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Snowy :)

I confess I appreciate being forced to recognize that, in fact, fat studded front tires are really good. I wouldn’t have ridden out to Parkalnd with this forecast, but church is 2.3 miles (and not easy on the bus on Sunday morning).  I saw on the radar that it was going to Snow For Real when I was at church, so I took theGazelle (it was barely dusted on the sidewalks at the time).

Coming back into the wind (19 mph but there are those neat things called buildings in time).   Drivers were very solicitous tho’ I could ride through the snowy parts (only about 1/8-1/4 inch was on the roads — even counting choir practice before,  that and Mass aren’t that long ;)) … and then a guy on Washington saw me coming and scraped off the bike lane for me.   IT was a Sir Walter Raleigh moment:)   I thanked him and he said he was tryin’ to make at least a little lane… (Yes, I could have waxed “Savvy Cyclist” and lectured him that of course I didn’t need to be in no stinkin’ bike lane on the right and I had every right to take my lane, but I choose to frame things positively .)

Yes, it’s the midwest – people were drivin’ slowly and leaving room, mainly b/c visibility was a tad impaired w/ wind and blowing snow.   It’ll prob’ly get slickery about … now… as it piles up — but as usual the weather timed itself so I could do things safely:)

I vow, again, to try to make the camera more accessible… to show how the roads aren’t… Thursday a lady was shoving her wheelchair through the snow and traction wasn’t the best, tho’ she got to the bus stop reasonably efficiently.   Nobody even pretended to clear the sidewalk out at Dodds Park…

Based on today, I might just take the bike tomorrow depending on how much we get.   Or not😉

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…