Froggy, Froggy Dew

I could plop myself up into first place in this month’s National Bike Challenge roster for Champaign County Bikes, since I rode in this a.m. The weather happily sent the wild storm through at 6:15; gone by my 7:15 departure but fun riding past the assorted puddles and swellings the storm caused.  (I’m sure select folks will get out and go long soon — but I saw this week’s unsettled forecast and figured I might make some gains…)

Last night was the Prairie Cycle Club’s Pizza Party to kick off the season so I rode home via Curtis Road.   Almost ran over one frog on the bike lane and saw four or five others over the next mile or so.   They were over an inch in size, some of ’em bigger, but I’m trying to remember how big a transitioning tadpole gets; they might have all been fairly recent transformers.   They *didn’t* seem to be trying to migrate across the road or anything; hopefully they sauntered back into the moisture and other cyclists successfully dodged ’em.   There’s a reason to install bike lanes —  a significantly safer buffer zone for frogs :)

Today I spent a mile on Church road chatting with another bike commuter about the marketing campaign Trek *should* have to get a chunk of Big Box Buyers to take the step from Bicycle Shaped Objects to well-fitted, well-engineered *bicycles.*   “You’ll never go back!”   Hey, I’d be *glad* to be a poster lady :)

Stealing ideas

It’s really nice to be back on the bike every day and being able to be on auto-pilot.

I described a bike I’ve seen parked at work w/ a bungee cord coiled four or five times around top tube and bike parking loop and someone said, “maybe it’s not for security; maybe it’s just to keep the bike from blowing over.”

D’oh!   Since I haven’t gotten around to ordering up the monster kickstand for my Xtracycle, and since I swapped out a normal kickstand for a non-monster raise-the-front-wheel two-pronger that is okay but not that stable, that’s an issue… but not today.   I plopped a bungee on my own bike.  (However, I also locked it …)

Spring break is done and yes, there was a constant stream of bike traffic on the ride in.  I even worked up a leetle beet of  sweat ’cause it’s warm enough (42) to do that without snagging an evaporation chill…

Did not pi

There was a “pi” ride today … departing on 3/14/15 at 9:26 and planning to ride oh, 53.589793238462643383279502884197969399375  miles or so.

When the weather forecast said “dense fog advisory until 9″ it tipped me to sticking to the home front… and making a failed attempt to cash in my coin jar.

Coins weigh a *lot,* by the way.   Two fruitcake tins are enough to really mess with handling (I had ’em on the deck of the Xtra so they were up pretty high).   HOwever, the Main Street Busey isn’t open Saturdays (no, I wasn’t going to pour the coins into the drive-through tube the five or six times it would have required ;)).

Dashing out to do two laps informed me the decision was wise; my pulled muscle in my shoulder (wreaked by attempting to use an exercise ball I think… yes, I’ll keep doing that but more carefully…)   is really tight.

I looked back over last year’s bikejournal and saw I was thinking of Calvin’s Challenge … and felt like “no way!” … but of course I”ve often felt “no way!” about rides I’ve done really well on… and setting the “220 miles between V-Day and St. Pat’s” has me … doing 14 miels today that I wouldn’t have done. So, microgoals it shall be…

Raining but ridable :)

It’s been really nice this week to get back into my accustomed rhythm with the planet. Tuesday’s ride in also had the now-expected level of bicycle traffic — generally at least one bicycle in view, and getting passed once or twice. (Yea, I’ll start going faster, next week.)

Last night I was riding through the potholes and sticks and leaves on Main Street and thought I heard that special little noise of Somethign Falling Off the bike.   Except it was a *tiny* noise… except, I told myself… when I failed to  actually *ride back* and retrace my route the last time this happened, three hours later a nice man was at my door with my wallet in his hand, having picked it up off the middle of the road.

So I turned around (I’m glad to say the decision took fewer than 10 seconds; I only argued the point with myself three times).

Hey, my midget clip-it flash drive is bright green, so I had no trouble seeing it.

It still utterly amazes me that these 54-year old ears *heard* that thing fall.   I shall take it as a sign and consider those files blessed (it is my back-up of my Camtasia efforts).

clipitflashdrivesI

I actually took a photograph that I *like* (tho’ if I were more into the craft, I’d photoshop the telephone wire with snow doing the horizontal distraction out of it):   buswinter   That was the Monday after the Sunday Ten Inches.    Then there’s this little picture of the effects of albedo: icecompressed

It’s Unofficial! It’s Cold! I rode!

Airport temp one below accordign to WILL, and they didn’t bother to read their own thermometer… but I bundled up four layers thick to ride on in.   (At 17 below I threw my snowmobile suit from my motorcycle days over everythign, but it’s waddlesome with lousy range of motion, so I demurred.)

I brought the bicycle in the night before so it would be more pleasant to mount, and when I brought it outside decided to try just the little balaclava (really thin) and the “commuter gloves,” but I tossed my thick gloves and my full-on face mask in the backpack.    I’d done 5 minutes on the trainer, and … my hands never got cold.  I never got cold.   I got a teeny bit chilly on the last stretch — because I had stopped at Mattis traffic light, Country Fair traffic light, and Bradley traffic light.

Oh, and it still stinks that the walk isn’t cleared on Bradley… I need to see who to talk to about that.

And I still have to ride home.  On Unofficial.   SOmebody asked on FB if it was a “real thing,” and somebody explained that yea, it was, “kegs and eggs,” and yea, one of my students will be cleaning that stuff off the busses tonight.

quiet commute!

Seemed like there was less traffic than usual this a.m. — it’s Monday, so I was an hour later and usually things are busier.   Few cars and fewer bikes … so I guess people had Prez day off or something…

12 degrees is palpably warmer than 7.   My little face did not mind the ride in at all (and there was almost no wind but I think that was true yesterday, too).

Did not get my Xtracycle light soldered this weekend… I realize that with the new setup it is easier to take it off and take it inside to do things with it, so that I could conceivably drop in at MakerSpace without having to haul a bicycle down stairs, which given the fact that I’m an “ex” of the Bike Project, which I’d have to go by, would be a good idea.   I should also just check & see what I need to have around to solder on the home front.  I obtained an iron but don’t know if I have the actual solder…

Got an email about the latest things Xtracycle is doing.   Seems they’re no longer selling things online but have some new things in the offing.   Hoping they can make things work.

February…

So this winter is not as snowy as last year … and it’s still true:   if I get on ye little trainer for 5-6 minutes I can ride in comfortably at 10 degrees.   Did church at 7 this a.m. and should have covered up the skin on my face but the little purple gloves were enough… tho’ I think tomorrow mornign I’ll put an extra jacket over everything.   I had two skinny base layers, a sweater, a wind jacket and a jacket jacket on top and two skinny base layers, cotton pants and snow pants on the bottom… and my mesh sneakers and orange socks on the bottom; for the full commute I’ll remember to go with the boots since my feet were starting to get cool (yes, I’m a genetic anomaly).

Time to get the rest of today’s 10K with a trip to go watch teh game!