Friday, March 25, 2016

Errandonnee March 13th 2016, Wrapping it up

Sunday March 13th, I headed out around noon, once again it was a beautiful day to be out on a bike. I decided to change up my usual route to work by taking Whippoorwill Rd. Although this is probably a bit of a shortcut I don't usually go this way because it is slightly hilly, which may cause the "shortcut" to take longer. 

As I was riding along Whippoorwill I saw two cyclist out in front of me quite a way. As so often happens I decided to see if I could catch up to them. As I got closer I could see it was a man and a woman resplendent in hi-viz jacket and vest. Eventually I was able to catch and pass them while pedaling up hill. This doesn't happen often but when it does it's always fun. They were clipped into their carbon fiber bikes while I was riding a 1992 mountain bike in "street clothes" and sneakers.

I stopped for lunch at Coffee's it was pretty busy even though it doesn't look that way in the photo. All the action is to the right complete with outdoor seating. While I was sitting outside I noticed that the couple whom I had passed had also stopped for a bite to eat. Another woman who was on her way inside noted my Brooks saddle as she walked by. When she came out she stopped to take a closer look at my bike. She was quite interested in my saddle sac from Rivendell Cycle Works. After lunch I took my usual route on the Post Rd to work in East Lyme.

    The bosses cat greeted me at the office door.  
                      On my way home I stopped at my sisters house for a visit.

After visiting with my sister I once again veered off my usual route taking Four Mile River Rd to Rte 156. I made a slight detour to explore

        This dirt driveway is only about 1/4 mile long,but I had to check it out. There's just not that many dirt roads close to home. 

                 After a brief stop at my house, I headed out to get dinner and a birthday cake.

                     It's a bit of a crunch stuffing two pizzas into a medium saddle sack.                      

                                       Loaded up and ready to head home and I have my headlight

                               Pizza, salad and cake time for a birthday party.

           Total Miles  - 34.75
11.  Social - Stopped for lunch at Coffee's Deli
       Observation - Lots of other cyclist had stopped for lunch at   
       Coffee's, but half of them had their bikes parked on top of their cars :)
12.  Work 
       Observation - The bosses cat was waiting at the front door.
13.  Social - Stopped by my sisters house for a visit.
14.  Wildcard - Picked up Cake at the bakery.
        Observation - Finally put my headlight on my bike :)
15.  Personal Business - Picked up Pizza and Salad
       Observation - Two 12 inch pizzas get a little crunched when 
       you stuff them into a medium Rivendell Saddle Sac.  
  Note - the bike used to complete the 2016 Errandonnee challenge was a repainted 1992 Bridgestone MB-2 that was rebuilt for errands, bad weather and fun. Together we rode 83.75 miles for the entire challenge.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Errandonnee March 11th 2016

Friday March 11th the weather was decent so I decided I would ride to the chiropractor's office as I often do. Because I was in the midst of an errandonnee challenge bringing some clothes to the local donation container was a no brainer. As I was riding I noticed that I forgot my headlight again. I meant to grab it but my arms were full with clothes on my way out the door, and that was that.

I arrived at the chiropractors office a bit early so I went across the street to Finders Keepers to kill some time. While I was there I found a side table for $20. It would need to be stripped and refinished but the price was right. Unfortunately I didn't have enough cash on hand, so I put a deposit down. She agreed to hold the table if I would pick it up the next day.

You can barely make out the sign for Bank of America
There was about an hour of daylight left when I finished at the chiropractor so I rushed over to the bank. It was tough to get a picture for the errandonee challenge without getting other people in the photo who might not want to be photographed. I got back to Finders Keepers just before she closed for the day.  

Since I was working all of the next day in a completely different direction I decided to take the table right then and there. An older gentleman at Finders Keepers admired the set up of my bike and its utility. He also suggested that I might want to get a child trailer to bring with me when I know I'm going to be picking up larger items. Ah, well there's the rub I wasn't planning on purchasing a table and that's the way it usually is. You just never know what you might come across when you're out on your bike.

After a few false starts I figured out the best way to strap the table to the back of my bike with the 2 tie downs I had and the 2 leather straps used to close the saddle sac. I put the drawer of the table in my front basket with my purse weighing it down a little. I tied the purses strap to one side of my basket. This arrangement kept the drawer from bouncing out of the basket.

