I made a list. Not all of it was errands but there was stuff to be done.
After a long morning of newspaper reading, I headed out on Little Nellie for Spokes Etc., my local bike shop, in Belle Haven. I put an old Brooks B67 on the bike the other day as I shuffled saddles around while one was out for repair. The B67 is wide in the seat and has bouncy springs. So the ride to Spokes was different in a good way. In fact, I may just leave the B67 on the bike for when I ride the Five Boro ride in New York City.
I wore hiking boots so that I could comfortably hoof it home. The errandonnee does not including Hikonneuring but I am a rebel and their is a wild card classification for one errand. One the way home I stopped at a hardware store. I needed to buy five things. One of the things was a furnace filter. These are big panels of very lightweight material. I don’t think putting it on a bike would work well. I hoofed it home with the panel and some painter’s tape in hand. (The filter will be taped over the air return vent during our floor refinishing project next month.)
Once home, I spent a few minutes tweaking the saddle heights on my Cross Check. I am pretty sure it was ever-s0-slightly too high. After a very small adjustment I rode it around the block. Zoom. We are good to go for tomorrow’s Vasa ride!
I then rode The Mule for a few hundred yards. I think the bike mechanic raised the seat to use the seat point as a clamping point. When he lowered the seat, he didn’t lower it enough. In his defense, we are talking about a difference of a few millimeters. I dropped the saddle a bit and, sure enough, it was much more comfortable.
Mrs. Rootchopper goes grocery shopping after her 7:30 pilates class on Saturday morning. Today she left behind some salted caramel fudge cookies and some ground coffee beans. The cookies are crack. Coffee is, well, COFFEE!!! She called the Safeway store and talked to Cynthia, the employee who found the bag. Off I went to retreat the lost goods.
When I got to the store there was no Cynthia to be found. An employee asked for the receipt. It was from a different Safeway store, right next to the bike shop. Argh! You mean I have to bike 3 miles to get my coffee? Yay!
Off I went on The Mule. The newly adjusted wheels were pinging up a storm. Hopefully the spokes will settle in and the noise will stop soon.
At the Safeway store, I met up with Cynthia. She helped me find the items that she had re-stocked several hours earlier. She was cheerful and helpful. Safeway should give her all the raises.
I headed back home the way I came, on busy Fort Hunt Road, a two lane road mostly with no paved shoulder. At one point I was cruising along at 17 miles per hour. A long line of cars was coming toward me. A long line of cars was stuck behind me. I kept plugging away when a silver minivan revved up and passed withing three inches of my left hand. How its mirror missed me I’ll never know.
I like to think that I can be a mindful kind of guy. Having just had my life pass in front of me, I considered the situation. I was, as the saying goes, in the moment. I usually try to reserve my sign language skills for near death experiences. I sat up. I raised my right hand and I gave the van driver a mighty middle finger and a loud “FUCK YOOOOOUUUU!”
My attention went back to the bike riding. The rest of the following traffic gave me ample room as they passed. I hoped to catch up to the silver minivan at the next traffic light but it turned away. I wanted to express my gratitude to the driver for giving me reason to practice my sign language skills. And perhaps smash the passenger side mirror to bits.
I rode back to the hardware store for more not so hard wares. I bought some grass seed, because there are big patches of dirt in my lawn, and some bird seed, because there are big flocks of bird on my lawn. (They’ll probably eat my grass seed, now that I think about it.)
I had planned to buy a 25 pound bag of seed but they didn’t have any that size. It’s a good thing. 25 pounds of seed would make for a very lopsided load on a bike.
As it turned out the two bags of seed made for some interesting handling. I made it nearly home and had adjusted so well to the weight that I took a right turn fast and my bike nearly fell over. Oops.
I made it home. Errands done. I think I have two wild card errands today. The Bike/hike errand and the retrieval of the lost cookies and coffee. The seedy hardware store run qualifies as a you carried what on your bike.
Category: Wild Card: The Bike/hike errand
Miles: 4 by bike/ 4 1/2 on foot.
Observation: It would have been much more efficient to do this one by car. It would not have been nearly as much fun. And we all know what the Cat in the Hat said: “These things are fun and fun is good.”
Category: Wild Card: Rescuing the lost foods
Observation: Never assume you know where to go. According to my driver ed teacher: “When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.” Truth be told, he was doing the ass thing just fine without my help.
Category: You carried what on your bike?
Observation: I spend at least $200 each year on birdseed. It’s worth every cent to be able to see the seasonal birds coming and going. Buying birdseed is like buying a bag a spring. If you don’t have a bird feeder, get one! If you put cayenne pepper on your seed, the squirrels will leave it along. (I buy my seeds already peppered.)