Thursday, February 14, 2013

Errandonee! pt1

Courtesy MG of Chasing Mailboxes, I present the first half of my Errandonnee. The basic concept is to complete 12 errands in 12 days, covering at least thirty miles. Please note that I shamelessly took out of the way routes to get to the necessary mileage. Going by most direct routes, my total distance would have been in the neighborhood of ten miles or less. This is forced on me because my town is just over six square miles, and most of the errand-type locations are clustered around downtown, which is about a half a mile from where I live. (ed: My wife ran two of the six errands listed. After inquiry, they were ruled void, but remain posted here as a testament to my wife's good humor towards her husband's penchant for bike-related nonsense.)

1. Wild Card
Destination: ATM
Distance: 1.78
Bike: Schwinn Suburban
Got to feed the steel frame habit
Lighting: Planet Bike Blaze 1/2 watt front and back. Not as powerful as the popular Blaze 1w, it still manages residential streets perfectly well. I would like to use it for nighttime gravel rides come summer, not sure it will have sufficient power.
Poorly executed self timer. 
Lesson/Observation: Having a place to ditch excess clothing is reason alone for having a bike bag or basket. My clothing would best be termed as "day laborer," holdovers from my time as a farmer's son and later as a cabinetmaker. The Carhart jacket I own is a XL in order to have layering room, this also means it's long enough for biking. Riding a bike was nowhere on my radar when I purchased the coat, but it still works pretty well.

2. Community Meeting:
Date: 2/7/13
Destination: CCC Evangelical Free (local church)
Mileage: 2.42
Lesson/Observation: I'm new to the upright/city style bike. Fighting the headwind to Errand #1 caught me off guard, but sitting upright turned me into my own personal sail on the way back. My route from Errand #1 to Errand #2 is supposedly uphill. Didn't notice.
Bike: Schwinn Suburban
Lighting: Planet Bike Blaze 1/2 watt front and back.

3: Work
Date: 2/9/13
Destination: Brothers Bike Shop
Giant Via, mid assembly.
Comes with fenders, rack, and three speed IGH
Mileage: 3.65
Bike: Schwinn Suburban
Lesson/Observation: An upright bike makes cold weather clothing choices easier. Specifically in regards to coat sleeves being long enough to keep wrists covered. At 6'3", this problem comes up for me a lot.

4.Library (VOID: Errand run by spouse)
Destination: Dordt College Library
Distance: 1.76
Bike: Raleigh Sprite Mixte.
The mixte showing the BSOs what cool looks like.
Please note Brooks, Wald Baskets, and double kickstand from VO
Lesson/Observation: My wife mentioned that when she shifted from 4th to 5th, her chain would lock up. Since the mixte is a five speed, the loss of twenty percent of her gears was annoying to say the least. Turns out that a fender stay bolt had been replaced with one that was a little too long, and shifting to 5th rammed the chain against the bolt, jamming the chain. No damage appears to be done to the chain, and cutting down or replacing the bolt should fix the problem. Today's lesson is: Beware the Fender bolt!

5. Work
Date: 2/12/13
Destination: Brothers Bike Shop
Mileage: 2.10
Bike: Schwinn Suburban
Lighting: Planet Bike Blaze 1/2w. Front Only!
Between these two photos of the shop, you've seen 90% of the main floor.
I love it.
Lesson/Observation: There had been the possibility that my wife's errand yesterday would have been at night, so I pulled my taillight and attached it to my wife's mixte. Turns out she got to the library and back during the day, but I forgot to put the light back on my Schwinn. Running to work knowing that I had no taillight or reflector put me into ninja territory. I don't like it. Couples should share many things, but taillights are not one of them. She has a taillight of her own on order now.

6. Library (VOID: Errand run by spouse)
Date: 2/13/13
Destination: Public Library
Mileage: 1.01
Bike: Raleigh Sprite Mixte
Please note that my wife gets to ride the bike with the Brooks
Lesson/Observation: The ride to our public library is a short one, which is good since my wife experienced a full mechanical. The aforementioned fender stay bolt had not yet been repaired (my fault) and when she shifted to fifth by accident, her chain got really jammed. She walked the last quarter mile home, and I took my three year old daughter out to help me fix it for good. I had no shorter bolt to replace it, so I put a spacer on the side away from the gears, effectively shortening the existing bolt. I must recommend a small child as a useful addition to a home shop, especially if you have no work stand. While I held the rear tire up and checked the shifting, she cranked gleefully away. A three year old is like having an extra set of hands, hands that you almost have control over.

That's halfway there in errands run, not near halfway there in mileage. (Edit: I'm a third of the way there in errands run.)

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