SUMMER :)

Okay, something notable happened yesterday… I remembered it a time or two 😛 Ah!!! (Train of thought: was it a car? a bus?)

I didn’t beat the 9B in but it was comin’ out as I went in… the driver gave me honk and wave — and had “STRUGGLE BUS” up on the light display. I think the fine print said somethign about finals 😉

And note to self: do not have the beer before purchasing things online. Yes, I’d already decided to invest in a new Garmin *and* the radar light, but it was entirely too annoying when there wasn’t an add to cart option and it took 45 minutes to figure out it was prob’ly just out of stock. So I got a different model (prob’ly should have perused internet more than I did to see if one was lurking somewhere, and/or checked my bike shop…)
It’s warm out there.

Spring ;)

dark clouds

All of 3.3 miles yesterday. I might could have done the commute — it had stopped raining by the time I got home on the bus. It would have been wet.

Today we’re supposed to get wind but I’m hoping that, like yeseterday, it’s Less Than Predicted. It was fine coming in. The Xtracycle is definitely My Favorite Bicycle In The World. I should measure it like we did whenI bought the Transport (discerning that yes, w/ different handlebars, it had same dimensions as the Giant w/ Xtra). The 9B passed me on White before the terminal — but I made really good time b/c the lights were timed so I could ride sorta hard and get through… so I totally beat it to campus 😉 Still pondering the “community caregiver” role that both the 9B driver and the Green goin-home take on, and the idea that people who are looking for a “job” but have a calling for that sort of thing… it’s not in the job description and ya you betcha I’m sure it wouldn’t apply to every transit system. Why not? What other Parts of the Community can we build that stuff into (so libraries don’t have to do it all!!!) What other parts of the community *should we create*? (And in the meantime, huge anguish that cops in New York are doing things like taking away people’s workout stuff from Garvey Park — *tearing down* and wreaking havoc on places for community to build).

I’ll figure that out at lunch 😉 In the meantime, cases went up over 40% each of the last 2 weeks for the state… might just double from last week to this one in the county. How ’bout keepin’ the masks on?

SPRING

So, I am 38 miles from 1000 for the year, so last nigiht I went to “lovetoride.org” and … bumped the goal from 3/31 to 4/3. It’s easier to take a day off and hop the bus if I’ve been riding 😉 So it was the goal that got me out in the sub-40 days for those 10 mile specials, but it’s the 10 mile specials that have me feeling balanced enough to see Just So Many Thunderstorms on the forecast and hop the bus even tho’ the first squall had passed. (I suspect there was some underlying, irrational “I am NOT a slave to my goals” thinking too 😛 ) I’ve ridden enough so a day off won’t drive me nuts… yes I will *entertain* trying to get 38 miles in by tomorrow night but…
The Community Shepherd 9B driver commended me for being sensible… and then … we went by Stratton Elementary and “traffic here is always… oh, no, somebody’s fallen out!” and … it was the crossing guard.
Twitter WCIA news informs us that yes, a crossing guard was involved in the crash this morning and he was treated for minor injuries at the scene; that a driver failed to obey him. Makes me wonder how many people called the news station asking, and I appreciate them posting!
Next week is “opening pizza partee” and board meeting and right after that I visit family to do Christmas. I don’t like the whole idea of doing pizza at a restaurant with my face all open and then seeing immunocompromised folks, tho’ the majority of our county cases are folks ages 20-30 (252 cases in past two weeks — grand total of everybody else around 200) and… that’s not who is in the bike club. But yea, last week cases tripled and this week it looks like we’re doubling last week. Yes, reminds me of … the surge in December that made us decide to have Christmas on Palm Sunday weekend. I think I’ll avail myself of a test…
Did I mention I ordered up a blender? Hasn’t arrived….

rainy

A twitter post reminded me of an article about “Bicycling as a Lenten Practice” from a long time ago, that isn’t online any more… yes, it was about how really, REALLY we need to not support the fossil fuel industry and warmongering countries. This article refers to … probably was that 2004 talk…

Interesting that I wrote that then, and today was also a Yell At Drivers day. I started down the street, with windy flurries and everything wet and there having been storms in the night, and thought to myself: “Drivers aren’t going to be good today. It’s not bad enough for them to just slow down and be really careful and be in high alert, and it is bad enough for them just not to expect … a bicycle…” and yup, it happened (TL:DR, no harm no foul). First just before the Terminal, this person perpendicular pulls around a Denali and I holler a “hello” because it sure looks like they were going to just Keep Going…. and the second time there was no doubt, on Church westbound and at one of the perpendiculars where they have to cut over a bit to keep going, and … they just didn’t see me. I moved far left, and they jumped and stopped, and raised a hand in apology… I hollered something like “PLEASE WAKE UP! TRY NOT TO KILL ANYBODY TODAY!!” and went along my way….
— and I can go months without that happening.
… yea, gas prices are up. I do appreciate people posting that this seems a minimal trauma compared to bombs and if this is the sacrifice to support those folks… wondering where the leadership is to say “hey, let’s cut back on this gasoline stuff!!!”

Pickup picture

Ride Illinois posted an article from Streetsblog about big trucks, with some pictures at the show. Welp, I think this pic from Robin Sholz in this article in the News-Gazette is even more telling. That’s the coroner there.

This is also a stretch of road where people regularly get hit, nearly hit and killed. This is second death in very recent history. When we brought our concerns to the city, people got very defensive and didn’t appreciate that we were, in their perspective, accusing them of killing people.

(From News Gazette in Champaign-Urbana.)

