Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"'Cause after all, he's just a man."

Setting: The front entrance, dimly lit (for it is just past sunrise this Wednesday morning), of your correspondent's apartment. His faithful Fuji Crosstown 3.0 sits quietly by the door.

The door opens, and in walks your correspondent, laden with groceries.

ME (cheerily, but somewhat guiltily): Oh--hi there!


ME (still cheerily): I'll be right back! [leaves, closing the door]

All is quiet for a few minutes. Then the door opens again, revealing your correspondent with yet more groceries. He sets them on the kitchen counter and turns to address his bike.

ME: Please, please don't look at me that way!


ME: I know how this looks--I do. But I had to use the car this morning!


ME: I had to! I mean, I got all this stuff--and I bought frozen stuff, and butter, and milk and orange juice!


ME: And you--you don't have panniers yet.


ME: Yeah, yeah, I know--"Whose fault is that?"


ME: You know, I hate it when you don't talk.


ME (bargaining): Look--I'll make it up to you! We'll ride to the bike store--just you and me--and buy you a cute little tire-pump! Would you like that?


ME: Air--a bicycle's botox!


ME (sensing the mood is softening): And then next payday, we'll get you--we'll get us--a nice set of panniers! No more of this sneaking out on you. What do you say??


ME (walking over and stroking CROSSTOWN's frame): Well--that's as good as a yes, I'd say.



Pete. P said...

I love the looks I get at the grocery store. I usually just take my panniers off and bring them into the store with me, so it's always great when they say "Paper or plastic" and you can respond with "Oh, neither, you can just load up those," and then on the ride home, I always get some friendly smiles and chuckles from pedestrians and motorists alike. I think a fully loaded bike is novel enough around here that people might forget for a moment that they have to slow down a bit while we're on the road, too.

The one thing I hate about grocery shopping is that I decided it'd be a good idea to get a comfort/hybrid bike (Trek 7100) for a hauler. While it's completely utilitarian and does its job well, man I look like a dork when I ride it...

Shoes For Industry said...

... and a better/less dorky hauler than the 7100 would be...?
I am genuinely interested because I haven't bought my bike yet.
I probably haven't even visited the right bike shop yet.
I want to start out on grocery runs and the 2 miles to the park-n-ride a couple of times a week, and work up to doing the whole 13-mile commute as the weather cools off.

I have added several bike-commuting blogs to my daily must-reads.
John, today's (Thursday) was very good and I feel the same about lowering the entry fee to the "bike club".
This here post (Wednesday) is just about the best writing I've seen this week, anywhere.
Rick in Houston

John B. said...

Pete, here near downtown, there are a few people around with panniers on their bikes, but it's not as though they're omnipresent. And as you note, the panniers take care of the paper-or-plastic dilemma.

Rick (are you indeed in Houston?), thanks for the very kind words. I'm glad you find this place to your liking. As for finding a bike, if you haven't already you might have a look at Bikes for the Rest of Us. Of course, there's no substitute for going to a shop and trying some out. Just be clear about your needs in a bicycle and your budget if you have one. Good luck.

Pete P said...


The bike's fine for what it is, I'm just used to riding fixed gear in New York :). I'd've probably been a little happier with a cyclocross bike, personally, but, like John said, go to your LBS and ride everything that looks good (within your budget of course). What works for one person might not work for someone else, as the saying goes.