New Thing #171: Bungee Cords

Bungee_CordsFirst of all, let's make this perfectly clear: I did not bungee jump, nor will I bungee jump as part of '365 New Things In 2013'. But I did purchase two 32'' bungee cords.

I had the idea that, if I was going to bike to pick up the vegetables, I could strap them down to the back of my bike with the bungee cords.

It was a great idea.

And this post is also my way of telling you that I biked 18 miles on Monday when I picked up the vegetables.

When I bought my bike, my oldest daughter was a baby. Or a toddler. I forget. But the point is I added the rack on the back of the bike so that I could attach the little baby seat and take her for rides. I did it a few times with her, one time I used that baby seat to carry groceries, and I don't think I've used it since. Perhaps this summer I could get the 2-year-old in there. But the seat has been sparsely used.

As a result, the rack has been sparsely used as well. But I'm always aware it's there, and I enjoy thinking about possible uses for it. I know there are bags - kind of saddlebag-type bags - that drape over the rack. I might get one of those so I don't have to worry about keeping things in my pockets during bike rides. But I'm thrilled that in picking up the vegetables (and bringing back the empty box) I now have a use for the rack.

But I knew that I couldn't just plop the veggies on the rack by themselves and expect to get them home. That's where the bungee cords came in. I went to a hardware store over the weekend, almost bought the 24'' cords, followed my wife's advice and went a step bigger, and they were perfect for the size of the veggie box and hooking onto the rack.

So Monday I set out and biked the nine miles to the farm. Framingham to Sudbury is a fairly easy ride, if you follow the main roads. A couple of hills, but nothing too terrible.

Coming back, I decided to take a slight detour past the street where my wife grew up. I had biked that way before and I didn't remember it being too terrible. Well, there's a huge hill there, and that hill, coupled with the fact that I had already biked nine miles, almost did me in.

But I made it over the hill, and then I made it home. (I think Sudbury to Framingham is slightly hillier.) And I'm proud of that. I like biking for pleasure well enough, but I love when I can bike with a purpose.

(I also like when I feel like taking my bike helps the environment. Unfortunately, this wasn't exactly an environment-saving move - that day I drove through Sudbury twice, so I could have easily picked up the vegetables one of those times without doing any extra harm to the Earth.)

I'm not sure this was my longest bike ride ever. Last year I rode my bike from Watertown into downtown Boston, and that was about the same distance, but it was much flatter. So it might have been my most complex.

You might think I'm making too much of this. I don't really know how to explain to you how much I enjoy taking a long bike ride. Growing up I had a bike, but I don't know that I ever took it more than like, three blocks. One time in Montauk we rented bikes and went for a long ride, but I was younger. It probably wasn't more than 5 miles or something.

I like when I can walk or take my bike somewhere - to a destination, rather than just a loop for exercise. I like exercising with a purpose! And now that I have these bungee cords, well, maybe I can work in an extra chore or two on future bike rides.