Sunday, October 18, 2009

Trying Not to be a Wimp

I have a new motto for my bike riding: Don't Be a Wimp.

Earlier this week, I needed to buy some parts to repair our kitchen faucet. I walked to all the local places, but none of them carry American Standard repair kits, but all recommended Watertown Supply as the best place for plumbing parts. But google maps said it was 4.4 miles each way, which felt like a long way to go for a couple washers. So I called around and called around, and finally found a place in Allston maybe 2 miles away, that said they carried American Standard parts. I rode there and it turned out that they didn't have the parts I needed, but instead referred me to Watertown Supply.

I was already about halfway there, so I just kept on riding, got a little lost (which adds up the miles), and went to Watertown Supply--which is a totally kick-ass plumbing supply place. But if I hadn't been such a wimp about that 4.4 mile ride, I could have accomplished the same result with less hassle. I learned that 5 miles is very much in my do-able range for an errand (though closer to home is still nice). The entire round trip, including multiple stops, getting lost, stopping at a Danish Pastry shop, was about 90 minutes.

In keeping with the trying to be less wimpy theme, I made a point of biking in the rain today for grocery shopping and riding to the Green Brookline Expo. For groceries, it was chilly and very wet outside. For the Expo, I rode home in the pouring rain mixing with snow. The thing is, I bought rain paints and a breathable rain jacket earlier this year, and guess what--they work great! A baseball cap under my helmet helped keep the rain and snow off my glasses. The main thing I still need is some thin waterproof gloves, to protect against the wind and the wet.

Still, more and more, I keep learning that it's easier to get around by bike than I expect.


  1. Way to go. I hope you have a good blinking red light on your back and a flashing head lamp. No need to get killed in rain pants.

  2. Oh, definitely. I have a blinking red light on the back of the bike and one one my helmet, and a flashing white light on the front, plus a steady light if it gets dark. I'm a big believer in visibility.

  3. Way to go! And remember, you're not 'carless' you're 'car-free'! And when anyone asks you what the difference is, tell them it's the same as the difference between being 'careless' and carefree'!

  4. Oh, I definitely agree, Chaser. I really enjoy the simplicity of not owning a car these days.