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Gazelle grinders

Yea, yea, I really should have just ridden the Xtracycle.   The roads are clear and since it was 10 degrees (12 by the time I got out to Country Fair), nothing was oozing.   Still, on the Gazelle I don’t even have to think… I can ride over the weird parts.

No, I didn’t plow through the unplowed sidewalk, though.  Yea, the City of Champaign didn’t even pretend to do anythign with this snowfall.   There was a fatbike track in it, and footprints… and I’m pretty sure I could have done it.   If it doesn’t dump on us tonight, i just might, tomorrow, to challenge my courage…

When the drivers were stacking up behind me I gesticulated at the sidewalk … and the twerd in the black and white sedan who’d been hostile previously was the second car back and didn’t do anything hostile today.   Don’t know what he was thinking, of course…

It was work😉   The day goes better when it’s work:)

I can’t believe…

It’s all about the angles …

So I’m pedaling West on Church, approaching the bus stop, and the lady there says to me… “I can’t believe…”  and I’m wondering in the milliseconds if she can’t believe I’m riding a bike in the winter… but the end of her sentence is “she just did that to you.

A lady in a black sports car turning onto Church from a side road had made eye contact with me and proceeded because she had lots of room and time (I prob’ly nodded, too) …  not even close from my side, but obviously not perceived that way from the bus stop ahead.   Wonder if she’d said the same thing if it had been a more humble vehicle, tho’ she might also have been perceiving that the driver had waited…  looked right at me and “cut me off” anyway.   Glad to say no, she didn’t..

My Celtic/Norse physiology

Lunchtime I checked and… 22 mph winds.  I went out to at least look at the bicycle. Oh, I’d have to move it to shelter anyway because there was a pelting drizzle.  Temperature? 37.

And I remembered the ride to get the rental that got extended in similar conditions, and hopped on the bicycle and rode the 1.5 mile perimeter loop, because even the nasty crosswinds were only going to last a minute.   Since I hadn’t put on rain gear, I just did one lap… and yes, it felt good:-)   I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t “had” to do it the first times…

Still considering Transporty things…

SHopping, shopping…

So… a week ago Saturday it was pretty nice and … the Gazelle’s back brake lever wouldn’t budge, period.   It’s the Gazelle, as in a Dutch bike with its own unique components… so I rode it out (a little bit carefully but… no, I’m not likely to be going fast enough to send the back end of that heavy-duty commuting bike up into the air…)  and Drew put it up on the stand.   Spent a little time cleaning the salt and grunge and didn’t even have to replace the cable, but spotted a possible frame split and possible place where water was eating out the frame from the inside.

Yes, it seems… I have worn out a Gazelle.

Trek has this Amsterdam thing, but … Trek is kinda like educational software — okay, like education and probably any other industry that’s run by a Big Entity.   If you’ve got something that’s going in a different direction, most people don’t really understand how to get it to work.  You “listen” to different people but can’t surrender control so … yes, Trek carries a commuter bike but oh, it only comes in one size.   People, last time I checked, come in different sizes.   But it’s only racers who need a good fit, right?

So the “Amsterdam” is too big — I’m not a man — and … the Townie is wretchedly wrong geometry.   I don’t like elbows in my lap.  Erm, yea, it only comes in one size, too, because it’s a “comfort bike.   Were Townies always like that or was that something that happened when Trek took over?

Drew mentioned the Transport — but I already have a longbike, the Xtracycle.  The Gazelle fills the need of a bike that will ride in crappy weather and has the lights and locks built in and taken care of (at least the front light.

The Amsterdam & Townie have built-in light versions, but the Transport doesn’t.  Its fat 26″ tires, though, will plow through crap.  It’s not all protected like the Gazelle was in its previous life (before it was left in a carport over summer and wasn’t actually protected)… but then, a nekkid chain *is* easier to clean.  The Transport’s also $820.00 which is, basically, a steal.   It actually comes in sizes — I knew when I saw it was the 17” that it had a chance of working for me (my FX bikes are both that size) … and yes, it feels right and we even measured its assorted distances compared to my Xtracycle and if we swap out handlebars they’re within millimeters.   (I actually nailed the seat height first time…)  The stupid quick-release seat will be a pain ’cause I’ll have to take it with me or leash it, except I like being able to change it on the fly.

Oh, it won’t make margaritas.  That requires Xtracycle power.

Might browse the wild Internet for gazelles….

New “verb”

While I generally eschew and often despise turning nouns into verbs, sometimes it’s an effective way to reduce an entire phrase into a word.   The fact that you probably have no idea what I mean is irrelevant, eh?

My new verb is “roundabouted,” and it’s what I did at about five intersections on my commute with all-way stops.

If you couldn’t infer what it is…   when *nobody* was there, or an approaching vehicle was going to arrive a mess of time after I did, I slooowwed and proceeded on through.   If I was goign to have to wait my turn, I slowed early so our arrivals weren’t really close (and yes, the other driver roundabouted, too)… and then proceeded through.   Oh, and plenty of times… I stopped and waited my turn.

It’s how one would behave at a roundabout… now, “roundedabout” at least treats a verb like a verb… I”m not sure…

Pics soon…

… of the effect, or lack thereof, of shoving a little bit of snow aside on the sidewalk in front of Dodds Park.   I’m grateful that somebody was paying attention when I posted the first storm and the usual 100% lack of anything done to the sidewalk… and I suspect that it might have taken even longer for it to be clear than a week.   Still, it wasn’t passable until it got rained on.

Little pleasures — I got a nod and wave from driver at Randolph & University, since I had gone far enough left to let her make a proper right turn.

THinking of getting that Transport that’s marked ‘way down at Champaign Cycle … tho’ the Xtracycle really is still in fine shape.  N + 1 bicycles, you know…


No snow day here ;)

No, the sidewalk wasn’t touched again by Dodds Park.   Hoping the forecast freezing drizzle doesn’t happen Monday so I can get out and take another picture or two of how everything else can be clear and passable, days later.. .and that stretch isn’t.

Parked on Race Street to dine at Sitara — awesome Indian food and I just try not to look at the Bollywood schleck😉   My buddies got to thank the lady who walked by and just turned off the flashlight headlight I’d left on.  Yea, it’s an Urbana thing😉

I’d been delayed by a chunk of light getting snagged in the cable.   I was utterly unsuccessful at extracting it… flagged down a wandering student who tugged at it but alas, he was *not* of the “oh? a problem to solve?” variety… I thanked him for trying… then shifted *my* brain to “just solve this problem. Stop asking whether you can or not.”   Using the same “take it out the way it went in” that worked with my shoe in the fender … it happened pretty quickly.  Amazing what focusing on the problem can do…I s’pose this is what Yoda means with “There is no try,” though he needs to work on oversimplifying things ’cause there is *so* try.

Now to apply that same “shut up and do it” to the other things in life!