Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The importance of running errands

Riding Minerva this week has been a bit frustrating, because she is NOT set up for carrying stuff.
I'm working on installing a rack but am running into idiosyncratic  Raleigh issues.  

In the meantime, all my weekly and daily errands are made more complicated and frustrating, and I can really see how people who try to start bicycling "transportationally"   get frustrated and annoyed.

I can't use any of my panniers (no rack)  so I'm using my Frietag messenger bag.  I've tried it with the waist strap and without, and either way it's a pain: literally- my shoulders ache, and figuratively, it keeps slipping, it makes mounting and dismounting a pain etc.  
And I have no basket,  so when I need to take off a layer halfway through my ride, there's no where to put it except crammed in on top of everything else.  And when I stop, i have to rummage around under everything for keys and wallet, which invariably migrate to the bottom.

Three errands last night,  three trips.
First, on the way home, stopped at a hardware store in search of hardware for the rack.  Because the hardware store is in a kind of seedy neighborhood, I had to strip the lights and be extra careful locking up (tough because I need a longer lock for Minerva- the rake and loop frame make it tough to get around any but the sveltist of racks).

2nd trip- desperately needed to take the compost to the pickup place. Seriously the compostable liner bag was starting to compost itself.  No place to put the stinky bag, and I definitely didn't want to put it in my freitag.
I ended up doing the ever-dangerous bag over the handlebars.  I went slowly and most of it is on sleepy streets, but I hate doing that.   Afterwards, I folded the bag up and shoved it in the springs of my saddle.

3rd trip.  This was the only easy one,  to the library to return my books. (The Wordy Shipmates, Wolf Hall, and Olive Kitterage)  This was easy from a biking standpoint, but it was too much weight and bulk to combine with another errand, so I had to go out again.

The Scientist, when I got home jokingly suggested that a salad sounded nice tonight, would I mind going out again....
I'm expecting a "care package" from Harris Cyclery  today, which I'm hopeful will move me further towards getting the other bike up and running.


  1. My urban cargo bike 'Smokey' in a former life... (I have different wheels on it now)

    Smokey carries a lot! I use bungi nets from a motorcycle shop to secure up to 8 paper grocery bags to this rig. I also switched the front crate to the same larger size as the back. Easier to deal with than panniers. If I need to use panniers I just chop off the zip ties. Have shipped it on amtrak this way, and even brought the crates.


  2. I know how you feel! My best-feeling and most comfortable bikes have very poor hauling provisions at the moment due to lack of racks. Yet I keep choosing them over the others, because they are just more comfortable. Must get racks! Where did you procure your DL-1 rack?...