Category Archives: Uncategorized

Where’s the oil :)

Whereas I thought I had a tailwind heading North getting the trike at lunch … the thing seemed self-propelled.   I could have been going 5 mph —  too weird a perspective to have speed sense — but I thought… okay, this thing is not so low it doesn’t catch wind ’cause I’m coasting fast.     However, I was going North and the wind is 14 mph from the west.

Yea, I’m pretty sure that I’ve got a bunch of crud in the chain and/or my tires are disgustingly low on the Tank … this bike shouldn’t be *that* much easier.

Drivers gave me *tons* of room. . . tho’ I did cross Springfield and then cut into the parking lot because there were 8 or 9 cars behind me.   Got back out and a few hundred yards later, bike lane time — and I need to stay further right than on two wheels. My *natural* tendency is to be to the left of the bike lane, so I duck into it when somebody’s behind me… so on this wide body… I need to accommodate, I suspect… because there was a person not passing me when I was in the bikelane.   Now, it could have been a WTF thing… but when I tucked over, they went on by… then I crossed and went on the sidewalk which was its own fun. On 2 wheels I dodge ’round the mudpies left from when it snowed months ago and they cleared things…. and sometimes I’ve plowed through the mud (did I mention the bike needs to be cleaned?)  … on 3 wheels that’s a totally different experience.   The “let’s balance things” motions … don’t matter ’cause the bike has 3 wheels thank you. So I’m a little afraid of riding this thing a lot — I’ll expect two wheels to balance themselves 🙂

Yea, I’m a little nervous about riding home.   I have a feeling that on the right side of the road it’s “oh, that overgrown wheelchair… I’ll move around…” but that it’ll be Making No Sense So Brain Won’t Process (a.k.a. invisible gorilla)  doing, say, a left turn.

We’ll see!

New to me!

First, some observations — day before yesterday, as I’m waiting to turn onto Bradley which is a quarter mile on highest traffice count in the county so I often duck over to sidewalk (eastbound a couple of high visibility low traffic entries and a right turn to easy re-entry to road )… but there was a beagle height but definitely not beagle shaped dog pelting eastbound in the right lane a foot from the curb.

Light changed; I got onto the road and a van was… yes, stopped in the traffic lane 1/8 mile ahead.  I took my lane as the driver  made some fascinating maneuvers (but driving; if the dog had been picked up that was a done deal) and realized yes, cars could tell I was a bicycle from the top of the hill behind me and take evasive action long before they’d see the need for same for the van, which ended up backing into one of those driveways.

I have no idea the status of dog…

This a.m. was rife with people running stop signs and red lights.  YEs, I was 6 minutes late which became 8 at Lincoln — I hope they get onto make that actually crossable.   The pedestrian and cyclist who were more daring than I didn’t make pretty pictures timing their bobs and weaves.

I had considered taking the bus because it stormed just before 7:00 and because then I could pick up the new-to-me Catrike Trail … but tonight’s a club ride, too, and while it’s a slow paced ride, I need to figure out how to drive the thing and how people react to it.   My driving strategies are different for each bike b/c I’m perceived differently.

Pictures will come!   I had decided I couldn’t *stomach* spending what a Catrike costs on principle, and I’d forgotten why I wanted one, but when this one was tagged at $800 but no takers from the community bike sale, I got on it and… this masher enjoys the lean-back-and-mash!  geometry.   Day later I remembered the imagined scenario for why I wanted to have one… we’ll see if I can make that pan out 🙂

Cycling season!

Semi-official 🙂   Season started Saturday with no rides because it was 40 degrees w/ gusts to 40 mph.

Yesterday’s commute was remarkable in that first, where I turn left (with full L turn lane and arrow if I hit things just right), a driver horned me from the straight-going lane.   I noted the tag AF3 9335 … which I would certainly have forgotten, except that at the next intersection a driver just couldn’t be bothered to move into the left lane at all to go around me … not particularly scary but so atypical… and that was an AF3 tag and… a third AF3 driver (all different cars) … I don’t remember what silliness it was but each time it inspired me to recall the first one.

I saw an AF4 this morning… I’m thinking these are recent tags from folks moving here from places were folks drive more aggressively.   (I am really hoping my brother will soon take back my AC9… I want to be free from car ownership.)

This a.m. notable because … I was on time with minutes to spare and no tailwind to help.

Monday a 24 year old man was seriouslyl injuredin hit and run on Highcross (concussion, ribs, long list of body trauma 😦 ) …. and apparently a head-on with cars killed a mom and daughter.   Last week it was Shelly Taylor killed walking across Main Street (in the crosswalk) at Vine… we had talked 3 weeks before about the increase in numbers of crashes, injuries, and fatalities but good grief, did the world have to prove it ?!?!?!??   (and … can we just make it harder to earn and keep the privilege of driving?)