Nice to see the reflective cables on my bike showing up so well in the camera's flash.

        Total miles - 13
6.   You carried what on your bike
      Brought some clothes to the local donation box
      Observation - I forgot my headlight again!
7.   Non-store Errand - Finders Keepers
8.   Personal Care - Chiropractor 
9.   Personal Business - Bank
      Observation - ATM's are really busy on Friday evenings.   
10. You carried what on your bike - Brought a telephone table  home from Finders Keepers.              
      Observation - Carry more straps and bungees on your bike. Also saw three deer in a field who were all staring at me the crazy lady with a table on her bike.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Errandonnee March 9, 2016

The forecast called for unseasonably warm temps on Wednesday, so what better way to spend it than on a bicycle errandonneering. My first stop was bottle returns and lunch. Both could be conveniently done at the Big Y.  I went to the Big Y in Old Saybrook rather than the one in town because Kolhs is located next door and I had some birthday shopping to do. Once I was over the Baldwin Bridge I headed to Bokum road which exits onto rte 153 in Essex. Bokum is a quiet curvy road with soft easy ups and downs which I prefer compared to the more direct busy roads.

Big Y to the left, Kolhs to the right

No luck finding a gift so I decided to go to Goodwill in Clinton then double back to Tanger Factory Outlets.

The weather was sunny and 60 degrees on a March day in Connecticut, so on the way back from Goodwill I did a little exploring of roads unknown to me like Indian Trail which led to Grove Beach.

Grove Beach

Old Clinton road eventually led to McVeagh road where I explored a park with several athletic fields. My phone was just about out of juice so I turned it off in case of emergency, but a nice lady walking her dog helped me get my bearings and gave me directions to Tanger Outlet.

Tanger Factory Outlet

After perusing several stores I finally found the birthday gift I was looking for.  With my phone off and no computer on my bicycle I didn't know exactly what time it was, but the sun was looking low in the sky. Now my decision to leave my headlight at home was looking like a bad one. No time for dilly dallying anymore, the most direct was prudent and I still had daylight when I went into my final two stores. This time it was the Big Y in Old Lyme. What..? Yes always save the grocery's for last so cold stuff stays cold, plus it's better for you and the grocery's if you don't drag them around all day.

Final stop at the package store, running out of day light

I rode home in the dark with my tailight and little purple spoke lights on but no headlight! It's a good thing I know the roads of the final stretch so well. Still I was grateful when I could use the light of the cars coming from behind, especially in darker patches.

Total miles - 36  
1. Non-store errand - bottle returns / lunch  
Observation - The Big Y in Old Saybrook has both indoor and outdoor tables.
2. Store errand - Goodwill 
Observation - It was pretty busy
3. Store errand - Big Y in Old Lyme
Observation - The beer at the Old Saybrook Big Y was less expensive hence my trip to the package store.
4. Personal Care - Getting out on my bike on the nicest day of the year so far.
Observation - Deciding not to bring my headlight because I would surely be home before dark was a bad choice.
5. Wildcard - Exploring some unknown routes.
Observations - I learned that Westbrook high school and middle school are located on McVeagh road.

Note - Although I visited more stores than I can even remember the rules state each category can only be used twice.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Leap Day Meander

On Monday February 29th we all got an extra day and it was a good one to be outside here in southeast Connecticut. A lunch time shower was forecast to pass through the state, inconvenient but the kind of rain you can wait out. With that in mind I headed over to Old Saybrook to run some errands and enjoy the mild temps. I spent an hour or so in the coffee shop while the showers passed by. Once all was clear I headed home. I may not ride in the rain deliberately but it's still good to have fenders for the times when you get caught or the roads are just wet from fog in the early morning.

           It was too nice to ride directly home so I rode down to the DEP boardwalk on the Connecticut river.

            Since I last posted about my Soma San Marcos I have made a couple of changes, the obvious one is the medium Wald basket. An addition to the basket I changed from the Nitto Randonneur handlebars to Velo Orange's Chris's rando handlebars. Mostly because I wanted a wider drop handle bar.  I'll have to write about them in more detail in another post.