Did not pi

There was a “pi” ride today … departing on 3/14/15 at 9:26 and planning to ride oh, 53.589793238462643383279502884197969399375  miles or so.

When the weather forecast said “dense fog advisory until 9″ it tipped me to sticking to the home front… and making a failed attempt to cash in my coin jar.

Coins weigh a *lot,* by the way.   Two fruitcake tins are enough to really mess with handling (I had ‘em on the deck of the Xtra so they were up pretty high).   HOwever, the Main Street Busey isn’t open Saturdays (no, I wasn’t going to pour the coins into the drive-through tube the five or six times it would have required ;)).

Dashing out to do two laps informed me the decision was wise; my pulled muscle in my shoulder (wreaked by attempting to use an exercise ball I think… yes, I’ll keep doing that but more carefully…)   is really tight.

I looked back over last year’s bikejournal and saw I was thinking of Calvin’s Challenge … and felt like “no way!” … but of course I”ve often felt “no way!” about rides I’ve done really well on… and setting the “220 miles between V-Day and St. Pat’s” has me … doing 14 miels today that I wouldn’t have done. So, microgoals it shall be…

Raining but ridable :)

It’s been really nice this week to get back into my accustomed rhythm with the planet. Tuesday’s ride in also had the now-expected level of bicycle traffic — generally at least one bicycle in view, and getting passed once or twice. (Yea, I’ll start going faster, next week.)

Last night I was riding through the potholes and sticks and leaves on Main Street and thought I heard that special little noise of Somethign Falling Off the bike.   Except it was a *tiny* noise… except, I told myself… when I failed to  actually *ride back* and retrace my route the last time this happened, three hours later a nice man was at my door with my wallet in his hand, having picked it up off the middle of the road.

So I turned around (I’m glad to say the decision took fewer than 10 seconds; I only argued the point with myself three times).

Hey, my midget clip-it flash drive is bright green, so I had no trouble seeing it.

It still utterly amazes me that these 54-year old ears *heard* that thing fall.   I shall take it as a sign and consider those files blessed (it is my back-up of my Camtasia efforts).

clipitflashdrivesI

I actually took a photograph that I *like* (tho’ if I were more into the craft, I’d photoshop the telephone wire with snow doing the horizontal distraction out of it):   buswinter   That was the Monday after the Sunday Ten Inches.    Then there’s this little picture of the effects of albedo: icecompressed

It’s Unofficial! It’s Cold! I rode!

Airport temp one below accordign to WILL, and they didn’t bother to read their own thermometer… but I bundled up four layers thick to ride on in.   (At 17 below I threw my snowmobile suit from my motorcycle days over everythign, but it’s waddlesome with lousy range of motion, so I demurred.)

I brought the bicycle in the night before so it would be more pleasant to mount, and when I brought it outside decided to try just the little balaclava (really thin) and the “commuter gloves,” but I tossed my thick gloves and my full-on face mask in the backpack.    I’d done 5 minutes on the trainer, and … my hands never got cold.  I never got cold.   I got a teeny bit chilly on the last stretch — because I had stopped at Mattis traffic light, Country Fair traffic light, and Bradley traffic light.

Oh, and it still stinks that the walk isn’t cleared on Bradley… I need to see who to talk to about that.

And I still have to ride home.  On Unofficial.   SOmebody asked on FB if it was a “real thing,” and somebody explained that yea, it was, “kegs and eggs,” and yea, one of my students will be cleaning that stuff off the busses tonight.

quiet commute!

Seemed like there was less traffic than usual this a.m. — it’s Monday, so I was an hour later and usually things are busier.   Few cars and fewer bikes … so I guess people had Prez day off or something…

12 degrees is palpably warmer than 7.   My little face did not mind the ride in at all (and there was almost no wind but I think that was true yesterday, too).

Did not get my Xtracycle light soldered this weekend… I realize that with the new setup it is easier to take it off and take it inside to do things with it, so that I could conceivably drop in at MakerSpace without having to haul a bicycle down stairs, which given the fact that I’m an “ex” of the Bike Project, which I’d have to go by, would be a good idea.   I should also just check & see what I need to have around to solder on the home front.  I obtained an iron but don’t know if I have the actual solder…

Got an email about the latest things Xtracycle is doing.   Seems they’re no longer selling things online but have some new things in the offing.   Hoping they can make things work.

February…

So this winter is not as snowy as last year … and it’s still true:   if I get on ye little trainer for 5-6 minutes I can ride in comfortably at 10 degrees.   Did church at 7 this a.m. and should have covered up the skin on my face but the little purple gloves were enough… tho’ I think tomorrow mornign I’ll put an extra jacket over everything.   I had two skinny base layers, a sweater, a wind jacket and a jacket jacket on top and two skinny base layers, cotton pants and snow pants on the bottom… and my mesh sneakers and orange socks on the bottom; for the full commute I’ll remember to go with the boots since my feet were starting to get cool (yes, I’m a genetic anomaly).

Time to get the rest of today’s 10K with a trip to go watch teh game!

Being safer ’cause I ride

I overheard somebody talking about coming in to work today who’s got a twisted knee because … surprise! black ice on the parking lot.

Okay, I do  not know whether or not she was surprised — she might have been just carefully navigating it and fallen anyway, but I suspect not.

However, I rode the Gazelle and its studded front tire today *because* the weather guy said we had mist and fog, and it was 32 degrees.   I ride my bike, so I listen to the weather, and I know that little particles of moisture do this thing called freeze at 32 degrees.   I pay 10 times the attention to the weather details than car-culture folks.

That won’t stop the inattentive schmudge from running me down, but I”m more likely to see it in time and dive out of the way… and I’ve happily occasionally brushed against that happy condition of wanting to get out and ride right now, thank you, which only happens when I’m starting to get in shape…

Happy Thaw! Happy New Year!

By the time I got out to Church Street , to head west,  I’d seen 12 other folks on bicycles, getting from here to there.

That’s 12 people in the middle of *January,* temp. about 33 degrees.     I basically saw somebody else on a bicycle for that whole part of the trip.

Once I get out to Church, it’s one-way and that’s not as common a commute route.  People tend to be more fair-weather getting to Parkland — the bus goes there, and the Park District doesn’t ever, ever clear the sidewalk next to Bradley, one of the highest traffic count roads around.  Even if it weren’t one of the busiest roads, you don’t want to be the Slow Thing In Traffic in front of People Who Are Running Late For Class.

If I can find the rest of my portable snow shovel (the plastic stick-in-your-trunk kind that I bought to put in the rental when the forecast was utterly ominous before Thanksgiving) I just might consider clearing it myself.  I heard of a path that cyclists cleared for a while and then didn’t… and enough people complained that the establishment recognized it should be cleared. It’s a place that gets drifty, too, so even today I wimped out and walked over a chunk of nasty in the middle of it.

Chance of stuff tonight but it might stay above freezing.   YAY.   I’m going to aim for 200 miles for the month, which is a bit of a challenge given that I’ll be out of town half of next week.