Category Archives: Uncategorized


Water beaded very nicely on my new coat. I think it is a valid Gore-Tex competitor. I overslept but a big old plastic bag found its way to me (I’ve finally gotten into better storage habits — there’s a “camping stuff closet”), so not too much delay.

Yesterday was interesting in that car windows on the street were heavily laden with dew. On Church in Champaign a car went by that had clearly been heavily crusted with ice. Another mile west and cars in the shade had a light curst, and out on Bradley the “shadowfrost” phenom was in all its beauty in the grass where there are some trees. Where the sun hit, there was no frost, but white glistening in the outline of the trees’ shapes beneath them.

I took that as a reminder for this morning b/c our forecast was for precip “mix” but it was a full 40 degrees so I was dodging earthworms, not ice patches. I need to inquire about re-upping the bus pass, tho’ they’re still not making anybody pay.

Almost Holidays

… and cases were down today, but I don’t see how that’s going to last. I know too many people sincerely believing they’re “being safe” and they’re not, and we’re still getting enough more cases to make spreading faster happen too.

Ran late enough to be after the mass bus departure (which is better than during — 13 of them leave at 7:41 ish) so I saw my person all the way in Urbana. I still haven’t been able to make out the kind of bicycle she’s on… it’s sort of 1960’s Schwinn style and may be that old but it says something else. Something with an S and OE and a C in there somewhere/?

Vanity plate of the week passing me on Country Fair: BED BY 10 . Hmmm.

“Bike friendly” moments — the Pink (yes, prob’ly Sunshine driving it) behind me, turning left on Bradley, and knowing I was cutting wide so the bus could just turn… and the 3 cars all taking the left lane at the Prospect light so I could just roll up by them and cruise through as it turned green.

Last Friday I had a first! A car approached w/o lights on and I successfully covered mine w/ hand to “blink” and they turned their lights on. This is first time I’ve done it with the generator light on the Red Bike; on the Tank it’s down lower so I can’t blink as well. It even happened again, tho’ that was w/ car pulling out so more likely to be correlation w/o causation.

Such excitement 🙂 🙂

Sunshine :)

Last Thursday *all* the Campus Communication Groups (installing, digging stuff for communication) trucks passed me on Country Fair. There’s a good bike lane and they tend to go a bit further out…. I shall post that happy regularity again to social media…

I sat in a yard w/ a couple of folks and drank beer, and returned to be informed that a bus driver, Sunshine, had brought my purse to the house. Apparently it had bounced out of the bike on Country Fair.

A few Saturdays ago I’d ridden out to the bike shop b/c the Stupid Wheel Wasn’t Being Round — the one they’d rebuilt around a new hub — and on the way the front wheel informed me that, in fact, this sounded a whole lot like I just hadn’t seated the tire… so I bought a lock instead. Said lock and cable would be why said purse was riding higher in the bag where I wouldn’t hear it bounce out with all the big trucks going by.

Yesterday when I waited for the light to change so I could go left onto University (where it’s been giving left signal for a couple of weeks without me having to hit the sweet spot!) I hear somebody ask me if I got everything from my billfold — the Pink Bus is on my right, and Sunshine is inquiring 🙂 Nice to be able to thank her in person 😉

My new coat is really nice and warm (and not too warm, and big enough to toss a coat under it) but … long enough to grab the back of my seat 😦 I have to figure that out.

Sigh, I also re-wound my interaction with dude on First Street coming back from COVID test — the one who accosted me when I took the left lane to make a left turn and said that if I was going to inconvenience people he’d teach me a lesson, went around to my side, said I was cool, and “Do you know what’s behind you?”

