My Bike is Better than Yours, Part III

In my last installment, my yellow Cannondale, from now on to be called my Urbal Assault Weapon (Urban + Rural = Urbal. This started off as a typo on facebook, but I’ve been assured that it’s a perfectly good name and now I agree), got some shiny new fenders from Tim at Paradigm Cycles in San Anselmo.

My Urbal Assault Vehicle in its Fully Loaded with Groceries state.

My Urbal Assault Vehicle in its Fully Loaded with Groceries state.

Well, now check out its latest accessories, also from Paradigm: the bike rack and grocery panniers made by Breezer Bikes. Notice the red fabric groceries bags, made by Specialized, which I got from entering a couple of bike races this past year. I’ve also used them for carrying laundry to and from the laundry room, and my cat sleeps on them. These are very versatile bags.

While I’ve made a few grocery runs on this bike, today I thought I’d extend myself and take the long way via China Camp to the San Rafael Farmer’s Market at the Civic Center. Along the way, I made several observations:

  • Empty panniers can fall off the bike when riding over big bumps, like rail road tracks. Annoying.
  • People do look at you funny when you walk around a farmer’s market wearing lycra, even if it’s lycra without writing all over it. I am going to have to work on my grocery getting wardrobe.
  • Unless you are starving and have extra money to burn, stay away from the Afghan food booth. Otherwise, the lady there is going to corner you and force feed you spinach bolani bread with a variety of toppings and she’s not going to stop, no matter how loudly you protest, and a crowd will gather out of concern, but no one is going to help you, they’re just going to stare at this lady wearing big black sun glasses and gold accessories as she stuffs more bread with toppings down your throat, telling you, “You need to eat, honey, look at you, in your little outfit, you are too skinny honey, eat more eat more,” and then you will end up spending half of your allotted grocery money at this booth alone, just to help assuage the guilt that will overcome you as you realize she has just stuffed so much free food down your gullet, and you’ll ride home on your Urbal Assault Vehicle loaded to the max with Afghan bread and sauces, only to realize that you forgot the strawberries.

My reasons for riding to the farmer’s market, and not just the grocery store, is that I’ve heard, from various sources, that shopping at farmer’s markets reduces one’s global footprint. By purchasing goods produced closer to your home, by local farmers, you help eliminate the need to expend more fuel to transport goods. It also helps keep these local farmers in business.

Other benefits they say are that the food is fresher, and will last longer in your refrigerator.

I found shopping in this way enjoyable because it gave me an excuse to ride my Urbal Assault Vehicle around China Camp, where it runs along side the bay, and pretend that I was on an actual mission. This was such a pleasant way to go, versus riding to train, which is what I’ve been doing for so long now, and for what? To get free fabric grocery bags made by Specialized? I need more from cycling than this if I want to feel satisfied.

Today, I got in a ride probably just over an hour, at an aerobic base-building pace, and I brought home some groceries, enough to last me several days even. I feel very productive.

Would anyone like some bonani bread? I have about nine too many packages of it.


About katiekelly

I grew up in a parking lot.
This entry was posted in Cycling, Life in Marin. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My Bike is Better than Yours, Part III

  1. velogirl says:

    to prevent pannier bumpage + flyage offage, put something small but heavy in each pannier. I have my lock and a pump and spare tube, etc you might also consider a brick (fits the assault theme).

  2. Indi Young says:

    I know the woman at the Afghan booth at the farmer’s market you’re talking about! The one with the gold accessories, who makes you feel guilty for eating so many samples! Her food actually makes great party stuff–so throw a party. People love it!

    • david says:

      Hi Katie,

      I don’t know you, but I know some people who know some people who know you…so that’s close enough to friends for me, So, having established that, here’s what I tell all my bike friends these days…xtracycle it!

      Add that, and you can then say, and righteously so, that your bike is, in fact, better. But not better than mine, unless yours has flames painted on it as well?

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