Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bicycles are awesome

Putting mixte madness aside, yesterday I had a night that reminded me how great it is to have a bicycle at all.

For starters, instead of walking to the laundromat that's about half a mile from my apartment, I figured out that Frida can comfortably hold about 2-3 smallish loads of laundry between the rear baskets and rack.  While the total amount of time it takes to load/unload/lock up/etc. is probably equal to (or even a little greater than) the time it would take to walk, it was so much more pleasant to zip over with Frida shouldering the load instead of... my shoulders shouldering it!  The other bonus was that where I would normally kill time at the nearby cafe (which is also enjoyable), I was able to use the washing and drying times to ride to the farther-away grocery store that carries the brand of ginger beer I like and then aimlessly toodle around on the neighborhood side streets for the fun of it.  I think I may be taking Frida on laundry runs from now on.

Even better, though, was when I got home and decided I suddenly wanted to make a late night run to Target.  This used to be something that would require a bus or a Zipcar-- i.e., money and time and a particular schedule-- but with a bicycle?  I could just go.  There's something about a summer night that tends to make you feel free anyway; add in a nighttime bike ride sailing along mostly empty streets, and it feels acutely pleasurable to be alive.

It was nice, too, to come out of the store at 11:10PM and see that a few other people had the same idea. 
One of these things is not like the others...
Now all they need is some carrying capacity-- I guess it was messenger bags for everyone?  The two ladies who belonged to the middle two bikes came out as I was preparing to wheel away, and I caught them stealing envious glances at Frida's commodious baskets!  Maybe inspiring someone to have new insights on the merits of owning a big, heavy bicycle??
That's right: workin' hard and lookin' good. 

On a decidedly less than awesome note, I saw a craigslist post today about a bicycle stolen right outside the Design School at Harvard.  As this is one of Frida's more common locales, I find the report particularly disturbing....  But I suppose at least it makes my new U-lock + cable lock + rear wheel lock + Brooks-hiding shower cap system seem less paranoid.


somervillain said...

my god, i'm such a reed's ginger beer addict! i like the extra ginger version best.

i've found that the more i accomplish by bike, the better i feel about the whole world. i know it sounds like a cliche, but it's true. accomplishing tasks by relying on nothing but my own pedal power just improves my overall disposition. it's like a drug, but without the negative side effects :-).

margonaute said...

Mine too! It's probably a good thing they don't carry it at the grocery by my house... The cherry one is also good.

Last night I saw a father and his young daughter riding a tandem bike towing a huge flatbed trailer. In addition to marveling at the coordination that must require, I also thought, that girl is starting out with a very strong impression of what a bicycle is capable of!

somervillain said...

yeah, i'm trying to install that sense in my daughters. it's much easier with one than with two. once you have two to tote around, traveling by car becomes much easier.

Anonymous said...


I hope it's OK if I ask you a question about the folding baskets on your Fryslan.

I just purchased a Fryslan a little over a week ago, and I love it. I had folding baskets on my old Trek bike and thought I'd be able to use the same baskets on the Fryslan, but I haven't had any success with finding hardware that fits the diameter of the tubes on the rear rack.

Did your Wald basket hardware fit perfectly when you installed them, or did you have to find other brackets to make them work?


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