Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oh, and the Gazelle…

I should take pics of it, too, except they would make you sad or mad.   My third bike ride of four was to ride over to The Bike Project and get James’ opinion of an injury to it.   Welp, that one place with chipped paint, he declared:   “That’s sound, no problem.”   Then he went to the bottom bracket, which is rust central… oh, and the place where the thing inexplicably deemed a “seat stay”  connects back to the hub of the wheel … oh, and the other place on the other seat stay halfway through? The tapping of the wrench upon them yielded a “not sound” sound.   “The rust is deep.”   (Yes, and it never sleeps…)

I’m afraid he didn’t even look on the left side of the bike.  “You have to stop riding this bike.”   (Not that day — it didn’t break on the ride home…)

So… I can swap out the dynamo hub sooner than later… and I suppose put that little carrying bag on something…

Time to get productive housework wise but there are pics of the charger-dynamo-USB set up to come…

 

Better than tolerant

I’ve had to go through campus a few times this past week, where there’s the usual construction happening despite the budget calamities.   (The twerds supposedly running our state  have, basically, signed off on a six month sort of budget — like getting another credit card to pay off this one because of the deadline, but with worse interest and further damage to credit rating because that will only pay the upcoming bills, not the unpaid ones from the *past year* of many, many defaults.   I was surprised to hear that many of them have not been paid since April or so and I wonder what it’s like to be the comptroller who actually writes the checks.)

It seems they have allowed a path through the construction for bicycles.   They had left a bit of a path – hopping curbs and dodging debris — before; and this has its share of gravel and debris, but you can get across the road to the bike paths.

I don’t k now if this was done after hue and cry (in which case we’re still in “tolerant” category, but they are at least listening) or if it was a recognized need (adding a tiny silver tinge to the bronze).
Now, the tinge would be even brighter if there were a clue given as to which paths go through to where.   It’s not obvious — all of the through-paths go around things and under things so none of them *look* likely.   Still, lots better than this from earlier this year:

bronzebike

Parked there for over a week. Typical Mother U attitude towards non Single Occupant Motorized Vehicles.

… and this past week — in doldrums of summer — there seemed to be lots and lots of joggers out.   Maybe they’re just out there earlier (we go in half an hour early these 8 weeks and get Fridays off)…

Return that car…

So, another day of driving, heading out and marking the Thursday routes for the Grand Illinois Trails and Parks ride.  The two of us got it done reasonably efficiently and Lexington, IL *is* a completely awesome place to pause if you’re traveling.   Kemp’s Upper Tap has all kinds of craft beers and burgers and fried food… and the coffee shop’s open 7 ’til 2:00 with … coffee… and panini and probably delicious good for you stuff.

Made me wonder whether the INternet wasn’t helping them — w/ people like me spreading the word — the same way that it is hopefully inspiring people to avoid Farmer City… just go to LeRoy🙂   Then you get get on the LeRoy Lexington Blacktop and be there in no time!

… and I’m trying to think of things to do with this car with an extra hour… maybe pick up some mulch.   Thing about Urbana is that it really *is* nicer to get from here to regular grocery via the bicycle.

I”ve got some pics to post but … let me get rid of that car thing.

 

Bit of a bummer

Okay, I really, really want to secede from this craphole of a state. Downstaters can do better!  I know *everybody* isn’t a corrupt, greedy slimeball!

Bike pulls up beside me:  “Hey, wanted to say goodbye.”   He’s going to Indiana to teach there (slight emphasis on the word “there”).

“Oh,” says I, “Lots of people in education are going to other states these days.”

“Exactly.”

This whole fiscal year — from last July 1 — they haven’t made a budget at all, so… except for enough court ordered payments & special cases, the bills aren’t getting paid. So they’ve carefully picked the things that will help them most politically to pay for (including a 100,00 $ position to be an assistant to the governor’s wife).

The rape crisis center — cut down to one emergency hotline (where they can tell you I suppose to go to the police but there’s no counseling any more)… drug treatment… mental health facilities…. they’ve just tossed some scraps — between 30-60% of what they budgeted last year — at colleges & universities (again, granting more to the places that are more politically noticed).

Ride of silence tonight…  and it’s beautiful out there, and my co-worker has ridden in today and yesterday (yes, rainy yesterday).

