Becoming your subject: Thoughts I had on my bike ride to the doctors.

minor repairs, originally uploaded by neal..patel.

I am a transportation librarian, which isn’t really news to anybody anymore. (Or it shouldn’t be…) It’s a very narrow view of the world. Everything can be tied back to transportation. Economics? Engineering? Planning? The environment? Politics? History? Art? Seriously, my brain has a knack to make it all about transportation. I guess that’s dedication to my subject? Is it something that all subject specialist librarians do? Sometimes I wonder if it’s a matter of degree, and I’ve gone pretty far…

Let me tie this back to my bike ride today, other than that bikes are transportation. I have to ride 4 miles from work to the doctors, which isn’t so bad, except the pavement on the streets is really rough and hard to ride on. The quality of the pavement surface gets worse as you cross from Berkeley into Oakland, but it’s a rough ride regardless. I used to get flats every time I’d cross into Oakland on the way to my doctors, which was frustrating as you’d expect. Thankfully, my bike shop (Manifesto Bikes) is a few blocks from the doctors.

I’ve also taken to using the bike routes, but all I could think about on my ride was how the cities of Oakland and Berkeley could improve them, with smoother pavement, better signage, more protection from cars, to encourage more people ride. See… that’s the other thing I think I’ve picked up from work – trying to always figure out how the research to promote bike/ped issues can be implemented. So of course, as I bike around doing errands, all I can think about it work.

This is a little boring, but also good. I have a better perspective of bike/ped issues since I am both a bicyclist and pedestrian more often than not. This has helped me in assisting researchers looking for information in these topics. It also helps me server the transportation librarian community because I bring this perspective to my work with them, such as the TRT

So yeah, that’s what I thought about on my trip to the doctor’s. Then I went record shopping.





2 responses to “Becoming your subject: Thoughts I had on my bike ride to the doctors.”

  1. Eileen Avatar

    I also biked to the doctor this week. There was definitely no bike rack at mine. And when they asked if I needed my parking validated, well…

  2. Kendra Avatar

    Eileen, I actually complained to my HMO about the back racks at the office. They put some in the garage but there was no way you could see them from the street. There are not signs, which is something. You still have to weave and dodge the cars entering the garage on the way to the offices, but I suppose progress is slow.

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