On the Xtra

 

Successfully dropped off the Tank at Champaign Cycle Wednesday — got to work as snow started (literally — it started during the 7 minutes I was on the bus getting there).   Bus Thurs and Fri, Saturday … I have symptoms, I just slept in.

Today I remembered that stuff called tea, rode to church … then did errands.   Had to wave wave wave a driver who really wanted me to cross in front of them — and they were turning so they’d have to pass me anyway!   I’m struggling in vain to recall the other Thing Like That that happened.

I despise the University and Wright intersection — they’ve put in a “delayed green” in honor of pedestrians.  Well, if I’m on a bicycle, wanting to turn left, in back of another car that will be turning left, and they’ll have to yield to a car coming the other way, I know ahead of time that the 6 seconds left in the cycle will only probably not work, so the best strategy, which I used, was to pedal around to the right of said car in front of me, work around the pedestrian, and cruise down the trafficky University until my right turn.   (No, the light doesn’t honor bicycles at all, so waiting through a cycle can mean infinite wait.)   Happily of Sunday MOrning there wasn’t much traffic so I didn’t even annoy anybody.

Oh!   The other thing – so I went to the bank atm and a car was coming in just behind me and … no, I didn’t really know where all my crap was.   So, not to be That Person I just pulled through, looped behind, and dug out my crap, dropping a bill on the road and having to get off the bike and pick it up, exactly what I *didn’t* want to have to do in front of somebody waiting to get their money.

The guy at the ATM is lightning fast, gets his stuff and then … looked back and  *apoligized* to me 😉   as if he’d done something wrong.   I’m not sure what he was saying — English not his first language … but I got my dollars and went along my way.

Back insaddle

 

… Last Wed-Fri were on the bus, tho’ Thursday I did sneak over to Marge’s to discern that her street was solid ice, so bus on Friday.
Saturday got in an errand or two and Sunday was of the “She rides in the snow and everything!”  but it was flurries… the freezing rain and sleet all happened during church and by the time I came out the ice was sliding off the car windows and melted on the street.   Yes, 33 degrees and wind and rain is a bit bracing but it was 1 mile to get bagels, another mile to drop them off and a half mile to home so I was never out in it for more than 6 or 7 minutes.   The trip to the Friend’s Meeting House is also under 2 miles and … fun with Gore-tex.   However, I deigned to grab a ride to the bike meeting rather than swap out of all my very slightly dampened gear.   It’s one thing to ride hard in cold wet weather to get home to a hot shower; another thing to then have to sit near people at a bike club meeting ;0     Some new board members so interesting chemistry but things went well.
Rode in today w/ headwind 🙂   Also checked the log and I *did* ride more than 100 non-commuting miles in January.   That’s not likely February simply because don’t have the winter holiday break days.
The phrase “what would Jesus drive” has been revived so I’m going to see if I can find the much older article about it that I blogged about…

February begins :)

 

So! 327 miles logged in January; a few more than Jan + Feb combined last year but there were gaps in logging (no, I didn’t go 2 weeks without getting on the bike, much less the entire month of March). Thinking I should get the red bike over to shop for a new dynamo hub because I’ve been riding enough and energetically enough … the red bike’s enough easier to ride (skinnier tyres) to lend itself to extending an errand run and building real endurance.   March 2018 my bikejournal log tells me I did 500 miles thinking about Calvin’s Challenge … hmmm…. (hey, the year I did 10K I didn’t even think in that direction ’til summer and not really ’til August….)

Mainly hoping Saturdays can include Weekend Projecty stuff — painting the Gazelle, maybe, to make it a yard ornament?   At least painting over the 2 or 3 expired signs I’ve plucked from the pavement so when we have our Geogebra conference it’ll be well marked 😉   This windy climate creates opportunities…. but first, some Times Tables work…

Bulky Day :-)

 

I had to remind myself that oh, not too many years ago 21 degrees would have been an incredible heat wave.   I’m out of the habit of layering up… it is enough of an automatic don’t have to be awake for it thing, though, so it’s possible that Tuesday it could be 10 degrees and I’d do the same thing.    If it’s close to zero, though… I’m trying to remember when exactly last year we had full on polar vortex with wind chills so low that the U. and Parkland closed and the busses were free.  They didn’t even say “so y’all who are freezing can just ride all day.”   They just did it.

Climate change does have me riding the bus based on ambiguous forecasts, though.   Dangerously severe stuff happens more often and is harder to predict… so “snow and freezing rain late in the day” is enough to get me on the bus (hey, that’s not even ambiguous, though “late” usually means after I get home).

I’m past last January in mileage, but I didn’t record anything after the 11th.   Now, I had a car in custody so I suppose maybe I didn’t even use the bike to visit folks… I *like* getting out into the weather and figuring out how to navigate again.    So yes, I rode out to the bike party… as did Cynthia and Sheldon and we all had to bolt when a snow squall came up… and my tire was flat.   Happily Sheldon filled it and it held enough to stop one more time to boost along the way and get me home.   To my surprise, it was a regular sized hole in the tube — so I think that setup just lends itself to “slow leaks.”   I even knew where the patch kit was… so I still have a spare tube 🙂   … and saw another patch on the tire which supports my “it does leaks slowly” theory because that was a “go out to the garage and it’s flat” flat, not an on-the-road flat (where I swap the tube and maybe patch it later).

