Classes nine to five – sometimes more. I could only get away at night. I did. I biked 20 to 30 miles a night. Portland has a 3.5-mile loop around Back Bay, no traffic crossings the entire way. I’d do 6 or 7 laps before I’d be bored stiff. Or I’d do the two-mile run between the highway and the Whaling Wall, back and forth, until I knew it like a room in my own home.

Then it got too cold to bike at night. I’d only go out during the weekends. Some days I’d cut class to ride through the inlands or circle the Cape. Then that got too cold as well, and I had to face that Hanno was hobbled for the winter.

I try going to the gym. And working on my thighs and calves particularly. But it’s hard fitting it into a law student’s schedule. I got plenty of walking done during my two weeks in Europe, but during the month of finals before that? Not so much.

Just today I set up one of those little mounts that turn a bicycle into an exercise bike. It beats the bikes at the USM gym a thousand fold. I can do it in the quiet of my own home. Or better yet, loud – I can face the bike to the computer and watch torrented movies all exercise long. I look forward to using it. Every goddam day.

After all, I’m in training. This summer I am going to bike across the country. I have decided it. I am going to. Tire in Atlantic, tire in Pacific. All my own power. From sea to shining sea.

That is all I know about the ride. I want to cross the country. It’s rather arbitrary. But on the other hand – it’s there.

So why this decision then? Why not another novel? Why not another consulting gig? Why not a summer job? Why… bikes?

The answer, in short, is: law school.


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