I realize it probably had nothing to do with the bus back there and everything to do with that’s the thing you say so somebody turns around and you can assault them to varying degrees, and me saying “Yup!” and pushing forward because I have a good mirror (and, also, I suspect, too many years with siblings to just turn around when somebody says “look behind you!” ) kept that from being a more exciting afternoon…

I need to figure out how to make the mask work w/ the helmet and coat, since the stupid virus is exploding and it’s a visible reminder … the hood’s supposed to be set up to work w/ helmet but I don’t know over or under; I need under for the padding and warm ears and because the witch’s hat would interfere … but hey, I can swap out for the reindeer horns now… time for some strings of Christmas lights too…

Sunny morning smiles

Since that student with the “you must have survey results in your English paper” surveyed a dozen folks about how much they smiled each day and most were “1” or “2,” I’ve been noticing….
I’ve just crossed Lincoln (UGH it’s only been about 3 years since the improvements were going to happen; 4 busy lanes…) and rolling between apartments and there’s a dude jogging towards the road; I slow a bit but there’s also a car coming the otherway, and he just stops so the dude can keep goin’ cross the street. Driver gives me a “thumbs up” as we pass. Worth a good smile 😉 I’d like to think it wasn’t for my “marvelous” bicycle (last week’s cyclist comment), but rather … hmmm… we need a “Wakanda forever” gesture for: “YES. Vulnerable Users First Forever!!!”
I find myself smiling when GAV VAN license plate goes by, and of course if the folks are out at the bus stop at Church and State. The drivers who just STFD and ease around me… if I see the Pink on Country Fair which tells me I am ON TIME…. when the Campus Communication Group monster trucks with trailers (think they’re digging in and doing underground broadband somewhere) pass me nicely….

Ebullience :)

The first Really Pretty Cold day, I didn’t see the cyclist who’d never had anything on her head or hands…. then I saw her when it got a little warmer, and then there was another missed day. I wondered if, like me, she just didn’t have as much energy in the day when the biking didn’t happen, and if…

Yesterday she was decked out in bright blue coat and gloves and it was every bit as cold and damp; today I even got a wave… I was late so I wonder if she was wondering….

The “Vision Zero” resolution passed city council Monday night. Two folks killed this year, several other unhappy incidences… here’s hoping the resolution will carry some weight.

One of my students had a required survey thing and he asked people how many times they smiled in a day. Most were 1 or 2, some 3 or 4, and a couple smiled more often. Good grief, if I don’t smile 10 times on my commute it’s because one smile lasted for most of it…

rabbit rabbit

It’s supposed to be a thing you say the first of the month, first thing. It wasn’t 😉

Put on The winter jacket (and yes, I need a new one if only to go on top of this one tho’ I haven’t gotten any premonitions about the winter weather). I’d forgotten how easy the jacket makes things — it’s got real pockets and the hood is just right for coveringthe ears and keeping the helmet snug. (Today prob’ly switching to the Winter Helmet with Hallowe’en Headband — I found the gorilla tape to get the mirror affixed.)

46 degrees really is my fave 🙂 Endorphins happen! Now at 8:30 it’s time to see about getting a million things done.

And yea, at least a bit of a smile from the green bike lady. No helmet — wonder if ears were cold.. .

AQ 23197

I’ve always thought that if you’re going to drive like a jerk, don’t have a vanity tag… well, this one is such a combination of prime numbers it was memorable. I’ll be watching for ye, who just *had* to left right in front of me. Wasn’t close, but you didn’t have the right of way.

18 miles tomorrow will net me 500 on the month (prob’ly a few more since sometimes I have to reconstruct and I only put in what I know). We’ll see what October brings.

Bike culture

This one is from last week. Update: I *have* seen a bit of a smile from the person on the green bicycle. 😉

… is when you say “comin’ round” as you’re weaving around the buildings around the construction on the sidwalk, and the two gentlemen part to let you through, and you see the car behind the huge construction truck and so you know to stop and look around… but the driver saw *you* and is also slowing ‘way down in case you didn’t see her, and you smile at each other as she proceeds.

Yes, three weeks ago I had somebody holler to get off the road but that happens a lot less often than this 😉

Now I want to see if I can project enough ebullience to get a happy face from the persno on the green bike that rides at least from Randolph to Urbana ’cause our “where do we ride by” range is at least 2 miles long.

