Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ten things I love about my job

In order of appearance today, December 10:

1.) I bike to work. On the way, I saw this at the community supported graffitti wall:

Without a thought, I stopped, parked, crossed the street and took a photo. Back in the saddle in under a minute. No other, detour-friendly way to get to work in eleven minutes. Except maybe one of those little scooters with a weed-whacker motor.

2.) I deliver food:

Look at that gorgeous bag of gourmet rice.

3.) I deliver a lot of it:

Here we see the mighty Tri-hauler, loaded with twenty-eight 25-pound bags of rice, beans, quinoa and oats. Fully loading the bike to 700 pounds makes it especially slow and visible, and the comments-from-strangers quotient pretty much doubles.

4.) I notice many lovely moments every day because I'm unenclosed:

At a red light, this girl tidily removed her jacket and packed it into a strap. Time to spare, she adjusted her hair. Talk about style points.

5.) I randomly interact with random people:

Almost every day, I pause for a moment to give directions or something. Today, I stopped to help this fella pump up his rear tire. He was still late to class, but really appreciated the help. It cost me a minute, but gave me an opportunity to reach out to someone in the community. It's good karma, helps keep a good thing going and bolsters the shop's reputation. And I still averaged over 350 pounds an hour for the route.

6.) I work outside:

It's hard to see, but inside the Hummingbird Wholesale warehouse is another Tri-hauler: the one owned by HW and driven by Anthony, a private pedaler-for-hire. Unable to pull the PedEx Tri' inside as well, I pulled the stock cart outside to load up. It was a chilly 53 degrees and windy, but, still warm from the ride back, I gulped the sweet air and smiled at the sun.

7.) I vacation:

I've been working hard enough that the shop will survive without me for two work days, and I'm riding to Portland for the Bicycle Film Festival. Here, I trade the Silver Bullet for Martin's touring rig. He rode it across the country last summer, so, for the bike, this "epic ride" will seem like a quick jaunt.

Okay, so that last one doesn't really fit in with the list. Nor will the rest. Here are three more pictures:

8.) Martin's bike was equipped with SPD clipless pedals, while my shoes have Crankbrothers cleats. I thought it would be easy enough to swap his pedals for mine, but after about 5,000 miles, his were pretty much glued on. So I compromised:

Garrett loaned me SPD cleats to put on my shoes. Here's what they look like halfway through the swap. The bottom (right) shoe still has a Crankbrothers (eggbeater) cleat, while the top (left) shoe has the SPD.

This, only days after I'm finally accustomed to the operation of the eggbeaters. Clipping in feels a little different, perhaps more mechanical, less organic. It may be a bit easier. Clipping out definitely takes more force, which almost caused a very low-speed crash after an initial test ride.

9.) Martin's bike is really neat:

Front and rear rack, panniers, double water bottle cages, triple-wrapped handlebars, brifters and leather saddle. Panniers are probably the best feature for taking the load off my back.

I was shocked when, arriving home, panniers loaded, I tried to hoist the top-tube onto my shoulder to climb the front steps (does not work). Also, I would have liked to raise the handlebars to match the saddle height, but the fancy threadless-headset stem requires spacers I don't have. Maybe I'll try another bike:

10.) Roadmaster Rainbow.

Maybe not.


  1. I didn't know you guys had a recumbent cargo bike, that's crazy man! Don't yah love all the great sights, it's like we get paid to ride a bike, go sight seeing, hangout with cool people, all at the same time.

    I missed the bike film fest when it was here in Boston I was working all those days at the bike shop I work at. Hope you enjoy it.

    Funny thing is, I think every messenger company has a silver bullet bike lol.

  2. Awesome.

    Why don't you stick a trailer with 700 lbs of gourmet rice on the back of the Rainbow Ravager?

    I'm back in town the 22nd or so. We should chill.