conexions

I usually attend the county MLK celebration — music, recognition for students, and inspirational talks — but there was also a walk scheduled for TODAY and hey, it’s on the actual day and it is OUTSIDE THANK YOU. Krannert has vax requirement, don’t know about masking — but we’re still rolling about 20% positivity on a WHOLE LOT OF TESTS.

It was chilly 😉 I RODE THE XTRACYCLE 🙂 tho’ I need to figure out how to get its cargo bag to not drag on things. The thing to protect the brakes broke off or something but that sounds like something I can replicate with … hmmm!!!!! a use for the plastic beer holders? No, those might work on the top deck though 😛 Or!! Or!!! (being outside is inspiring visual thinking ?!?) some of the many things to put lights on handlebars that are floating around the house. I also need to hook up lights, etc. and perhaps I shall PROD myself to not wait ’til the weekend when it will be even colder.

Lots of pics taken and yes, folks recognized me in the news coverage… *and* I’ve got two folks’ biz cards because yes, they know people who might could use some skills building. I’m almost warmed up sitting in my house with both coats still on — walking is colder than riding…

early ;)

…. so, there was an 8:00 meeting scheduled (the hosts are east coast)… but I left so I could actually be at my desk at 8:01 where it seems the meeting is at 9:00 (zoom). All my time metrics were gone except the bus stops with the clocks — 7:22 instead of 7:28 on White Street. No cars on Main, tho’ I had to wait for plenty crossing Lincoln. The Teal West passed me instead of teh Teal East goin’ by the other way 😉 Seemed drivers didn’t dance as well — not the same folks, I suppose, though you’d think if exactly the same cars were going by I’d remember more of them…. there were two other folks on bicycles (but no streams of 5 like earlier in the week).

I love boring 🙂 Yes, lots of K/N95s out there. I also like living where careful people live, and I *still* like that the “stabilizing” spring on the front wheel is gone so it doesn’t resist turning (I wonder if age made it stiffer with rust as opposed to fatigue making it stretchier?)

Now to the work like stuff!

Snap!

That’s what I heard last night moving things around to get the bike in the garage…. and I knew something had *broken.* Couldn’t figure it out in the dark.

In the morning — oh! That stupid SPRING that pulls the handlebars back to center snapped. I tried to ride cautiously in case motor memories would think a thing was happening, but realized that actually it made me uncomfortable — I forget it’s there, and I don’t “feel right” taking it around turns. So! (and yes, it *broke,* metal fatigue… but I’m fine with that.)

Need to log those miles at lovetoride 😉

Keep on truckin’ ; )

Past two days were definitely “second semester has started!” commutes. Lots of interactions, from the hand off the steering wheel wave on Main Street to the guy calling out “keep on truckin’!” as I very slowly rode the upgrade to the light at Prospect. I was slow because I was timing the light 😉 Today was 11 degrees and I didn’t put the rain pants on — but the real pants are lined cargo pants, under sweats, over tights. My hands never got cold even for the first mile 😉 (They are always warmed up about when I go past Bruce’s BikeWorks, tho’ last Friday it wasn’t all the way to the tips at 1 degree F.) Today on White — I know now has “i-stops” for the bus, which means close enough to the U of I campus so that they don’t even check for passes or fares. You just get on the bus I’m approaching 3rd street and yea, the driver’s just going to wait — because it’s me *and* five, count them, FIVE bicycles coming the other direction (not students, commuters like me).

Lots of other communication dances including at a four-way stop where a school bus perpendicular left to me was turning right, so hey, I should just go except I realized, of course, the driver right behind the bus … nope, they had seen me 🙂 🙂 Gorillas aren’t invisible if you expect them! (Friend of mine was part of that original research and did not see the gorilla.)

