Two favorite activities, one always enjoyed privately, the other almost always with friends. I’ll post thoughts about the books I read and bike rides I take.
I’ve been off the bike for 12 days. I didn’t ride for a week before Christmas and on Christmas morning I wore with my throat on fire and a fever. I canceled that morning’s ride. I spent most of the ensuing week in bed, yo-yo-ing between sweats and fever. About four days into my flu, I took the dog out for a 15-minute walk. When I returned I only had the energy to crawl back into bed. I am improving ever so slowly. Chills and fever are gone and I’ve graduated to hacking up brown and green loveliness. I’d say I’m at about 80% and am somewhat hesitant to venture out on a bike. Perhaps in a day or two…
All this should have left me with plenty of reading time — and it did, only I read wrong things, mainly my phone. During breaks between checking FB, game scores, and eBay auctions on my phone I managed to find slivers of time for reading Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie and Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride. Catherine is terrifically informative. I would have even liked more depth and context but to Massie’s credit, you can fit only so much detail in 600 pages. The book provides a different and much more rounded portrait of a monarch of a country where I grew up written from a perspective opposite to the Soviet view of the second half of the XVIII century Russia.
Meanwhile, reading Rough Ride is almost cheating — it’s cycling autobiography about doping in the professional peloton in the early 1980s, although I haven’t gotten to the doping part yet. I’d read it ten or more years ago, then one day in December I found myself without a book, so I bought it on iBooks and am re-reading it on my phone. I suppose not all the phone reading is wrong.