Errandonnee 2014 is underway, and Basil and I undertook our first errand run of the year a few days ago. For each stop, documentation is required: a photo and an observation. Here’s how the first run went.
Errand 1 — Category (1st): Coffee/Dessert. It was another brisk day, so we stopped for coffee first.
Learned/Observed: A hot latte is an inefficient method of warming extremely cold fingers. Also: don’t take gloves off and expose fingers during a very, very cold ride, no matter how much adjustment your goggles need.
Errand 2 — Category (2nd): Bike Shop. Then we trundled over to a bike shop — a chain/franchise with “support your LBS” sign. Their stock selection is OK, though jerseys, etc., are mostly in men’s sizes, but, sad to say, something is always just a little off at this particular store.
It is today, too. They don’t have much selection in women’s biking gloves, so the guy wants me to order the florescent gloves I’m looking for. He explains that the manufacturer will exchange them if they’re the wrong size (not that his shop will!). Then he tells me three times, too defensively, that he is just trying to save me the trouble of going around to “fifteen different bike shops”.
OT Rant, feel free to skip: Why does this fellow think I mind going to bike shops? Why is this poor guy so defensive? Why does he think I want to order unseen gloves from him when I can do that myself, at home, and deal directly with whomever will exchange them, if necessary? (Not that I would go that route anyway; gloves really need to be tried on, if they’re going to be satisfactory. I may not mind going to fifteen different bike shops, but I would mind buying and exchanging fifteen different pair of gloves.)
Learned/Observed: This is not the experience I have at my own LBS, where the guys know and love bikes, and don’t have to be defensive about anything.
Errand 3 — Category (3rd): Library. Moving on, we headed to the library to return various items and to pick up the newly-mandated re-registration sheet.
Learned/Observed: Re-registering a library card every three years is going to be a pain and seems like a silly bureaucratic expense. Why not just prevent check-outs when media is overdue? I’m getting cranky; it’s time to move on and find some food.
Errand 4 — Category (4th): Not A Grocery Store. Then we went to a book store to buy magazine to read at lunch. Dr. Diarist met us there, his schedule not permitting Errandonnee participation.
He ordered coffee (I’d already had mine) and proceeded to exhibit an unfortunately irreverent attitude toward Basil, saying “I see you brought along a hat rack” and tossing his Tilley on top of my noble Brompton! He followed this up by stuffing his tablet on top of Basil at a dangerous angle, fully aware that I am appalled by his
techie reckless attitude toward his computer equipment.
Sadly, I gasped in horror at both transgressions, which he found most gratifying. After all these years, you’d think I’d know better than to take the bait, but noooooo.
Learned/Observed: I’m a slow learner.
Errand 5 — Category (5th): Lunch. Dr. D decides to accompany me and my beleaguered Brompton to lunch. I eat a piece of pizza bigger than my head.
Learned/Observed: Eggplant is perfectly edible if unrecognisable; also goat cheese makes anything tasty. Dr. Diarist goes for chicken and bacon. We leave fatter, but happy.
Errand 6 — Category (4th, second use): Not A Grocery Store. Onward: I am looking for featherweight packing cubes to use in Basil’s T-Bag. Score! (I bought then in a citrusy-green, though, since they are more consonant with Basil’s colors and his T bag, and also less likely to look grubby.) We have a conversation with a multi-bike-owning employee, who has never heard of Bromptons, but is quite taken with Basil.
Learned/Observed: The clerk at sporting goods store more engaged and interested in discussing bicycles in general than the one at the bike store. That’s kind of sad — but fun at the sports store!
Rode around a bit just for fun; mileage for this set of errands is going to be unfortunately low.
Errand 7 — Category (1st, second use): Cofffee/Dessert.
Then, craving cannoli, I stopped at Italian place, unsurprisingly empty in mid-afternoon. There are no humans in sight, and no one appears. Eventually I notice a sign:
The hallway in question is the full width of a huge building, narrow and dark. (It’s the passageway to the left, there.) Decide that this particular place doesn’t want to be bothered. Decide I don’t either.
We cross the street and enjoy a cannoli elsewhere, which proves highly satisfactory. I take most of it home; it’s too much to eat all at once, after a pizza lunch.
Learned/Observed: Cannoli at the non-Italian place was excellent, the atmosphere warm and friendly. Note to self: Don’t plan to consume two rarely-eaten, marginally unhealthy, foods on the same day.
Basil and I took a train to an area where we could run these errands: That’s totally legitimate, according to MG, though, of course, we can’t count train miles as miles cycled. Multi-modal! We had never stopped at this station before; this was a great opportunity to check it out.
Total miles: 8.12/30 Total Errands: 7/12 Total Categories: 5/7