How much can I carry on my bicycle?

Remember the Bateman-Atkinson Bicycle Trailer Conversion? Well it’s been serving me well for over a year now, never more so than today.

Today was a complex cycling day that involved a cycle up to the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market with Oliver, and then a trip to the University of PEI for Oliver’s New Student Orientation activities (he left his bike there, and I’ll pick him up later tonight for the cycle home).

Once Oliver was in the capable hands of Blue Team, Squad Two, I dashed down University Avenue to Charlottetown Vet Clinic to get dog food, then over to MacQueen’s to pick up a kick stand for my bicycle and a water bottle holder for Oliver’s. I made a final stop at Leezen to get some soap before cycling home.

The result of all this was a full tub on top of the bike trailer, that held all of this:

A photo showing all of the things I stuffed into my bicycle cargo trailer.

Here’s what’s in the photo, from left to right, top to bottom:

My old excuse for taking the car to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday was “well, how am I going to get everything home – I need the car for that!”

But this turns out not to be true (and we didn’t even begin to fill the basket on the back of Oliver’s bike!).

– – – – – –

I need to get better at knolling. But I’m pretty happy with the photo, which I took on my Moto G7 Play while standing on a kitchen stepladder over the contents of the bike tub spread out on our driveway. This being Charlottetown, who should cycle by than the selfsame Erin Bateman, she of the ancestral bicycle trailer.

Behind the Scenes photo of my feet on the kitchen stepladder taking the photo

Proud UPEI Parent

Today is the start of New Student Orientation week at the University of PEI and Oliver is diving in with all feet.

As I write he is off on a campus tour while I chill in the parent lounge and drink coffee from my parent mug.

Thirty-five years ago this week I was in Oliver’s shoes; I told him, as we were cycling up to campus this morning, that I felt nervous, to which his response was “what have you got to be nervous about?!”

I am, indeed, a proud UPEI parent.

You buy my Almanac, I will buy your radishes…

It’s not every day your primary client is on the front of the local newspaper, so today’s a day to celebrate: the cover of The Guardian this morning was graced by a story, Chilling forecast, about the 2020 edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Cover of The Guardian, August 29, 2019

My work with The Old Farmer’s Almanac started many years ago when first went online; this is the 23rd year I’ve helped launch the digital companion to the printed book. The team I work with in Dublin, New Hampshire has evolved over the years, but they’ve always been fun to work with, and the work has always been challenging.

Here on Prince Edward Island you can buy your copy of the 2020 edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac at:

  • The Bookmark
  • Indigo
  • Atlantic Superstore
  • Home Depot Canada
  • Home Hardware
  • Lawton Drugs
  • Michael’s
  • Princess Auto
  • Shopper’s Drug Mart
  • Sobey’s
  • Walmart

When you buy a copy you’re not only getting a venerable yearly companion, but you’re also supporting my little business.

And I will buy your radishes. Thank you.

Overflow Parking for Chocolate Milk

Catherine, who heretofore I’d never seen drink a glass of chocolate milk even once in 28 years, has suddenly gone gangbusters for it. Cancer meds work in mysterious ways.

Fortunately Purity Dairy is but a hop, skip, and jump away. I’ll need more storage on the bicycle if this keeps up though.

Want my business? Install a bicycle rack!

The City of Charlottetown recently announced a program to incentivize local businesses to install bicycle racks:

The City of Charlottetown is offering a cost sharing incentive to provide local businesses an opportunity to install a bike rack at their establishment.

The four bike rack costs $425.00 plus HST, which would be cost shared at $212.50 plus HST each. Installation and maintenance costs for the lifetime of the bike rack would be the responsibility of the partner.

The City has capacity for twenty establishments to partner with for the 2019/20 budget year. Interested businesses can learn more or register online at:

I’ve been making a determined effort, this cycling season, to replace all my car trips with bicycle trips: where I used to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, hospital, hardware store, and the farmers’ market by car, I now take my bicycle.

As soon as I started to do this in earnest, I started to notice that there are some businesses with great bicycle parking infrastructure (Receiver Coffee Brass Shop, Upstreet, Murphy’s Parkdale Pharmacy, Sobeys) and some businesses with no place to park a bicycle at all.

Photo of the bicycle rack at Sobeys on Allen Street

The large bicycle rack at Sobeys on Allen Street.

The single best way to advocate for better bicycle infrastructure at local businesses is to ask them to take advantage of this program.

As part of the ask, make it clear that you’re doing so as a customer-who-cycles. This turns your request from an environmental decision into a business one: businesses want their customers to be happy, and they want patronage to be convenient. Looked at through that lens, spending $200 on a bicycle rack is a no-brainer.

Let’s get this program fully subscribed before the end of the month.

Printmaking in the Open

Although Art in the Open 2019 was a cavalcade of artistic wonders, my favourite part of it was the portable printmaking studio set up on Victoria Row by St. Michael’s Printshop from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

I was trying to explain to someone last night the difference between printmakers and printers, and I suggested that it was kind of like they’re Portuguese and we’re Spanish. To the casual observer we’re easily confused with each other, and, indeed, it’s possible to make yourself understood speaking one language to a native speaker of the other. But we’re different nations with different traditions, different sensibilities, different terminologies.

But, that all said, we’re all Iberians, so to speak, as our alchemy involves ink, paper, form and pressure. And so I loved spending time in their midst.

The portable printshop was setup up to print on anything you might bring along with you, using one of a fleet of woodcuts that they traveled with.

I brought along a piece of scrap canvas, and selected this stunning cut by Newfoundland artist Kim Greeley for my print:

Kym Greeley print hanging to dry, Art in the Open, 2019

I’m so, so happy with the result. You can come see it on my shop door in St. Paul’s Parish Hall next time you’re near.

The St. Michael’s crew were hard at it for hours last night, a little overwhelmed, I think, by the reception they got to their offer-to-print.

I’ve emerged with a newfound appreciation for my Iberian cousins and a resolve to accelerate my plans, long unfulfilled, to visit Newfoundland and Labrador.