 

48 degrees…

42 when we started.   20-30 mph winds.   Hey, its a level 1 ride so we did 9 miles with two rest breaks … the Garmin said we averaged about 9.2.   Frank, Jason, Margie and me… bragging rights.   It wasn’t “epic” because we just slowed down, thank you, and wore extra clothes.   Loaned my favorite mismatched gloves (didn’t say where I got ’em from ;)) so everybody was reasonably comfortable and worked reasonably hard🙂

Then to farmer’s market where by then if things were going to blow over, they already had.   I didn’t see the compost bin/ rain barrel sales but I forgot to look for it until I was home and saw it on facebook… but … I’m thinking those things might have been rolling all over the place.  Could have been quite amusing while it lasted…

My new ATM card works… so I’m almost fully wallet recovered (well, I have no intention of replacing the bus pass ’cause that would be the full $84 annual cost and I hardly ride it in the summer).. .library card & job ID about all that’s left.  Oh, and zip car card😦  which I will need… tho’ Imight cash in Enterprise points for that rental.

The new Busey Bank on Springfield (where I got my new ATM card) has nice, up-to-code bike parking.   That’s rare in “Bronze level, bike-tolerant” Champaign… but hopefully it’s a sign of the times!   And I’ll be chatting w/ News-Gazette folks Monday about Bike MOnth…

 

Rainy days

Yesterday was a day I would have done better with a car…. I didn’t want to wear concert black to ride in and work all day… but the bag with the gear was not in my office at 5:30.   I couldn’t hop into my car and buzz home… ended up calling another second tenor and getting a ride.

I was happy that I could just hop the bus.  People, learn your bus systems — they’re great options… I wasn’t so happy that I don’t have my bus pass because my wallet is still AWOL (today’s goal is to utterly clear out the office and make sure it’s not here, SOMEWHERE, since this is the place I’m most likely to Just SHove It Somewhere Weird.)

I used the other credit card for the groceries & came out as a couple was trying to figure out how to carry their two or three plastic bags on their bikes … they hadn’t intended to shop… I realized that one of the bags I’d grabbed was a Stowaway string-backpack, complete with pocket for ID and reflective parts… He accepted it (I ‘splained it was swag from a ride & I had several but there was also good old-fashioned “I’ll  accept help & learn from my elders” in the air :))  & I suggested he find a way to just have it On The Bike and they marveled at how much it held and proclaimed to each other as they rode off that they’d be using it a lot.

Welcome to bike culture, people🙂   Nobody markets it so you have to think a bit, but there’s stuff out there that works.   Oh, and we’re a friendly bunch.   I was on the nice new Transport so I wasn’t “That lady on the weird bike with the surfboard…”   I hope they’ll start thinking “bike culture,” whether or not they have a car…

tHANKS, weather…

At 1:00 the hourly forecast said 100% chance of rain… and yes, they were marching towards us in psychedelic red glory.

Except then they just shrank around us to the south so … yup… home in clouds and wind, but the pavement was already dry from the little bits of rain.   Lots cooler, though! And… more coming.

Car next to me at Prospect had vanity tag “MRS SUM 1”  which made me wonder whether this was a math teacher or… “someone…”

Then on the green and goin’ down the road, “SUM ME 1” goes by.

Okay, they should have been carpooling ’cause I bet they were related.   Or not…  Curious🙂

 

Better yet… I looked closely at the directions for the light — no, they don’t have good pictures.   It said to be sure to put stuff into the “IN” ports; that the one that said “OUT was for the tail light.

I remember noticing unhooked connection and … I just hooked it up.   I was curious as to why there were two places with connectors so there were actually 3 chunks of wire.   I know why there was one extra — that was an improvement over the original.   My old version … was prone to the connectors being snagged and yanked out… and that had led to the cheap and cheezy metal connectors breaking off, which was why I had switched the old one to the “OUT” port, too (which may or mahy not have actually said “OUT” — I may check.)

I tugged at teh “out” part and … dudes, we had really nailed those bad boys in there based on the previous thingy… so I stopped and thought, adn realized… d’oh, unhook from that second connector and now just plug the dude into the “IN” slot.

Now, it’s not all wham-goggled into place like the “out” one that’s just dangling is, but a trip to MakerSpace where Good WHamGoggling happens can take care of that.   It also explains how I could have seen the connection dangling … but the light still worked (because the “in” connection was dangling, and the “out” was connected to the light.)

It even explains the old light and the new one having the same symptoms, and why the old one *did* work for a while (until the connector things broke).

So I THINK the dang thing’s working — if tomorrow’s Pedaling for Pleasure doesn’t get rained out (tho’ I suspect it will) I will get a chance to test it in the dark.   I’m prob’ly going to sip this wine and check out a MOOC starting tonight rather than go out tonight for an extra mile once darkness falls, but who knows?   I’m headed for a 500 mile month even given that Saturday will be the marathon so I’ll be cloistered (I’m “inside” its loop).