Category Archives: Uncategorized

Go Pro Sidewalk Moments

Well, they would have been, had I had a body camera attached.

There are two stretches of my commute where I’m usually on a sidewalk/Multi-use path.   Coming in, I grab the puny sidewalk for the last quarter mile, when I am heading West on Bradley, which has one of the highest traffic counts in the county and when I’m coming in, they’re people in a hurry to get to class.

On my route either way, I cut through campus and yes, a student was meandering in the middle of the wide path… I gave my little ‘toot’ with the air horn from 15 feet back… oblivious.   I hollered as I approached and the face-to-screen ears-to-buds student shuffled out of the way, apologizing; I suggested he pay some attention to the world (knowing he wasn’t going to hear that anyway).

That made me reflect on the morning commute, where I also approached a pedestrian (rare) and tooted my horn.   This student immediately stepped slowly, but clearly, off the sidewalk into the grass, bringing his hands up just far enough … to make me think, “hands up, don’t shoot.”

Guess I don’t need to inform you as to the racial identity of either person, do I? I’m not going to assume that this student has learned “always assume you need to prove you’re unarmed, no sudden moves, even on a sidewalk with a bicycle approaching…”   but… I can’t assume it’s not true, either.

Freezing rain in the forecast tomorrow night, so I’ll be getting that CUMTD yearly pass…

Baby, it’s cold out side

Okay, not really — it’s in the 20’s.  That’s lots of degrees!   Still, getting to Parkland from the airport yesterday a.m. w/ at least 15 mph headwinds… I really didn’t want to do the Duncan over-the-interstate overpass on a windy day when nobody’s looking for bicycles, especially on the tiny little invisible-feeling Trek (that woudl fit nicely in the back of the rental that I was dropping off, which I had to get from the airport b/c when I called to see if I could get my reserved car a day early, I found out I didn’t actually have a reservation so THANK YOU weather, my dear friend, for inspiring DIRE forecasts that made me call, since otherwise I would have wandered in Wednesday a.m. *thinking* I had a car reserved instead of snagging one and taking off extra early and going through nice, 34-degree wet snowflakes and arriving earlier than I ever have).

Night time I rode on home still feeling invisible but those Christmas lights on the back of the backpack do their job.   People saw me  ;)   I managed 25 *brisk* miles (either charging into headwind or hustling to get to Chorus on time) *and* bonus stretching when I had to wait about ten minutes for a train.

Still, really nice to be back on Sir Xtra today.   Haven’t figured out what’s up with the light — it seems to spontaneously come on after about 3  miles of riding.   It definitely has a broken-off connecting pin but it might be contacting anyway… and perhaps it’s just so cold that it takes that long to charge things up.  I’ll sneak by MakerSpace and see if they have any advice…

Tonight’s goal:   get the “trainer room” cleared out.   Hey, now that I have *two* aluminum Treks I can just park one on the trainer.   I might just could also use our fitness center indoor walking/jogging track …

And I’m thinking instead of putting a tree on the bike… I had thought of making it a sleigh but I think I shall try to make it a camel or a donkey…

Not. What. I. Had. In. Mind.

Seems one of my virtual biking compadres was creamed and killed by a FedEx Semi yesterday.   Won’t see posts by Kirke Johnson again. Not the reason I wanted to be posting more often.

CUMTD says today was a record cold of 8 but I wasn’t cold riding in — but there was a nice tailwind (and it was prob’ly 14 where I was).   The snow pants are nice, but I wish somebody would actually design snow pants for a bicycle — skinny at the ankles, please…

Took me halfway in to reconstruct yesterday’s “I know I had a good idea!! What was it ?!?!?”  — a place to meet, eat, and do the technology thing.   Pizza M tries but it’s too noisy in the back.   Parkland COllege should do it out of their hospitality department.

I did ride faster going in — on purpose, not just because of the tailwind. I’m really glad I ignored the inner suggestion that really, it’s uncomfortable that cold.  (I’m also somewhat sure that Tuesday, with the 25 mph winds and blowing snow and 9 degrees, that it *would* have been uncomfortable — but not entirely…)

Spring is just around the corner though ;)

(yes, I’m going to post more )

Okay, it’s time to make this regular like.

Had that CCB meeting and we do have a board and I wasn’t drafted. Our current pres found folks to step up and be new blood and the one who was there seems like he’ll be awesome and the one who wasn’t, we’ll meet. I rather trust my initial feeling of extreme gratitude that he went out and found folks to build our group instead of just keeping things in the little group we are (other interpretations occurred to me hours after the fact ;)). I may assign myself an unofficial job of “hurrying meetings along, ” since that seems to be an issue… I’m as distractible as anybody — but also don’t like sitting in one place for long :)
There’s a chatrt that compares our community to “Platinum,” and there are places where we are ‘way below … will find and blog about it soon.

It’s still November ;)

This morning at 21 degrees I was passed not once, but twice by bicyclists on the morning commute.   Yes, I saw several others, and this was an “early” day (I see more when I go in an hour later).

Urbana has been deemed GOLD status in bike friendliness, which I thought was pretty cool — and then saw that there are only 21 Gold communities in the country!  (Four platinum) … tonight we have Champaign County Bikes annual meeting and elections.  I don’t even know who’s ‘running,’ and that might be because … nobody is, and if you go to the meeting you’ll be drafted.   We’ll see ;)

It’s November!

Yes, it’s gotten below freezing.   Nothing that a few layers doesn’t take care of.

No, car culture folks, it’s really not that amazing.  You have just as many routines for dealing with the Stuff Of Cars; they’re just routine.   Once mine became routine, it was the Car Stuff — will I need to figure out a place to park?  Where will I stick stuff so I can get to it?   — that was a bunbite.

Nice ride in, because 45 degrees w/ 15 mph headwinds is my favorite ride for endorphin generation.   Had a “bike culture diversity” experience riding in as somebody peeled out of a driveway about 2 miles from Parkland on a Trek 7200… hopped sidewalks and parking lots, including crossing Country Fair and being on the sidewalk there for a spell, then crossing back over to the sidewalk to my right (which may have been because of strollers and loiterers on the left sidewalk), and then as we approached Bradley, he came out into the road on a mad sprint to make the light.   On my Gazelle, having tried not to work up a sweat for my trip, I wasn’t even tempted (but I had to wonder if he wanted to beat me in)… and as I waited at the light a fellow on the sidewalk on Bradley on a Roadmaster crossed in front and did the all-sidewalks-and-paths option.

NEat thing is, of course, that on a pretty darned brisk day in November, there *were* three cyclists descending upon our hallowed institution.  The Trek in question was parked on “my” bike rack and somebody looking lots like the rider was in the lab working on the computer when I came in.

The Gazelle is riding nicely but my back is twinging a little (but that could be that leetle bit of yoga I did this a.m.)… and I’m hoping to get the Xtra back — but the Transport is on sale at Champaign Cycle.   1200 or so  and an awesome utility bike could be yours!

bike friendly isn’t all infrastructure

I’m riding west on Main Street and there’s a mess of construction taking up the other side of the street, and a car coming the other way.

Yes, probably having a whole lot to do with me being out from the curb, the construction guy holds the oncoming car to let me through.   Cool thing is, on a bike, you can just thank the guy all proper-like :)

Rainy and supposed to be stormy later… but oh, my, I need my Monday endorphins.   Things that were annoyances yesterday are challenges I look forward to subduing to my omnipresent will right now.  The delusions never last, but do get me moving in the right direction ;)