Sunday, March 11, 2012

Riding in circles

Today felt a bit like I was riding in circles,  on different bikes, to different destinations, but making the same loops over and over.  Fortunately it was a gorgeous day to be out on a bike, so it wasn't much of a hardship to be out riding around and around.

My first trip was ostensibly to meet Utilitaire 12.8,  "to the Bike Shop."  I had hoped to bike out to Harris, but the time change and other things got in the way, so I decided to hit Cambridge Bicycle,  which is just barely far enough away to qualify.  I am almost out of chain lube,  and after reading some glowing reviews wanted to try Chain-L.  I headed out on Minerva,  taking a somewhat roundabout route so that I could drop off compost,  and followed my normal weekday commute up to the point where I hit the edge of MIT,  and instead of hanging my normal left, I turned right and then doubled back on Mass Ave to Cambridge Bicycle.

Unfortunately they were out of Chain-L, but I bought some other lube which I've used before with good results. I'm fairly undemanding on chain lube since I have chaincases on most of my bikes, but it's never bad to have more.

They had replacement helmet liners for Bern helmets, which I haven't seen for sale anywhere else.  If you had a normal Bern helmet these would be a good way to winterize your helmet (next year, as I think the days of needing that kind of extra warmth are over for the year).

This antique relation of Minerva's was in the window.

I thought I was badly out of season taking Minerva's Christmas lights off last week:

I headed back on the shortest route, down Mass Ave, because the Scientist called and wanted me to pick him up at lab.  I normally try to avoid this area because it's like a live-action game of Frogger, but it wasn't bad on a Sunday afternoon.  Lots of people out enjoying the warm weather, on foot and by bike, and even the drivers seemed mellowed out  a bit.

I got in the car, drove to MIT (pretty much following the route I'd just taken)  and giving him his car, got Gilbert out of his office's basement garage.   Gilbert had been hanging out there since  I abandoned my ride home Thursday because I was being blown sideways out of the bike lane!

We had a brief conference about dinner, and I headed home, passing Cambridge bicycle again, and stopping off at the grocery store,  where I saw a Paper Bicycle.

 I'm not sure if that meant Velouria was around somewhere (Star market 4pm Sunday)  or if there's someone else with a Paper Bicycle in the Cambridge area.   I didn't see her in the store, despite doing an extra lap looking for her.

Cool Kickstand!

Looking at the Paper Bike in person, I think they're missing an opportunity to incorporate a light in the headtube/downtube connection.

Home again, I started pressure canning some pinto beans and was getting ready to make dinner, only to realize I was missing a crucial ingredient.  So back to the store (Whole foods where I dropped the compost earlier today) again.

Dinner was a special occasion because I bought the Scientist a Meyer Lemon tree for his birthday in June.  It's been hanging out in his office by a sunny window, and we finally have the first fruits from it- four gorgeously fragrant lemons!

To showcase them we decided to make lemon risotto and trout with lemon sauce.
We made a fairly standard risotto recipe, adding a chopped whole lemon about halfway through.

The trout filets we dredged in milk then flour, browning them in butter 3 minutes a side.  After they were golden, we added thin slices of lemon to the butter and pan juices and cooked them 2 or 3 minutes until they were browned and falling apart, then topped the fish with them.   Very yummy, and we have two more lemons to do something fun with.

So:  Utilitare 12.8 "Bike shop"  approx 2.3 miles RT for that loop.  Plus another 2 or 3 miles  of retracing my steps.


  1. So cool you spotted the Paper Bicycle! It now belongs to Josh Zisson of Bike Safe Boston. Notice how insanely high the saddle is, the guy is tall.

  2. That's my bike! I live in the neighborhood and was shopping for dinner supplies.

    I totally agree about the missed opportunity for an integrated light, by the way. I'm working on doing something about that.

  3. So funny--our paths crossed so closely yesterday! We were also planning to go out to Harris and hit up Blue Ribbon BBQ) until some dim memory made me check their hours on the web site--Harris is closed Sundays! Newton in general is a bit of a ghost town on Sundays--so glad I checked before we hauled all the way out there. Anyway, we ended up at Cambridge Bicycle instead (and the new Sweet Cheeks BBQ in Fenway which was terrific)--sorry that there was no spontaneous DL-1 meet-up but I think it's hilarious that you spotted another bike whose owner reads your blog!

  4. Thursday was pretty crazy, and I was getting blown all over too. Like you, I finally gave up. But I ride a folding bike, so I was able to get it home on the bus with me.

  5. I think we had the same day yesterday! Biking and canning for me as well. What kind of pressure canner do you have? I'm trying to get courageous enough to make the jump from the hot water bath.

    1. I've got a 16 quart I think (?) Presto. I really like having the pressure canner- I do a lot of dried beans, chicken broth, soups and stews, convenience food that I might otherwise buy at the store. I've done some tomatoes in the pressure canner, but I've had inconsistent results, which is more about rawpacking vs hot packing I think. That and I broke a bunch of jars by placing raw-packed (cool) jars into boiling water instead of letting them come up to temp together.

    2. Thanks! I just have to get brave about pressure canning. I'd love to do soups and beans to save room in my freezer.

      Last year, I did tomatoes in my friends' backyard over a propane-fired camp stove. So much quicker (and cleaner) than doing them in the house. I think we'll do the same thing in the driveway this year.

  6. I like the bicycle in the window.