Three Speed October is off to an auspicious start! As of last night, we have seventeen folks signed up. Good, good. No reports yet, but we’re only into the second day. So, how about my report?
I started my Three Speed October 2019 on the first day, Friday September 27th. The purpose of the ride was to do some afternoon errands: I needed to hit up two post offices, mine and Emee’s.* I also needed to swing by the library HQ to drop off zines. And I had to pick up some print outs at Kinkos.** What better bike than my Raleigh Superbe to do this?
Old British three speeds make such great city/commuter/utility bikes. The more laid back geometry means you’re not in a race position. And you can augment your carrying abilities with racks and baskets. While I’ve used my Carradice saddlebag for this bike in the past, I’ve lately been using my Carradice panniers, since they’re easy-on, easy-off. Saddlebags are harder to get on and off,*** which tempts me to leave them on the bike more than I should.
It was smooth sailing for the first few stops. But after the library HQ, I decided to pop into the library’s remaindered book store, Title Wave, which was just around the block. It’s located in the former Albina branch, a classic Carnegie library of the early twentieth century. I picked up a few books and went back out to the bike.
That’s odd, my water bottle was missing. Wait, I washed it this morning. Did I forget to put it back on the bike? I took out my phone to consult the last pic I took of the bike, which was before I entered. Nope, it was there. Someone took my water bottle?
Having stuff yanked from my bike in the city is nothing new. A year or so ago I went to a presentation downtown and found they yanked the bottles and pump, basically anything they could remove easily. I’ve had my rain cape yanked from the outside of a Carradice. And most critically, I had a handlebar bag yanked off the front of the Superbe on Election Day 2016, losing a good camera, tool kit, and moosemoose. (Sniff, moosemoose!)
Then I turned around, and saw my water bottle on the steps. Huh? The bottle was empty. I knew it was full when I left. So, someone either drank my water or dumped it, then left the bottle twenty feet away from the bike. Classy. At least it’s not gone?
Wait, where’s my map holder? Someone yanked that? Ugh.
There are two responses I hear when something gets stolen from a bike: Well, you shouldn’t have left it on the bike. Thank you, person of deep empathy. I get it, we live in a city, things get taken. But that doesn’t mean they should. And yeah, when I’m going into a high-theft area, or will be inside for awhile, I try to take as much stuff off as possible. But for a ten minute trip?
The other comment is Maybe they needed it more than you did. Theft is still theft, thank you. But I can understand that thinking a bit more if what they took was the water bottle. But the map holder? That’s more spite than anything else. You’re not going to “get” anything for it, it’s not a human necessity like food and shelter.
At least it was an inexpensive and easy to replace item. They didn’t grab my not-easy-to-find pump, which I feel would have had more “value” than a map holder. Nor did they grab my bike gloves, which I leave as more of a dare than anything else. You want them? Have it.
Anyways, the rest of the riding went off without a hitch. I got some pizza on the way back, and ended up doing 13 miles. A respectable first ride for this year’s challenge. Now eight more rides to go!
Are you doing the challenge? Please share your rides!
*Technically, she has a PMB, or postal mail box, which isn’t the same thing as a post office.
**Yes, I still call it that.
***Unless you use a quick release system.