Yesterday it wasn’t supposed to rain ’til the afternoon, so I tossed the waterproof duffel into the bags and set out. I’d intended to get my annual bus pass but had pretty much forgotten it … until it sprinkled on me just before the turn… so I figured that was my hint that the forecasts would be right and today would be horrible and stormy…

… well, it isn’t yet, tho’ I suppose if the winds were against me I might feel differently, but the numbers are different too.   Last Thursday they were headwinds 28 gusting to 35 and today it’s tailwinds 23 gusting to 28… and we’ll just see about the afternoon.

The other significant disincentive was last night’s choice to leave aySeuss at Parkland (the laptop with Android Studio)… meaning I couldn’t even intend to look at teh App of Doom on the bus trip.

And sigh, we’d ahve a better chance at even higher bike friendliness if we got commitment from that local University, like happens in Madison Wisconsin.  Fat chance mother U, unless there’s a way to “commit” that you don’t actually have to follow through on.   Ooops, this is Illinois — commitment doesn’t mean what it does where people are honest about such things.   (Our current governor is still holding the state hostage — no budget, funds are going out to those organizations who can afford to pay lawyers to make it legally required, but higher ed and adult ed and day care and mental health workers and towns trying to fix potholes and…… are out of luck and money…  I personally think it’s time to figure out a bitcoin of our own.)

Breezy! End of Estivation…

Yesterday’s winds were 29 gusting to 30 something riding home on the Xtracycle, and it was enough like Not Fun sot hat this morning when they’re even stronger… I hopped the bus.  (I do have a THursday church event so I’ll get some riding in.)   If I’d had enough warning, I’d have readied the Gazelle, but I haven’t ridden it since last year — I don’t even remember whether it’s still got studded tyres on it or not.   It’s the proper plow-through-wind bike, lacking the huge cargo bags that turn into sails but still having enough weight and low-center-of-gravity to feel like I’m in control.   Reckon it’s November so I should wake it up out of aestivation… I’ll need to re-up the annual pass, too ($84/ year) but I can afford the dollar fare… since I would have been the first this morning and the laminator would have had to warm up, there wasn’t time at the terminal between the Green and the Brown buses.

I was feeling a little extroverted anyway so I got to chat w/ the irregulars and a few students ;)   The bus wasn’t as crowded as it usually has been when I ride, which makes me wonder whether a lot of people are foul-weather riders.   We’ll see!

Foggy foggy dew

… DENSE fog tho’ not so much once in town, coming home.

In the parking lot a fellow employee greeted me admiring the wheelbrightz … and we chatted… one part of  conversation she said that when she saw me on church street, it alerted her that hey, bikes are *everywhere.*   And that while I’ve got the lights (and though she didn’t say it, while I’m taking the lane)… other folks won’t be but … look out for them.

So then I’m toodling down Race and a youngish lady on sidewalk says “howdy!”   and I howdy back and she says fast-like (in that way when you knkow I’ll be out of earshot in a second or two) “I saw you last night.”

Possibly she was the one who passed me on the green bike with the pink handlebars (whom I *think* is the same person who passed me outbound in the morning) who noted that “You carry a lot of weight on that!”  and I said in my best Hulk imitation, “And it makes me STRONG!!!”   (Hey, this mornign I was singing my “Stalled out at the traffic light of love” song in the lab… must be the season…)

Or not ;)   I think a lot of people saw me…

Creating bike lanes

One thing noted at the Bike Summit Wednesday was that it seems fears that making a bike lane wide enough to fit a car into it actually didn’t end up with cars using the bike lane.

I speculated then about how important a factor the lane being used by bicycles was; that if there weren’t bicycles on it regularly, perhaps drivers would end up using it to duck around and pass and that sort of thing.

This morning I was heading up Church Street to Mattis.   A phone discussion from me some years back means there’s an extra five seconds or so on my part of the cycle but it’s still a pretty short cycle and I knew at my pace & position that I would arrive about when the light changed… so having a mess of cars in front of me would … matter… and I could see, in my mirror,  a light cycle’s worth of cars approaching…

Two of ’em went right on Mattis on the merge ramp.

The other five all lined up in the left lane (there’s also a left turn lane).   I ended up with a fully legal, justified “shoaling,” as I passed ’em all in the right lane and got to the intersection as green happened.   (None of them were turning left; there’s a separate lane for that.)  (erm, yes, I’m going to “pass on the right” in this situation.)

Essentially, they treated the right lane as a bicycle lane, just because a bicycle was in it.   (Yes, I am rather certain that had I been hugging the right side, it wouldn’t have happened. )

“donating miles”

Well, Ray actually posted that people could “donate miles” for the ones he can’t do … so I posted my hard-won wind miles …

Bike summit tomorrow!   I actually forgot all about it because I’ve been MAKING PROGRESS!!! on my app for learning about adding integers with pictures …

Rained on today!   YEs, it does happen every few years… Gore-Tex is still awesome and yes, I’m Celtic.   I thoroughly enjoy 45 degrees and light rain and riding into it…

THose October specials :)

We had a cookout for our “division” at work … in Mahomet, 20 miles away. I told my non-cycling friend, to her “but 20 is nothing for you, right?” that … it just depended on th eweather.
So what’s a 25 mph headwind?
I evne did 2 bonus miles North-South … and yes, it was strong enogh so that the cross winds did their magic on the bags on the Xtracycle so I could barely do 10 mph those directions too…
20.2 miles out (into the wind) … whch didn’t count the 0.7 before I turned on the Garmin. (I also learned to do the phone app for ridewithgps but changed my mind about the route… which contributed to the extra miles.No, it wasn’t the GPS making me dumb — I was just using it for speed and distance.
19.6 miles back.
So… the math doesn’t quite work. Trip out shoud have been 21.6 by that measure. Curious.
Ride back didn’t have *quite* the wind velocity but it had also shifted a little and was a little out of the north, too, which was nice on the Southbound miles.
And it’s nice to knock off 40 on a late fall day… and riding at night is nifty. Yes, fresh batteries in the flashlight were almost as good as the generator light (which I still haven’t solved — but will take apart one of these days and see if the capacitor has wasted away and just can’t hold a charge.)

…. oh, almost forgot… so I turned on 1800 (the point where I thought I’d gone the wrong direction, not realizing Bradley was 1700 (not 1900) — the road out of Rising is 1900. I stopped to figure things out and a car just sat at the intersection. I made a thumbs up gesture … and honestly they made me hope on the bike more confidently than I would have and shove it into the winds… and they proceeded to crawl behind me for the next mile.
And … I”m reasonably positive they were simply concerned for my welfare. Midwesterners are like that…
And yes, that was where it seemed a bit long, a bit hard… I thought of people who ride through pain and live through pain (tho’ I just exerted a bit… I didn’t go to pain land, b/c I knew I had to ride back and 40’s long this time of year and … I don’t work that hard without provocation.) Yea, rayslittleride… and … certain other people… I tried to offer my exertions with prayers wafting…


This morning’s sky was pretty much blue with mostly high clouds, so the rainbow was a tad striking.   I couldn’t find the source of enough moisture to make it happen … but it was prob’ly the same cloud that sprinkled on us for a few minutes.

Haven’t seen my jogging guy, and I *think* “dystonia” would describe his gait (as in Parkinson’s or something like that), so I’m sending healthy vibes his way…

Talked about future plans for Bradley Ave. last night and a few other choice intersections… and the fact that yes, it’s another place where CHampaign Just Doesn’t Have Funds to do stuff, so any infrastructure will change at the city boundary…