Monday, September 28, 2009

What I carried-- weekend edition

The Scientist was away all weekend at one of those science conferences, so I was car-free all weekend.
I ran a bunch of errands Saturday morning mainly in East Cambridge and Somerville (Union square).  Although I've figured out a way to Uunion square that's pretty good, thanks in part to help from Filagree from Lovely Bicycle,  once I get there I admit to being flummoxed. Between the intersection of route 16 and roue 60 and the construction that has been going on forever, I threw up my hands and became a pedestrian.  Anyway, I finally made it to Target (where I finally found some of the elusive "Bell Elite" canning jars) stopped in at the fabric store,  dropped by the "regular" grocery for 5 lbs of onions and 5lbs of sugar (and another package of "normal" canning jars- I swear it's becoming an additction)  and then made a final stop at Mayflower Poultry "Live chickens, fresh killed" for 5 pounds of chicken backs and 5 pounds of chicken legs.   I was really impressed with how much the extra weight on the back really evened out the ride.  I often load the front basket and the rear asymmetrically, but today I loaded about 10lbs in each of the panniers, and the ride was SO smooth. I'm guessing that it's  like putting sandbags in the trunk of a rear wheel drive car, but I was surprised how smooth it made the ride.

Home for lunch and unloading.  I find that the only really annoying thing about running errands on the bike is what do you do to secure your purchases from stops A, B, and C at stop D?  Then I set out again, this time west to Harris Cyclery in West Newton.  I went mainly down the bike path along the river since it was a lovely day and I was in no hurry.  Although the eastern parts of the bike path are crowded with runners with headphones and families with strollers,  once you get past route 2 it's wonderfully empty of traffic.   I bought the new light I've been coveting forever,  chatted with Elton, and then headed back.  Since I was so far west,  I stopped off at Russo's wholesale produce market, and couldn't resist a giant ornamental cabbage to ornament my front porch. Evidently this was a common impulse this weekend.

Home again at last, I made  good use of my cleaver, turned the chicken parts into 3 quarts of chicken stock, made a big batch of fig jam, ate some instant polenta with goat cheese and wilted radicchio for dinner  and tumbled into bed, tired but happy.


  1. Holy moly girlfriend! that is a great set of errands! How long btw did it take you to get from Somerville ?? to Newton by bike trail? What a perfect day. I do like the Sorte b/c I pull the cover up and while this doesn't lock things it sort of hides it. I'm in newton though so I'm less theft wary than other places. I usually leave groceries or bread/CVS stuff and of course toys and stuffed animals and diapers while I roam. That chicken place looks neat.

  2. I didn't go straight from one end of town to the other, so it's hard to say. It takes maybe 15 minutes to get from my house to Union square, and it took about 45 minutes to get from my house to H.C., but I was in "leisure mode". I was actually a bit sore the next morning, which is unusual for me since I ride 10 miles a day just to get to work and back.

    I always figure no one is going to steal my sweaty helmet unless they're just being perverse, and like you I leave the groceries first.

    I've got theft on the brain since I put in a fancy light, and until my anti-theft bolts arrive, I'm paranoid someone is going to unscrew it!

  3. Nice! I love how well these bicycles handle when heavily loaded. That dark cabbage (?) looks great in your basket - very gothic.

    Re cycling to West Newton: It takes me 30 minutes from Harvard Sq on my mixte when going on the road, not trail. I have only done the trail on the Pashley so far, and it took over an hour.