Ok, I admit it. The coffee table was a mistake.
Chip and I cycled to the St. Giles Cafe this morning, a former haunt for us in 1986, for a good and greasy "home breakfast" of eggs, sausage AND bacon, beans and toast. And good strong coffee. Mm mm. You know when the lunch break construction workers come piling in, that you have hit the right joint.
After breakfast, I felt energized to run a number of errands and the beauty of the bike, in addition to efficient ground coverage, is its carrying capacity. As usual, my eyes and ambition much bigger than the basket. But between my shoulder bag and the bike, I shoved it all in there.
bag of apples
1 kg meat
mini yum yums (crack cocaine laced donuts)
9 inch Analon stock pot
scones and clotted cream
20 Christmas ornaments
3 cassette tapes including English Pop Hits of 1983
I made it home although the weight distribution on the bike at times can be problematic especially with any over correction in turning. Luckily, Oxford bus drivers must know of me and give me a wide berth.
Which brings me to the coffee table. After unloading the groceries, etc. I was further motivated to continue to a used furniture store down the road. Our house is not properly outfitted for snacking in front of the TV (priority for Hunters) and I needed one small steady table to put near the sofa. I did find a good one and started away from the shop with it propped securely atop the basket. That setup should have remained the plan of the day, but it felt so inefficient to walk when the wheels go so much faster. If I could push it, surely I could ride with it up there, right? Well, I'm not a genius, that's obvious. The table sort of acted like a giant wooden windscreen and after realizing that the physics of my ride were going to require a calculator, I swung the table off the basket and began to carry it while riding one handed. I was too wide for the sidewalk so I rode out into the street. Now my balance was corrected, but the cars driving by were coming so close to the legs of the table that I was sure someone's mirror would eventually send me flying. I rode back up onto the sidewalk, and that was much better until I nearly sling shot myself around a bus stop pole with the legs of table. Some scary moments, but also thrilling.
In the end, I did avoid a third trip to the John Radcliffe Hospital and although nobody else in this family is quite as thrilled with the table, I feel euphoric, as if I went out, shot it and brought it home roped to the hood of my car. Proud and satisfied.