 

Game Face :)

Okay, it wasn’t necessary until the uphill into the parking lot stretch — otherwise it was a refreshing ride in.   Yesterday was a bus day — 60 degrees and warmber, but  w/ 50 mph winds that did not abate by the time I went home (I even drove to the church thing).

Today winds down to 20 (it says gusts to 40 but not on my trip, but the 20 felt right) … temp down to 36 so the drizzle was horizontal and fluffy at times… but it didn’t get through the layers and I’ll hopefully get to coast home!

I love turning *off* the mtd.org page when I get to work and don’t have to pay attention to it 🙂

Back in the saddle

Last week it was the bus every day.   Actual snow a couple of times… yes, two of those days I’d have almost certianly been fine but it was “watch for slippery spots” and… I like the bus.  Oh, and .. riding *every day* the previous week with extras and with lots of layers… there was chafing.   It’s almost healed…
Saturday — tons of rain and 30+ mph winds.   Got out for errands ahead of time (as prescribed by local meteorologist on twitter and yes, he might have had me in the back of his  mind when he posted to do errands now if you didn’t want to do them in pouring rain) so there were 3.6 miles in.     Lady w/ handicapped tags 294 393 or something like that (I know the two nines and that the last digits were one apart and the first digits were low)  rolled the stop sign at Kirby as if I didn’t exist and yes, she got an earful as she went by right in front of me.   All signs were it was an “invisible gorilla” situation where she really didn’t see me at all because she didn’t expect something.

The “thank you for shoveling your walk” sign blew into the yard and … it seemed to think it should go into the garage and that we’d have no more snow this season 🙂   I hope it’s right.

This morning I got an “I like your antennae!”  from a bus stop waiter 🙂   THe little headband on the helmet with the shamrocks at the end bring smiles….

Ready to ride!!!

Nippy :)

16 this morning — but winds at 9-ish, not 29-ish so on the bike 🙂

The generator light’s working… so I’m on the tank, which takes longer.  Still beat the “mass departure” and saw the 9B early and late, so I could wave at the folks I rode with yesterday.

Fellow on bike with plastic crate with laundry tub in it was coming out of the street w/ Virginia Theatre (or whichever one has Robert Ebert’s statue).   I don’t know the timing of arrivals, but there was a car to his left.   Once I was past they went and … the guy on the bicycle … pulled forward and made a left turn in front of the car.   The driver said something about thinking he was going the other way (the driver was just going straight ) and .. .guy on bike called him an a-hole and threatened to punch him in the face, and rode on.

So many better options starting with not making a left turn from right side of the lane… 3 seconds’ of pause and the car would have been through (and since it’s a one-way road, the ‘leftness’ doesn’t complicate things).

I almost felt guilty about possibly raising expectations of people on bicycles by not doing stuff like that…

Construction happening with old buildings coming down but it’s not as much stuff on the roads.

Riding by “Rafters” on Bradley and imagining it as a community hangout like the Independent Media Center is in Urbana…

Bits and pieces

There’s a thread on bikejournal for riding a “bit” in a day — that would be half of two bits, or between 12.5 adn 25 miles.

Yesterday I failed at getting there — but succeeded YES YES YES in getting the Blaze light on the Transport. I’d swung by Champaign Cycle Friday  with the Xtracycle (because it’s an easier ride) and the wires were trimmed, cleaned, and … the light worked fine on the handy Townie bike (I’d have gotten that, not the Transport, except they come in two whole, wrong sizes).   The townie light didn’t work on … my hub.

Now, I’d failed at getting the thing to work on the Transport, but I didn’t have a nice wire stripper (or the motor memory or the nice table) to make sure things were clean.   So… I successfully went at it — cleaned the surfaces, whacked it on w/ hammer… and even *found the mounting stuff*  sorting through boxes and drawers. (Invisible victory – desk drawer cleaned to the bottom and swabbed out.)

That said, the mounting is a Sue Jones job because I  didn’t try to put it on my overcrowded handlebar — but I did find the discipline to secure all that wiring instead of tossing it into said basket.   Zip ties and inner tubes, yea!

This m orning’s commute — 49 degrees and 20 mph tailwind.   Saw three taxis – the first did the same “pass on the right then turn left” move that SVA BBY2 did a few Januaries ago… but safely and without rolling down the window to verbally harrass me.

My speculator was activated by a sporty sedan with license plate “161   161”  … and what looked like Superman logo on the back…. what’s the story 🙂

The stuff that pre-break was tearing bricks apart is now at hauling mud around.   Happily it was a bus behind me when there was a truck just stopped in the right lane and gobs of mud in the road, I could take the left lane and navigate safely.