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dance missteps ;)

8 degrees this a.m. but I found the warm socks and it’s going to be 0 with an official “wind chill advisory” tomorrow, AND … I really wanted to take the Xtra on a Real Commute. The gears weren’t even frozen — they just need a different “click” than previous shifters. (The derailleurs are new-to-me in the rebuild — supply chain, but I’m all for me finishing up what you graduated from, and I *do* like the triple better than the “compact double” on the Transport.) And oh, I might toss the inner layer of this outfit in the wash and just wear it again tomorrow because I think it’ll be fine, tho’ I should figure out a way to cover my delicate cheeks (I have *not* found balaclavas of days of yore, and I don’t have the 3D skills to properly use the BUFF, tho’ I do the best I can).

So I’m approaching Wright and I see the 9B to my left and it’s going to go my route on White once I cross so… I pause so they don’t have to pass me…. and the cars from the right are going by and I see the bus driver figure out and signal to turn… except that last nice southbound decides to stop for me ;P So… I went through anyway and just ducked over …. Sometimes they don’t read the signs as well as others 😉

…. but … several days later update ;0 last night there were several “roundabout” dances where YES, the driver saw me lean over, stick my foot out… so they proceeded (we arrived about the same time), and then I could roll through …
This lovely Friday a.m. — rain doesn’t usually get me on the bus and yes, I’m wondering if it would have been anther day where once I was rolling, I was loving it… but it could have been a day that I got wet and cold. I have ancient memories of that happening but they’re lasting memories 😉 The snow means roads are smaller, and it’s windy, too. That, and I heard the bikes all the way from the garage saying “WHEW!!!” when I got on the bus, with all the Parts That Would Get Salty Water Up In Them smiling.

the dance :)

yes, the bike lane’s a mess sometimes on Randolph approaching University. Queue was all the way back to Logan/Clark (whatever it is when it meets Randolph), and I eased into the bike lane, saw cars WITH SIGNALS, yay!!! and crawled along and the one paused, then figured out I was crawling, and proceeded… and I sped up, and the car a bit back slowed, I pointed, and all proceeded happily.

Prospect, oh!!! I was a little behind…. BUT the car comin’ behind me slowed down and then went around… slowly enough for me to make the light 🙂 At Mattis, the driver behind me passed carefully and LOOKED OVER 😉 …. I noticed he didn’t turn on the red at Country Fair… new driver? And Country Fair… I love the drivers who are turning onto it and are 3 quarters of a car length back because … it’s midwest, they’re patiently waiting.

Wondering about closer crannies to park the bike for getting to library but… I like my spot.

275 miles for this January, not counting today. Don’t know if the extra tenth or three I stick on to errands will really help me get to the 1000 miles by 4/1 lovetoride goal;) Prob’ly won’t get to 300 but I might sneak out at lunch; it’ll be above freezing. Speculating that case numbers are goin gdown because a few million people are snowed in and a: not going out and getting tested — OR getting COVID.

Perused the Xtracycle site. Hmmm. I wonder if my Jackery generator with its solar panel… could charge the e-bike? Oh, I did charge one on that camping ride…. don’t think it got all the way but that was timing. So, I could rationalize getting an e-bike and rolling it on solar power…



Here it is in a file that makes sense… I’ll snag another with its clothes on when I get the chance. Yes, this is “how not to take a picture!!”

covid crystals ;)

I’d have been on the bus pre-COVID – 6 degrees F out there so the gears are reluctant to shift and yes, crystals near the storm drains and crystals on my hair from freezing condensation. The layered cargo pants are good (over a base layer and under sweat pants — I didn’t go for the rain pants on top ’cause I was bulky enough and it was fine.) The deciding factor — not to risk the bus — was when YES, a second pair of socks went on nicely without making the inner one so tight it hurt. They’re not thick socks so my toes were cool. I *did* do enough preliminary leaping around so my hands never got cold. When it’s this cold, the cloth mask I stuck on for warmth but pulled down when it was too warm… couldn’t be pulled back up easily b/c of the frozen condensation from my breath… but all was well.

When I got inside I experienced the cold air from between all the layers wafting all around me 😉 And the mileage total creeps up… tho’ I miss the humans on the bus. We might get another snowdusting –but not the inch that makes it “real” — from a clipper this weekend. I’ll talk to it 😉

Car/ phone culture???

So I’m at the T-intersection on the road w/ the highest traffic count in the county, getting ready to proceed across the T-part and hop onto th e sidewalk for the last quarter mile to turn right into campus (which yes, “savvy cyclists” proclaim means I’m not a “true” cyclist 😛 )

Our light turned green and I looked up because a car had come out and clocked a car proceeding forward. He pounded on his steering wheel (and the light changed)…. so I paused to be a witness, then he got out and asked the lady if she was okay, she got out, and he apologized, said his car had stopped working, he had it in drive and was putting on the gas… so obviously it hadn’t worked unitl it did, which was after the light turned… …. and then they each took out their phones, held them up next to each other and I proceeded and hollered to a guy inching forward as if through the red… and the lady with her already ductaped together car passed me about 30 seconds later. What were they doing with their phones that got them done so fast? Was it two people with i-phones or did they have an app w insurance info? Or were they just exchanging numbers? Inquiring minds…


I usually attend the county MLK celebration — music, recognition for students, and inspirational talks — but there was also a walk scheduled for TODAY and hey, it’s on the actual day and it is OUTSIDE THANK YOU. Krannert has vax requirement, don’t know about masking — but we’re still rolling about 20% positivity on a WHOLE LOT OF TESTS.

