Unfortunately, I only had one beer in the fridge. So I decided to take a trip down to John’s Grocery to pick up a sixer of IPA. I grabbed the ’66 Raleigh RSW off the hook, removed the original tattered tartan bag and threw on the ironweed trunk bag prototype. I thought this would be a good beta test with a practical return… cold beer.
The Ironweed bag was still packed from a ride last week and contained several tubes, tire tools, Park multi-tool and a couple of bungees. I figured I’d just leave the stuff in there and try to fit the six-pack in around it. So off I went.
On the way out of my backyard, I stopped briefly just outside the perimeter of my neighbor’s mulberry tree that has been casting its fruit carelessly over the sidewalk on the backside of our property. Scurrying around in the tree was a frenetic gray squirrel hopping from limb to limb carefully selecting the right berry to eat. I wondered if he was picking the riper fruit with perhaps a little fermentation. Although, I was on my way to pick up beer and realized I was probably projecting.
After managing to avoid the falling mulberries, including the ones dropped by the squirrel, I hopped on the Raleigh and sped off down Bloomington Street. It was a beautiful afternoon and the ride was pleasant.
I was thinking about bells on bikes. I love bike bells and their friendly yet effective tones; very different from the horns on motor vehicles. Even the word “bell” is friendly and perfect for the device. I am not really superstitious, but I have long felt that bells on bikes are lucky. I can trace this superstition back to a St. Christopher bell I bought in Austria years ago to ward off harm while on tour. The bell on the RSW was put on by the previous owner. It is not my favorite but it has a cheerful enough brrrriiinngg!
I was also thinking about the gearing on this little-wheeled British beauty. I switched out the 13 tooth rear cog with a 20 tooth and I was grateful I had. They were tougher back in 1966… they could handle the taller gears. I guess when I picture the 1966 rider, I think of a bandy-legged, chain-smoker with zip-up leather boots who could leave me in the dust.
I arrived at John’s and briskly walked back to the beer room and selected a six-pack of one of my favorite IPAs. (Interesting note… I noticed that a couple of my favorite IPAs are now available in a handy 4-pack of 20oz. cans, which is great for picnics by bicycle.) I made my way to the front of the store and paid the quiet clerk with the well-kept beard and made my way out the front door to the bike rack to load my booty.
Once outside, I unlocked my Raleigh and placed the six-pack of bottles in the trunk bag. The bottles were a little too tall for the lid to fit down all the way against the sides of the bag, but the lid did completely cover the bottles.
All in all it worked out pretty well. I arrived home safely with my libations. My friends arrived shortly thereafter and we enjoyed a beer and good conversation. Next time, though, I’m getting one of those 4-packs!