Ride Home 6/8

It was so hot out this afternoon that I saw the non-ironic use of a parasol in Burleith. I don't know if the lacy umbrella protected its user from the humidity. It's so hot that someone brought a bucket with him believing the capacity of a water bottle to be insufficient for his hydration needs.
It's either for more water or extra head protection. Mandatory bucket laws aren't far behind. 
It was the kind of weather that's just uncomfortable to be stuck in. Each time that I stopped (yes, I sometimes stop at stop lights and signs in spite of this rant), I just felt miserable. Tomorrow might even be worse.
I rediscovered my love of trails for this ride home. While I've previously disparaged trails because they're just sidewalks between trees, I remembered, thanks to a shady 34th street, that the tree canopy can provide welcome relief from a scorching sun. So, I took the Custis back this afternoon and while it was longer and less direct, at least it was covered (in parts)
Some graffiti on the Custis: NO ONE IS SPECIAL in orange spray paint. I guess that applies to spray paint scribes as well. It's a good message though.
There's a stretch of the Custis between the bend where it meets Lee Highway and the other bend where it meets Lee Highway again that's a long stretch of exposed concrete bounded by chain link fence on both sides. Riding along there today was horrific and happily it wasn't that long of a stretch. Here's a picture. This might be the least interesting or informative picture I've ever posted.

View Larger Map

I passed a fellow cyclist who was wearing a fluorescent yellow strap draped across his shoulder and chest like one would a bandolier. I don't really get what that was about. Very safe Pancho Villa?
I stopped at Cherrydale Hardware to pick up some screws to use in mounting my new folding basket to my other bike. The screws that come with the basket aren't long enough on account of the irregularly wide width of the side-rails on the attached rack of the bike. Local hardware stores are weird, anachronistic places with an overly helpful staff and an overly smiley clientele. I was immediately asked what I needed. I said screws and fumbled around for the prepackaged screws that came with the basket that I had the prescence of mind to bring with me. I struggled to rip the bag to get out one of the too-short screws, drop the screw on the floor, picked it up and handed it over to the clerk. He walked us over to the screws, measured the width of the width of the screw and got out four of the allegedly appropriate sized screws. I paid 28 cents and declined a receipt. I left my water bottle on the counter and had to go back into the store to get it. The screws don't fit right, so I guess I'll have to go to Home Depot at some point. I don't have the best track record with hardware stores or anything that involves tools so I was sincerely hoping to avoid having to do this, but at least the mis-sizing is the result of the friendly shop clerk and not my own fault.
Anyway, I mounted the other basket using zip ties. Here's a picture:
Twice as many folding baskets as before. 

UPDATE: The screws were fine. I forgot that I needed to use nuts to make the screws stay in place. I was not kidding about my ineptitude. If you see my holding a screwdriver, run the other way. No good will come of it. 


  1. I have the same baskets. I suggest tossing the hardware and using zip ties. The baskets will likely rattle with the hardware. No nuts required.

  2. I used some zip ties to supplement the hardware. I've got about 6 ties on there, as well as the mounting hardware, so I feel pretty secure. My worst fear is losing a basket while riding, so better safe than sorry. I figure that there's no harm in having the metal help affix the basket along with the plastic ties, you know, just in case. I'm one double-legged kickstand and an additional coffee cup holder away from declaring this bike done. I could add a front porteur rack, but that might be gilding the lily.

  3. If you're going to add a double-legged kickstand, you might as well get a deflopinator while you're at it. http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/vo-wheel-stabilizer.html