i bicycled to the cafe this morning to pick up my milk crate. i had a handful of bungee cords of various sizes, ready to mount in whatever configuration. it didn't take long for me to get there, but riding on an empty stomach, i felt a little nauseous when i arrived.
my mother dug out a crate from the basement. it was a bit longer than the normal cube crates i'm used to, but it just meant more storage space. i ran into a snag immediately: the holes at the bottom of the crate were too small for the regular bungee hooks to go through. i ended up using the mini bungee cords instead. they don't seem as strong and they're not as long, but using a few instead of just one should be just as good. i was just going to do the simple pass-through-and-link method, but my mother suggested i wrap the cords a few times to make them hold tighter. my father suggested i take my remaining regular bungee cords and loop them on the outside for added security.
i filled the crate with items (jacket, bike lock) and rode it back home on its maiden voyage. the crate does make the bicycle a bit heavier overall, but the added weight is imperceptible when riding. i was afraid the crate would alter the way i sit on the seat, but there's just as much space as before. the crate behind the seat is actually good because it feels like a backrest. because the crate is a bit longer, it covers up the rear reflector. i may need to add a reflector to the back of the crate (or just always remember to bring my rear light when riding in the dark). the only annoying thing is when i hit a bump, the bike lock clatters around in the crate. i may need a separate bungee to secure the lock.
the milk crate basket is such a great idea that i don't know why i never though of it sooner. it's so useful in fact it feels like i just invented the wheel. up until now i've always considered the bicycle a novelty mode of transportation. with the milk crate addition, the bicycle now serves a more utilitarian purpose. it doesn't have the speed of the motorcycle, but what it lacks in velocity it makes up for in versatility. it's a good form of transportation for just wandering around the neighborhood, since i can easily skirt traffic rules. it's also the easiest thing to park. i'll probably be riding the bicycle more often when i put my motorcycle away for winter storage (as soon as the first snowstorm hits the boston area).
the only thing is because i spent so much time working on my milk crate basket, i'm now sort of afraid somebody will steal it. that totally defeats the purpose of having a milk crate for a bicycle storage container, which is, they're so cheap, even if somebody were desperate enough to steal one, it's easy to find another.
in the early afternoon i finally made some breakfast (lunch), some scrambled eggs with a slice of toast. my father came by to drop off the pressure washer. after rinsing the sidewalk, i began chipping out the wet rotten wood on the porch with a chisel (actually just a sharpened screwdriver). steve and paul were home briefly, but left for their vacation home for the weekend on martha's vineyard while i diligently worked on the house. once i finished cleaning out the bad wood i started filling in the holes with the DAP plastic wood ($7.48) using a putty knife. that stuff has the consistency of ice cream and smells like alcohol. the warning label said it was poisonous (contains acetone, n-butyl acetate and isopropanol) and to avoid touching with the skin but i touched it anyway. i won't be able to tell until tomorrow if it worked or not.
i wanted to take out my suped up bicycle some more so i went to the somerville avenue rite aid to stock up on the pre-halloween candy sale. "no bag," i told the cashier, as i grabbed ahold of all my stuff and dropped into the milk crate when i got back outside.
for dinner i threw the half pizza my father left me into the oven, 450°F for 20 minutes. i forgot about the residual lasagna drips from the last time i used the oven, as the kitchen and the rest of the house started to fill up with smoke. i cracked open all the windows and ran the fan on full blast, trying to aerate out the burnt smell from the house. after about 10 minutes though the oven stopped smoking, but the damage was already done. fortunately the pizza came out okay.