It was chilly 😉 I RODE THE XTRACYCLE 🙂 tho’ I need to figure out how to get its cargo bag to not drag on things. The thing to protect the brakes broke off or something but that sounds like something I can replicate with … hmmm!!!!! a use for the plastic beer holders? No, those might work on the top deck though 😛 Or!! Or!!! (being outside is inspiring visual thinking ?!?) some of the many things to put lights on handlebars that are floating around the house. I also need to hook up lights, etc. and perhaps I shall PROD myself to not wait ’til the weekend when it will be even colder.

Lots of pics taken and yes, folks recognized me in the news coverage… *and* I’ve got two folks’ biz cards because yes, they know people who might could use some skills building. I’m almost warmed up sitting in my house with both coats still on — walking is colder than riding…

early ;)

…. so, there was an 8:00 meeting scheduled (the hosts are east coast)… but I left so I could actually be at my desk at 8:01 where it seems the meeting is at 9:00 (zoom). All my time metrics were gone except the bus stops with the clocks — 7:22 instead of 7:28 on White Street. No cars on Main, tho’ I had to wait for plenty crossing Lincoln. The Teal West passed me instead of teh Teal East goin’ by the other way 😉 Seemed drivers didn’t dance as well — not the same folks, I suppose, though you’d think if exactly the same cars were going by I’d remember more of them…. there were two other folks on bicycles (but no streams of 5 like earlier in the week).

I love boring 🙂 Yes, lots of K/N95s out there. I also like living where careful people live, and I *still* like that the “stabilizing” spring on the front wheel is gone so it doesn’t resist turning (I wonder if age made it stiffer with rust as opposed to fatigue making it stretchier?)

Now to the work like stuff!


That’s what I heard last night moving things around to get the bike in the garage…. and I knew something had *broken.* Couldn’t figure it out in the dark.

In the morning — oh! That stupid SPRING that pulls the handlebars back to center snapped. I tried to ride cautiously in case motor memories would think a thing was happening, but realized that actually it made me uncomfortable — I forget it’s there, and I don’t “feel right” taking it around turns. So! (and yes, it *broke,* metal fatigue… but I’m fine with that.)

Need to log those miles at lovetoride 😉

Keep on truckin’ ; )

Past two days were definitely “second semester has started!” commutes. Lots of interactions, from the hand off the steering wheel wave on Main Street to the guy calling out “keep on truckin’!” as I very slowly rode the upgrade to the light at Prospect. I was slow because I was timing the light 😉 Today was 11 degrees and I didn’t put the rain pants on — but the real pants are lined cargo pants, under sweats, over tights. My hands never got cold even for the first mile 😉 (They are always warmed up about when I go past Bruce’s BikeWorks, tho’ last Friday it wasn’t all the way to the tips at 1 degree F.) Today on White — I know now has “i-stops” for the bus, which means close enough to the U of I campus so that they don’t even check for passes or fares. You just get on the bus I’m approaching 3rd street and yea, the driver’s just going to wait — because it’s me *and* five, count them, FIVE bicycles coming the other direction (not students, commuters like me).

Lots of other communication dances including at a four-way stop where a school bus perpendicular left to me was turning right, so hey, I should just go except I realized, of course, the driver right behind the bus … nope, they had seen me 🙂 🙂 Gorillas aren’t invisible if you expect them! (Friend of mine was part of that original research and did not see the gorilla.)

Ordered 50 N95 masks yesterday. Fewer than 20,000 cases (yea, remember when 2000 was a not-so-good plateau…) yesterday but Mondays tend to run low. (Slightly lower than last Monday.) My weather tweeps are excited about changing trends but the national weather doesn’t point to snow Saturday… but tweeps are thinking the patterns will send something our way last two weeks of the month…

frozen shifters

Yes, I rode in today. Yesterday I worked from home, and having used the bus Wednesday, at 5:00 I just peeled four layers on and went to the store… and at 9 degrees, ended up doing an extra mile or two and getting to the “warmed up” place …

…. today I was ready to take the bus but went out to see how cold it was and… put the same layers on and got on the bicycle. Yes, if it weren’t for COVID I’d have been on the bus anyway. The person I chatted with during our fire alarm Wednesday *did* come by in her truck at the very last traffic light a quarter mile from campus and offered to throw the bike in the bakc. Well, you don’t throw my bike anywhere 😉 by the time we got itin, I’d be at school… and I told her “my hands are warmer than yours!”

Yes, it’s cold enough so there’s frost near the storm drains and I had frost in my hair from my breath.

Things will warm up after today (high 16, but tomorrow back above freezing).

SPeaking of COVID a friend works at Wal-Mart and half the folks there have it… oh, she’s sick but hasn’t gotten the test results back yet so she has to go to work because you can’t quarantine until you have the test results. No, really. Yes, vaxxed (don’t know about boosted, since after all I’m sure she couldn’t take a day off to recover from the shot either). So, yes, I wondered – tho’ she’s in another state – if folks might be getting on the bus to go to work under similar circumstances here.

Definitely had endorphins goin this a.m. 😉 That said, happy hormones happen on the bus, too. Hormones are highly underrated…