Ordered 50 N95 masks yesterday. Fewer than 20,000 cases (yea, remember when 2000 was a not-so-good plateau…) yesterday but Mondays tend to run low. (Slightly lower than last Monday.) My weather tweeps are excited about changing trends but the national weather doesn’t point to snow Saturday… but tweeps are thinking the patterns will send something our way last two weeks of the month…

frozen shifters

Yes, I rode in today. Yesterday I worked from home, and having used the bus Wednesday, at 5:00 I just peeled four layers on and went to the store… and at 9 degrees, ended up doing an extra mile or two and getting to the “warmed up” place …

…. today I was ready to take the bus but went out to see how cold it was and… put the same layers on and got on the bicycle. Yes, if it weren’t for COVID I’d have been on the bus anyway. The person I chatted with during our fire alarm Wednesday *did* come by in her truck at the very last traffic light a quarter mile from campus and offered to throw the bike in the bakc. Well, you don’t throw my bike anywhere 😉 by the time we got itin, I’d be at school… and I told her “my hands are warmer than yours!”

Yes, it’s cold enough so there’s frost near the storm drains and I had frost in my hair from my breath.

Things will warm up after today (high 16, but tomorrow back above freezing).

SPeaking of COVID a friend works at Wal-Mart and half the folks there have it… oh, she’s sick but hasn’t gotten the test results back yet so she has to go to work because you can’t quarantine until you have the test results. No, really. Yes, vaxxed (don’t know about boosted, since after all I’m sure she couldn’t take a day off to recover from the shot either). So, yes, I wondered – tho’ she’s in another state – if folks might be getting on the bus to go to work under similar circumstances here.

Definitely had endorphins goin this a.m. 😉 That said, happy hormones happen on the bus, too. Hormones are highly underrated…

bluster ;)

I stuck a ridiculous goal of goin’ 1000 miles by March 20 on lovetoride.net — it’ll sort of depend on the weather, but I did get out for 5 gratuitous miles today because of it! The monstrous even-more-unprecedented COVID numbers precluded a destination…

Definitely wasn’t Brian Moline reading the weather this a.m. b/c it was about lows of 40, high 44, low…. BIG pause, then… FOURTEEN?!?!? and then kept goin’. That’ll be Saturday night.

The Schwinn is rolling BUT the back tire is like unto an egg. Pretty, pretty sure it’s tire, not wheel — the S7 tyres do that. Reckon I should track down my bike stand and get it up there and work on it 😉 Contemplating the forecast for a chance of snow and dreaming of a bike powered shovel… would want it to be a trike.

sailin’

So, yesterday I considered taking the bus home — to be honest, Omicron was a big factor in me just pedaling forth. Happily, it wasn’t fear-inspiring, tho’ I had to pedal reasonably hard w/ 24 mph winds fromthe south. I think the direction was OK for where the buildings were.

Listened to the gusts overnight — the storm line didn’t get here, really. When Brian Moline said gusts were to 40, I prepped to do the bus today — but went out to the bike to get gloves and … erm, sometimes the man doesn’t really update but so regularly. (Sometimes the temperature goes up about 10 degrees in four minutes…) And the “hourly” had winds goin’ down to 19 w/ no mention of gusts. And Omicron, and I haven’t had the booster.

Boy, would I have been annoyed if I’d been on the bus. Steady south wind all the way, but I don’t think more than 15 mph (and no gusts). Busses a little weird on the timing but I met the Teal at about Fourth (it’s a “on time and better” morning if I get all the way to First). 9B was leaving as I entered campus which is weird, but I thought too late to see which way it turned in case they just had the wrong label, since the 9A is *often* leaving as I’m arriving. Tag of the day: SAVUTAX (just a normal driver, tho’ ;)) … and it’s THURSDAY. Temps to be dropping all day but I’ve got the layers and dropping to 40 is still very much global warming thank you.

Pedaling in the weather, even/especially when it’s threatening, is awesome. One doesn’t need to go the grand canyon if you tune in to the majesty. Photosynthesis, for crying out loud, is beyond amazing. The power of freeze/thaw…. okay, time to get focused on real stuff now! COVID numbers for the state highest … the county not as bad but prob’ly just because students leaving. Try to stay safe, good people…

Flatitude

(did you know almost every word has an i before -tude? desuetude is an exception and there *might* be one more I’m forgetting.)

