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Posts tagged ‘errands’

utilitaire 2.12

We didn’t get rained on.  Of course.  Because we brought rain gear.

Number 2 in the Utilitaire Winter Cycling games … and I’m having a hard time deciding how to log this one, but will settle on #6: Any Store That Is Not A Grocery Store.  Basically a run around town, from hardware store to bike shop (yes, again) to coffee, to groceries to cupcakes (!).  Mileage: 21-ish.  Rain: none.

It began with a trip to the hardware store, because we needed some new axe handles.   We do a lot of chopping around here, you know.  Well, maybe not me as in we … but still.  Can’t have those ax heads flying off the handle.

hardware store

needing handles

mission accomplished

Then we got to head over the bike shop because I had forgotten a thing or two when I was there the other day.  It was exciting.  We got to witness a really amazing explosion … (Charles, my bike guy has a great sense of humor with these things; he made the video).

From the bike shop, we stopped and met  Grant for coffee.  He was killing some time before heading to work, and we were just … killing some time.  And trying to test our fate with the rain gods.

We hopped on the Greenway and stopped for some groceries, and then headed over to Chattanooga Cupcakes for some desert for later on.   And while I doubt that I burned enough calories to even eat the sprinkles off of one of these things, I just cannot resist …






We got home just as the first drops of rain arrived.  Perfect timing.

When I thought about today’s ride, I often wonder what the bird’s-eye view of our route looks like.  We wind our way on less-traffic’d roads, hopping on the Greenway whenever it works out, and taking what sometimes feels like a rather circuitous route.  I know I could go on Google Maps or Map My Ride and officially map this thing out in an accurate way, but I decided to just doodle it.  Obviously not really to scale or accurate, but close enough.  Surprisingly, it doesn’t look as chaotic as I thought it might.

So two of twelve completed, ten remain.  Bikes: 2.  Rain: 0.

not in any way accurate or to scale


Even on a trip to the store, biking there always erases the “un” from unremarkable.

It’s been a rather dismal week, weather-wise – rain, thunderstorms, hail and and even a brief showing of snow.  All of which make me want to hole up inside with books, knitting, tea and a fire, rather than riding around looking at cows.  My (brief) trips out were basically camera-less this week;  I just wanted to get where I needed to go and be done with it.

Today the sun appeared – which is a good thing, because I had run out of milk and orange juice, having put off riding to the store during the past few days.  So we set off on a quick trip to the store, along with a couple of errands. It was nice to be out on together on dry roads with the sun shining.  Unremarkable (minus the “un”).

#330daysofbiking: an update

Day 139 ~ their sign was missing; I thought this made a nice replacement 😉

A few of the random pictures from the recent days of #330daysofbiking.  (And I am on a mission to try and stay on top of things from here on, not letting this stuff pile up into one big post.  Apologies.)

The weather has been pretty spectacular; dry and not so hot.  Lovely and cool in the mornings and evening.  Fall is around the corner, and the prospect of autumn riding stirs my heart.

The official count:  As of today, have ridden 147 of the past 160 days.  Sometimes nice long road rides, sometimes just a grocery haul or errand run.  On my own, or with “my boys” or friends, it is the daily elixir – it is happiness in motion.

Day 140 ~ the little reminders that fall is on its way

Day 141 ~ pedaling, pedicure ... pedalicure (?)

Day 144 ~ just groceries and errand-riding

Day 145 ~ it was great to have Dillon home for the weekend; *perfect* riding weather too!

Day 146 ~ back at Berry, riding around the Mountain Campus & Winshape Retreat (see note below)

Note: Returning Dillon to school, had some time to check out more amazing architecture on the Berry campus.  This is part of the Winshape Retreat located within the Berry property. Story behind it: college founder Martha Berry traveled to France and upon return, decided to build a dairy farm resembling the architecture of Normandy. It was part of the college’s Ag pgm for over 75 years. Eventually, the Cathy family (Chick-fil-A chain) was given the opportunity take it over when the dairy operation changed location, and they converted it into a retreat for church & marriage encounters, a youth summer camp, as well as corporate gatherings, etc. They also offer a variety of scholarship opportunities and special residence halls for Berry students up in this area, known as Berry’s “Mountain Campus” … several miles removed from the main academic center.  The students living at the Mountain Campus have the option of taking a shuttle bus (humorously referred to as the “chicken wagon”) to classes, or cycling/walking on the Viking Trail – which is a great paved path between the two locations.  It was a beautiful ride (below).

