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Brrr…

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Ok. So we are not alone in this. Like much of the north eastern US, we here in Buffalo are gripped with cold and snow. Did I mention cold? For my friends across the pond 7F translates to almost -14c. Anyhow, it is cold. And it’s gonna get colder (check out tomorrow’s low). It’s interesting though, even though I had to get off at a few points and actually push my bike (even with the studded snow tires) it still felt good being on a bike and out in the elements.   

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be Carried on a Bike (#557 & #558)

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#557 (above)…Construction debris on its way to a dumpster.

#558 (below)…$110 in groceries, sundries, and dog food.

Urban Simplicity.

A few thoughts about riding a bike in the winter, and the view from my kitchen window…

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The above image is the view from the kitchen window from where I am employed. It was snowing rather heavily and when I looked out the window at one point I thought that it was as pretty as a picture…so I took one.

Anyhow, as mentioned in a previous post, I’ve actually driven a car for the past two days (car share). So today when I go back on a bike it felt good, really good. I really love being out in the elements (ok, rain…not so much); I love the feel of the cold winter wind and flakes falling. I also love the fact that I am both the motor and the cargo. And having new studded snow tires made it even more fun.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#551)

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Two slices of pizza, two bottles of red wine, a gym bag full of wet clothes, a small tripod, and a camera bag with an extra lens.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#550), and a couple brief comments…

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A new set of studded snow tires.

Ok, so I’ve put off buying snow tires for years–maybe a decade. I’m not sure why, maybe the price. And maybe I didn’t think they’d make that big of difference. Well, I purchased this set today and I cannot tell you how incredible they are. The downside is that they greatly (really greatly) increase road resistance, which is especially noticeable on dry pavement. But man, in the snow I feel like I’m driving a four wheel drive truck. No slipping or sliding; excellent braking. The money spent is well worth it. And if you happen to be a four season cyclist who is considering purchasing these tire but haven’t yet, just do it. You won’t be sorry.

Urban Simplicity.

The view from my handlebars on a really frigid and snowy night on my short commute home and a few things I saw along the way…

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Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#547)

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A gym bag with wet clothes, and a double order of Chinese take-out.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#543)

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A cardboard box containing two freshly baked and still-warm loaves of 100% whole wheat bread. an empty dough rising bucket. a camera bag. a book bag.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#541)

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A canvas book bag containing a few books and other things. A vinyl camera bag containing a camera, a charger, and an extra lens. A cardboard box containing smaller cardboard boxes containing twenty-one newly printed photos.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#540)

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A few groceries. A gym bag full of wet clothes. The rear wheel off my Torker Cargo-T (having a spoke replaced at the local bike shop), and also general maintenance…a cold, windy, rainy day is a great bike repair day.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#524)

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A camera bag, and book bag, and a large box containing food on its way to a food pantry.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#523)…and a random photo of a sunflower.

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On the bike (and in the trailer)…groceries, sundries, dog food, and a gym bag.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#515)

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A book bag, a camera bag, and a large box full of food on its way to a local food pantry.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#513)

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A camera bag, a book bag, a professional cutlery set, a pint of pasta d’oro con fagioli and a few chicken fingers.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Biike (#505) and a couple comments on how the miles can add up

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On the bike…a box containing nearly a full sandwich loaf on its way to a local food pantry.

I live fairly close to most things that occur within the realm of my average daily life (but what is average). I’ve consciously and gradually changed my life over the past decade to make this happen. This is one of the reasons–likely the biggest reason–I have been able to go car-free. But still the miles/kilometers add up just within daily travel. And this is a good thing as it provides exercise and really interesting views from my handlebars. Here’s an example of how I traveled today (distances are approximate).

.75 mi/1.2 km to work this morning.
1 mi/1.6 km to the food pantry
1 mi/1.6 km back to work
.75 mi/1.2 km home after work
1.25 mi/2 km to the community center
1.25 mi/2 km to home again
1.5 mi/2.4 km to meditation group meeting
1.5 mi/2.4 km to a favorite bar for a beer
2.25 mi/3.6 km home for the evening

In total today I rode a bike for more than 11 miles (11.25 mi/18.1 km) and it was just a matter of getting from place-to-place. How often, I wonder, do some wish they had the time to get to a gym and ride a stationary bike for 11 miles? And this is not to mention all the interesting things I saw while doing it. Yes, I realize that on this blog I am likely preaching to the choir, but I was thinking of this as I pedaled and coasted home tonight on a truly lovely summer evening. I’ll get off my little soapbox now.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#502)

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Two boxes containing salads and other prepared foods. A camera bag containing a camera, charger, and an extra lens. A small book bag containing (not surprisingly) a couple books.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (ta-da…#500 & #501)…and a brief comment.

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 #500 (top photo)…A case of wine, a gym bag containing wet clothes, and a camera and acamera bag with an extra lens.
#501 (bottom photo)…A large box of food on its way to a local food pantry.
So as the big demi-mille approached I thought that I would wait and post something really substantial, something “really important.” I of course–like most cargo cyclists–have carried really substantial things…that is the really fun part; it’s not always the destination but the journey itself. And as I thought about this I also realized that while I was about to post #500 (and yes, I’ve been using the numeric symbol # for this series long before it was known as a hashtag), I also thought about the countless things I carry on these bikes everyday that do not get posted…things that I carry with me throughout my daily life, things that I would likely carry in a car (if I had one) but carry on bikes instead. These two bikes, have in fact, enabled me to go car-free. Anyhow, these two photos were taken 12 hours apart; the above one in the evening and the below one the following morning. It’s just another way a person can get around, transport themselves, and carry whatever they need. And I am really thankful that I have this option.
 
To see more in this series, click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#499)

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A cardboard box (wrapped in in plastic because of the rain) containing two extra large loaves of freshly baked 100% whole wheat bread (click here for recipes). An empty dough rising bucket, and a canvas bags containing–among other things–a few books and a journal.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#497)

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Three loaves of freshly baked oatmeal-maple bread (click here for recipe, pics, and directions), two ham-and-cheese panini, two cooked chicken breasts, two pints of raw spinach, a pint of chopped Romain lettuce, a gallon of extra virgin olive oil, a canvas bag containing a journal and a few writing implements and an iPhone, a camera bag containing an extra camera, a zoom lens, and a battery charger. And a few books…two copies of Auguste Escoffier’s Le Guide Culinaire (1972 and 2013 editions), The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage, the journals of Sir William Douglas on his travels in the Himalayas in 1894, a small book by Deepak Chopra, a Science of Mind Magazine, and a pocket sized New Testament.

Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#496)…and nice conversation with another cyclist

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On the bike…two bottles of red wine and a gym bag full of wet clothes.

When I was riding to work yesterday morning I stopped at a traffic light waiting to make a left turn (no, this is not an image of that time–I don’t carry bottles of wine to work with me–this was later in the evening). Anyhow, a guy pulls up next to me on a bike and stops next to me; he was going straight ahead. Out of the corner of my eye I can see him looking at my bike then glancing up at me. Finally he says, “I don’t want to sound odd or anything..but nice rack!” We both laughed a bit and talked about our commutes to work, and then the light changed and we both sped off to work. But it is a nice rack, I thought to myself; this bike and my Mundo have enabled me to go car-free…and the racks are great for carrying bottles of wine 🙂

Urban Simplicity.

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