Date: February 28
Ride type: Commute
February mileage: 182
Year to date mileage: 429
The other day I posted two pictures of a green pump to display how wonderfully bright it's been getting in these parts. I'm sure most of you were impressed and thinking things like, "Dang, that VelociPete really has it going on. Planning a month ahead and taking pictures of the pump to show us how light it's getting. I should really buy him something nice." But sadly, this isn't the case. I took the original picture of the pump in January intending to post it along with a quick ode to the pump. I got as far as uploading the picture. Fast forward to February. I stopped and took another picture of the pump, again with the same plan. Finally, in a desperate attempt to use the pictures I came up with the daylight demonstration scheme. It all worked out in the end, and I got a nice post out of the deal. Feel free to still buy me something nice.
I do really like that pump. That pump nearly saved my life once (claim exaggerated for effect). It was one of those really hot days last summer, and I hadn't drank nearly enough water at work before heading out. If I remember correctly, there was lots of pop and coffee involved that day. I headed out and started sweating immediately. I found that I had also forgotten to fill my water bottle before leaving. So I rode a few miles and then came to the hill on the River Road Trail where the road passes under Franklin Ave. I don't like that hill much. It's not too long, but just long enough. And it's not too steep, but just steep enough. And the kicker is, once you get to the top where it looks like it's flat, there's really a gentle incline still there so it takes forever to get back to speed. Climbing the hill isn't such a problem, but it's the mental toll at the top when you can't help beating yourself up because you can't get going on this flat surface.
The pump is another 1/4 mile or so up the trail. This day, by the time I reached the pump I was parched. I stopped, pumped the handle and filled my bottle. The water tasted great. And the great thing is, the water from this thing always tastes great. It's not purified by reverse osmosis. It's not from a fancy spring in France. It's good old, naturally cooled, full of rust and minerals, and the best tasting stuff. Now I make it a point to keep my bottle on the low side so I can stop and fill it up with the pump.
To enjoy this treat yourself, there's a process to follow. Pump the handle a few times and watching the water start to trickle out of the drinking fountain. Keep pumping and you get a respectable stream equal to any indoor water fountain. This is where the amateurs normally stop. Don't. You want the stream to be so high that it looks like it's in danger of overshooting the bowl. That's when you stop pumping, stick your bottle under the faucet dispenser and pull the lever. If you did it right, you can fill your bottle and still have enough pressure to get a nice long drink from the fountain. They could bottle and sell this stuff, but it wouldn't be the same if you didn't pump it yourself.