Posts tagged ‘grocery run’
After giving myself a few days off – no biking, swimming or much of anything else – I got back out today, thankfully feeling more like myself. I rarely get sick, or injured, and typically try to push through it if I can. But taking a few days to rest and lay back was a good thing, I think; I feel so much better than I did on Friday.
It was raining all morning, but the clouds began to break up shortly after noon, so I decided to make a grocery run – #5 on my Ultilitaire control card. Two bags of groceries, a gallon of milk, a quiet ride through dripping trees, cows in damp fields, and the smell of springtime in the air. Zig-zagging a route on back roads and out of traffic, feeling my legs again after several days off of the pedals. Mileage guestimate: 7 miles. Daffodils emerging: gazillions.
yin & yang storm clouds
back roads home
Although I am tempted to rant about our local grocery store choices (or more accurately, lack of choices…), and the disappointing assortment of over-processed, over-packaged convenience foods within our horrid chain stores – we have no Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, EarthFare or anything remotely decent within a 25 mile radius – I will spare you my whining. My family is weary enough of my complaints. But I like to cook – and I like to cook real food. Food “from scratch” as we used to say, rather than out of a box or a freezer case.
And today as I was heading to the grocery store on my bike thinking about all of this, wishing I had a decent grocery store/market within riding distance, I was reminded of a wonderful 3-minute video I had seen earlier in the week by the amazing people at Streetfilms: Moving Beyond the Automobile (Vimeo).
Of course it features the incredible cycling infrastructure improvements of the Big Bicycle Cities (NYC, Portland, SF, etc.), but what really struck a chord with me were some of the statistics about the exponential increases in ridership when safe, protected cycling infrastructure is provided to the public. The old, “if you build it, they will come …” idea. Tenfold. One-hundredfold. Exponentially.
As (my hero) Rep. Earl Blumenauer so perfectly states:
“People shouldn’t have to burn a gallon of gas to get a gallon of milk … “
He goes on to talk about the need to give people safe and accessible transportation choices of all types – choices that will reduce the demand for using the automobile, which can ultimately save people time and money, while improving their health and “ultimately enriching their daily experience.” I couldn’t agree more.
So I cycled to my poor-excuse-for-a-grocery-store and got the gallon of milk. And a few other items of “real” food. And I dreamed about how wonderful it would be to have a bike lane, or even a little bit of road shoulder, to easily cycle to some Real Foods store … Maybe someday.
Thanks to my awesome friend Rick and the great people at Xtracycle, I am now sporting a brand spanking new set of Freeloaders on Tenzing, my Xtracycle. (In Xtracycle-speak for anyone not familiar, the Freeloaders are the rear sling-type “bags” on the rear rack.)
The “transplant” was a breeze, and I am really impressed with the new and improved design features. Topping my list of favorite improvements:
- heavy-duty coated fabric, making the interior pocket quite waterproof
- easy on and off – thanks to clips on the tabs (see below)
- small weep-hole for drainage at the bottom of the sling
- end gussets in the heavy-duty coated fabric, rather than mesh
- sleek profile, uncluttered design
There are two small features of the old Freeloaders that I will miss. The old version had a small mesh zipper pocket on the face of the inner compartment. I really liked this little pocket for stashing small things I wanted to keep visible, and it was a perfect size for a spare tube. The other change is more cosmetic – rather than the red reflective patches on the back end flaps, the clip tabs have woven reflective stripes … not sure if this will make much difference with visibility/luminosity, but I’d be curious to do a night-time comparison.
When all is said and done, the improvements in the new Freeloaders make these another design triumph for Xtracycle, hands down. The fabric and the clip attachment system can’t be beat. Functionally, I expect them to perform even better than the old, especially with the improved water-resistance and interior weephole. And the cleaner, sleeker look/aesthetic is beautiful. Well done, gentlemen!! (And thanks again, Rick!) 🙂
I’ve spent the past two days “testing” them out – a grocery run, and hauling camera gear out among the Holsteins. Same amazing functionality, beautiful new look … I am a very happy hauler, but I’ll let you be the judge. 😉
Tomorrow has been declared an official Snow Day – school has been cancelled, the store shelves are being ravaged of all bread, milk, lunchmeat, canned soup and peanut butter. And yes, not a single flake of snow has yet to fall from the sky.
The local news is full of advice on “emergency preparedness” and weather alerts of impending doom (i.e., 2-5 inches of snowfall possible). Oh brother.
It just happened that I needed to make a normal grocery run today. So much for timing. We did manage to get our “emergency rations” (lol), and had a very nice ride – despite a few sidelong glances from the weather-panic-stricken.
Mostly, I am oh-so-curious to see if the snow forecast pans out…. I hope it does; my X-country skis have been begging to be pulled out of the attic, and I wouldn’t mind a repeat of snowbiking. 🙂 Keep your fingers crossed!
No sappy life-cycling philosophy today … just groceries. A fairly full load on the Xtracycle, and still I am always amazed at how beautifully she rides – and carries just about everything. And still room to spare.
I am probably luckier than most – I have a pretty decent ride to the nearest grocery store. It’s a pathetic little store, but passable for common staples. I can get there within 15 minutes, and largely avoid high-traffic roads, coming in through the ” back way”. A few sections I would even describe as being quite scenic – fields of hay, a creek crossing, cool woods.
A friend of mine recently commented about the funny things along the side of the road – the things you would probably never notice if you were not travelling by foot or bike. We’ve all seen some strange stuff (and I won’t bring up the naked sunbather again). Today’s road surprise came in the form of a lost monster, lying there sticking his tongue out at me; I’m guessing he was somehow ejected from a passing car. Made me laugh.
All of our neighbors, local farmers, are baling hay right now. I love watching the process, love seeing the bales sitting in the fields. Love the sweet hay smell in the air as I pass by.
Had planned on taking an evening ride tonight, but just didn’t get out. Ended up outside around home, taking pictures … the sky was beautiful again today, filled with amazing clouds. Oh well, Day 53 is just a few hours away…