Back to the Gym

Now that daylight savings time has ended, so to has my biking to work regimen. Not because it gets cold, but because I don’t like biking home in the dark. While Silicon Valley is a pretty good place to bike (for an urban environment), it’s not so much the cars that worry me, as the crap on the road that I might run over and get a flat or damaged wheel – stuff I could see when it’s light out, but wouldn’t have much hope of seeing in the dark.

So instead I’m going to try to go to the gym twice a week to use the machine, and this morning was my first trip.

One thing that vexed me about the gym last year was that they’ve taken away the book holders they used to have which would keep your book open while you exercised. But now I have an iPad, and I realized I could read books on that. But which books to read? Most books I want I just buy when I find them, and I didn’t really want to buy them again digitally.

Then I realized that Iain M. Banks’ publisher has basically stopped printing his books in mass market paperback. I don’t enjoy Banks enough to buy his stuff in hardcover, and as I’ve said before, I dislike buying books in trade paperback. But this way I can turn a negative into a positive and read his newer works digitally at the gym. So I downloaded Surface Detail and started reading it this morning. Once I finish that, I can move on to Transition and Matter.

The experience of reading on the iPad was pretty good: Being able to adjust the text size is nice, and the contrast is fine. I didn’t have any problems reading for half an hour on an LCD screen (although, since I do that all day anyway, that didn’t surprise me). I haven’t tried any other e-readers (such as the Kindle), so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I didn’t have any complaints.

Well okay, my legs registered a few complaints after spending an hour on the elliptical machine for the first time in over half a year. Definitely not the same muscles that I use for bicycling.