Today we sojourned over 11 miles* on the new bike – loading up on groceries all the way. A dozen farm eggs at the Farmer’s Market; cotton balls, q-tips, two packages elastic, 2 1/2 yards fabric, ribbon,** nail polish remover, 2 packs baking soda, 1 gallon milk (for cheese) at Walmart; chives, minneola oranges, cherry tomatoes, english cucumber at Jay’s; 2 packages soba, rose buds, misting bottle, pistachios, black pepper, four muslin bags at the Market Place; a stop for brown bag lunch and coffee at the Coffee Bean Cafe with purchase of a pound of their Costa Rican coffee beans; 1 yard interfacting at Quilt Harbor; edamame, butter, Nancy’s honey yogurt, canola oil, rennet, tweezers at Swansons.
At Swansons, our last stop, I finally admit to myself I’m kind of a weirdo when with my children off our Bag Lady Bike I find myself asking for vegetarian rennet for tomorrow’s cheesemaking adventure. “Whut’s that?” the meat department gal squints at me disbelievingly. “I’ve never heard of it.” Guess what, they had it – or a close enough approximation anyway.
Turns out a day on the bike running errands is so very, very much more fun than doing them in a car. Part of it is the ebb and flow of companionship with my children; they help unload the panniers, hold the bike for one another, and pass out helmets to all. Sophie straps Nels’ feet into his footholds, even when they come loose and I pull over and she has to hop off to do so. I have a feeling their enthusiasm won’t wane; part of this is they know they are responsible for a great deal of what goes into riding the bike (for instance, they have to hang on, they have to decide how much clothing to wear, they tell me where to go, and – best of all! their little left arms stick out from the side of the bike to signal my turn intentions!). I did ditch Sophie off the back twice though, and I think a few motorists probably thought I was a colossal asshole. I told myself I was still learning.
Today’s last ride was taken in companionable silence a few minutes ago in a very, very cold night chill, as Sophie and I returned from my parents’ house after dinner. We were in the door at 9:56 PM.
And by the way, despite all the groceries loaded up under her legs Sophie didn’t so much as scratch a single egg.
* Please note – there is actually a detour in effect that renders the west-side HQX part of this map incorrect; Google Maps wouldn’t let me go the wrong way down a one-way street.
** These last two items are for tomorrow’s sewing / art project w/kids.