This morning shifting in the back rings wasn’t happening … I suspect riding in the rain and then cold means things froze.   It’s time to do cursory cleaning and … bring it by Champaign Cycle for actual maintenance, prob’ly new chain…  and … the tank is just simply 10 minutes slower on the commute and I need to add that in 😉

RIding again ;)

 

Sigh, I did get in a mile and a half yesterday because the top three layers of keys were inaccessible.   Waist bag disappeared last Tuesday that had spares tucked into the pocket.   Key keys disappeared Sunday after I brought bagels to my friend’s house.   I’m not sure why the one in a Secret Outside Place wasn’t there.   So I rode to my friend’s house (because when I made keys, I gave Pete one and he’s died since then so I know where his keys are)… snagged all the keyfobs and yea, one of ’em worked in the front door, which is especially good b/c I haven’t known where a front door key is in ages.   I’ll get an extra couple miles in swinging by Ace Hardware to make more of that and the Secret Outside Key which was inside on the Inside Key Place (that I need to make a better key place b/c it doesn’t have anythign to hang anything from).

Now, be it duly noted that the bus from Parkland … driver insisted “you’re fine! You’re fine!” with my slightly overdue annual pass and the final leg it was “that’s good 24/7!”  so I don’t even think he processed that the  month was over.   I’m still tempted to try to Not Get THe Annual Pass for a month and save myself 7 bucks and put that in the “found money” bucket… and wondering if I’d just waved the silly thing and not mentioned grace period if the first driver would have noticed (but … I suspect he would).   Not surprised when after a good ride, my hostile rumblings about paying for a bus and key issues … just don’t rumble as much.   People, GET OUTSIDE!!!

We’ve got awesome weather for another week — highs above freezing, lows barely below, no rain.   Still, 285 more miles to go to get to 5000… got one lap in today at lunch…

8+ folks on bikes on the first half of the morning commute.   None second half.   (URBANA rules 🙂 )

Busses

 

Yes, I could/should have dropped the rental off, riddenback and taken the cargo bike in… but we had a “dusting” of snow that had left ice on cars and “gusts to 30 mph,” and mtd.org said a 9A would take me to Parkland at 7:58.

Nudging towards bike was also my annual pass expiring end of November, but I decided to use my social skills and ask if there was a grace period since I’m pretty sure I, or somebody, got one one year.   It’s 12/2;  12/1 was Sunday, you can’t renew but too early and last week was Thanksgiving and you have to get the things at the terminal.   Ifigured the dollar saved would go to food pantry or my “bonus dollars” bin…

Bus is late enough fro me to check the phone at 8:01 … 3 minutes… it’s a tad cold (but pretty sure it would hvae been fine, rolling).

I board and ask and the bus driver says “no, no grace period, ” so I fish for the buck and am sad.  When he thanks me I cheerfully note walking away that he’s not particularly welcome… I’m thinking this isn’t a typical mtd experience… should I inquire?

Three folks get on the bus and  the first slides coins in and driver notes “that’s not even close to a dollar.”   He “hey, you”‘s the kiddo back to the front; kiddo’s affect is … very quiet… and tells him … if he doesn’t have the fare, just say so, that throwing money in there is like lying and is totally disrespectful.   His tone is not sharp, not angry, just … holding the kiddo accountable, who  goes back and finishes the ride to school, says something (“My bad?” I couldn’t tell), and gets off.  (Nobody else was getting off at the school at this time.   Oh, and the kiddo bore striking resemblance to person walking flat tired bike by this school when I was going to ride on cargo bike who asked if he could ride on back of my bike… and only half a mile later I had thought “should have given him dollar for bus fare.”)

Just near Parkland, a fellow in wheelchair was waving the bus down (it was a stop anyway)… and yea, I was point person for pulling the seat lever that threw the seats up to make room for a wheelchair, since I’d just parked in front seats (about 8 passengers in the bus).   SUCCESS 🙂 🙂 🙂

I can and do overanalyze the social dynamics … but yea, overall I was the snarkiest person of the day today.  (And maybe the driver has instincts and *knew* I had the dollar by how I asked…)   I knew the end of the month was coming, and while hypothetically it could have been a burden, it wasn’t. Time to do better …  oh, and a guy on a bike kept re-appearing along the route and I wonder how often he’s trying to stay ahead of the bus on his own path…

 

Green Street, revisited

 

Took Green Street with all its new MCORE stuff across town last night.   Sunday night so not too insane.   The bike path stuff is pretty good… and then it ends.   Mostly people were civil and it went well, though one person trying to turn right onto Green was ‘way out over the crosswalk, inching forward, forward… ever so politely waved me along but I had to get out into the traffic lane to do that, so I was compelled to say, “Usually we wait our turns, you little boy!”  … sigh, I’d have preferred it to be “young person!”  (who knows how they identify) as if I were a stern matronly authority… but I have never actually assumed that role so it’s hard.

I was speechless at the traffic light when I took my lane since it’s also right turn lane and lots of people do that… and this SUV driver peels right beside me, and I look over preparing to say “we don’t drive much??”  and got a stern look and extended finger — **exactly** what I have done once or twice (though he had to basically elbow the face of his passenger)– as the light turned green and I heard in my right ear, “The guy’s a d*ck!” as another cyclist came up beside me and rolled on ahead.

It got me 18 miles on the day, though — out to a bike club meeting, and  nice ‘tipping point’ towards “yea, it’s November with dubious weather, but you might just make 5K!”   I have 590 miles to go… with occasional 20 mile days I could do it even with days like last Thursday — 23 mph winds and snow had me on the bus for the trip home and back in Friday  … this Thursday we’ve got AM snow showers and teens at night.   I can do 17 but I gotta find all those layers 😉   … I dn’t do snow, tho’, because it’s slippery and cars are big, and the bus is fun *and* I’ve got STUFF TO DO because the silly times tables quizzes online are kinda working.   … but I also got in two laps at lunch today.

Keep on pedaling…