Since I logged over a hundred miles during the school week, largely during a really nasty heat wave, I decided on Friday evening to take a couple of off-bike rest days this weekend.
Yesterday, Denis and I took a nice walk in the evening to a nearby pocket park. We rode the swings for a little while, then walked home. We stopped at Dairy Queen on the way back.
This morning, we got up early-ish to run out to Denis’ Mom’s house. She’s quite a good seamstress, so she’s making some adjustments to a pair of suits that we’re wearing to our friends’ wedding at the end of this month. While we were there, I noticed a box for what looked like a nifty slow-cooker. I figured I’d look it up on Amazon after we got home, but instead Phyllis sent it home with us! She said we can keep it if we like it; if it doesn’t work for us, we can bring it back and she’ll pass it along to someone else.
The “slow-cooker” in question is the Ninja “Cooking System,” which does triple-duty as a slow-cooker, a sort of electric rangetop thingy, and an oven. This last feature has me really stoked; we can’t bake anything from, like, May through November because our house gets too hot, but Denis likes a lot of baked stuff.
The Ninja claims to work for baking — including for making muffins and cake — as well as for slow-cooking and “fast-cooking.” If it’s as good at baking and slow-cooking as it’s supposed to be (I had to google the heck out of it as soon as we got home, of course), it’s got a home for good.
Tonight I made some biscuits in it using the “steam bake” method. They came out pretty nicely and the Ninja didn’t heat up the house even after baking at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, so it seems promising. I might see about baking a little cake or a pan of brownies next, and then some kind of bread. Being able to bake bread when the ambient temperature is above 70F/21C would be awesome!
After we got home, Denis told me to keep an eye out for Brian, who would be coming by later to drop something off.
The “something” in question turned out to be a new tandem bike!
Brian works at a scratch-and-dent warehouse, and the bike came in a while ago. Brian told him about it, and Denis decided to buy it as a surprise gift to both of us for his own birthday!
Once it showed up I set to work doing the setup. It was pretty easy and only took about an hour. Once the bike was fully assembled, we took it for a test spin around the cul-de-sac.
Denis asked me to replace this picture with one in which his shorts are zipped all the way. Jeez. Some people.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about the tandem. We actually had one on hand, but that one is a heavy, ancient single-speed steel model that needs a lot of work.
Our new tandem is a 7-speed with a huge granny gear and a triple up front — pretty basic stuff, but leaps and bounds more useful in a neighborhood full of little hills. It’s a pretty cool bike — upright, cruiser-style geometry with curvy tubing and fat mountain bike tires. I don’t think we’ll be riding centuries on it (Denis isn’t interested in doing centuries anyway!), but I do think we’ll get a lot of use out of it.
Conveniently, the tandem also matches my existing stable: the Fearsome Fuji is silver and the Tenacious Tricross is black; the tandem (yet to be named) is black and silver. Convenient!
I can’t wait to get out and ride with Denis. We’re planning to haul it with us to DC and do some bike-path-exploring out there.