A purr-fect ride?

So last evening I’m cruising down Clark (I think it was still Clark there, and not White yet)… and this person is approaching from the other direction, on a bike, and … he’s making purring r-rolling noises as he rolls along. No, there wasn’t a baby in front of him… but I spontaneously purred as well… as did the pedestrian to my right ;)

Never been to a purr-in before ;) And no, cagers don’t get to do that… and it even happened in Champaign — not the People’s Republic of Urbana!

REckon I could take time-lapse pics of the slowly forming path ’round the fountain… tomorrow might be time to wear the “winter helmet” (the heavier, warmer Nutcase I won from Champaign CYcle that’s all rainbow-swirly like you’d wear to a purr-in :))

Oh, and did I mention the student to whom I suggested she ride a bike since she was bemoaning parking close to the building… who said, wide-eyed, “Can you *imagine* riding a bike all the way here?” I’m afraid I disclosed right away, upsetting the hopes of the folks who know I don’t imagine it at all ;)

C’mon people… imagine… oh, and smile upon each other!

(and … kindly… stop *** shooting *** each other. Please. Please. Please.)

The fountains of truth…

The “bike route” through campus according to their “master plan” that got them Bronze status as bike friendly… well, hey, it was only for a year and a half or so that it was closed b/c of a building being constructed there.

Few months later and oh, well, sorry — you get to bob and weave and drive across the grass because they’re doing something with that fountain you would normally have the “pleasure” of riding through.   No, it’s not making it a smoother path (there are serious drops from cracks in the sidewalk) and … I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it actually made the path simply impassable by bicycle.   It’s that “looked good on paper so we got the award” crap that counts, right?

Hey, maybe I’m wrong… but I have not one shred of evidence to indicate thus.

Still, it’s been fabulous days for riding as fall approaches. TOday was the open house for the MCore project which will improve parts of that route — which is really  nice.   However, if your route has two blocks’ worth of utter horribility, it’s not the kind of thing that averages out. Like, dudes, at least give us curb cuts!

There are lots and lots of peds and bikes out there, happily….

nice day :)

Granted, it wasn’t nice reading about the fellow in Washington IL who wrote to the paper saying cyclists were the new ISIS because they ride slowly in both lanes and have signs hidden by grass (so I have to guess there was a sanctioned ride that interfered wtih his life)… but concludes saying that if a cyclists challenges a driver who doesn’t feel like sharing the road the result will be a funeral, and when will they ever learn?

Hello, who’s the terrorist threatening our lives here?

Me, on the other hand, is commuting in and there’s a mess of new construction trucks amassed on Church… and I hear from a guy in the day-glo vest the surprised recognition, “Hey, Sue!”   and wonder if passing math got him a better job…

… and I really wish I had the recorder going tonight to catch the priceless sound of child singing ” …twinkle, little, star…. hey, look at that bike!” :)

The MOther U and traffic

I failed in my attempt to have enough time this mornign to get my helmet camera functioning. I want to capture and share the U’s idea of “bike friendly” — once again, the “bike friendly” route (which at *best* takes you through a fountain with pretty significant lumps and cracks in the sidewalk on a pedestrian route) is closed for construction so weaving around even more obstacles is necessary.
Don’t know if I’d have wanted to record this commute, though — it was “one of those days” – things did come in clumps. The University/Randolph light was a bear — I was wheeling up as it turned green, in the bike lane –so the lady in the red car didn’t know what to do as she went past me but wanted to turn right. She let me proceed… but I started mentally designing the graphic to put on the back of the bike to try to explain what to do. Hmmm… maybe I could make it so I could pull a string for the vehicles to move and show that if you slow down and duck behind me, I’ll shift to the left so you can go right easily.
At Prospect and Church things work better ’cause there’s a right turn lane proper and no bike lane. I could ease to the left and the lady in the very clean orange Subaru could pull into the right turn lane and look incredibly stressed and worried — it was 7:58 and I’ll guess she had somewhere to be at 8:00. The countdown ensues and at 2 she starts to ease forward … and I see this kiddo jumping back to the curb because … for whatever reason he decided to cross the street then. I exclaimed, “look at the numbers!” but happily could tell from the poor lady’s face that no, she didn’t think I was yelling at her; we were sharing the heart palpitations…
I’ve got a new tire sitting on the back of the bike — will post pics of the old one which was flat MOnday morning. There were three spots in the Kevlar where the assorted dings had penetrated so I booted them with gorilla tape; we’ll see if I can get a fwe hundred more miles out of ’em :)

Renting a bike in C-U

… used to be … a challenge.   That might be a thing of the past… I hope!


Looks like the folks at Neutral Bikes have gotten hold of 50 single speed “minimalist” bikes to rent out for a semester to the tune of $69.   (I am wondering if they couldn’t have something a *tiny* bit less minimal to rent to people with better-than-student budgets, and wondering if they also sell messenger bags :))


Looks like we’ll be seeing a fair amount of each other; this morning I was turning left from Anderson to Washington and mentally noted that no, I hadn’t properly signalled … and I don’t remember if that’s because I could roll on through… which probably disgusted and dismayed the car behind me as it passed grumpily. Nothing aggressive, just that little bit of extra gas … and it was SVA BBY of yesterday’s snarky insistence that I needed to ‘be courteous.’
I do wonder whether she was grumpy because my existence was slowing her down or if I’d not done the foot-down (which would have slowed her down a lot more). I did spontaneously wave and smile at her… and noted that there were a *lot* of bicycles out and about that she was being forced to navigate with… and pondering the most effective ways to generate peaceful coexistence between competitors for time and space when our hormones/affective regulators/ whatever is behind our interactiions don’t always react peacefully.

Sigh, it’s August.

Oh, and then there are the yahoos who seem to come out this time of year.
SVA BBY 2 (I’m only reasonably sure about the ‘2’ part) passed me on the right on Race Street before pulling in front of me in the left turn lane. WHen I bent down and looked her in the eye in her mirror, she was inclined to roll down her window and say, ” ???? break the law, you need to be more courteous.” My initial inference was that she was saying “I didn’t break the law…” but more likely she was saying “If you’re going to break the law” as if I were, and as if **any** other choice at that intersection wouldn’t be breaking the law ’cause sidewalk riding is illegal there and making a left turn from the right hand lane is, too. (So is passing on the right and then crossing a solid white line like that…)
As the light turned green I heard myself say (’cause I *never* really know what i’m going to say), “I’m not one who needs to be courteous, young lady!” or words to that effect. I know I’ve been trying to see young female drivers (who for whatever reason are most likely to trigger anger in me) as worthy of parental type lecture as opposed to catfighting or namecalling… and of course the part that sticks most in the craw is the absurd “but I didn’t get to correct her information about lawbreaking!” as if.
I did successfully turn the brain to other things :-)
And it’s a beautiful day, tho’ a tad warm (high 87) and we are kinda in the “could use some rain” category, tho’ that’s just as well since with rain the ‘garden’ would have turned into a true jungle last week while I was traipsing the Blue Ridge.

(afterthought: just… mAYBE… I didn’t foot-down at stop sign intersection before and she’s the rare bird who’d actually notice. More likely I Just SHouldn’t Be On THe Road in her book.)