Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Biking Around Davis

So I did get some time during the conference to write a blogpost. Hear ye! Hear ye! This is my first and only post from Davis, California! Much more will follow about the conference experience after I return to Champaign, but for now, let me talk about an interesting incident in an hour's break that we got after the breakout sessions.

Davis is supposed to be the best college campus in the US for biking (on bicycles) and the hotel had complimentary bikes we could use. So, with an extra hour to spare, we decided to bike around the trails. Truly, it is a beautiful campus and the bike trails are very friendly (unlike in Champaign). We enjoyed it so much that we just kept going on... until we needed to head back. At which point, Google Maps told us that we were actually outside of Davis!

Well, this was not a big problem, because we could just head back. But we didn't remember our turns, so we went back to Google for help - and it gave us a nice route back, except for the minor detail that we had to bike on a highway! With no other way and a deadline to get back in time (we eventually missed it), we followed. What amazed us was that you could indeed bike on the highway - there was a bike path. However, a narrow path in the middle of fast-moving traffic is not the ideal condition to bike on. The last time I rode a bike was in Roorkee and that was a non-motorized campus. After that, biking on a Highway was another experience - for all of us!

Well, if that wasn't enough excitement, two more things made my day (and almost killed me). Davis is near the mountains, so there are a lot of steep slopes (like Roorkee), which lead to extremely high speeds downhill. That, on a busy road. And finally, there was this left turn that required me to ride for a short distance (with regular traffic) to enter a bike lane. That was probably the scariest part of it.

In the end, we did get back and enjoyed the food at the reception. But that deserves a separate post!

Davis, California

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