Saturday, November 02, 2013

This Is How We Roll

When times are tough, the tough get creative.

I don't own a car but I've now learned to ride my bicycle with a doggy up front while balancing 2 garbage bags on the handlebars. We make quite a site peddling to the dumpsters at the opposite end of the campground. People point and laugh. 

Maybe that's all we're good for... providing comedy when we least expect it.

Sometimes I become super tired super fast. At this point, I park the bike, remove Harley and we wander around on foot and paw while he waters the bushes.

Yesterday we got stuck in a stiff headwind that was stronger than me. I was peddling as hard as I could, which isn't saying much, but we were barely making any forward progress. I thought the wind was going to tie Harley's ears into knots! Finally I had to just turn around and admit defeat. 


We haven't even learned to tackle hills yet. So for now, my bike riding is contained to flat areas.

Harley dog has a selective learning disorder. He only wants to learn what he perceives as important, not what humans think he should know. I expected when I got the bicycle and basket last Christmas, that it would take a long time to train him to ride on the bike. 

At the time, I was camped about a mile away from a dog park. I wanted to take him there to play off-leash since he loves to run his little legs as fast as they can go. It's not safe to let him run next to the bicycle (unless I am contemplating suicide for me or the dog or both.)

To my astonishment the entire basket training episode lasted about 5 seconds. First I put the basket on the ground for him to sniff over. I placed him inside but he hopped back out. The wicker was poking him. I added his little blankie for comfort. Next I put the basket on the handlebars. At the sight of this, Harley became wildly enthusiastic, so I put him in the basket and rode off. 

Well, so much for my foolish mind thinking it would take hours, days, weeks to get him to ride the bike.

He just LOVES the bicycle! I on the other hand, had to learn how to ride the bike with a 3 kilo dog up front. He was very patient while we wobbled around working this out. 

Recently I learned how to ride on the beach when the conditions are right.  

Today I wanted to ride to the dump, then peddle to the beach. 

One distinct advantage to having lived on sailboats in far flung ports and anchored off tiny islands where the only supplies available were goats and garbage, one tends to acquire a can-do attitude towards repairs and maintenance.

The little basket up front is heavy enough with just Harley and his blankie inside. He resents when I put anything else in what he considers to be HIS basket. 

I wanted to add a rear basket to hold my little purse that has doggy poop bags, keys to the motorhome, a camera, an emergency phone, a bottle of water, Harley's ball and some mosquito spray when needed. Sometimes I need to take the locking bicycle cable with me, and it's kind of heavy too. 

Harley and I share the water bottle. The large cap to the bottle unscrews for refilling. When we are thirsty, I take the cap off, pour his water into the lid which is kind of shaped like a small saucer. Harley drinks out of the lid, I drink out of the bottle. I use a little water to rinse the lid when he is done, then put the cap back on for travel.

Years back I bought these rectangular plastic baskets for 99 cents. Three of them fit in my tiny refrigerator enabling me to stuff things inside without produce and condiments falling on my toes when I open my fridge after driving around in the motorhome. I also discovered the baskets fit inside my upper cabinets nicely for preventing cargo shift when bouncing down the highways. 

Today I whimsically strapped one on the rear of the bicycle with a bungee cord. It's a little flimsy, but it will do for now.
And that's how we roll.

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