End of term festivities I

The most interesting photo available

Happy Birthday Alison Atkinson

I spent a while at the Wadham MCR party tonight, but it was so absurdly loud that I could only occupy the purlieus. Within ten metres of the speakers, the sound was so distorted as to make even familiar songs seem bizarrely warped. As a consequence of tonight being a guest dinner night, I only recognized about one in ten people there. I fairly quickly adopted the rational strategy of going back to my room to listen to Tracy Chapman, eat tofu sandwiches, and talk with Bryony over MSN.

Today did not involve a great deal of progress on the take-home exam. I’ve decided to whom I will write the hypothetical letter requesting an interview. I can therefore also begin formulating appropriate interview questions. Since I’ve never conducted a formal interview and our course didn’t actually involve any training on what kind of questions to ask, I am essentially on my own in terms of coming up with them. I suppose that if I make them pretty heavily technical, it will seem reasonably impressive to whoever marks it, though it may or may not represent an effective way of getting useful information.

I went to Beeline Cycles today and learned that their two cheapest bikes – both new – are a generic steel framed mountain bike for £80 or a hybrid for £130. They were really pushing the hybrid, saying it’s less likely to get stolen and better suited to Oxford commuting, but I’m not sure it’s worth almost twice the price. I won’t buy anything until my mother brings my D-lock and helmet from Vancouver. To have a bike and neither of those would be to court disaster.

7 thoughts on “End of term festivities I”

  1. hi milan. try the east oxford cycle workshop on magdelen road if you’re looking for a bike – they recondition old and deserted cycles and sell them on. I don’t cycle myself, but I know people who swear by it – ethical and cheap, etc etc.

  2. I swung by there a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, they don’t have anything that is even close to the right size for me.

    They say they will give me a call if something comes in.

    That said, even their reconditioned bikes are only about twenty Pounds cheaper than the new ones at Beeline.

  3. I would suggest the cheaper, regular frame mountain bike unless you are planning on long trips (15km+). Remember on Galiano, the roll test revealed negligible difference between your “very high rolling resistence” mountain bike, and my “super sleek” road bike, so long as your mountain bike had the proper 60psi in the tires. Keep lots of air in your tires, and the 50 pounds will buy more than enough food to make up for the extra friction.

  4. Tristan,

    That sounds like a sensible analysis of the situation. Once my mother arrives with my lock and helmet, I will purchase one of the ‘mountain’ bikes.

  5. I’m quite happy with my hybrid, but the £50 didn’t seem very important given I see this as a fairly major and long-lasting (one off) investment.

    Be warned though that I’ve had to take it back a couple of times for puncture repairs (£9 a time). Perhaps it’s worth looking at the tyres – I bought tyres with kevlar in for my old bike.

    As for interviewing, isn’t that a research method class?

  6. Ben,

    I will probably just buy a puncture repair kit and go through all the mucking about with rubber cement.

    The interview project is for a methods class, but not one where they actually told us much about how to structure and interview or what kind of questions to ask.

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