Hello Friends. It would seem we all made it through another work week. Congrats. If you’re still feeling a little tense – up here in Canada our election is about to wrap up, and in the States’, well, it’s the States – I have a couple of options to perhaps ease your woes.
If you’re Canadian and voted already, good for you, your mind is probably clearer than those who haven’t. If you’re still hung up on which box you’re going to check, maybe give one of these a try.
You could hop on your cruiser bike and head to your favorite coffee spot, maybe meet up some with some friends. Take your time getting there, nod and smile at passersby on the way. I suggest you do as my buddy @spoke_n_words likes to say and, “let the breeze blow through your brains nicely.” I can think of no better way to sort out your thoughts.
Or maybe the slow roll ain’t your thing. Maybe getting out and getting the blood flowing is more your style – hopping on your carbon-go-fast-bike and hitting your favorite loop at 80% of your FTP is the best thing to clear your head. Remember what our mutual friend Tim Krabbé said, “On a bike your consciousness is small. The harder you work, the smaller it gets.” Kind of the Road Cyclist’s version of “free your mind, and your ass will follow.” I should think afterwards as you’re sucking down your powdered drink mix of choice, things might seem a bit clearer, or at the very least your head and pores will be.
Don’t let The Politics – mess you up kids, look past to the Big Picture. There’s no partisan way to ride a bike – it’s all the same action – corrective action. The bike is a simple machine that solves complex problems. You just have to ride it.
There are two free mini-libraries on my route to-from work. Today I stopped for the first time to hit one up. This one on Mill Street – hence ‘The Mill Street Free Library’ – only went up a week or two ago. It’s very well constructed, and I noticed as I opened it up and was sticking my face in it to browse how nice the freshly sawn wood smelled. My score? ‘The Odd Sea’ by Frederick Reiken. Once home I got half-way through it before bedtime. It’s very good. I have some books at home to drop here next time I’m by. Then I’ll have to check out the other free library on my route.
Coffeeneuring 2019 Control # 2: Headed out to one of my favorite #coffeeoutside spots and set up a ‘coffee shop without walls’ for Control #2. Fixed myself up a nice coffee black. Gas station cream cheese and chocolate chip muffin was only a 6 out of 10 though. Did manage to drop a bunch of existential angst on this trip thus making it a legit Corrective Action Bicycle Ride as well. Also, learned that the @porcelainrocket Microwave Pannier holsters work great even without the proprietary drybags just for stuffing extra stuff in. Layers, ground scores, what-have-you. I imagine they would also work great with other dry bags in a ‘multiple-smaller-dry-bag’ configuration as well as with various kinds of totes and other bags or whatever. I believe in the marketing industry this is all referred to as ‘added value’. I’mma call it rad.
I couldn’t ride to to work today because, family stuff. I was struck by just how much of a hurry everyone else driving seemed to be in to get to their destination, especially given it was probably a job they complained incessantly about. I felt no such urgency.
Instead I mentally swiped left through these scenes from my commute home yesterday, a day when everything, everywhere just seemed right. The air, the temperature, the radiantly clear sky. The subtle breeze and intensely bright, warm sunlight. I’m sure my nature homies John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Edward Abbey or mix master H.D. Thoreau all have quotes that could aptly accompany these images, but I’m not well-read enough and my memory reservoir not deep enough to call any up.
Instead, I’ll borrow the words of my internet brother-from-another-mother, Slim Wonder and simply say I took the long way yesterday and here’s what I happened upon “getting around to getting home.” Don’t be in too much of a hurry, kids.
Two nights ago the weather forecast was calling for rain in the form of ‘buckets’. I think ‘buckets’ is a specific meteorological term, but I’m not meteorologist. Not one to ignore a seemingly obvious sign from the gods – or anyone with a ‘gist’ at the end of their title, I thought this was a perfect time to mount up my @porcelainrocket Microwave Panniers .
They are built around a removable dry bag system so seemed perfectly suited. Like all of PR’s gear I’ve had/used/abused before, these came through with flying colors. My stuff stayed completely dry. I’m not sure what sort of witchcraft the dry bag material employs – I was a bit concerned at first when I could actually SEE the colors of my stuff inside through the bag, but they stayed watertight. love the fact that I can just pop the dry bags out and take them in the house (from the garage, where the bikes live) to load/unload them and leave them by the door to grab before heading out in the morning. Also nice is being able to haul a bag of work clothes to the office washroom easily to change. A small, easily overlooked – yet huge detail – is the fact that the dry bags are flat-bottomed and stand up on their own, a feature I highly appreciate. 
The ‘holsters’ that receive the dry bags were easy to mount up, come with a bunch of extra holes and enough strappage that I can only think they’ll fit whatever kind of rig you’ve got. In closing these are solid goods that you could do no wrong in acquiring for yourself. Don’t be fooled by Scott’s rugged good looks and outdoorsy-type beard – even though he makes all this stuff for that wild and crazy packbiking and other wilderness shenanigans, I’m here to say his stuff works great for us mere-mortal commuter types as well. I love getting my stuff from small shops like PR because I know that if I ever have an issue, question or need a repair, I can easily talk to an actual human – even if they’re a weird one, because really, we’re all a little weird in our own weird way – amirite? [3-10] Random pictures from a soggy commute. Camera doesn’t do the foliage justice – seems like on the grey days the colors pop even more.