Saturday, October 17, 2009


Saturday was one of those intensely bright fall days. The summer haze is gone, leaving the air clear and sharp. Trees are just beginning the process of changing color; contrasted against the intensely blue sky, it's a cacaphony of colors.

Had a lot of errands to run, figured I'd shrink the carbon footprint a bit and take the bike. It was 42 degrees when I left the house. Warmed the core quickly by keeping the pace up around 15 mph. The breeze chilled my chest despite the layering.

First stop: the new "Eggsperience" pancake house for some fuel. Normally I shy away from places with cutesy names, but I was hoping against hope for a nice diner-type place with a counter where guys (women don't sit at counters) leave their newspapers for the next customer to read and the waitresses call you "hon."

No counter. Waitress did not call me "hon." Noisy, lots of families. Food was very good. Sigh.

I headed off toward the hardware store, but got sidetracked by a windbreaker I saw in the window of a new store specializing in overpriced clothing and shoes for runners. I took the plunge and bought an $80 Pro Velocity Super Microft Teijintex "shell" (It's not a "windbreaker" - you can't charge $80 for a "windbreaker"). I rationalized the purchase by telling myself it's also a safety measure, since it has reflective strips all over it. It also boasts a "moisture management system," which used to be called "water repellent" back in the Stone Age.

But where has this thing been all my life? The difference was amazing; I was much more comfortable. I especially liked the zippered vents in the armpits: makes it simple to get the heat balance just right.

Hardware store for toilet parts. Casey's for lunchmeat and vegetable oil. Peterson's for a bottle of chianti to go with tonight's homemade pizza. A stop back at home to empty the pannier bags, and back on the road to Radio Shack for replacement computer speakers.

Came back via the DuPage River Trail, a short but spectacular paved bike/running path. I'll write more about this trail next year - right now it's blocked by construction at 75th Street, and there's a new segment under construction that will extend the trail all the way to Whalon Lake in Bolingbrook.

Total for the morning was 21.1 miles and about $200.

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