after a shower and a banana for lunch, i left for belmont. normally i'd wear my motorcycling windbreaker jacket (the one with velcro-sleeves), but i decided to go with my brown cashmere trenchcoat, just because i figured it'd look interestingly weird wearing that on the motorcycle. the temperature was in the 30's. the coat kept me warm except for my wrists (where the mittens failed to cover) and my face.
arriving in belmont, i had a real lunch, some lamb noodle soup my mother had made (in fact, she'd been stewing the lamb since this morning so the house had a very gamey smell). i also brought hailey out in the backyard; she associates my arrivals with being let outside that if i don't let her out she'll have a dog temper tantrum.
in the late afternoon i went to the watertown home depot. business was brisk as streams of cars left the parking lot with christmas trees tied to the roof. actually, that reminded me of something i saw earlier: a couple riding a tandem bike with a woman carrying an oversized wreath in the back. it was such a photo moment, but i was slightly too far away and i didn't think it'd be a great idea switching lenses on the motorcycle while waiting for the light to change.
at home depot i was looking for a few things. first, i wanted to find a degreaser for my bikes. i'd been using a can of simple green foaming bike cleaner. it worked great and relatively non-toxic that i didn't feel bad rinsing off the bikes in the backyard. i finally ran out of the stuff but wanted to find a cheaper alternative than spending another $10 on a can. i read that simple green all-purpose concentrate cleaner works pretty well, that kind that comes in a spray bottle. while browsing the company website, i saw they also carried a BBQ & grill cleaner. it looked very similar to the bike wash, also a non-toxic biodegradable foaming degreaser. despite not finding any info online about anyone else trying it, i figured it'd work just as well for bikes. and at just $5 a can, it was cheaper than the bike cleaner.
next, my father wanted me to find a plastic bottle with a thin straw-like spout for adding lubricating oil to machines. what's that called anyway? i looked everywhere, from the heavy machinery department, to paints, to pest management. i finally found something called 3-in-one multi-purpose telescoping spout, actually from the same company that makes WD40. what makes this any different i don't know, but i bought one for $3.
finally, i searched for some D-clamps AKA P-clamps. they sort of look like a cursive-R, rubberized on the business end. not sure what they're actually used for, but i wanted to find some in case i ever wanted to attach a rear bike rack to a bicycle frame that doesn't have eyelets. i searched everywhere, in plumping, in nails, in special fasteners - i couldn't find any. (later i'd find out online that home depot does in fact carry these things, i just didn't find them during my scavenger hunt).
after dinner i motorcycled home. the cold weather definitely makes bike traveling of any kind a hardship. it's an ongoing character building exercise is what i tell myself, makes me better appreciate the times when i'm not freezing making my way back to cambridge. my motorcycle days are certainly numbered: the early weather forecast shows some snow for friday. i'll probably put the honda away early, probably midweek, instead of waiting the last minute. this riding season was pretty lackluster, not even sure i went beyond 1000 miles. coming back, i saw there was one other house on my street that finally put out their christmas lights. what an unfestive neighborhood!