I toured four of our diverse mini-ecosystems today. First out on the prairie riding to Homer Lake and around… corn, soybeans, trucks, farming…
… then CAMPUS. Construction of course! Yes, “Ruby” level of bike friendly as I wended my way on the “paths” full of right angles and gutted pavement (note to self: photo essay called for. Lots of pedestrians looking like visitors
Got to Neutral CYcle and per usual bike racks next to road almost full — I just wheel-locked mine and went into the Brewlab coffee place next door. Lady asks if I was sent there by “the bike place.” Well, I’d seen it as a bike party on Facebook, an event! And they’ve got the posters we’re told we can have if we go to both places and I’m told I can show my receipt at Hopscotchc and get one there.
The walls on this whole place are “dry erase” and there are markers every where It’s “campus culture” — create!!! Get shit done (and say so on your sign — it’s campus!)
IT’s not crazy busy but people come and go, many of ’em on bikes, including one of my Parkland regular’s who’s off to Florida Sunday… and Tim from Neutral Cycle who tells me about plans to have the space — whiteboard walls and all — usable by the community. He also says Hopscotch is opening same day and he knows them and encourages them to welcome cyclists because they hvae limited parking.
I decide to go ahead and ride out to there because that particular building is one that was for sale forever and I had assorted fantasies about it (Day care/ literacy center…) .
CHAMPAIGN CULTURE… bikes? What are they? Oh, *those* people ride them. THere’s nothing to even wrap a cable around to lock the bike to. Much much attention has been paid to maximizing that parking for car things.
I inquire about bike parking and … oh, maybe in phase two… not even RUby (lip service) level of bike friendly. No mention of “bike party” or posters. I get a muffin and go. I give ’em 18 months and resolve to see if the bakery on Philo is still running… I’d rather visit the Blighted Business District.
Swing back to BrewLab — get my poster. Cruise Neutral and look at gear and talk about panniers w/ James. Meet … Mike? who recognizes that I’m a Local Character and asks my name.
Swing by Common Ground — URBANA culture. Covered bike parking and plenty of it because it’s not even about “oh, we’re bike friendly — bikes are nice…” it’s “bikes are part of us.” And… *everybody* is a local character. Get beer. THe caffeine from the Tasmanian deliciousness is starting to wind down (with the help of one of those beers — it’s FRIDAY! and I’ve got 40 (s)miles on the day!)
Looks like I’ll be able to match last July’s 864 miles — 52 to go in 3 days … two of ’em weekend with no rain in teh forecast. Tomorrow might be a St. Joe day but I need to see when and where they’re doing a 5K so we don’t collide…