berkeley recon

I took the train up to Berkeley yesterday to reconnoiter the climbing and yoga situations, to look for a credit union, to try to get cheap BART tickets, and generally to get the hell out of the house.

I was at least partially successful. Since I planned to do so much, and I needed to get from one side of Berkeley (campus) to the other (climbing/yoga), I was heavily laden. Honestly, I looked mostly like a Sherpa: big backpack with yoga mat threaded through, bike, helmet, and all, trying to look nonchalant on the train, exuding I-do-this-everyday vibes.

In truth, having all that stuff was a royal pain. One of the first things I did when I got to campus was find a bike shop (co-op, actually, employee-owned, as they were eager to tell me) and buy some bungee cords so I could strap the mat to the cargo rack. I also picked up a nifty bolt-on (read: marginally more difficult to steal), collapsible metal basket that I hope to use on our bike shopping trips. I then found the Berkeley credit union, called “C.U.B.S.,” (I’ll leave the acronym as an exercise for the reader). It was actually very sketchy; kind of a hole-in-the-wall in Sproul Plaza, which is a kind of on-campus strip mall integrated into libraries and stuff. Think the UT west mall with restaurants and pushy special interest groups, and you’ll get the general idea. In any case, I wasn’t very impressed with the place (the credit union, that is), and I’m seriously considering just signing up with Washington Mutual because their ATMs seem to be ubiquitous nationwide and they have sophisticated online stuff. As it stands, I’ve still just got all my money at the UT credit union, which proves how much it really doesn’t matter where your bank is physically located these days.

My plan was to then go to the Cal ID card office to get my “class pass,” a very weak nickname for the pass that gets you free on all the campus buses and also a lot of other bay area buses, mostly in SF. This plan was stymied by a quarter-mile-long line of freshman waiting to get their IDs. I was then stymied by another line at the post office trying to mail off my watch to get repaired. At this point I’d had enough of downtown, and started biking in the direction of the Ashby warehouse district where reside Berkeley Ironworks and 7th Heaven Yoga. I went ahead and signed up for a monthly membership at the climbing gym ($60/mo, ouch). It’s a great gym, but it’s out of the way and not cheap. I hope that I find some climbing partners soon to help motivate me and/or drive me there. It took about 15-20mins by bike to get there from campus. In any case, I climbed, mostly alone (sniff), but it felt good.

At 6 I went to the yoga place for a mediocre class called “Ashtanga Vinyasa.” It was supposed to be for advanced students, but it still wasn’t real ashtanga. I think what I’m going to have to do is buckle down and just do it by myself. The simple truth is I can do it by myself and I should, rather than letting time, distance, and expense be an excuse for not doing it at all. Our deck and the Berkeley rec centers have all the equipment I need: wood floors.

The evening was rounded out by a nerve-wracking ride up Ashby to the BART station in near darkness, the hour on the train, and more scary biking in the dark (need a decent light, I know). I got in about nine, ate, then collapsed in bed. A bit too much exertion for an everyday routine. Just maybe.

2 thoughts on “berkeley recon”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *