Author Topic: Utilitarian Adventures  (Read 40786 times)

Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Utilitarian Adventures
« on: March 02, 2016, 11:05:54 am »
I can no longer contribute to the "Commute" thread as I don't have a job to necessitate a commute and the school run is a bit over cycling distance (6000 miles according to Google - and a lot of ocean). But I haven't abandoned the bike. And I haven't lost the desire to share my tales of the road. However, I am reduced to reporting "utility" rides.

Today, I saw rain approaching and decided not to go shopping in town but to nip to the village and just buy milk instead. Wise choice as it started hammering down as I arrived home. Nothing of interest to report bar heavier traffic than one would expect at 1000. I suspect a main road is blocked/closed/slow somewhere and people are rat running.

Distance: 1 mile (total!)

Feel free to add utility ride reports. I'm not expecting many!

Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2016, 11:29:07 am »
After years of commuting I'm in the same boat. My rides are generally around Richmond Park just to keep myself in trim and the opportunity for auto-numptiness to be displayed is close to zero on my route there, back and around and around.

I do utility rides whenever I can though. Last one was Friday to Earlsfield to get some leccy bits. I'd forgotten what it's like to have cars randomly pull out in front of you, or pull alongside and then drift into your space with the full expectation that I will simply evaporate. I've sort of been missing that.

Total miles for that one - 10.
Rust never sleeps

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 12:02:20 pm »
Cycled to the Beach retail centre on Sunday to get some cat food. I was going to drive and pick up some cat litter (not urgent) at the same time but I'm glad I didn't - traffic mayhem  :hand: 6.3km  :thumbsup:

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 12:51:52 pm »
I don't go to the mothership very often, so most of my cycling is utilitarian, either to meetings in Londontown, or on sundry errands or adventures. I often find it a bit sad that I'm in a minority amongst the cars for those sorts of journeys. But then I remember that I'm not the one stuck in a line of traffic with a frustrated scowl untidily plastered across my face.
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Guy

  • Left-Wing Moonbat Green NAZI
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2016, 01:06:01 pm »
Does the pub trip count as utility or commuting?
I ATEN'T DEAD

Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2016, 01:39:16 pm »
Depends which side of the bar you will be on arrival
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Guy

  • Left-Wing Moonbat Green NAZI
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2016, 01:48:56 pm »
So pub journey related stories go in 'ere then :thumbsup:
I ATEN'T DEAD

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2016, 01:56:08 pm »
Wait, does this mean we're going to have to come up with a new name for the geesey cut-through at the end of Raddlebarn Farm Drive?
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

BrianI

  • Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Lepidopterist Man!
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2016, 02:10:37 pm »
I may, in the spring, once my knee of gubbage is back to normal, cycle to my yoga class of an evening.  Just need to figure out stowage of the yoga mat!  My single wheel trailer would be a bit overkill though.....   ;D

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2016, 02:17:34 pm »
Roll it up and strap it horizontally across the rack?  Should get you loads of overtaking room (just watch out for anti-cyclist bollards).
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2016, 02:39:33 pm »
I may, in the spring, once my knee of gubbage is back to normal, cycle to my yoga class of an evening.  Just need to figure out stowage of the yoga mat!  My single wheel trailer would be a bit overkill though.....   ;D

Friend has just had a similar requirement, his solution was like this



Instructions here It's an impressive use of drainpipe and bar bag mounts.

Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2016, 02:49:39 pm »
Wait, does this mean we're going to have to come up with a new name for the geesey cut-through at the end of Raddlebarn Farm Drive?

You mean the one that used to be pretty much my drive?

(I used to live in one of the maisonettes at the very end of Raddlebarn Farm Drive and backed onto the canal.)

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2016, 02:53:33 pm »
Wait, does this mean we're going to have to come up with a new name for the geesey cut-through at the end of Raddlebarn Farm Drive?

You mean the one that used to be pretty much my drive?

(I used to live in one of the maisonettes at the very end of Raddlebarn Farm Drive and backed onto the canal.

That's the one.  Known in this house as "Basil's Commute", on account of being the shortest route between, well, you can probably guess...
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2016, 03:28:49 pm »
Roll it up and strap it horizontally across the rack?  Should get you loads of overtaking room (just watch out for anti-cyclist bollards).

That's what I do with mine, and I think I might have clipped a bollard with it once but didn't notice until I got to class and noticed it wasn't particularly horizontal any more.

Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2016, 03:39:57 pm »
....... However, I am reduced to reporting "utility" rides.

Far too harsh on yourself and the very useful role that such rides perform, particularly as we should be encouraging more cycling of this nature.

Monday was a good example for me: shall I just jump in the car to go to the nearest bank (3 miles away) or shall I get the bike out etc etc.  Jumping in the car is so much easier and parking on a Monday is normally very easy.  I chose the bike and felt all the smugger as I tucked into my beans on toast with poached egg after doing the banking stuff, photocopying, getting a couple of copies of that new newspaper for the café I subsequently visited and also popping in to check on the health and wellbeing of someone.

