Friday, October 31, 2008

Logistics, Night Moves, and Food Day Cookies

The weather here has been unseasonably temperate for the past few days. Usually, it gets a bit nippy when the trick-or-treaters hit the streets. But today, we hit an afternoon high of 70. Best to take advantage of it while it lasts, and there's no time like the present.

Of course I did the 'park and ride' today. But it was a bit different than usual.

My department was having a food day to celebrate Halloween. Now I don't usually participate in "food days", but one of our managers was giving me hard time yesterday and guilted me into bringing something. So on the way home I picked up the supplies for making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and cooked up several batches last night.

This created a slight logistics problem.

I certainly didn't want to pass up the great weather today, but I felt obligated to bring in some food for food day. But where was I going to carry all this? I have one rear rack on the Quickie Blue Fixie, which gives me enough room for my Carradice Nelson Longflap and my lunch bag. Because most food days are usually only sweets, cookies (ahem!), chips, and assorted junk food, I wanted to bring my lunch just in case. I might have been able to strap all this on the bike somewhere, but I had visions of two platefuls of cookies hitting the trail, scattering and breaking into a million pieces. I'm sure the raccoons, squirrels, and other various and sundry critters wandering the trail would have been deliriously sugar rushed.

When all else fails, wife to the rescue!

My generous and lovely wife graciously offered to meet me at work with the cookies. But, she had to be at an 8 am meeting. So that meant I had to meet her at 7:40 am, NO LATER, so she could make the meeting. That meant I had to leave the house at 5:30 am, meaning I needed to get up no later than 5:00 am. Maaaan, that's early.

Now that's either dedication or just plain dorky weirdness. You can keep your opinions to yourself :>)

So I was on the trail by 6:00 am-ish. Yeah, this time of year it's still quite dark that time of day. Luckily, I've figured out a dual headlight system that lights the way adequately. I have two battery powered LED headlights, and managed to figure out a way to mount both on the QBF. Each light by itself is somewhat anemic...enough so that someone could see you coming but not really sufficient for bombing down an unlighted trail in the pitch-black wee hours. Both lights together, however, provide sufficient illumination to see more than a few feet in front of me and are plenty bright to scare most critters off the trail. The poor raccoon fleeing down the trail this morning as my lights were blazing, bell ringing, and reflectors reflecting, must have thought I was some macabre wheeled halloween spectre. I'm sure they aren't used to seeing humans on the trail so early in the morning.

Long story short, I made it to the cookie rendezvous on time, and the cookies were delivered undamaged.

And food day was saved! :>)

-Speedblend Guy (thanks Gravelo)


Travel Gravel said...

We're supposed to have "Chili Election Day" at work Tuesday, but I won't be forcing my unique tastes on my unwitting co-workers. Chili made with brats, corn, and potato(e)s isn't for everyone! So, do speed blends really give the illusion of spinning backwards? Later! said...

I don't usually look at my sidewalls while I'm riding, but other cyclists have been mesmerized by the effect. They get quite a few interesting comments, anyway!