Yesterday came out after work to … flat tire. Yea, same one that was flat a few Mondays ago when I seized the opportunity to pick up the Schwinn from RB Bikes (or is it BR?) on the way home…. but I couldn’t find a tube so I patched it and … the problem was that a patch had worn out, which says … it’s old 😉 (and it had other old patches too)… so I bought a new tube but hadn’t actually gone back and replaced it. Now I’ve found *two* unused tubes 🙂 *and* today’s sub-goal is to see if maybe the patch kit is here at work… I couldn’t find it to try to fix the Schwinn flat, so I got a “scabs” one at Meijer and … don’t recommend. They’re thin and … nope, they don’t work. They just didn’t seal. However, the patch from Fat Tire Brewery from years ago? lots bigger (there were two in the cute little container that was swag when I went out to Fort Collins for the BikeJournal weekend with Pansy, Howard, et al…) and yea, it’s holding air, tho’ I hadn’t gotten it into the tire and back on the bike. Hmm. The tire does not like sitting right — I wonder if there’s something I could do while it’s off the bike to change that? Or if the Michael Burns OVER INFLATE and/or the Scott McCollum “soap down the contact areas with the rim” methods are best since they happen when the tire is on the wheel.

Bus ride in was delayed a tad — apparently somebody didn’t show up. Wonder if that’s a pattern — several times I expected to see the bus on my first part of commute but didn’t. Bus said “NOT IN SERVICE” and driver said “I’m the Green” and something about not having access to change it — which would also explain those times I saw “WRONG CODE” on busses 😉 … I *almost* took the earlier bus but was afraid I’d forget something, which I hadn’t except for forgetting to put on an actual shirt over the thermal layer 😉 Ameliorated before departure (and I have a jacket at work that would have hidden the oversight).

**Everybody** was properly masked on that bus. He had us all hop off before the terminal tho’ I suspect they were holding for us after deciding not to take a shortcut to the terminal (because some folks did need to get off in between) since, after all, he wasn’t “Green,” Really!! . The Brown bus driver was oneof the ebullient ones, greeting us all w/ conversation… but not enforcing masks. That said, most folks who didn’t have one snagged one from the stack; the person who seemed to be gazing at Something To Study had one on later so I suspect she knew Parkland was gonna make her have one. As w/ yesterday (tho’ folks were masked those rides, too), I breathed slowly and yes, I’m going to get tested Monday. Just because. And because the numbers are still going up — regionally we’re actually better than last week but I think that’s only because last week was a steeper downhill, not because things are turning around, esp. since state numbers are higher than last week.

Forecast is for rising temps all day, into fifties / sixties (yes, Climate Change, it’s DECEMBER)… with storms brewing. So the plan is to sneak down and get the wheel (no frozen chicken inthe bag this time forgotten from shopping!!!) and fix that … and despite having signed up for “post coffee cleanup” if the radar says so I’m leaving early 😉

Vanity plate

… of yesterday was Tomas 76 — passenger was obligated to say something about a “stop light” after I anticipated the green at Univ. and Randolph, scooting forward so that if the car next to me were turning right, they could do so more expeditiously (after carefully slowing to let the Green bus by me, and ducking behind it so it *could* make the right turn on red because that’s right, there was scarce East-West traffic). Well, it turns out that tag’s a known entity to others, too, for poor driving, so no, I wasn’t being unclear about intentions etc.

Today I got out by N:16 on the watch so yes!!! I saw the Teal come out of the Terminal 😉 I do need to inflate tires and lube chain, tho’… I’m slowing myself down. Oh, and tailwind 😉

Lots of pretty lights on houses too 🙂

Headwind :)

I’m getting good mileage this month because … well, climate change 😉 Today was *almost* “breezy” enough — and yes, they’re back to using that misleading term for “dangerously windy, but not enough for an official advisory” — to wish I’d taken the bus. If it had been a different angle then I think it would have been, but buildings and trees were enough to keep it from being too crazy… the last part in the parking lot was a good charge in, though. My watch deciding it was an hour later was mildly disconcerting but I mentally backtracked and no, it was the right stuff happening on the radio…

Vanity plate of the day, on a big ol’ (not new, tho’ not extremely old) white pickup truck: ISOLDIT .

And cars just suck. A person I know on twitter and from Open Ed — had some meals with them at the OER conference in 2018 — lost his youngest daughter, a kindergarten teacher, in a car crash yesterday.

Tonight we sing 😉 And right now it’s time to tidy up….