Marcia Ochoa

Joined August 2016
  • Day8

    Conferencing in Cambridge

    September 1, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    Made it to the University two days ago and had a looong day at the conference yesterday, 11 hours of papers, including my first presentation, feedback on 4 papers for the participants, and having to stay awake for the rest of it. The material is great, but I somehow wasn't able to sleep much after the ride, so I struggled to be inside and not moving for so long! Still, the campus is beautiful, we are surrounded by neoclassical architecture and AI Weiwei sculptures. Everything is immaculate and ancient. Our hosts have been very generous, treating us to a lovely dinner last night, and the dorm rooms really feel like you could comfortably hole up here and write a dissertation.Read more

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  • Day6

    A Little Break in Upwood

    August 30, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    Another patch of grass to stretch out on about halfway through the ride with this phone booth turned lending library. My legs are tired, and the headwind is strong, but I'm still going! Enjoying the sun and flat terrain today.

    I made it to Cambridge after a few more hours. The last 10 miles were on an amazing cycling route - National Cycling Route 51, which is like a bike highway with no cars, only the occasional fast double-decker busses that whoosh by in guided tracks that follow the bike route. I was happy for a flat route with no complications and only a little wind!

    PS. I am starting to feel confident enough to stand up and cycle with the load on the bike - a nice breakthrough today :)
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  • Day5

    Great Casterton

    August 29, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    A little green spot to lie down and take a break on the side of the Great Road built by the Romans in the first century CE. Don't worry, it's paved now!

    Though at times it threatens to rain, so far the weather has been gorgeous. I'm 25 mi into what looks like it will be a 45 mile ride full of rolling hills.

    Update: I made it unscathed through the worst of the climbing I'll have to do on this trip, but I'll definitely get a good night's sleep!Read more

  • Day4

    The Nag's Head and Colston Bassett

    August 28, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    Surprising how differently the bike handles when loaded down with all the things I thought I needed for this trip! 16 careful miles through the English countryside, getting a sense of what lies before me. We'll see how exhausted I am after 50 miles tomorrow..

    I'm staying at an inn near the Colston Bassett Dairy, key point on my cheese pilgrimage. I'm going to say hi and thanks to the cows tomorrow. The inn has horses, so of course I'm thinking about you Sharon Holland!

    I guess the stereotypes of the English countryside come from somewhere - I kept expecting to see Mr. Frog racing his motor-car down the road, much to the chagrin of Toad. Fortunately, the drivers have been very nice and the National Cycle Routes are not too much traffic. The innkeepers sent me down the road to the local pub for dinner.

    Pictures will have to wait, my phone's camera is still freaking out. Selfies work, however, so I'll send one of me about to have dinner at the Nag's Head.
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  • Day4

    Grantham to Nottingham

    August 28, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    Today I'm taking the train from St. Pancras Station to Grantham. I don't think they actually filmed Downton Abbey in Grantham, but I recognize the name from the series. My super nice hosts in London took this picture of me, ready to embark on the hallway. If you want to take a look at the route, here's a link: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/1240101604

  • Day3

    A Lone Turk at the Crystal Palace

    August 27, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    Picked up my bike today in Brixton, happy to be surrounded by Caribbean people. In honor of Celeste Olalquiaga's fabulous book The Artificial Kingdom, I decided to head from Brixton up to the Crystal Palace, where you can the remains of this paragon of Victoria architecture which was built in 1851 after industrialization permitted the manufacture of large glass panes (seeen.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crystal_Palace). All that's left is the stone surround and this statue overlooking it.

    Then, I headed off to the land North of the River on the first stop on my cheese pilgrimage: the Neal's Yard Dairy. The shop was everything I had imagined, and one of the cheesemongers gave me tastes of everything! Sadly, the camera on my phone went berserk and wouldn't focus on anything, so I give you blurry pictures of delicious cheese...

    Later on, I met up with my fabulous student Jacob, who just filed his dissertation at the London School of Economics! We went to place for cute drinks called Oriole in the Borough Square Market on Poultry Lane. It was a bit over the top, especially the "blue" corn in a pisco-sour-influenced drink that was actually baby corn soaked in blue food coloring (for real). A world of Orientalist nostalgia in liquor!
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  • Day2

    Heathrow to Brixton

    August 26, 2016 in the United Kingdom

    Trying to get used to riding on the other side of the road! The bike and my luggage seem to have gotten through intact and we are all headed to Brixton Cycles, the bike co-op that's putting my trusty steed back together again.

    My immigration agent grilled me about feminism, so I referred her to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED talk, which I used as a touchstone last year in my Intro to Feminisms class.Read more

  • Day0

    Home

    August 24, 2016 in the United States

    Just finished packing my bags with the intrepid Cecilia, whose advice was essential. Two fully loaded saddlebags are stuffed into this poor duffel bag, everything else jammed in within an inch of its life. Caramelo is clearly not amused.

    I'm leaving on a cheese pilgrimage (you'll see..) and to give a keynote lecture at The Politics of Beauty conference at the University of Cambridge, also known as Cambridge Beauty School. On either side of the seminar, I will be riding my bicycle through the English and Dutch countryside, and chronicling my travels here.

    Here's the website for Beauty School: https://politicsofbeautysite.wordpress.com
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