Hoping to figure out how to get a light that I have working on the rebuilt front wheel w/ the dynohub…

Oh, and two more things, she said, seeing she hadn’t posted this yet — yesterday once again I did a “safe roll” through a four-way right smack dab in front of a police car positioned as if to enforce stopping. Earlier this week I did a full “roundabout” where I timed my arrival at the 3-way stop where I turn left to be after that car, and before the bus which has an actual bus stop there, too… so it wasn’t even an “almost stop.” The car right behind me was… police 😉 (Yes, I wonder if I’d get different reaction were I a different profile. And yes, I did get called out on accelerating through a four-way when I had a humongoid truck and trailer coming up behind me and I impulsively decided to just SPRINT across to beat the car off to the right which was… police with megaphone: “you need to stop!” but no further actions…. )

(but no shared ebullience this a.m. either, though our cross point was where sidewalks are blocked and we have to ride over grass…)

Interesting trips ;)

Today it was traffic light tripping. Main and Race I’m sitting there, car behind me … I missed hte sweet spot. It’s not changing. After a few years, I motioned the car behind me to move forward. It took twice but they did and then we got that perpendicular yellow 🙂

Then White and Fourth, which has a much harder “sweet spot” to find, but the BUS in front of me should have done it! Waited… waited… but there was a group of walkers crossing the street and I implored them to hit the walk button and one did 🙂 Victory!

Other lights and traffic were such that I left 3 minutes earlier and arrived about 4 minutes later this morning, even though yesterday was rainy.

Oh, and they still leave the walk/bike route free of construciton equipment 🙂 All semester!!! (It’s not a great route, but … it’s even notter greater when there are vehicles obstructing. They keep them *all the way off* the wide sidewalk.)

It’s also fall 🙂 47 degrees this morning.. .sweater and jacket… Yay endorphins!

Just Riding Along ;)

And no, nothing’s happened, yay!

People love my “hat,” or my helmet — I think it’s interesting that it gets called a hat almost all the time.

Joe Blow died Saturday — air came out the wrong end. Champaign Cycle had some Planet Bike pumps so I acquired one … and yea, a set of the expensive daytime head and tail lights and some Tri-Flo (I had to resort to the rancid vegetable oil last week to stop the chain from crunching). The lights are mainly for when I’m riding the ‘fast bike’ — daytime visibility on the longbikes sort of takes care of itself with massiveness. They can’t *get* entry level bikes so … that’s not so nice “for the economy, stupid.” March, maybe?

It’s been oh, going on 3 years since Main Street was going to have major improvements, this summer honestly! … but the fine City of Urbana has … well, pretty much decided car culture is more important under the strangling budget constraints.

While I see all kinds of folks wearing masks even just out walking around with pletny of space, apparently they’ve netted 1000 cases already, and they’d hoped for 700 for the whole semester… so there’s a two week semi-lockdown for campus and then… maybe have to go back home or something.

THe health folks say the cases are campus, campus, campus from parties, parties, parties: I really, really hope so. I really hope the masks work. I really wish we had testing at Parkland … I really wish we had better leadership at Parkland but that’s another story (a really lousy one).

But I also really, really like riding my bike as autumn approaches. YEsterday I was riding ‘cross parking lot and thought “I should go back ‘way round, no, maybe not” and the air informed me: “GO THE BACK WAY.” 30 seconds later a car going other way stops… she’s desperately seeking the H wing. I get her to public safety and hopefully to the H wing.

Okay, granted, she *might* have passed me if I’d just gone the short way 😉 but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t much later that my brain reviewed a little conference proposal I’d submitted Monday that had had its due time extended to today and … informed me that I’d attributed a quote to the wrong keynote speaker in it. I wasn’t *really* thinking about it — that’s what you can do on a bicycle going the back way 😉 Checked it, fixed it.

I know if I were reviewing proposals — and that’s my next task 🙂 — that … that kind of mistake would be a slap. Spell educashun wrong but … don’t be all sloppy about who said what!