So I went out to get the rental car this morning… on the grounds that it’s no cheaper to get it this afternoon even tho’ I’m not leaving til tomorrow. I was *very* happy to find out that actually, I can still get the weekend rate (and to learn that it’s a 24-hours-from-when-you-left-with-it thing, so that while it’s no cheaper to get it later, that’s when your “day” ends).
Well, I arrived sans wallet. Nothin’ to it but to make sure they knew I was still wanting the car, and hop back on the bike…. and go home fast as I could, but wiht a tailwind it was fun… and by that time I was warmed up. The return-to-Enterprise 2.5 miles was back into the wind and it was definitely precipitating, though not intensely — just enough to feel the little prickles on my face that were somewhere between drizzle and sleet and snow — and realize that if I were inside, I’d have assumed I’d be miserable if I had to go out in it, but this felt **good.** Sorry, I’m not hard-core — I’m just … Celtic/Norwegian/German…
Night before last I was coming home in the dark ’round 8:00 and a lady with a kid, both on bikes, asked if I had a phone… I tried not to eavesdrop admiring the kiddo’s bike but there was something about $200 for rent and how the rest of the family was in California … three phone calls later she asked if I had a car, and with mixture of disappointment/relief of course the answer was, simply, “No.” She handed me the phone and they rode off… (be it duly noted they *had lights!!* tho’ possibly the free ones that the “light the night” folks give away).
If I found a million dollars, I’d hire somebody to help me invest in Sister Karen’s transitional housing …
It was actually freezing this morning — 32 degrees. Pretty warm for this time of year… but… I am going to have to take the poinsettias home on the bus. If one cold night can do ’em in, I reckon 45 minutes on a bicycle could, too. Tho’ I could bring a cooler…
Yesterday the driver of a silver family van came up behind me as I approached Lincoln, slowed and then decide that no, s/he would go ’round and right turn right in front of me. I laid on the horn and shouted unprintably and was saying “y88 8442” or perhaps y88 8042 to myself off and on … pretty sure it was a case of non “hostile” life-threatening… just the usual disregard for the safety of others who you don’t expect to be there. Oh, and I tried to practice “A blessing on you and everyone you endanger today…” and then Y88 8424 rides right by (it was a puny little car).
Just going outside in teh chill removes the dang-it-that-exam-stank blues. There’s another lady w/ Christmas lights on her bike, too :)
And windows get started tomorrow!!!
Maybe that’s why one of my regular howdies — man who jogs up White Street, with an altered gate indicating some kind of diagnosis — was out and about today. I hadn’t seen him in long enough to be concerned for his health…
Last night’s charmer: child’s voice, “ooh, a glowing bike!” Yes, the educator in me glowed hearing a young human attaching unexpected language to observations :)
Wishing the government would get its act together — I *probably* won’t be among the people laid off January, but I loathe and despise that the people getting paid to pretend to govern us won’t do their jobs… but *they* won’t get laid off in January. If you’re not in Illinois, it’s not budget cuts — they won’t make a budget at all, period, so we just don’t get any funding this year.
I also rode by a mattress put out for disposal with “BED BUGS!” marked on it. Yes, I wished they would infest government officials’ sleeping quarters.
That’s what I think every time I roll by things like this:
Parked there for over a week. Typical Mother U attitude towards non Single Occupant Motorized Vehicles.
Alas, I forgot about the fact that Champaign never ever clears that walk (it’s *the* path to Parkland College and those gates go to a large apartment complex with lots of students who sometimes walk there and would more often if…) because at the Bike Summit we were asked to write things down and…
I did write down that the University/Country Fair intersection didn’t recognize my bike for left turn and last week (so roughly 35 days from the Oct 18 Summit) … it started to! I was cruising down the middle of it…
so I’ll wish I didn’t have to… and start with posting that pic on Facebook.
The Mother U. per the second picture — that’s the same Official Bike Route on their “master plan” — that was totally inaccessible for construction for a year and a half, starting … when the “master plan” went into effect. That’s called lip service. Construction vehicles are parked here as general practice. THat’s called bike, pedestrian, wheelchair and anybody but the construction crew unfriendly.
Yesterday it wasn’t supposed to rain ’til the afternoon, so I tossed the waterproof duffel into the bags and set out. I’d intended to get my annual bus pass but had pretty much forgotten it … until it sprinkled on me just before the turn… so I figured that was my hint that the forecasts would be right and today would be horrible and stormy…
… well, it isn’t yet, tho’ I suppose if the winds were against me I might feel differently, but the numbers are different too. Last Thursday they were headwinds 28 gusting to 35 and today it’s tailwinds 23 gusting to 28… and we’ll just see about the afternoon.
The other significant disincentive was last night’s choice to leave aySeuss at Parkland (the laptop with Android Studio)… meaning I couldn’t even intend to look at teh App of Doom on the bus trip.
And sigh, we’d ahve a better chance at even higher bike friendliness if we got commitment from that local University, like happens in Madison Wisconsin. Fat chance mother U, unless there’s a way to “commit” that you don’t actually have to follow through on. Ooops, this is Illinois — commitment doesn’t mean what it does where people are honest about such things. (Our current governor is still holding the state hostage — no budget, funds are going out to those organizations who can afford to pay lawyers to make it legally required, but higher ed and adult ed and day care and mental health workers and towns trying to fix potholes and…… are out of luck and money… I personally think it’s time to figure out a bitcoin of our own.)
Yesterday’s winds were 29 gusting to 30 something riding home on the Xtracycle, and it was enough like Not Fun sot hat this morning when they’re even stronger… I hopped the bus. (I do have a THursday church event so I’ll get some riding in.) If I’d had enough warning, I’d have readied the Gazelle, but I haven’t ridden it since last year — I don’t even remember whether it’s still got studded tyres on it or not. It’s the proper plow-through-wind bike, lacking the huge cargo bags that turn into sails but still having enough weight and low-center-of-gravity to feel like I’m in control. Reckon it’s November so I should wake it up out of aestivation… I’ll need to re-up the annual pass, too ($84/ year) but I can afford the dollar fare… since I would have been the first this morning and the laminator would have had to warm up, there wasn’t time at the terminal between the Green and the Brown buses.
I was feeling a little extroverted anyway so I got to chat w/ the irregulars and a few students ;) The bus wasn’t as crowded as it usually has been when I ride, which makes me wonder whether a lot of people are foul-weather riders. We’ll see!
… DENSE fog tho’ not so much once in town, coming home.
In the parking lot a fellow employee greeted me admiring the wheelbrightz … and we chatted… one part of conversation she said that when she saw me on church street, it alerted her that hey, bikes are *everywhere.* And that while I’ve got the lights (and though she didn’t say it, while I’m taking the lane)… other folks won’t be but … look out for them.
So then I’m toodling down Race and a youngish lady on sidewalk says “howdy!” and I howdy back and she says fast-like (in that way when you knkow I’ll be out of earshot in a second or two) “I saw you last night.”
Possibly she was the one who passed me on the green bike with the pink handlebars (whom I *think* is the same person who passed me outbound in the morning) who noted that “You carry a lot of weight on that!” and I said in my best Hulk imitation, “And it makes me STRONG!!!” (Hey, this mornign I was singing my “Stalled out at the traffic light of love” song in the lab… must be the season…)
Or not ;) I think a lot of people saw me…