This morning I had to deliver a cat turd to the vet as a follow up to a checkup one of the cats had a couple of weeks ago.
With three cats in residence it's complicated to isolate the output of just one. Even if you bring a random three samples from one of the litter boxes you can't be sure you've gotten one from each, and you don't know who has what if the lab finds something.
Anyway, I caught a lucky break yesterday afternoon when I spotted the cat in question digging her little hole in the woods just behind the garage. I was able to obtain the requisite amount.
With this small cargo to deliver to the vet and a short list of small items to pick up at the store, these errands seemed perfect for the bike. It was also a beautiful, warm morning.
The whole trip came to 10 miles. Planning an easy pace I preferred to wear relatively normal clothing. It helps humanize the cyclist. One could argue that performing ordinary errands in cycling garb helps normalize the perception of the garb, but I doubt this is the case.
Thirty years ago, Woolrich made some touring shorts that were just like regular hiking shorts with a chamois pad sewn in. Among all the offerings of "baggies" and touring shorts, no one makes anything quite like them that I can find today. They were made of nice heavy khaki, with cargo pockets. I preferred to ride without a lot of stuff in my pockets, but then when I walked away from the bike I could carry lots of little useful things. On my tour from San Francisco to Eugene we made several hikes on days we didn't ride. Today I wore cargo-pocketed black nylon river shorts over stretchy cycling shorts. The combination was far from perfect because the overshorts would ride lower than the cycling shorts, impeding me when I remounted the bike.
If I'd just been going five miles or less I might have gone with hiking shorts and regular underwear rather than the cycling shorts.
In Annapolis I commuted in jeans, corduroys or painter pants. I wore cleated shoes for the sprinting ability and kept regular shoes at work. When I moved out of town and rode a longer commute I shifted to cycling clothing because it was more efficient for the greater distance. That meant I had to carry work clothing or leave some at work, but either option was easy enough.
The items I bought fit easily in the old panniers. I did discover that my rack pack is not quite long enough to contain a dozen eggs, but they stayed in for the short trip home. I'm checking out new rack packs anyway, because this one has put in a dozen hard years. No hurry.
Casual errands on the bike are some of the most rewarding rides. It's life, not a special little subset of life.