Today while I was exiting the Whole Foods Market in Dublin, I saw that a bicycle which was regularly parked and locked up at a bike rack in front of the store entrance had its front wheel missing. I figured that someone stole it. Lately I have heard stories from other people of their bicycles getting stolen even after locking the bikes to a bike rack in what I thought were relatively low-crime areas. That makes me want to postpone getting a bicycle and only using my bicycle as a “luxury” item which I leave parked and locked up at at a place where I think the bike will not likely get tampered with and which I take on rides to the marsh trails while otherwise leaving locked up in its “home”.

(As an aside, I was complaining earlier today about how the high prevalence of bike thievery makes it hard to make bicycling more of a mainstream commute method. If it were not for such “kill joy” thieves, I know that I would be able to commute much more quickly than I do walking (and not that much slower than driving a car) while saving a lot of money as compared to driving (and while keeping my pollution output at approximately zero) using a bicycle and the BART train to do most of my traveling)).

Today I bought some shampoo from the Whole Foods Market in Fremont for approximately $15 and, also, some laundry detergent for approximately $10 from that store. Next I bought a quick-dry compact camping towel from the REI in Fremont for approximately $30. Then I registered for a $40/month membership at the 24 Hour Fitness gym in Fremont and used it to take a refreshing hot shower in the men’s room. On my way out I did some pull ups on one of the pull-up bars. Later I plan on using a coin laundry mat to wash and dry my clothes. I do not plan on going back to my legal residence in Castro Valley more than once per week and neither to shower nor do laundry there; just to play the drums (if they are available) and briefly visit the residents there. I will try to have my mail sent to places which are also external to where I live at places such as the UPS store or where Amazon lockers are located. The purpose of me “outsourcing” my household utilities to public or commercial access points is to maximize how much control I have over my life, to minimize my dependence on and interactions with my family members, and to feel more connected to a large-scale sense of community (which encompasses more than just my friends, family, and coworkers).

What I liked about going to the gym today was seeing and hearing many people working out under one roof in harmony. There was an exercise dance class going on with energetic music playing and people dancing. There were people swimming in the pool and soaking in the hot tub. There were people lifting weights, stretching, running on treadmills, and pumping on stationary bicycles. Also, it was warm and well lit in there. I felt safe taking a shower in there (and had my entire backpack on the seat inside the shower out of the stream of water but within my sight so that no one would tamper with it). I figure that it is safest to shower in a gym full of lots of other paying gym members than to attempt to bathe in more secluded areas. I felt that whoever invests in a gym membership at “my” gym (which could also be described as “our” gym) is implicitly fostering a sense of ownership and, hence, stewardship of that particular facility. Hence, I expect those gym users to generally be respectful of other gym members and to not trash the place. (I think having to pay a fee to use a public facility helps keep people from turning it into an unsanitary and unsafe “sanctuary” for drug addicts and severely mentally ill people).

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