The White Woman on the Green Bicycle. I read it recently, and then heard her read in Lancaster. It's a great book, a book of love and betrayal, both personal and political. A really intelligent, passionate read.
And it brings me cunningly on to what I promised the other week. Faithful readers of this blog (you poor sods) will remember the saga of my Wounded Knee, and how running was discovered to be bad and unhealthy. And the joy that I had known, running away from my house and my family a couple of times a week, was lost to me forever.
(I pause now for you to look mournful and despairing.)
It's been a long time since I was friends with a bicycle, and I was very unsure. Here's the thing that swung it. When running, I used to almost kill myself in order to reach the river bridge, where I would stand for a couple of minutes, look at the river and pant for a bit before setting off back again. What was around the corner I would never, ever know. (While running I could never take pictures. Even though I own a camera phone, I just couldn't handle the extra weight. My own extra weight was quite enough.)
But even with my fitness level, there's no escaping the fact that bikes are faster. Look! Do you know where this is? Go on - guess.
Because I have NO IDEA! Really! I am that fast, and my geography is that bad.
And there's the fact that I can listen to proper music, instead of staring breathlessly at my feet and listening to Robert Ullrey's Couch to 5k running podcasts. Robert Ullrey starts each podcast by telling you that he is a 43 year old guy from Northern California who on his birthday decided to start running again. It was comforting, as I panted along like an elderly lady, knowing I was at least younger than Robert Ullrey. But he was forever 43, and I was gradually gaining on him.
Much better to listen to Lloyd Cole and Lucinda Williams, and look joyfully out at the scenery going by.