Day 146 ~ riding the Viking Trail between Berry's Mountain Campus & Main Campus (no Norsemen, but plenty of deer)

Day 147 ~ riding home from errands; between rumble strip and overgrowth of waist-high weeds, I'm not too happy with TDOT lately


#330daysofbiking Day 118, 8/03/10 ~ LHT a la Lensbaby

Not such exciting rides over the past few days – but I expect that to be changing.  Soon.

It’s been a couple of days of errand riding, swimming, a few thunderstorms, quick spins in the evening.   On Monday, while I was out riding – to the post office, the vet, the shopping center – I was thinking about the slower pace at which I travel.  While I know that cyclists in congested cities and urban area can often travel more quickly by bike than other means, when it comes to my covering distances out here in “the sticks” … well, I am considerably slower.   It takes me longer.  Sometimes a lot longer.  And for that – I feel incredibly grateful.

I like “deliberate”.  I like that I miss that “rat race” feeling when I’m out taking care of business.  I have learned to plan, and I’m conscious about choosing an efficient path – because the energy I am spending comes from my heart, lungs and legs, rather than from the gas pump with the swipe of a credit card.   I like paying the price – because, like food, slow and intentional is infinitely more satisfying than fast and cheap.

Last night on my evening spin, I stopped to play with my Lensbaby in an old cemetery  (what can I say? I find these places fascinating).  Looking at some of the very old markers – dating back into the 1800’s – always makes me contemplate “progress”, and the change of pace our modern lives have adopted.  They travelled by horse, wagon – slowly and deliberately.  We fly around the globe in the course of day.  We are more efficient, we are faster.  Yet … I can’t help but think: all I want to do is go a little more slowly.

And so I do.

#330daysofbiking Day 118, 8/3/10 ~ looking back

#330daysofbiking Day 117, 8/02/10 ~ errands: not much faster than the Pony Express

#330daysofbiking Day 119, 8/04/10 ~ pink Schwinn Caliente (there is a story coming about this one ... to be cont'd)

#330daysofbiking Day 72: heat and thunder


Weather continues to be hot and stifling.  Heat index peaked today at about 100’F.  Basically miserable.

Today I played catch-up at home, after the past few days of fun and games on the river and elsewhere.  Took a very quick errand ride in the late morning – which convinced me that I didn’t want to be on the bike again until it cooled off, hopefully by evening.  As the pattern goes, the heat builds and builds throughout the day, culminating in big thunderstorms complete with wind and torrential rains.  So it was again this afternoon, lingering into dusk.  Right now it feels like some Amazonian rainforest out there – steam rising from the pond, the ground, the pavement.  I gave it up for the day; the errand ride will have to do.

grapevine tendrils in the rain

#330daysofbiking Day 64: back to crazyland

(I will let you come up with a caption for this one)

This was exactly the expression on my face upon seeing how much laundry had piled up over my weekend away. 😉  I should have kept on riding…

One of those Mondays … more than enough to do around the house, youngest son Grant starting his “job” (volunteering) as a junior instructor at the local tennis camp, groceries to get, vegetables to be picked.  And, of course, a few goats in need of haircuts and manicures.  I am very proficient at coming up with lists of things that need to be done – and much less proficient at actually getting the stuff done.  Today was no exception.

Today’s ride was a quick trip to the jeweler’s for some new watch batteries and a repair.  My road bike has been in the shop (front derailleur “surgery”), and is ready to be picked up, but I just couldn’t get there today; food and clean clothes had to come first.   Got a few things done, at least – including the brief ride.  Like the Xtracycle motto – the “everyday adventures” always manage to sustain me, make my day complete and purposeful.  Happier, calmer; a little less crazyland.

Looking at my to-do list, still feeling a little bit like Hershey, the goat, tho … 😉

#330daysofbiking Day 50: the conversation in my head

Today was errand riding.  Stop at the bank, ship a package to CA, some shopping at Le Target, a visit to the jeweler for watch batteries.  And the treat of a much-needed pedicure.  Commuter bike, riding in flip flops, ridiculously high temperatures.  Sweat.

