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quiet commute!

Seemed like there was less traffic than usual this a.m. — it’s Monday, so I was an hour later and usually things are busier.   Few cars and fewer bikes … so I guess people had Prez day off or something…

12 degrees is palpably warmer than 7.   My little face did not mind the ride in at all (and there was almost no wind but I think that was true yesterday, too).

Did not get my Xtracycle light soldered this weekend… I realize that with the new setup it is easier to take it off and take it inside to do things with it, so that I could conceivably drop in at MakerSpace without having to haul a bicycle down stairs, which given the fact that I’m an “ex” of the Bike Project, which I’d have to go by, would be a good idea.   I should also just check & see what I need to have around to solder on the home front.  I obtained an iron but don’t know if I have the actual solder…

Got an email about the latest things Xtracycle is doing.   Seems they’re no longer selling things online but have some new things in the offing.   Hoping they can make things work.


So this winter is not as snowy as last year … and it’s still true:   if I get on ye little trainer for 5-6 minutes I can ride in comfortably at 10 degrees.   Did church at 7 this a.m. and should have covered up the skin on my face but the little purple gloves were enough… tho’ I think tomorrow mornign I’ll put an extra jacket over everything.   I had two skinny base layers, a sweater, a wind jacket and a jacket jacket on top and two skinny base layers, cotton pants and snow pants on the bottom… and my mesh sneakers and orange socks on the bottom; for the full commute I’ll remember to go with the boots since my feet were starting to get cool (yes, I’m a genetic anomaly).

Time to get the rest of today’s 10K with a trip to go watch teh game!

Being safer ’cause I ride

I overheard somebody talking about coming in to work today who’s got a twisted knee because … surprise! black ice on the parking lot.

Okay, I do  not know whether or not she was surprised — she might have been just carefully navigating it and fallen anyway, but I suspect not.

However, I rode the Gazelle and its studded front tire today *because* the weather guy said we had mist and fog, and it was 32 degrees.   I ride my bike, so I listen to the weather, and I know that little particles of moisture do this thing called freeze at 32 degrees.   I pay 10 times the attention to the weather details than car-culture folks.

That won’t stop the inattentive schmudge from running me down, but I”m more likely to see it in time and dive out of the way… and I’ve happily occasionally brushed against that happy condition of wanting to get out and ride right now, thank you, which only happens when I’m starting to get in shape…

Happy Thaw! Happy New Year!

By the time I got out to Church Street , to head west,  I’d seen 12 other folks on bicycles, getting from here to there.

That’s 12 people in the middle of *January,* temp. about 33 degrees.     I basically saw somebody else on a bicycle for that whole part of the trip.

Once I get out to Church, it’s one-way and that’s not as common a commute route.  People tend to be more fair-weather getting to Parkland — the bus goes there, and the Park District doesn’t ever, ever clear the sidewalk next to Bradley, one of the highest traffic count roads around.  Even if it weren’t one of the busiest roads, you don’t want to be the Slow Thing In Traffic in front of People Who Are Running Late For Class.

If I can find the rest of my portable snow shovel (the plastic stick-in-your-trunk kind that I bought to put in the rental when the forecast was utterly ominous before Thanksgiving) I just might consider clearing it myself.  I heard of a path that cyclists cleared for a while and then didn’t… and enough people complained that the establishment recognized it should be cleared. It’s a place that gets drifty, too, so even today I wimped out and walked over a chunk of nasty in the middle of it.

Chance of stuff tonight but it might stay above freezing.   YAY.   I’m going to aim for 200 miles for the month, which is a bit of a challenge given that I’ll be out of town half of next week.

January Thaw! For real!

I didn’t really take advantage of it yesterday, but I did ride out and finally return some music downtown… and I saw a bike in my mirror.   It was a woman with a huge messenger bag… I wondered what-all was in it … and I caught up to her at the light and realized she was clipped into a fixie and was just hangin’ the track stand with utter patience and elegance, waiting for the light to turn green.   No wobbles…

Was it two years ago we lost Pansy?   She had posted a motivational thread at BikeJournal encouraging people to get in 25 mile rides and post ’em… and the thread’s still up there from quarter to quarter (partly because somebody was smart enough to just make a “username” of quarters that anybody could do, so that when she died, it didn’t die :)) … so today I went out and rode around my four mile grid four times … the Garmin was low on juice but I had to work to keep the four-milers under 19 minutes for hte first 3 and then just cruise on the fourth.

Last year, I didn’t get a 25 miler in for all of January or February (and I didnt’ look at March).   So **maybe** this is the year I’ll get my mojo back.  We’ll see… ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it…

Dispatch number — get yours!

In the “Just Do This” category — get the ‘non emergency dispatch’ number for where you are most often and either commit it to memory or stick it on your phone.

Ours is easy to remember:   333-8911.   (Hey, it’s “911”  almost — 8911 — and then 3’s in front.)  It’s for “animal control” — yes, they want you to call even if all the dog did was *almost*hurt you, and for situations like last Friday when I was heading East on University from Country Fair and watched as a semi made a U-turn … on Mattis.    I wondered as I approached if I’d get to see a jackknifing happen … it didn’t, and the Plain WHite (18-2heeler) Truck proceeded on its way… with the light standard smashed to the ground behind it.    Wasn’t in the traffic lane, somehow, but it was worth a call (no, I didn’t get license or name of company from the truck but ‘that’s good enough’).

Today’s commute was speedy ’cause the wind is from the East; “rain developing” had started spitting at me on arrival.

The age of cluelessness

Yesterday and Sunday I had the chance to ride out, at night, South of WIndsor, in fog and mist dense enough so that during the day, my solar powered lantern isn’t charging.   It is most awesome ;)

BOth rides were to go out and Christmas Carol, which is also awesome :)

Monday night I was heading out to Parkview Apartments to sing with Choral Union for the folks there.   I went online to look up the address, and here’s where cluelessness begins.

THe “driving directions” to the place went to a different address than the place actually is; several miles away.

So!  I click “contact and fill out the little form, which requires me to say when I want to move in.

I comment about the above and submit.

Today I get a really nice, friendly email… inviting me to visit and get ready to move in.

I send back an email saying no, I don’t want to move in; just wanted to let ’em know about the web page.

I get a phone call, apologizing for the misundersatnding on voicemail because she didn’t know I wanted to talk on the phone but she was all kinds of eager to tell me about living there.

I sent another email practicing diplomacy saying I didn’t know how to say more clearly that I didn’t want to live there but that there was a problem with the web page (and that since they obviously weren’t going to understand me, I *really* didn’t want to live there).

I got a call within a minute asking how I coudl be helped to find what I was looking for.

I explained very slowly that I wasn’t looking for anything …. just thought they might want to know…

Oh, they don’t have anythign to do with the web page, that was corporate.. I suggested she talk to corporate…