Monday, July 30, 2007
Muscles Burning = Finding My Place
Today I built up my Surly 29" single speed mountain bike again and sailed down the trails into central Stockholm, sometimes having to pump the pedals up hills I wasn't altogether prepared for. Once in the city I felt a bit out of sorts for obvious reaons: this place is nothing like the grid of Chicago; there's an extra bike lane that sort of fades in and out, sometimes on the street sometimes on a level above the street but below the sidewalk; and stop lights are difficult to read because there is only one or two but you must remain back to see them. I'm sure I'll get used to all of this and it certainly makes for rides that are never dull. After heading down to Kungsträgården to look into some tickets for Hammarby vs. Malmö on Wednesday and Moneybrother a week from Wednesday, I headed back north but easterly toward Djurgården, where I found myself on some challenging trails upwards as well as downwards. Alone, these trails may not be so bad, but after having ridden a solid 35 minutes, these trails beat the crap out of me. I stopped off by the water but soon realized I was in need of libation, headed south to Vasastan, where I sucked down a Poweraid (new to Sweden), a Wasa sandwich with cream cheese and chili and then a Coke Zero. A mother and her two babies sat next to me on a bench and they "studied me" ("Du är väll studerade" she said). As soon as I turned to them, the one giggled while her twin sister hide her face, shy as a Tinkerbell. I decided to head to Södermalm, the southern island of central Stockholm. There I checked out some Fred Perry, some little nostalgia for the old punk rock style but came up empty, oh well... wasn't really mine to begin with. So I headed home, north through Gamla Stan (old town), up through Vasastan again and along the water, past the new post office (with its compelling facade) and around and home and by the time I was cranking up that last hill, my thighs burned that sweet burn of knowing I was going to sleep well tonight in my new city.