Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A bike outing before an ouchie!

Why, yes, I am adorable in this pannier!

What dog likes a trip to the veterinarian?  They always, always, always result in an ouchie, don't they, no matter how now nice the lady in the white coat.  But as any well-loved pooch knows, vet trips are just the price one pays for living in a world filled with warm blankets, soft pillows, caressing hands and dog cookies.  Daisy accepts this but she still didn't want to the vet since today would certainly involves ouchies in the form of a heart worm test and a micro chip.  I decided that in exchange for needles, I'd treat her to a bike ride.  Originally, I had planned to walk the less than a mile distance but having fallen short on doing my physical therapy for my bum knee since the move to Phoenix, it has been popping and pulling again, making biking the much more comfortable option.  Naturally, we set out early, before 8 a.m. to avoid the worst of the day's heat.

Soft-sided but servicable, the Nashbar pannier subbed as pet carrier for today's trip to the veterinarian.

Normally, I would have mounted my Snoozer Pet Bicycle Basket on the front of the Dahon but since I sold it to Cousin Angie, I would have to take the Breezer.  Unfortunately, the Breezer's headlamp interferes with  any bike basket I've ever tried to use to I would need to carry Daisy in a pannier attached to the rear bike rack.  A less than ideal choice, so I tested Daisy in one of our boxy, Bike Nashbar panniers in the backyard, putting her plaid, fuzzy blanket in the bottom of it for comfort.  I also attached her leash securely to the rack so that she could not  climb out.  No worries, I soon discovered.  Daisy seemed quite content in the basket - not excited but happy to be along for the ride.  Reasonably confident in her safety but preferring to have my eye on her, I positioned my rear view mirror so that I could see both Daisy and the road behind me.  

We set off for the vet.  I was able to stay on my street for half the trip before I switching to Thomas Road, which is quite busy with fast traveling cars and no bike lanes. With resignation I moved to the sidewalk.  Daisy remained a cooperative little traveler, though very interested in her surrounding and the feel of the wind on her face.  We arrived at Dr. Ruiz's office without incident.  Ouchies were soon completed followed by a delightful spoonful of canned dog food!

A palm tree canopy provided welcome shade for stopping for a drink of water.

I decided to take side streets, mostly through the quite residential Willo Historical District for our trip home.   Except a brief time on 3rd Avenue, which has a bike lane but is one way in the opposite direction of my destination, I happily pedaled on the street. 

Despite the comfort of shade, Daisy was ready to get going.

We crossed back into Coronado Historical District, where we live, at the aptly named Palm Lane.  Actually, most of the street we pedaled on our return trip could easily have been named after palm trees.
Molly in the Sleepypod
Photo by Melanie Meyers Colavito for Commute by Bike.

While the Nashbar pannier was perfectly serviceable for carrying Daisy, I really
missed having Snoozer basket, with its collapsible metal frame mounted right in front of me.  Fellow Commute by Bike contributor Melanie Meyers Colavito, recently posted this review of Sleepypod's Sidekick front rack and Air pet carrier.  I'm pretty impressed and will likely consider this system for the Breezer once I upgrade my front lighting system and relocate it to the fork.  The Air pet carrier would satisfy Valley Metro Light Rail's requirements for transporting a dog on the train.  The entire Sleepypod system is stylish so that doesn't hurt either.  Daisy might not care about style but I do!