Errands By Bike Day 2012

Most Fridays I don’t work. That’s because I have a 4-long days work week.  Well, really there is usually some work I need to do on Fridays, but my schedule does give me some flexibility. Today was bike to work day in the DC region. Since I couldn’t bike to work today I decided to honor it by doing some errands by bike. This gave me the chance to try out my new Brompton C-bag while getting some outdoor time on such a beautiful day.


Ready to Roll

Catonsville’s  old town is compact and easy to negotiate by bike. It was a sunny 75 degrees and doing these errands by bike was fun.

First stop: Catonsville Library

Library Bike Rack

I had time to browse and found a 2011 Laura Lippman book I haven’t read yet, as well as one by someone new to me, Asa Larsson. She’s a Swedish author. I’ve been on a bit of a Swedish mystery author kick the past 6 months or so. They tend to be well written novels that get you very involved. The tone is rather dark, and the stories often situated in the present, weaving in WWII related events. They tend to include themes about violence toward immigrants and women. I am not sure if tall this is typical of Swedish writing in general or just of those authors translated into English.  Obviously this holds some fascination for me as I keep reading them!  I looked all through the library, especially at the sports and travel section, curious to see if they had any bike related books. No, the did not.

Still lots of room in the bag!

Second Stop: Bank

Being down to $1 in cash, I stopped at the ATM. While I waited behind a car, I wondered how often cyclists ride up to the drive through. I rarely see bikes at ATMS, even in DC.

At the ATM


I turned right  onto Frederick, heading toward Atwater’s. I noticed a sign for a new store, the Pottery Grove and turned in to investigate. This paint-your-own-pottery place has replaced an odd the import store that seemed to me to be front for some kind of illegal activity. I went into  it one afternoon and the people working there looked astonished to see a customer. They didn’t know what to say or do! The displays were a bit dusty and I could tell there was not much buying and selling, at least not of the baskets and other goods that were on display. A few months later, the import store went out of business.  I can’t say I have been longing for a paint-your-own-pottery store in town. I’d love to have an organic market, a cool coffee shop, or  a bike shop. How about one that combined all 3? But maybe there are a lot of Catonsvilleans thrilled to get to paint pottery. If so, I hope they enjoy it and that the business succeeds. It is a lot less surprising than the new Fetish Beauty store that opened a little ways down the street. Really? In Catonsville? I have yet to see anyone going in or out of that one.

Paint your own pottery, anyone?

Third Stop: Atwater’s

Atwater’s, a great bakery and cafe that offers a 10% discount to those who arrive by bike

My errand here involved picking up some bread and house-made preserves. I unclipped my C-bag, a remarkably fuss free process, and walked the short distance from the bike rack to the shop. With 2 books in the bag, a small water bottle, wallet and keys, the bag was comfortable to carry and still had quite a bit of room. Good thing, because the round loaf of bread took some space. It and the jar of preserves fit in handily and I could have loaded a few more small items.


“Music City” aka Catonsville, has a number of these note shaped bike racks in town. Too bad I cut off that part of the image!

Clipping the bag back onto the Brompton’s front carrier was just as easy as removing it.

The bag has lots of  exterior and interior pockets, and attaches to the frame independently of the handlebars, something I hadn’t gotten until I saw the system in action. The bikes’ handling was in no way affected by hauling the loaded bag.  It’s probably meant more for commuting than shopping, but if you’re picking up just a few small things, it works just fine. Inspired by the gorgeous day, I did a little extra riding around just for fun, before heading home. That was it, a great errands by bike day.





2 thoughts on “Errands By Bike Day 2012

  1. I actually almost ended up in the same situation you were in, as I have every-other Friday off. I happened to move it because of other extenuating circumstances. I love that the bakery gives you a discount for arriving by bike. The natural foods grocery store going into Rockville gives a discount for arriving by bike, but as they’ll probably also reimburse people for parking, the Bike Advisory Committee is advocating for the bike reimbursement to match the car reimbursement. It only seems fair.

    • I love when businesses encouraging cycling by offering discounts. Seems like a win-win. In Saratoga Springs a lot of the downtown shops participate in a cyclist-discount program. Great way to decrease congestion, reduce need to create more parking and bring in more customers. Your Bike Advisory Committee’s point, advocating for parity in discounts,is fair and ups the incentive to use bikes for errands.

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