2.11.2007,9:42 PM
Confessions of a Nerd Biker
I’m a nerd. I can’t help that; I was drawn that way.

Few of my fellow riders know the nerdess. I learned quickly that I get blank stares, quizzical looks or “Huh?” when I lose control and spout off about the sex life of fire ants, the volatile chemicals of road kill, the neurochemistry of ‘the fast ride’, the evolutionary psychology of biker groups, or why its warmer in the bottom of canyons than the rim in winter.

It’s not a matter of showing off; science is my passion, too. It’s the way I think. I approach everyday observations and activities a bit differently than they do. When I see trees with leaves turning colors, I know how and why they do. I know why the sky is blue. I know why odors are stronger in the morning and evening or near streams. I know the names of the proteins that give roadkill their stink [1] (and skunks, too). If I don’t know, I wonder why and how. I have an insatiable curiosity. I think like a scientist. And I like to share the wonder and magic that science is.

It’s interesting to see the converse in the scientific world where I spend a good portion of my days. In the department I’m introduced to faculty, friends and even their family members as ‘the departmental biker chick’. I used to be inundated with questions such as “Isn’t that dangerous?” or “Why are you riding your bike when it rains?” or “What do you mean you don’t know where you’re riding to?”

Now I just smile and gesture.

So I live a dual life: with the bikers, I’m a biker. On campus, I’m an eccentric scientist.

When I started riding a motorcycle, I realized my calling; it was natural to write about riding a bike. It’s one of my passions. But the motorcycle posts grew in number and they were getting lost in with the posts on science. So, a year ago I separated the two and started a blog for my riding adventures and writing. [2]

And here you are!

In celebration of the first annual birthday of this blog, and this ‘coming out’, if you will, you will see the nerd in the other posts. Just a fair warning for you readers.

[1] The two proteins that impart the horrible stench of cadavers are putricine and, the clue for the other one is right in this sentence: cadaverine.

[2] The other more science- and philosophy-oriented blog is "Whose Reality Is This?"


posted by Macrobe
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