteenth time that I do enjoy riding my bike. Much, much more so than I every enjoyed driving my car (I realise that sounds bizarre). Yesterday morning I went out to run some errands (actually I was comparing prices for a blender) at about 9:15. When I told Chad about my plan (stop at 4 stores + bank, buy from the cheapest) he said, "So you're just going to shop?" Imagine that-- I'm a woman who likes to shop from time to time. Alert the media. So when I told him that I was kind of excited by the prospect, since it's been ages (almost a year, actually), since I've done so, he more or less wished me well and sent me on my way. Hee.
Anyway, it was totally liberating to be riding around on my bike. I was getting some great exercise, enjoying a nice morning (sunny and not too hot, if you can believe that), and-- here's the best part-- I spent a grand total of $0 on fuel. The only "fuel" I really used was a litre of water. Which is good for me anyway. So, after I made 6 stops (I added a store, due to its proximity to a planned stop), I then went back to two of the stores I had already stopped at, to get a couple of different things. And I ended up getting the blender at Target (they've got a great sale going, by the way, if anyone needs a blender), which was both my first and last stop, since it's the closest to our house. Anyway, here's the point: I was out for about 3 hours comparing and shopping. Seriously, if I had taken a car, I'm willing to bet I would have spent the exact same amount of time. I'm almost certain of it, just based on past shopping trips with a car. So I was pretty happy.
And in other news, the US is out of the World Cup, Mexico is out (I usually support them as well, being as they are neighbours), and England is still in. Nothing is going my way in this World Cup. Although I do give all kudos to Ghana, they are doing brilliantly and I do always like to cheer for the underdog. Even if they did knock the US out.