On Time!

DIdn’t have to make the lights this a.m. to cruise in … 75 degrees already 😦   I shall ride tomorrow b/c of all those motivational things on twitter.   Winds from the SE again.   Gee, if I were really a weather goddess, the winds would have allowed me to demo a 30-ish mile route in all the different directions.    We’ll see – the possibilities are many.

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Solidarity : )

Early commute day… that half mile stretch on White Street had 1 bicycle pass me, four or five come the other way, 3 busses go by one way or the other and 2 or 3 of those car things.   Pretty good proportions in my book 🙂

I was just enough ahead of the busses (there’s a “mass departure” at 7:40 from the terminal I ride by so transfers can happen) to greet the regular bus riders waiting at the stop and several didn’t seem that happy to greet the day.   In the second mile on Church two cars approached from behind and one used a horn (no close calls, nothing aggressive and I didn’t really see who was honking at whom — me? other driver?)   – and another ‘morning regular’ called out some unintelligible but supportive greeting at me. I appreciated the lift it gave me — the feeling that the *people* on the streets are in this thing together and the machines of menace aren’t going to defeat us.

Think I’m going to try to include a little more of that sentiment in my greetings henceforth.

Maria’s category four and slamming Puerto Rico.   We were so relieved when Irma wasn’t a direct hit.   Humans:   help each other.

Cloudy…

… yes, the weather was kind to me yesterday — I got to chorus as it started sprinkling.  Storms roiled and rumbled … and quit just about 9:00 departure time.   Went home under cloudy skies … storms came back in the night.

The Washington Post writes today about property in London where “nobody’s home,” because it’s foreign-owned and … they’re not there.   I *know* we’ve got that same thing happening at a smaller scale here and I ride through town on my commute contemplating the possibilities.   In my imaginary novel, you see, my little gang of conspirators listens on their apps and… when the constabularies are busy with distractions that’s when they quietly experiment and find these unoccupied properties.   The rules are that you have to have three layers of plausible excuses for when you get caught… knowing “justice” isn’t a thing, just “how the law works.” So we’ll work up some paperwork that looks like we’ve been hired to provide security.   Hey, Microsoft Word has neat templates for that!

Just because I’m distractible doesn’t mean I

whomp whomp whomp

Yes, within a week of deciding not to wait until my next flat to replace my worn out tire… I get a flat.

No, it *wasn’t* glass.   failed tube

It was a slow leak and since it’s right on the seam I don’t think it was caused by external forces.  Perhaps the changing of the tyre which required letting air out and then reinflating exceeded its tolerance.

Sigh, I had the patch kit at the ready even.

Commutes are busy again — and yesterday I went in at noon, so I got to see “busy campus,” though I don’t go on any dense-traffic areas. I had the gratification of coasting down Main and seeing a bike coasting faster and gaining… and then dropping completely behind me at the uphill part 😛

However… I need to reseat the silly thing.   On those rare smooth stretches of road, it’s just a tad eggy…

Da trail!

We had our “ribbon cutting” for the 7 or 8 mile stretch of bike trail between Urbana and St. Joseph Thursday.   IT’s been officially open for a week or two.   Official type people said something about having counted 500 people in a day using it.   We rode out to St. JOe in the evening… paused in town and came back.

    The St. Joe end of the trail is pretty awesome — it lands smack on Main Street and “The Wheelhouse” even comes before that.
    The Urbana end is … at the extreme eastern end of Main STreet at a dangerous intersection.
    However, it’s so bad that that might be a good thing.    People seemed much more willing to seriously consider bike infrastructure where it hadn’t been considered before… because they could see in front of their faces the benefits.
    Our new mayor promised to get a pancake house at a corner nearby and that it wouldn’t take the 20 years it took to get the trail going 😉
     My Saturday ride wound around Homer Lake and then down to St. Joe… and we grabbed the trail, realizing that this end isn’t perfect — the intersection with Main STreet would run us right into parked cars.
      We rode back and then ducked South and around the urban mess that would be the end of the trail to our starting point at Meadowbrook Park, with good parking and nearby amenities, restaurants, banks, the “Red Bicycle Ice Cream SHoppe…”    a slight side trip gets you to Riggs BRewery…
      So, downtown Urbana Business District… sorry/not-sorry!   I’m thinking getting the word out and maybe even some creative “wayfinding” for people is in order…

Trails!

Last night was the ribbon cutting for the “KRT” — Kickapoo Rail Trail.   Mostly bike officials there; 11 of us rode to St. Joe and back.   People were wondering why more citizens weren’t there but I think those folks had ridden on the “pre-opening preview” ride and felt they’d done their schtick.  Other folks haven’t found it yet… tho’ the mayor said they’d counted 500 people a day.

