Rides 4/1: Falstaff

Once again to the Post Office, but this time, troublingly untroubled as my package had arrived and I was able to fetch it without much wait or much hassle. It was a bike bag from England. I affixed it to my bike and I think it looks quite dashing. I'm looking forward to filling it with a lot of pointlessly extra stuff. Do I need to bring with me a jazz harmonica? NOPE. But will I have room for it? For now. At least before I fill up the rest of the space in the bag with my tiger's eye collection, a paperback copy of the Maltese Falcon (in Hungarian)*, four spare tubes and whatever other doodads and whatnots I can think to cram in there. Exciting times ahead.

filler up
Got to work much the same way as I did yesterday. Few troubles, or even things that resemble them. I can't say that I'll stick to the city route much longer (the Mall route really is nicer, at least so long as the museums don't start opening earlier), but it hasn't been so bad to dip a wheel back in after a time off. While I still think M Street could probably be better, it's way better than not having anything there.

Can't think that there's too much of note about the ride home, except for the one bike commuter I always see who in some ways I quite admire, but perhaps begrudgingly. He's an older gentleman on a brown Salsa and I can't tell if he's in a rush or just fast. I see him on Pennsylvania Avenue mostly. Today he was wearing wool knickers. He seems very intent. Intent on what, I'm not exactly sure, but he exudes intentness. Intentitude. He doesn't get flustered. He cuts through the air like a knife through butter. I don't know if he's ever biked through butter, but if he has, I bet it was with intent and unflappability. I aspire to such unflappability. I wonder if he knows, or if he's freaking out internally but just exuding intent and unflappability. Maybe it's natural to exude such things when you move so quick. Maybe he can't help it.

At the grocery store, I shopped with my pannier in lieu of a cart or a basket. This is good sense, as it helps me from buying more than I can carry home. Actually, this is no longer true since in my dashing too big bag from England, I have both a cargo net and a drawstring bag and maybe even a mule (it's possible). But anyway, it's not my goal to overstuff myself even though the grocery store is only a few blocks from home and I could probably make something do to get home during the few blocks. [digression: why do I keep interrupting my main point with caveats that undermine it?] So I shop with my pannier and filled it up with necesseties (cake, bacon, etc.) and checked out and the checkout guy started putting my stuff (cake, bacon, etc.) in a plastic bag. I was like 'I have a bag' and he was like 'ok' and took the stuff out of the plastic bag. But why is the default bagging action, a few years after we've enacted the bag fee, to just starting putting groceries in a plastic bag without first asking about my bagging needs? I wonder if this was a one-off (I normally do self-checkout) or if this is a common practice. And that's a whole paragraph about bagging groceries. 37th best local bike commuter blog forever.

This week's Gear Prudence is about becoming a regular (so much as any of us is regular) bike commuter. In further attempt to flog the column later this week, I plan to ask via open-ended tweet how you (yes, you) became a regular bike commuter. So, considered yourself forewarned.

*I actually own this. It's in my nightstand drawer. I do not own any tiger's eye. Yet.

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