Monday, September 7, 2009

Spring Sprang

The Road-Train arrives at Castor Bay

We are having some fantastic weather lately in Auckland. After a particularly wet winter it's nice to go for a ride on a fine day and leave the raincoats at home. 

Dresses herself - I am not responsible!

Today (for no other reason than it would be a crime to not go for a bike ride) the Midget Assassin and I went to the beach for a picnic morning-tea. We live 500 metres from a perfectly good beach but it's hardly worth harnessing-up the trailer for that, so we headed over the hill to Castor Bay instead. 

Only 16ºC today, but warm in the sun and perfect conditions for cycling.

On of the great things about living in New Zealand is there's hardly anyone here. Even in a city of one million we had the whole park, playground and beach to ourselves. Sitting in the sun looking out at the harbour, eating and drinking with your daughter - life is just too hard sometimes. 

I took the long way home so I could get a bit of a work-out on the hills and we stopped in at a local butcher to pick up some dinner. On days like this you feel very lucky to be out and about riding a bike. It makes a potential chore like shopping a pleasant experience.

My new (to me) Dinky Panniers

A friend of mine mentioned that a local Hospice opportunity shop had a pair of saddlebags for sale. I've been looking for a secondhand pannier on Trademe (NZ eBay equivalent) since I started commuting, but nothing decent at the right price has turned up yet. It's a bit hot in the morning for a backpack so I've been wrapping mine in my jacket (to keep the straps out of the spokes) and bungying it to the rack. This is a bit of a hassle and it's not practical to stop and get something out of the bundle if it starts to rain for example. 

The saddlebags turned out to be quite small but I bought them anyway as the price was right, it was for a good cause, and I don't need to carry much to work anyway. As it turned out a larger pannier would not work on this bike as I had to mount them at the rear of the rack to stop heal-strike on this compact MTB frame. 

They had their first proper outing today and it was very convenient having a handy place to stash all my stuff. These ones are semi-rigid like little oval hat boxes and the lids fit snugly with velcro holding them shut. Just what you need for diving in and out of without having to deal with straps and buckles. 

Of course I look like even more of a dork now, but at my age I'll take comfort and convenience over vanity anytime.


Doug said...

Those panniers might look nicer on a ummmm....oh I don't know....maybe a CROSS CHECK!!??

Antoine said...

Doug: The last components just arrived today but I wasn't home when FedEx arrived so he took them away again!!!!

I should have it on the road in a week or so.

coastkid said...

i must look a dork too commuting with my dayglo yellow jacket and RH pannier!,ditto on the heal strike-had to mount it way back,handy for storing the heavier fully waterproof trousers and jacket,