Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Absent-Minded Errandeur

Usually I found out about things too late these days. Be it concerts, events, or bicycle-related things. So, when I stumbled upon the Winter Challenge from Chasing Mailboxes, I was happily surprised that I could easily complete this challenge, and submit all the necessary items in time. The goal was to do 12 errands by bike in 12 days, riding at least 30 miles in the process.
Information on this challenge can be seen here:

I have no car, commute most days by bicycle, and do errands on a regular basis by bike. So really, no extra effort was needed on my part to complete this challenge. However, since I do all these things as part of my daily routine, I constantly forgot to take photos as proof that I had completed a specific errand.

So, with a little creative effort, I submit this following as the Absent-Minded Errandeur. Some photos were taken after the fact, showing proof of what I had done, be it things I had purchased, or in some cases I went back to the spot of the errand and snapped a photo, doubling the miles ridden, but only taking credit for the original mileage per errand.

The following are errands by category, not necessarily in the order ridden.

Bike Shop.

Comrade Cycles: I am in the process of getting some modifications done on a frame, and talked to the fine folks at Comrade Cycles about getting these modifications done. Above is a photo of the frame before I dropped it off. While I did not ride my bike to drop off the frame, I did stop beforehand on bicycle, to discuss the frame mod process.

I-BoB Exchange: While technically not a bike shop, I get many parts through internet-bob list members, and one happened to be local. Picked up a Nitto front rack and Nitto rando handlebars. Talked about bikes at length, felt exactly like a bike shop experience.

Breakfast or Lunch.

Wishbone: Had breakfast. Wishbone also offers a 15% discount to bicyclists Monday-Friday.

Coffee or Dessert.

Delicious: Got coffee. This coffee shop is well within my easy biking distance, but I usually forget about places that aren't right in my neighborhood. The challenge got me thinking about places I don't go to that often that I should start frequenting.

Atomix: This is right by work, so I'll usually head over for a lunchbreak coffee and a short ride around the neighborhood. Espresso on a rainy day.

Community Meeting.

Meeting of bicyclists (?): This one might be a stretch, but I completed at least 12 other errands as well. I met up with another cyclist one evening to buy a Brooks saddle, as seen in my blurry photo above, nestled in my handlebar bag. Community meeting? Maybe not intentionally, but we did spend about 20 minutes talking bikes, what parts we've tried out, what sort of riding we do. That sort of thing. It's the most community meeting sort of thing that I do.
Grocery Store.

Trader Joe's: Forgot to snap a photo of my bike parked in the dark with lights on. A receipt will do as proof that I was there.

Jewel: Picked up seltzer water! Fit quite a bit in my handlebar bag and pannier. This was at night as well.
Stores other than Grocery.

Gap: Returned some clothes. This one I forgot to take a photo initially as well. Rode back a few days later and took a photo.

Personal/Financial Care.

Bank of America ATM: Yup.


Work: Blurry photo during the evening before my trip back home. 

Work: Forgot to take a photo of my bike this time. While looking through photos, I saw that I had taken a photo of my coffee thermos, at work, that I had taken with me. This thermos is wrapped in handlebar cloth tape and twine to make it fit better in a bottle cage. So... this is how I got my coffee to work with me on my bike that day.
Wild Card.

Craigslist Tire Pickup: While I could have listed this under "bike shop" using the same rationale as my iBoB parts pickup, this was a pretty straight transaction. Gave guy money, he gave me tires, and I was on my way. And of course, I forgot to take a photo of this as well. I was able to bend the tires into thirds and they fit in my handlebar bag easily. Photo above is of the tires installed on my bike, which suit the slushy snowy streets better than the tires I was running before.

Post Office: This was the shortest errand by far. Two whole city blocks roundtrip, equal to 1/4 mile. Even though the post office is only a block away, it's far easier to load of boxes or packages on my bike than to walk them over.

So... 14 errands total. There were others, but I forgot to document them and don't have any proof that I did them. Total miles: 68-1/4.
Not too bad. It was nice that the weather in Chicago has been somewhat milder than normal, and little snow accumulation during the 12 day period.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

No more bikes.

I used to build up bicycles to sell to folks in Chicago. Working on bicycles is a fun hobby to have for some, and I've enjoyed working on many.
I don't sell rebuilt bikes anymore and don't enjoy the "sales" part of the rebuilding process. So, no more bicycles for sale. I will generally have a small rotating supply of random parts, but no longer offer complete bicycles.
This is good for me though. It gives me more time to ride my own bikes. And I hope to share this on this existing blog.
I ride to commute, I ride for errands, I ride to escape the city, I ride for exercise, and I ride for fun. I plan to document some of these aspects of bicycling to share with some, to preserve rides for myself, and to simply re-kindle a hobby of writing on this blog.