Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On Yer Bike !!

I have my own bike here in Michigan.....a birthday pressy from a few years ago. It's much better than the one I have at home in England and once again, it's a product which is far cheaper here. I rode it to WalMart a few hours ago and I had a look at bikes there and a very good mountain bike that I'd love to have at home was $69 ! Wow. They also had a dvd player for $27.98. They'll soon be giving them away free in corn flake boxes. Showing my age now as nothing comes free in cereal boxes any more.

Not everything is cheaper here, of course, but most things are. So far I've only found batteries, light bulbs and most fruits to be more expensive. I don't shop that much here so I'm not best placed to make comparisons but I think I'd be hard pressed to get a dvd player in the UK for £15.

Anyway back to my biking. I've been walking most days since my arrival on 1st but as my bike was outside on the porch, I just had to go off on it today. I even washed it - something I've never done with my UK one - and it was gleaming in the summer sunshine as I peddled off along my walking route. Crossing the dreaded main road was hassle free as no darn pedestrian buttons needed to be pushed. Today I was a road warrior !

I've one of those little gismos that records distance, speed, overall distance, average speed, stopwatch, mortgage repayments, Big Brother evictions and so on. As I also had on my heart monitor, I'd so much information at my fingertips that I felt like a NASA astronaut.

I was pleased when it clicked onto 2.75 miles when I got to the junction where I turn around on my walk. That tied in with my pedometer and the site I use so I can be pretty confident now that my walk does indeed take me 5.5 miles. I was getting hungry so went to the local Chinese restaurant and had a cup of egg drop soup - just enough to stop the rumblings but not enough to make it hard to peddle onwards.

Lee's has to be the best Chinese restaurant in the area. The food is awesome and we go so often that we know the family. I even keep in touch via email when I'm back home !!!

And so on to WalMart. I like WalMart. Yes I'm he one. It seems to be popular here to bad mouth it for various reasons from low wages to using cheap overseas suppliers but the one that makes me laugh the most is the blame they get for putting small stores out of business when they move into a town. Just watch those protestors flock to the store and fill up their huge trolleys evey week !

My one complaint about such stores is that they keep costs down by never having enough staff. I know most of us can be trusted to do the weekly shop without needing help but now and again we want something different or have some product question and would like to see a 'happy to help' employee close at hand - seems you have to walk the length of the store to find one of these rare creatures.

I didn't buy anything as I didn't want to have to carry it while cycling back. I was still quite hungry and the hot food counter was tempting me almost as much as the donut section. But I held firm and left empty handed. Being my first ride this year, my rear was unused to this mode of transport and let me know about it. Now I'm sorry but if we can put a man on the moon and develop french fries that have never been near a potato, why can't we have a bike seat that you can get off without the feeling that you've been kicked multiple times by a mule ?

I'll probably go back to walking tomorrow. It's slower and not as much fun as cycling but at least I don't end up walking like John Wayne !!

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