14 December 2008

It's Snow Time...

 I rarely miss the opportunity to ride some bikes in the snow.  Tacoma saw an inch or two last night and the brisk ride this morning on my Xtracycle was great.  The temperature gage read 28F and the roads were mostly dry, but icy.  The Schwalbe Big Apple tires and disc brakes gave me confidence both on- and off-road.  

From Tacoma Bike Ranch

12 December 2008

Brown Bikes on Blue Bikes

A UPS parcel was delivered to my door today via bicycle.  

There were two parcel carriers: a woman wearing a heavy brown coat, pants, helmet and reflective vest riding a blue Trek flat-bar bike with no fenders, pulling a single axel, open-topped trailer .  The other carrier was on the same type of bike, no trailer, but was wearing a helmet, brown shirt and shorts.  

With the driving rain and 40F temperature today, this was not the ideal setup for either rider.  I saw them a few more times in my neighborhood, always looking lost and a bit tired, but I can't tell you how exciting this was.  When we were in England last month, we saw many Royal Mail carriers delivering the post by bicycle, and even more used post-bicycles being used by college students in Cambridge as cargo/city bikes.  

I was so shocked that I didn't think to take a photo of this rather momentous occasion, but will try to catch them in action with the Canon soon...

06 December 2008

Just for Kix...

After struggling for two hours to get our two children to bed tonight, it was tempting to just go to bed, too.  Instead, this stay-at-home dad needed to go back to the grocery store to pick-up the items that were not on the list this morning when he went there, and to get a refund for the cereal that had rang up wrong on that same trip.  It’s 9:15pm.  The wife leaves for her shift at the hospital at 10:30pm.  Let’s roll.

A bike ride was much needed after all of the driving I did today, so I decided that this would be a good time-trial for me and my Xtracycle.  Google Maps says the trip is 2.2 miles and should take “about 10 minutes” by car.

Conditions: 49F, cloudy.

The ride takes me:

14 minutes to the store (more up-hilly).

(17 minutes at the store.)

11 minutes to the house (more down-hilly).


I purchase 51 pounds of groceries:

12-pack of winter ale (bottled)

18 large eggs (all made it intact)

2 gallons of milk

2 frozen pizzas

1 large package of tortillas

(I forgot stamps again)


The ride was very pleasant.  I felt visible and safe with my bottle-dynamo lights and reflective bits.  I even dinged my bell a few times, just for kicks.  I think I’m going to throw back a Jubelale and watch The Triplets of Belleville...