An errandonee to the Swedish Shopping Embassy

Sometimes ya gotta do adult world stuff. Like purchase household items. A new shower curtain here, a new pillow there, a clothes drying rack somewhere over there. Of course there are many places to purchase said goods in a city like Portland (hello, Fred Meyer!) but sometimes it’s just better to go to the Swedish Embassy of Shopping out by the airport. And on Tuesday November 25, I decided that I had enough of a list to justify a trip, and I’d rather not go out there during the “holiday season”.

Of course most people drive there. And I could take the MAX light rail there as well. But heck, why not bike there? That’s what I’ve done pretty much anytime before!

I decided that the Schwinn Heavy Duti would be the most appropriate tool for the job, as it has the humongous Wald front basket.

And since I wanted the ride to be a bit more “fun” than simply going to the Swedish Shopping Embassy and back, I decided to go the longer way and head due north to the Columbia River first. Out at Broughton Beach (Portland’s only “true” Columbia River beach)* I couldn’t resist riding the Heavy Duti across the sand with its Fat Frank tires. They did OK on packed sand, but not that good on the loose stuff. If I really wanted to play around, I would have lowered the air pressure (I had them at 35 psi) but for such a small section of sand it wasn’t worth the trouble.

A bit of riding along the path along the river and a cut through through the Cascade Station retail corridor, and I was at my destination. There were loads of people coming in and out of the building, but despite the ample amounts of bike parking available, I was the only one with a bike. Oh well. I loaded my shopping cart with the things I need, tried to avoid buying the things I didn’t need (though it’s hard at a place like this),** but still paid a bit more than I would have liked.

Now the time of truth: getting it all on the bike. The Wald Giant Delivery Basket quickly became laden with stuff. The clothes drying rack, about four feet long, got strapped to the top of the basket, along with the pillow. It was a bit unwieldly, but I managed. The biggest drama now was it was getting dark, rush hour at hand, and the faster way home meant a few miles of no shoulder and faster traffic. But I managed, the only danger encountered was a loosening of handlebars when starting up at an intersection. (Note to self: tighten handlebars.)

All in all, a 15 mile round-trip, a good long ride on a beast like the Heavy Duti. It did well, but there were times where I wished for a higher gear. (You can tell that this ride was mostly flat, eh?) Now hopefully I don’t have to go back to the Swedish Shopping Embassy for another six months or so…

Ride With GPS route.

*There is a bit of beach at Kelley Point Park, but it doesn’t have lifeguards and all that business.

**”Should I get a second set of sheets? Do I really need a second set of sheets?”

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