Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

I intended to take the bus, really…

snow_walk_dodds_2

The forecast low was 9 when I left work… but as I poked around with my app the temperature dropped to 7 and the forecast to 3.   So, I organized to be on that bus… but when I woke up and saw “14.1” on my thermometer, and the radio told me “10” with a high of … oh, balminess… 29 … and I remembered how gorgeous it was at lunch time yesterday… I started putting on lots and lots of clothes.
Roads aren’t all the way clear — I’d have been a lot happier on the Gazelle, but its back brake isn’t working at all.   I’m willing to take that to church and… will prob’ly ride it out to Champaign Cycle Sat. morning… but I took the Xtracycle.   I acknowledged that even a little more snow and it would have been an official Not Ready for Prime Time morning.   (we got 3 inches).

and yes, thinking of my brother hearing the MidAtlantic forecast and its blizzard warnings.   People, do not, no matterh ow cold the house is, go out to your car & listen to the radio and take a nap. Blizzards bury you, and covered tailpipes are deadly.

THinking also that I will try to actually Take a Bike Ride Saturday.

SVA BBY 2 again ;)

Yesterday I got into the left “through” lane on Race/Elm even tho’ the right turn lane is also for bicycles,  because I go left at Main and there was a car in that lane, so I didn’t want to pull up on his right and then navigate between him and … yes, a car behind him.I signaled and cruised over, and something about the way the car behind squirted to Springfield, not Main at the fork caught my attention — oh, a very dirty white volkswagen… I wonder… yes, my “friend” w/ the SVA BBY2 license plates with whom I interacted in August several times.    I waved and smiled … hey, she didn’t whip around me on the right this time… (and yes, I”m pondering that we crossed paths on the first day of Parkland classes both semesters, yet she definitely wasn’t going to Parkland).

There was snow on the road by the time I got home, but dry.   I wonder why the sides had significantly more of the “dusting” — it wasn’t as if the path the cars travel was wet , but there just wasn’t snow there.    I suppose it could just have been blown away by the currents from the cars.

This morning that stuff was slightly packed/iced down and the wind was, well, pretty much screaming out there — and when I pulled up the weather channel, it said gusts to 50 mph.  Figured I should do my civic duty and help weigh a bus down… and should have paid more attention to twitter because CUMTD had posted that their “real time” information wasn’t running (or inferred that might be the case since the online information was schedule, not real-time).   The board said it was 8:27 and the 9B scheduled departure is 9:25 so it wasn’t up there so I had the computer out to email that I’d be late … when it was pullin’ up out there.

Fortunately, “hasty evacuation with computer” is a motor skill I’ve got down, so that while it was complicated by the extra bag with the lava lamp and the cup of tea, and I had to get on the bus and then fish the wallet out, I made it (without injury, even!)…  now to set the lava lamp up!

Naw, gotta ride :)

Well, contingent on the bike rolling when it goes outside, it’s a full 15 degrees so I want to ride…   Chance of snow this afternoon but today’s one of these “it’ll be worse tomorrow, so you’d better ride today.”   So tomorrow I’ll put the lava lamp in a bag and get on the bus…