The first mile was definitely … well “Ruby” level insofar as there wasn’t, actually, any bike infrastructure and we had to ride on a skinny part of Main Street.  I heard somebody say there were some miscommunications about things at that end.   The first part of the ceremonies- while I was at work – were about “ideas for Urbana” like … d’oh, infrastructure so that riders coming west aren’t just dumped off making a left across a pretty bad intersection with crappy visibility.

So except the part where you’d die, it was great.   The immediate option for people who just want to ride the trail is to park at Wal-Mart, which is actually next to … *bike trail.*  The mayor promises it won’t take 20 years to get a pancake shop at the corner.   (She sounded so much like a politician 😦   May I *never* have to speak in quotable sound bytes.)

Got to Bradley in 30 bike minutes this a.m. — very little wind and yes,  I’m reasonably strong with the 219 mile first week of September!   Thinking my next bike should be something with a suspension — the kiddo who went by me on the Cannondale as I pulled out of the driveway was just having too much fun bouncing up driveway to sidewalk as a big ol’ passenger van approached.

Labor Day :)

okay it’s not like the Perrysville adventures — up before dawn and riding 40 miles to Indiana and logging usually just shy of 100 miles… (and getting a ride back).

Executive summary:   I bailed on making a route and just trimmed the “Fast group’s” route for Labor Day.   Talked Laura into going with us even though 40 had been grueling on July 4 *and* high temp today 90 *and* headwinds for the last stretch of 51 mile route.
We did it 🙂   And the fast group did our route too ’cause of hte conditions so we did the “big guy’s route” 🙂   (lots slower…)

No, it was *not* a sacrifice for me to ride Big Red and paint over the bevels on my mirror  w/ the two other folks for whom 51 was going to be enough      while some folks did a tour of FIsher (had to see Buzzard’s Fine Dining, a ‘not fine seating but oh! the food!” place where they put the accent on the second syllable)… it brings great joy to help somebody REACH A GOAL *and* … I have to focus to go fast 🙂

Long version:

… but I rode 7.5 miles to Zahnd Park for the “local alternative” which fast people were doing … I think Perrysville was tabled this year.   I remember having to convince L that my Saturday ride was *easier* than the Wednesday “level one pedaling for pleasure” even with longer mileage because … pace is everything and I’m just a hair stricter.   A:  we don’t have to worry about sunset and B:  I’m less inclined towards “oh, we’re not going that fast.”   (Not perfect. )
SHe’d done our Fourth of July and didn’t fare well for the last stretch, and that was 40 something but… I was riding the fast bike and with a different group.  (No, I don’t feel guilty :))
We’d talked about a Labor Day ride and I’d said I’d figure something out.. it got later and later… so w/ less than a week notice I  posted a possible ride but hadn’t worked out the route, to a select group.  WIthin 5 hours another ride leader posted a Labor Day ride to the whole club.

Oy.   COmpeting rides.   Or maybe not really.   HOwever, I saw the route posted — 61 miles — and didn’t feel like figuring out my route… and figured they’d gotten tired of waiting for me.
SO I posted back “hey, let’s start from the West instead… and I can trim this route.”

THere was much confusion and back and forth and I got unjustifiably grumpy on Saturday about it.  Eww.   I did proclaim I’d be riding the Big Red bike.   I might have “switched” to the “Fast group’s” ride but … I wasn’t riding with the fast group.

Luck works in my favor.   It was hot and windy.   We *did* leave promptly at 8:30.  Yes, 3 of us were hangin’ at the back but *every time* I telepathed to the ones in front — three times — they decided to have a roadside break.   I’d say something to the other two and.. within two minutes,  we’d see the group stop.  We’ve just got leader types who care about everybody having a good time and not feeling left behind… (well, and it was hot and windy!)
Now, they *did* wait for us once when … we opted to zig zag to break up the last 5 miles of head/cross wind.   When they caught back up, I said I figured they’d wait an appropriate time and then move along.

THis route was much better than mine would have been.   Also, having a Major Lunch Stop 40 miles in so we were inside for the middle of the day… only 10 miles to go… that’s “the way to go.”

Lessons:   figure out some routes, on those “fridays off,” for stuff like this.   FIgure ’em out and ride them.   (Not going to talk about the car thing in my stupid driveway that I still don’t have the title for.)

DOn’t take it out on others when you’re the one who put things off….

The weather likes me.   We had cloud cover and haze that kept the heat from making things brutal.  (Wildfire haze? Maybe.)