Running Local Errands on Fatrike – Farmer’s Market
Now and then, I run an errand or two around town. With my pannier setup on the Full Fat, it is quite easy, and fun, to do. This trike is so comfortable that it is a joy to pedal around town … yes, even on pavement, haha. Those chip sealed streets, which formerly rattled my teeth and brains on the Catrike 700, are not even noticeable on the fatrike. These days, all streets are smooth!
So recently, when I had to get some tomatoes at the local farmer’s market, it was a snap. Sometimes I walk, but this particular day, I had some work to do, so wanted to make the errand a bit quicker. Walking would have taken at least an hour to accomplish. On the trike, even with several interesting human interactions at the farmer’s market, I was back home in about 24 minutes.
The day was sunny and warm, so I put on my Oakley golden-chrome thermonuclear protection sunglasses and my Outdoor Research (OR) cycling cap, with its foreign legion styled side flaps for sun protection. Leo, a man some refer to as the “truck farmer” because he drives a pickup truck full of fresh produce from the Willamette Valley to outlying smaller towns for folks to buy, is only in town two days a week, and for about 5 hours each visit. Leo parks at an abandoned gas station and lays out his produce from regional farmers. I needed tomatoes.
On my way to the farmer’s market to purchase ten dollars worth of farm-fresh tomatoes
So, I pull up on my ICE Full Fat, park in the shade, get out three small sacks, and start perusing the two boxes full of tomatoes, which were surrounded by many other boxes of other fresh veggies and fruits. A nice lady walks up to me, introduces herself, and says she has not seen a trike like mine before (she actually called it a trike, in a world where most people call it a bike). She tells me that she has a TerraTrike of her own, and not only that, but it’s in the back of her tiny Chevy HHR. So I respond, “You have it right here?” hardly believing my ears. She says “yes” and we walk on over to her car in the dirt parking area. She opens the rear hatch, and sure enough, there sits a TerraTrike Tour, which she bought used a few years ago for one-third of its original new price. Amazing! What are the chances I ride to the farmer’s market, and am greeted by a trike-riding gal? When I introduce myself and briefly tell her about this TA website, she responds that she reads it! Wow!
The next event was also interesting. After Miss TerraTrike leaves, I return to choosing some great juicy tomatoes. My peripheral vision to the right reveals an attractive woman whispering in Leo’s left ear, about ten feet from where I’m standing. I give a glance that direction, and she is clearly looking right at me in kind of a nervous manner, so I return my vision to the tomatoes. But my keen periphery reveals her continual whispering in Leo’s ear, so I glance over again. She averts her eyes from mine. Of course, I am wearing the Oakley reflective sunglasses, so she can’t even see my real eyes, only mirrored images of the veggies. And since I have my OR cap on, all she can tell is that a clean-shaven attractive man of unknown identity is picking out tomatoes. Who is that guy?
Well, at long last, I finally pick out thirteen tomatoes that I think may be good, and walk up to Leo to begin my check-out. He weighs the tomatoes and I pay for them. While this transaction is taking place, Leo asks me if my name is the name of a particular movie star (I do not recall the actor’s name, but wish I had committed it to memory for this story). I tell Leo no, that my name is Steve Greene. Leo then leans over closer, and asks, “Did you notice that woman whispering to me a few minutes ago?” I tell him that I did in fact realize something was going on with her. He then tells me that she wanted to know if my name was that of the movie star (Leo remembered the star’s name). Leo says that the woman was just dying to ask me, but she was too nervous to approach the man whom she thought was the star, so she whispered the question to Leo instead. The reason for the second time the lady whispered to Leo is that she made him promise to find out who I was.
I got the impression that this mystery gal knew Leo well enough to ask such things, and request such favors. Leo is even older than I am, so the rugged farmer had no problem light-heartedly asking me my name, and relating the story of the reluctant woman. Being dressed in headgear to protect my face from the sun while on my fatrike, it apparently appeared to the woman that I wished to maintain an anonymous state while out in public. I guess my facial features must resemble the star in question. Oh well, that was fun.
The third thing that happened was actually almost anticlimactic compared to the first two. After Leo filled me in on the woman who found me of interest, he, being a laid-back mellow fellow, said to me: “That is the coolest looking bike I have ever seen in my entire life!” He is such a nice guy that I did not even bother to tell him it had three wheels and is called a trike. I just smiled, said thank you, and put my thirteen tomatoes in three sacks into my two Arkel RT-60 panniers. Then, I circled around the veggie stands and headed back home, with Leo smiling at the big fat tire monster I had pedaled down to his little modest farmer’s market that Monday.
Lesson reinforced: No matter where I ride this ICE Full Fat, I always get reactions that are unique. I never know who I’ll meet next, or what they are going to say. My advice? If you want to meet some interesting people, and you are on the shy side, just pedal around on a fatrike! You’ll meet ’em!
Ride one of these, and you become a famous movie star – and the focus of considerable attention!