…. the weather is lousy so it looks like there might be oh, five people doing it… some creative soul needs to think of a crappy-weather-option.
slashdot.com has another link to an article about increases in cycling commuting because of gas prices and, alas, the comments haven’t improved over the past two years or so. They had improved a bit — there are now a few cyclists who post — but the majority of the boingy culture are, it seems, of the “what??? physical exertion ?!?!?” mindset, with a hefty dose of the “roads were made for cars; we can kill you, so get out of the way. Of course, I’m stridently against all forms of oppression…” Perhaps it’s a shift that a person describing his shift to cycling gets a “four points: insightful” score (my posts have never gotten a second look so I always get “1″ — the geek types also tend to be cliquish…).
Bike project was very quiet yesterday so I gave the back end of the Xtracycle a close inspection and I think I’ve rearranged clasps and straps so things don’t fall out. Found the second half of the blender stand (hooray!) so when my side car comes I shall endeavor to make a full bar Hmmm… might could do that for Cranksgiving…
Say what? I didn’t blog about LCI training? They should have just told us “bring your own food” — though, frankly, they should have done better research so we could have eaten reasonably well. Dudes. Our culture has gotten past “Man was meant to eat MEAT” which was what the big sign at the barbecue where we ate lunch said. Thursday when I had the League of Illinois Bicyclist folks here, we met at the library and walked over to Common Ground Food Coop to get lunch. People knew all their ingredients, thank you… Urbana rocks
Food and lack of sleep aside (nobody’s fault — but it was a hotel room, and not my bed) it was pretty awesome. Yes, you’d better already be a vehicular cyclist. I had to be “up” for presentations and what have you, and if I’d had had to apply the same level of focus on the riding around (which I would have if I didn’t commute daily and lead rides), I would have been even more dangerous Sunday than I was. I was tired enough to “decide,” despite having been told otherwise, that we were proceeding straight at an intersection. The poor “leader” to my left wasn’t going to get around me… everybody else executed the turn, and then I did, by which time poor Pat had to go straight and around the block, and they wondered why she’d gone AWOL. Yes, I set them straight about who’d made the blunder…
At any rate, I do still have to get a bit better at teh emergency maneuvers that I was unable to skillfully execute on my Dahon. (Yea, I know, it should have been *easier,* but I did ‘em better on the Xtracycle. Big and Slow work better for me.)
And it’s really, really time to replace that front tire… adding air every other day is getting old. (Yes, it’s the tire that’s old; not just a tube thing.)
I hung out at the Champaign County Bikes table yesterday at the farmer’s market. We gave out some maps and talked to folks. There was a man who inquired about turning right in his car when there was a bike lane, and I confirmed that yes, he should “take the lane” so that the bicycle riders would be encouraged to go to the left adn discouraged from going to the right. I noted that the current bike lanes became dashed near intersections, and described how I move out to the left to make room for cars coming up behind me to make that right turn.
The other conversation of note was from the Token Driver Who Needed To Talk About THose Stupid Cyclists That She Almost Kills. Two issues concerned her most: unlit riders and … those using sidewalks. Oh, and she was from Maryland, and things were much better there! I was intrigued. Just where in Maryland was she from? Oh, she said, a planned community. Greenbelt or Columbia? Columbia.
I suggested that one of the reasons our cyclists and drivers were having more conflicts was that whole planning thing and it gave her pause… if there are places to ride safely and visibly because of the way the infrastructure is designed, ya know, the cyclists probably get “smarter…”
A student was parking on the new, nice (only thing that would make ‘em nicer would be being covered) loops, having a pastel blue nutcase helmet already looped into her backpack. Two nutcases, within two feet of each other!
Must remember to ask about Oct. 5 and see if I can sign up for the LCI training….
The commentary is spot on. This driver just about causes a head-on… but yea, would be likely to claim he’d been “forced” into oncoming traffic by that bicycle slowing him down… the same bicycle that caught up to him at subsequent intersections because, actually, all thsoe cars were doing that already.
I have *no* idea what prompted or provoked it, but leaving work tonight, as I put my quilt purse on my Xtracycle, dressed in my Pansy jacket and Nutcase helmet, a passenger in the Parkland College Parking Lot waved and called out “You’re BEAUTIFUL!” — and it wasn’t somebody I’d helped in math, to the best of my knowledge (and usually those are the folks who call out “Hello, Miss Sue!!!”)