Friday, March 2, 2018


Twenty years ago, I threw the car away in disgust with Seattle's traffic. I had been spending thirty hours a week in second gear crawling from one domestic destination to another. I got enough for the vehicle to fund a rolling backpack and a fresh pair of hiking boots.

Youthful acquaintances in the motorcycle community taught me that no one machine serves all purposes. Bikes are engineered to a given application. I find that ordinary shopping totes are much the same. It's easy to rationalize spending money on gear for a specific task  when I weight the cost against the cost of driving. I count luggage as a transportation expense

I look over the day's shopping list before I choose the tote or rolling luggage that will hold what I buy. There's a factor I hadn't realized in the beginning: checkers and clerks appreciate a new and amusing bag, so I have a good excuse to indulge in something flamboyant. A loud tote has a safety factor, too. It's easy to trip a fellow pedestrian with a dark roller even in what passes for broad daylight on a Seattle winter afternoon. I lash bicycle safety flashers to mine to give fair warning and to protect myself from drivers who don't realize they're not on the freeway -30-

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