The conversation in my head today was about living deliberately.  I am sure someone, somewhere, has published a book(s) on the subject.  I’ve been thinking a lot about decision-making, about daily choices, about direction.  Sometime within the past year or so, I read a list of points someone had come up with that was fairly though-provoking – and while I’m on my bike I’ve often remembered them (and apologize that I can’t remember who penned them).  Today was one of those days.  Somehow I find them as relevant to life on a bicycle as they are to just … life.

The conversation in my head:

Deal with the past.  (Me:) Mistakes happen, on life and on a bicycle.  Learn from them, accept them, move forward, find a new route.  If you crash, get back in the saddle.  Carry rain gear and a spare tube.

Take stock and discover who you are. Rejoice in your victories, no matter how small.  Celebrate getting up that big hill, or riding home in the rain, or just riding farther/longer than you could last week.  What are you doing in your life that is working, bringing happiness?  What isn’t?  Don’t be afraid to make changes or try new things.

Have fun and don’t forget to play. Put a bell on your handlebars.  Ride for ice cream.  Ride with friends.  Ride in the dark (with lights).  Be a kid again.  (But wear a helmet.)

Know the present. Stop, look and listen – at intersections, and everywhere else in your life.  Enjoy the very spot where you are, rather than thinking about what might be over the next big hill.  Be here, not there.

Love it all. Love the people in your life – your partner, your children, your parents, your friends.  Yourself.  The guy in the truck who stopped and didn’t turn in front of you.  The cows that are looking at you as you ride by.  Love your bike.  Love your life – love the ride.

And so ends my  (lame) philosphy-by-bicycle … I got the errands run, anyway. 😉

errands ... via iPhone & Hipstamatic

#30daysofbiking Day 19: caffeinated

my friend Sarah: concert violinist, coffee lover and cyclist
my friend Sarah: concert violinist, coffee lover and cyclist

Rode into town this morning to meet my friend Sarah for coffee.  She is one of the most amazing women I feel honored to call a friend.  Accomplished concert violinist, adjunct professor of music, cyclist, gardener … and one of the most positive and upbeat people I have ever met.  It was one of those hard-to-get-started Monday mornings where I needed to tap into her vivaciousness and energy.  A little caffeine and an apple fritter didn’t hurt, either.

Sarah and her husband Jeff are both passionate/committed/avid cyclists (and after yesterday’s post, I hate to even try to figure out the correct adjectives).  They deliberately chose to buy their house close to the university where Jeff is teaching – where he rides his bike or walk to work every day.  Sarah rides locally as much as she can, although her teaching and playing often take her a little farther out, and not always within cycling range.  They both recently rode in a local charity cycling event to support Habitat for Humanity.  They’ve planted a wonderful organic garden in their back yard, and are always so conscious of  their low-impact/no-impact lifestyle choices.  I’m always inspired by them.

After coffee, I stopped at the garden center for a few small items and then headed home.  Would’ve liked to have ridden a bit more, a little farther today … but it was another day of HS tennis for Grant, and I just couldn’t find the time.  Feeling a little over-extended in keeping up with family, friends, photos, biking, blogging … and laundry.

But the best part about a bike commute – the times when I can incorporate a ride into daily task – is that it really gives me some breathing room.  A pause from the routine.  Even if it’s just a trip to town for coffee, or a stop at the garden center – it’s infinitely more satisfying than driving in a car. (Now if I could only figure out a way to do my laundry by bicycle! ;))


#30daysofbiking – Day 6: day of beauty

It was another beautiful day.  As much as I wanted to just go off on a road ride, I headed into town to take care of a couple of errands as well as a visit to the Y for a swim.  Dropped a couple of packages off at UPS, stopped at the bank, hopped in the pool for 2000 yds, and paid my dues in the weight room.  On my way home, stopped for a much-needed bit of pampering and polishing – in the manner of a pedicure. (Yes, I still have my girlie ways 😉

By the time I was done, school was out and I met up with Dillon for an early bite to eat, and also a trip to the phone store to swap out/upgrade his old phone.  With everything done, I headed home.  On the quiet street of the neighborhoods that I cut through to avoid a nasty main road, there was a lovely blooming cherry tree (in the photo above).  Beautiful.

Not that I advocate riding in flip-flops, but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do ... pedicure! 😉

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