Nippy :)

16 this morning — but winds at 9-ish, not 29-ish so on the bike ūüôā

The generator light’s working… so I’m on the tank, which takes longer.¬† Still beat the “mass departure” and saw the 9B early and late, so I could wave at the folks I rode with yesterday.

Fellow on bike with plastic crate with laundry tub in it was coming out of the street w/ Virginia Theatre (or whichever one has Robert Ebert’s statue).¬† ¬†I don’t know the timing of arrivals, but there was a car to his left.¬† ¬†Once I was past they went and … the guy on the bicycle … pulled forward and made a left turn in front of the car.¬† ¬†The driver said something about thinking he was going the other way (the driver was just going straight ) and .. .guy on bike called him an a-hole and threatened to punch him in the face, and rode on.

So many better options starting with not making a left turn from right side of the lane… 3 seconds’ of pause and the car would have been through (and since it’s a one-way road, the ‘leftness’ doesn’t complicate things).

I almost felt guilty about possibly raising expectations of people on bicycles by not doing stuff like that…

Construction happening with old buildings coming down but it’s not as much stuff on the roads.

Riding by “Rafters” on Bradley and imagining it as a community hangout like the Independent Media Center is in Urbana…


Bits and pieces

There’s a thread on bikejournal for riding a “bit” in a day — that would be half of two bits, or between 12.5 adn 25 miles.

Yesterday I failed at getting there — but succeeded YES YES YES in getting the Blaze light on the Transport. I’d swung by Champaign Cycle Friday¬† with the Xtracycle (because it’s an easier ride) and the wires were trimmed, cleaned, and … the light worked fine on the handy Townie bike (I’d have gotten that, not the Transport, except they come in two whole, wrong sizes).¬† ¬†The townie light didn’t work on … my hub.

Now, I’d failed at getting the thing to work on the Transport, but I didn’t have a nice wire stripper (or the motor memory or the nice table) to make sure things were clean.¬† ¬†So… I successfully went at it — cleaned the surfaces, whacked it on w/ hammer… and even *found the mounting stuff*¬† sorting through boxes and drawers. (Invisible victory – desk drawer cleaned to the bottom and swabbed out.)

That said, the mounting is a Sue Jones job because I¬† didn’t try to put it on my overcrowded handlebar — but I did find the discipline to secure all that wiring instead of tossing it into said basket.¬† ¬†Zip ties and inner tubes, yea!

This m orning’s commute — 49 degrees and 20 mph tailwind.¬† ¬†Saw three taxis – the first did the same “pass on the right then turn left” move that SVA BBY2 did a few Januaries ago… but safely and without rolling down the window to verbally harrass me.

My speculator was activated by a sporty sedan with license plate “161¬† ¬†161”¬† … and what looked like Superman logo on the back…. what’s the story ūüôā

The stuff that pre-break was tearing bricks apart is now at hauling mud around.   Happily it was a bus behind me when there was a truck just stopped in the right lane and gobs of mud in the road, I could take the left lane and navigate safely.


Bicycles Bicycles :)

I have been using the car thing here and there… but Christmas Day I actually just Went Out For A Ride on th e9 mile loop.

The 26th I rode to First Financial Bank.¬† ¬†Almost regretting closing that account because it’s really easy to access their bike parking, and … it was a really good experience, that restored my faith that some people *can* manage.¬† ¬†It was this person’s first time closing a CD.¬† ¬†She reached for and got a binder and found the directions pretty instantly.¬† ¬†She followed the directions.¬† ¬†Yes, there was a time when the screen didn’t match the directions.¬† ¬†Picked up phone:¬† ¬†“this is __ from Philo Road.¬† Can I talk to __ or __?”¬† ¬†and in less than 2 minutes things were fixed.¬† ¬† Another thing that wasn’t working… another call.¬† ¬†Finally, time to write the cashier’s check.¬† ¬†“Oops, above my limit.”¬† ¬†One more phone call — okay, two, because the first everybody was either at lunch or on vacation.¬† Yes, solvable from the distance.

Yes, it took a bit longer, but no “oops, this person is gone, come back tomorrow.”

So I took the little thing across the street to the bank with double the interest and locked it into a CD there.¬† ¬†Here, the screen decided to ask my banker for … a password, which it didn’t usually do.¬† ¬†Again, though, a phone call or two solved it.¬† ¬†Banker knew me from Parkland ūüėČ

Finally went to credit union to open an account.¬† ¬†I had totally forgotten about that kind of “prove yourself” process.

