Reading and riding updates

Those of you who live in the northeast United States can easily guess why I didn’t race yesterday — although I did go watch those super-tough riders who decided to race anyway, in spite of the barely-above-freezing temperatures and pouring rain. I thought about racing, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it when I woke up at six o’clock to the sound of rain hitting the house. But I wanted to support my teammates who have been so supportive of me this season, so I bundled up, grabbed an umbrella and headed over to the racecourse to cheer them on. It was a good race to watch, actually; one of my teammates was in contention to win the entire series in his category, and although he didn’t win it, he came in an excellent third in the race and fourth for the series, and I and a few other people had a lot of fun watching him.

This particular series of races is now over, although a new series begins soon: starting on May 1st, there will be races every Tuesday evening at the local course. I did these last summer and they were fun but hard. We’ll see how it goes this year.

I haven’t ridden much in the last week, and I’m beginning to feel antsy about it. I’ve never really experienced the agitation regular exercisers describe feeling when they can’t exercise — my body usually accepts the rest gratefully. But now I can feel my muscles crying out to be used — I’ve got all this energy, so where are the hills I can climb!? But the rain and the mud on the roads will keep me off the bike for another couple days, I’m afraid.

I do have two new books I’m reading to keep my busy though (oh, yeah, and all those papers I have to grade …). I started Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters about a week ago, and now I’m a couple hundred pages in. It took me a little while to get oriented to the story and the characters, but now I’m fully into it and liking it a lot. I do love a good, long Victorian novel. This one was on my “13 classics to read in 2007” list, so not only do I enjoy it, but I get to feel that I’m accomplishing something I wanted to accomplish. I read Gaskell’s North and South quite a long time ago, but other than that, Gaskell is an unknown author to me, and someone I’d like to read more from.

And I also began John Brewer’s book A Sentimental Murder: Love and Madness in the Eighteenth Century, which tells the story of a murder and then analyzes its cultural significance. This will be a fun book, I think — a little bit of a story, some history, some eighteenth-century culture. I just finished a chapter on the state of the press in the 1770s, when the murder took place, and may post more on it later.

And one more thing: Imani sent me a bunch of links on Don Quixote, which I’ve posted on the Tilting at Windmills blog — thanks Imani!  I hope to have invitations out soon for those who wish to join the group.


Filed under Books, Cycling

8 responses to “Reading and riding updates

  1. Awww. You’re welcome! I’m excited about Don Quixote. I even roped one of my roommies into it (though his participation will be off-line).


  2. I was wondering if you were getting all that bad weather. Wives and Daughters is a chunky book, isn’t it? I think I have it on my shelf somewhere but haven’t read it yet. Maybe if you rave about it I will be inspired 🙂


  3. Cam

    Wasn’t that rain in the NE awful? I switched my flight out of NYC from evening to morning but was unsuccessful in missing the whole mess! I can’t imagine riding a bike in that wind & rain. That’s dedication to your sport!


  4. I did hear about the terrible weather! I think you did well to get out there and support your friends. Looking forward to hearing more about both of those books. I saw a TV adapatation of a Gaskill novel (wish I could remember which one!) and really loved it.


  5. Gaskell is one of my favourite Victorian writers – like Jane Austen crossed with George Eliot but with added smog. Excellent. 🙂 Although, saying that, I haven’t read ‘Wives and Daughters’
    and ‘North and South’ is my favourite.

    I’m excited about ‘Don Quixote’ too!


  6. Elizabeth Gaskell is on my list of authors that I want to read this year, too, though I have a couple of other books by her I want to read. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying her writing–she looks good–nice big, Victorian books! I’m looking forward to Don Quixote, too!


  7. Oh I must try one of Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels. Sounds like my kind of thing.


  8. Good for you, Imani, for getting mroe people to read DQ!

    Stefanie, I’m enjoying the Gaskell quite a lot — you can look forward to some raving posts!

    Cam — so sorry you had to travel in that weather! What a mess.

    Litlove, I felt like it was the least I could do for my teammates, who have been great. But I have to say, I was grateful to get back home and into dry clothes …

    Victoria, I love your description of Gaskell — it’s perfect!

    Danielle, I’m so glad you’ll be reading Gaskell too; I’m curious what you’ll think and grateful to hear about other books of hers when you get there.

    Iliana — I do think you’d enjoy her!


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