I wish they would get over their feelings and do something… but hey, a few more people get killed and we’ll be eligible for grants!!!

Anyway, another bus ride in today — and I salted my walk and watched for Imaginary Bus that shows up on my app as coming at 7:02 … it doesn’t 😉

dance missteps ;)

8 degrees this a.m. but I found the warm socks and it’s going to be 0 with an official “wind chill advisory” tomorrow, AND … I really wanted to take the Xtra on a Real Commute. The gears weren’t even frozen — they just need a different “click” than previous shifters. (The derailleurs are new-to-me in the rebuild — supply chain, but I’m all for me finishing up what you graduated from, and I *do* like the triple better than the “compact double” on the Transport.) And oh, I might toss the inner layer of this outfit in the wash and just wear it again tomorrow because I think it’ll be fine, tho’ I should figure out a way to cover my delicate cheeks (I have *not* found balaclavas of days of yore, and I don’t have the 3D skills to properly use the BUFF, tho’ I do the best I can).

So I’m approaching Wright and I see the 9B to my left and it’s going to go my route on White once I cross so… I pause so they don’t have to pass me…. and the cars from the right are going by and I see the bus driver figure out and signal to turn… except that last nice southbound decides to stop for me ;P So… I went through anyway and just ducked over …. Sometimes they don’t read the signs as well as others 😉

…. but … several days later update ;0 last night there were several “roundabout” dances where YES, the driver saw me lean over, stick my foot out… so they proceeded (we arrived about the same time), and then I could roll through …
This lovely Friday a.m. — rain doesn’t usually get me on the bus and yes, I’m wondering if it would have been anther day where once I was rolling, I was loving it… but it could have been a day that I got wet and cold. I have ancient memories of that happening but they’re lasting memories 😉 The snow means roads are smaller, and it’s windy, too. That, and I heard the bikes all the way from the garage saying “WHEW!!!” when I got on the bus, with all the Parts That Would Get Salty Water Up In Them smiling.

the dance :)

yes, the bike lane’s a mess sometimes on Randolph approaching University. Queue was all the way back to Logan/Clark (whatever it is when it meets Randolph), and I eased into the bike lane, saw cars WITH SIGNALS, yay!!! and crawled along and the one paused, then figured out I was crawling, and proceeded… and I sped up, and the car a bit back slowed, I pointed, and all proceeded happily.

Prospect, oh!!! I was a little behind…. BUT the car comin’ behind me slowed down and then went around… slowly enough for me to make the light 🙂 At Mattis, the driver behind me passed carefully and LOOKED OVER 😉 …. I noticed he didn’t turn on the red at Country Fair… new driver? And Country Fair… I love the drivers who are turning onto it and are 3 quarters of a car length back because … it’s midwest, they’re patiently waiting.

Wondering about closer crannies to park the bike for getting to library but… I like my spot.

275 miles for this January, not counting today. Don’t know if the extra tenth or three I stick on to errands will really help me get to the 1000 miles by 4/1 lovetoride goal;) Prob’ly won’t get to 300 but I might sneak out at lunch; it’ll be above freezing. Speculating that case numbers are goin gdown because a few million people are snowed in and a: not going out and getting tested — OR getting COVID.

Perused the Xtracycle site. Hmmm. I wonder if my Jackery generator with its solar panel… could charge the e-bike? Oh, I did charge one on that camping ride…. don’t think it got all the way but that was timing. So, I could rationalize getting an e-bike and rolling it on solar power…

Xtra!

Xtracycle

Here it is in a file that makes sense… I’ll snag another with its clothes on when I get the chance. Yes, this is “how not to take a picture!!”

covid crystals ;)

I’d have been on the bus pre-COVID – 6 degrees F out there so the gears are reluctant to shift and yes, crystals near the storm drains and crystals on my hair from freezing condensation. The layered cargo pants are good (over a base layer and under sweat pants — I didn’t go for the rain pants on top ’cause I was bulky enough and it was fine.) The deciding factor — not to risk the bus — was when YES, a second pair of socks went on nicely without making the inner one so tight it hurt. They’re not thick socks so my toes were cool. I *did* do enough preliminary leaping around so my hands never got cold. When it’s this cold, the cloth mask I stuck on for warmth but pulled down when it was too warm… couldn’t be pulled back up easily b/c of the frozen condensation from my breath… but all was well.

When I got inside I experienced the cold air from between all the layers wafting all around me 😉 And the mileage total creeps up… tho’ I miss the humans on the bus. We might get another snowdusting –but not the inch that makes it “real” — from a clipper this weekend. I’ll talk to it 😉

Car/ phone culture???

So I’m at the T-intersection on the road w/ the highest traffic count in the county, getting ready to proceed across the T-part and hop onto th e sidewalk for the last quarter mile to turn right into campus (which yes, “savvy cyclists” proclaim means I’m not a “true” cyclist 😛 )

Our light turned green and I looked up because a car had come out and clocked a car proceeding forward. He pounded on his steering wheel (and the light changed)…. so I paused to be a witness, then he got out and asked the lady if she was okay, she got out, and he apologized, said his car had stopped working, he had it in drive and was putting on the gas… so obviously it hadn’t worked unitl it did, which was after the light turned… …. and then they each took out their phones, held them up next to each other and I proceeded and hollered to a guy inching forward as if through the red… and the lady with her already ductaped together car passed me about 30 seconds later. What were they doing with their phones that got them done so fast? Was it two people with i-phones or did they have an app w insurance info? Or were they just exchanging numbers? Inquiring minds…