Those car things

… dropped the car thing at AJ’s service.¬† ¬†Yes, they called and said “air filters are dirty,” and I’ve heard that this is a common ‘let’s get more money from you’ ploy… except that, in fact, I have no idea when air filters were last even looked at and … yea, it’s been since 1/17 since the oil was changed (still < 5000 miles).

Also making the arrangements for getting the thing back to its rightful owners (brother’s family who got it through estate) …¬† questioning the decision and then walking to the bus stop from AJ’s and that just.¬† being.¬† easy and natural.¬† ¬†Yes, I was 20 minutes late to work (I’d let them know)… my lifestyle lets me do that (and if I’d gotten there really at opening and out… I’d have been on time).¬† ¬† ¬†I pretty much never have to be anywhere in a real hurry.

Tomorrow I’ll bus it to Lincoln Square and walk back over… get the thing… pay the 90 bucks for the job … and talk to them about oh, what to get done to it so Nephew T. gets a prime car.¬† ¬†(Reminds me of when I was selling my Mazda to eldest brother to be a cab…¬† no, I said to the tire people, it’s not going to be driven *like* a cab, it’s going to *be* a cab… get me the good ones.)

Then drive it loooong Wednesday…


Soggy Bloggy

Lots of little things I won’t remember all of.

Today I drove — not just because it’s raining but to remind me to call Mr. B’s to set up repairs… and because I was *wishing* that … the stupid stickers which are over due which I bought yesterday were here at work.¬† Matter can’t be created or destroyed so they have to be somewhere.¬† ¬†I need to work on the self-hypnosis.¬† (I did successfully relax everything, go back in time once to locate my wallet…)

Wore my Groucho helmet home yesterday and WHITE STREET IS BRIGHT STREET.¬† ¬†It’s had a ton of construction that was just finished and … it’s Big City Bright.¬† ¬†None of this “I can see my Garmin right under the street lights.”¬† It’s just. all. bright.

It’s the end of the day now (nonstop, requiring superpowers often).¬† ¬†But I do remember — the traffic light on Fourth is either sensing bicycles or it’s on an automatic timer.¬† ¬†It’s not a “dead red.”¬† ¬†Crossing Wright is … a little weird because it’s so wide but I got a wave from bus driver (well, probably for the trash can lid on my helmet more than my strategic lane position ;)).

I was also asked by trick or treat parent¬† dressed as prisoner¬† if I was selling something.¬† I said no, I was just being Oscar the Grouch… I don’t know, maybe it was the loaded cargo bike?



Okay, it was 42 so not that cold at all, but that was the tag on a car passing me that cracked me up.  (Now, MNA MNA 7 is still my *favorite.*)

I rode ’round the construction zone ’cause they were out and about and hit the long lights right, though for the first time in a week or two I actually had to stop on Mattis …

Last night saw several riders w/ no lights, and that’s been less common.¬† The one was¬† ¬†making left turns in front of traffic… I had to resort to flashlight in left hand — but I also discovered Saturday that … I have next to no front brakes from my mad attempt to install the generator light.¬† ¬†(The hydraulic rear brakes are ridiculously effective.)

But today, next day, 33 degrees… but I didn’t have to stop on Mattis ūüôā¬† ¬†Yes, a student asked if it wasn’t too chilly to ride.

Prepped the red bike for putting the bags on the back back on, but I need something to keep them from dragging on the wheel.¬† ¬†The skateboard that plops on top of the rails is too thick.¬† ¬†License plate was almost wide enough but… would have sliced that bad boy. The bottom of a shopping bag (plastic rectangle) probably isn’t quite strong enough to keep from sagging (tho’ I’ll have a crate or something so load isn’t sticking down between the railings). I shall seek some about to be disposed of plastic housing of something…


Oh, let’s blog again!

Whereas there’s just been more sort of interesting stuff on commutes… it’s time to be blogging the mundane day to day stuff.

Today the path through campus *wasn’t* blocked by construction, yet.¬† ¬†Yesterday, yes.¬† I wasn’t feeling feisty enough to approach the cop sitting in his car there and ask that he ticket them.

Today there was a cop on a road off Church Street again … so I sped up as much as I could… want to at least get double digits on the radar!¬† ¬†That was after performing civic duty when a truck hauling debris passed me and a sizable branch wafted out into the middle of the road… yea, I should have let the cars have to manage it but I hauled it off the street.¬† ¬†Yea, I was late to work… (got a letter mailed, too).