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So Hub finally bought his bike. Thanks to those that gave advice. For those that are interested in the details, he is going to post his sordid tale in a guest post later this week.

Today we headed off for a ride together. The plan was to check out the bike path near us which would be Hub’s route to work, stop somewhere and grab some lunch, then meander back home after exploring a little more. The first bit was fun – we thought it would be fitting to have lunch at Human Powered Cafe which was scrummy.

So we headed out again, to try to find another path that we thought would link up with a way home. Turns out we were entirely mistaken about the path linking up, and we were left with a whole series of big hills left between us and our destination. And this is where I started to wilt. You see, Hub was using his schmicko new bike with all the mod cons. And I was using an old and poorly maintained moutain bike with none of the mod cons. Hub was good humouredly complaining that I was going too slow, while I was envying him his bike’s suspension as I caught every bump though my butt.

And did anyone notice it was hot and sunny today?

Anyway it was a good first venture and I told Hub that it won’t hurt him to have to ride at a slower speed once a week. Plus it is nice to justify the nice lunch with a good ride around (my arse doesn’t agree, but it will come around).

So I arrived home today to a box!! (I love deliveries)
A lonely box on my doorstep

A friend had recommended Aussie Farmers Direct for their random fruit and veggie box delivery. I had previously looked into a couple of options for this, but none seemed convenient to my area. So I signed up for an account and set up a couple of one off deliveries to see what it was like. They have two sets of delivery – one for meat, eggs and dairy which is delivered before 7am in the morning, and one for fruits and vegetables which comes sometime in the afternoon.

I have a meat, eggs and dairy order coming next week which should arrive before I leave for work. For the fresh delivery it seems you buy a reuseable cool bag which you put out the night before. For the veg delivery, they bring you a lovely (and very practical) box. I am totally using these things to reorganise my garage.

They have a random seasonal fruit and veg box for $25 for couples (other packages for families are available). I elected to go with the custom order cause I eat bugger all fruit. As long as the order is at least $25, you don’t pay delivery. As for price, I haven’t compared item for item, but my $25 box contained the following:

There’s some broccoli, red and green capsicum, carrots, beans, peas, cabbage and some truss tomatoes. The quality as you would expect from produce direct from farmers is a big step up from the supermarket options, though not at the organic boutique produce level. Probably at the standard of a good fresh market. If I went to a fresh market, I am sure that I could get cheaper, but I tend to do a semi-regular veg shop at the supermarket where I pick up these basic items and rarely come out spending much less than this. So in terms of value and convenience this is a big win for me.

I cooked up a bunch of veggies with some kanga meat chilli tonight and it was fantastic. So far I am sold. If the quality continues to be this good and the service as good, I might just switch to a regular order.

It was so nice to have a long weekend in Melbourne just gone. We spent the Saturday with the help of our friend taking some old white goods to the tip, along with some general crap which was cluttering up our carport. It was nice to see all the junk areas cleaned up at long last, but it is amazing how quickly you find more junk. In this case, our junk was washing machines, dishwashers and fridges which had crapped out at various times over the last couple of months.

And when you get the replacements, you suddenly have another big cardboard box and packaging which doesn’t in and of itself fit in your normal garbage. It took less than 24 hours for a new box of crap to find its way there. This is because we finally decided to chuck out my heirloom family microwave. As our weekender is our second residence (we live the rest of the time in a house owned by Hub’s work), our furnishing of both houses is a mix of new stuff and bizarre hand-me-downs. In this case, my parents had offered the use of the very first microwave that our family owned growing up. It dated back to the 1980s (still working) and this weekend we finally admitted that it was probably spewing all sorts of unhealthy rays at us, and to add to that it was the size of a minivan. So no sooner than we had cleaned out all of the crap (including the mini-van microwave) than we had more boxes and packaging (from the new microwave) to fill the niche. Sigh.

I think I got the worst end of the stick though. While the boys were carting whitegoods on the trailer, I was left with cleaning up the mess left behind said white goods (two of the fridges hadn’t been moved since we bought the place). Ugh.

When we finally got back from our various chores, we realised the downside of our unintentional failure to do any shopping. We had stuff in the house we could eat, but nothing to snack on. Who wants broccoli for lunch? Instead of going for a shop, we proceeded to indulge mightily on 3 or 4 separate occasions over the weekend. We still didn’t go shopping as we had real food in the house, but we talked ourselves out of real food and into hamburgers (they were real hamburgers from a fish n chipper so they tasted goood) and later into pizza (again, at least it was good quality pizza).

So eating wise, the weekend was a write off. That being said, we didn’t regret it for a moment – just a long weekend version of a cheat day and it helps that we were sufficiently restrained that none of the indulgences left us feeling gross. But the long weekend is over and we don’t get another one until June, so it is back on the almighty bandwagon until then.

Needless to say, the steady downward progression on the scales stalled this week somewhat (though by no means disastrously), but I have no hesitation in saying it was TOTALLY WORTH IT.

Oh and thanks for those with advice about the bike buying below – have added some more information so if anyone has more suggestions they will be gratefully received.

Okay, so Hub has requested some advice on buying him a new bike for his forthcoming birthday. And we are stuck in the midst of too much information on the web and wondered whether others had some advice. We are aiming to spend around $800ish and want to balance not spending a heap of money on something that he may not use too much, against not getting something which will be immediately poorly chosen if he does really get into it.

Okay, so any thoughts on brands, things to look for, things to avoid, things to splurge on, things not to worry about would be very appreciated. If it makes a difference he is a big guy (both tall and solid). He has been doing a lot of time on the exercise bike for about 4 months (10-15 hours a week). If he gets into it, we will upgrade to a better option in a year or so.

Oh, and if you have suggestions for car bike racks that would be appreciated as well.

EDITED TO ADD – Okay, in response to Andrew’s questions below – almost entirely this will be used on bike paths and roads. For now he anticipates this will be for rides of about an hour, an hour and a half or longer.

I keep forgetting to keep up with the old blogarooney over here. The problem is that I don’t do that much which is interesting. At a certain point it becomes more of I-went-to-the-gym-again-and-then-came-home-and-ate-some-protein-and-vegetables. And frankly, repetitions of those sort of posts would just bore me (and doubtless everyone else) to tears.

Everything is going well, though, which I can be thankful for. We finally got our shower back. It is AWESOME.

So some short updates.

The weather is weird. Stop that.

Sasha the dog shaped girl has been having some health difficulties recently (again). Poor girl is getting older and we are on a campaign to fatten her up – every time she gets sick she loses more weight and she is on a restricted diet so it is very hard to get her to bulk up. Trying to convince her to carb up, but she prefers to eat lean and clean.

Wallet stolen and car broken into which is now three thefts separate thefts/break-ins in less than six months. Apart from the hassle of replacing cards and so on, it did give me an excuse to geek out over getting the best replacement wallet. We also managed to get the GPS stolen from our car back after the cops arrested the “gang” responsible and called us cause our address was listed as “home” in the GPS. Since then heaps of people have told me that you should never list your own address as “home” in the GPS cause it means people will know that you are out and then come and break in to your house. Seems like a much bigger hassle than just looking in someone’s driveway to see if they are home and choosing to break into *that* house.