Today I had booked my bike into Cycle Heaven on Bishopthorpe Rd for a service, but as they didn't open til 10.30 I popped into Pauline to saw some floorboards for her. Years ago, when she saw my Clearview Stove, she was so taken that she bought one too. It's the smaller cleanburn model, the Pioneer 4.5kw, and she's always on the lookout for wood. She's got a friendly joiner who drops off bits and bobs, and she sometimes calls me to attack the oversize planks with my bowsaw. In return she plies me with coffee and, this time, gave me some reclaimed lego for my boys and a squeezy bottle with nozzle for making a jet of water which I'd requested on Freecycle. I wanted it so I could wash out my ears, something I've done since childhood, and my usual squeezy bottle has had the top lost by one of my family members.
Anyway, a useful, and as usual, lovely time with Pauline, then off to the cycle shop. When I take my 'Dawes Streetwise' for a service, Cycle Heaven always offer me a replacement bike to use during the time they've got mine. This time I had a new experience, a load carrying 'Filibus' bike was mine for the day. It has a platform in the front of the handlebars, and the front wheel is under this, connected to the handlebars via a connecting bar or rod, rather than being under the handlebars. It was a good ride, not much different to a 'normal' bike, and fab gearing, making starts and uphills very easy.
I cycled home. When I got home Gill told me that our eldest son had left his gloves at home, and he was due to undergo his first cycle training, and being a cold and wet day, he needed them. I volunteered to cycle them down to the school for him. I made best use of the Filibus and brought a huge log back, from an immense beech tree which was felled a while ago, and sliced up so that locals could take it away. The bike handled really well. I have fallen in love with this bike!
When I got back, Cycle Heaven had phoned to tell me that my heavy use of my Dawes had worn the back wheel rim through with the braking and all the loads I lug around. I need a new back wheel, and I need one building as if I buy one 'off the shelf' it won't last long. So that means collecting my bike tomorrow, not tonight. Never mind, I'll enjoy going back to school to pick up the kiddies, as there are a number of bike enthusiasts who'll be interested in the Filibus. And I'll be able to pick up another giant lump destined for the stoves.
During the day I'd gone onto my emails to check Freecycle, and someone was offering a CD player, so I emailed and told the offerer about my son's desire to have a CD player. During the evening, the offerer, Daphne, phoned, and said we could have the CD player. Brilliant! So tomorrow morning I'm going to pick it up.
I cooked tea for my wife... pasta (bought, wholemeal), tomato/onion/pepper stir-fry (all out of the rejects!) and carrot and cauliflower (free also), steamed. All cooked on the stove-top, all without fossil fuel. What a life, I love it!