Elevate yourself to utility!

Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2016, 05:00:24 pm »
I should add that today was the first time in a long while that I rode in 100% civvies. I never wore lycra for commuting but did have hi viz jacket and hood and cycling gloves. To the uninitiated observer, certainly more bikie than POB.

Today I was wearing Barbour jacket, flat cap, and non-bikie woolen gloves (cos I'd been gardening). Definitely a POB.

Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2016, 06:28:26 pm »
Wait, does this mean we're going to have to come up with a new name for the geesey cut-through at the end of Raddlebarn Farm Drive?

You mean the one that used to be pretty much my drive?

(I used to live in one of the maisonettes at the very end of Raddlebarn Farm Drive and backed onto the canal.

That's the one.  Known in this house as "Basil's Commute", on account of being the shortest route between, well, you can probably guess...

The thought that Basil would use the shortest route between home and work is laughable, the shortest route to his preferred watering hole though ...

Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2016, 07:37:50 pm »
I pottered into Slough to the doctors and then pottered back via the town centre . 2.6miles of flat cycling. But I missed the rain .the wind was winding a bit though ☺
the slower you go the more you see

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
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Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2016, 07:43:10 pm »
Due to annual leave and non working days I have only 11 more commutes before I join Pancho on the scrap heap.  I'll move over here at the end of March.  :thumbsup:
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Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2016, 08:13:36 pm »
I quite like the idea of this thread.  Was even considering upgrading my commute to the grandiose title of a Utilitarian Adventure.  Echoes of a quote I read somewhere of a bike commute being like "a mini-holiday twice a day".

Though I might have to stay out if it's all retirees making me jealous!

Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2016, 10:31:49 am »
A quick run, via the docs to drop off a repeat request, to the garden centre to buy chilli pepper seeds (£2.99! Oh well, that's the cost of my preference for dealing with local business rather than the internet). A bit of light rain/sleet but not sufficient to drive me to don waterproofs. Roads were wonderfully peaceful and car-less. With that first sheen of wetness, it looked a bit slippery (particularly manhole covers and cobbled sections).

No bike parking at either destination but as I was being quick and it's hardly a high crime area, I just used the propstand and left it unlocked.

The mileage total for this week is looking a bit disappointing: 16 (town) + 1 (village) + 2 (garden centre) = 19 poxy miles and today is Thursday.

Usually, I'd be at 60ish on Thursday morning. Oh well, I shall go and dig the garden.

Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2016, 10:37:07 am »
Managed a run to the Docs on the freebie Kona hybrid with mini yesterday.

Ooo yes. On Sunday we cycled to little miss's tennis session to cycle back with her through leafy Wimbledon. Mini punctured at the top of the hill on the way there and the householder was out front pumping his family's tyres up so lent us his track pump. I don't know what came over me but all I did was replace the tube, didn't even to think to check for whatever it was that caused the puncture. I don't know what came over me. Anyway, we got away with it. Large lump of glass removed from tyre when we got home.
Rust never sleeps

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2016, 11:35:56 am »
I think one of the sad things about utility cycling is that I have the entire place to myself. I've never in two years seen another cyclist who isn't dashing to and from the train station or fully lycra'd and heading over the Downs for the wilds beyond the M25 pale or struggling back afterwards. On the plus side, I don't have to fight for a bike rack.
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Pancho

  • لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2016, 11:45:34 am »
Surprisingly, given that I live in the town with the highest per capita level of car ownership in the Kingdom, it seems better round here. OK, I've not done much weekday non-commuting from which to draw conclusions.

In my one mile round trip yesterday, I saw at least five people on bikes. They were, in the main a bit lycra-y but at least one was a POB doing utility stuff.

Today, I saw two old ladies on bikes in the village - with not a jot of lycra, helmets, or hi viz between them. Also, today I noticed the village square bike racks were full with rusty, utilitarian bikes and there was an MTB/tourer thing with mucho Altura parked up at the doc's.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Utilitarian Adventures
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2016, 11:55:56 am »
There is some excuse in that we, perched on the edge of the North Downs, have hills, but a good deal live on the valley bottom and could easily cycle from home to the shops (takes me about three minutes from front door to bike rack). It's a commuter town, so all the affluent people seem to evaporate during the day, and cycling seems to correlate with affluence. Someone even chains up a fancy recumbent in the station.

But it seems most people would rather drive and complain about parking spaces (there's actually no shortage, but they have to park right outside wherever they're going, not in the free supermarket carparks that bracket the town). I'll admit the roads are pretty horrible, the ones near me are very narrow, over-parked, with cars barreling down the middle. I can perfectly understand why people wouldn't want to cycle, to be honest, it takes a degree of devil-may-care enthusiasm.

I did complain at the health centre about a lack of bike parking the last time I was there (apparently I couldn't bring my bike inside because it would be health and safety hazard, which was odd considering the giant prams and buggies littering the place, but anyway). They seemed bemused by the very prospect that someone would cycle to the doctors.
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