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Cycling is less dangerous…

… I’ve noted that because I ride a bicycle, I’m just more alert all the time.While I’m riding I may be in a higher risk category, but that is at least partly allayed by my risk being reduced overall w/ more alertness.

It also means that  when you come inside and there’s a glaze of ice on your helmet… it’s time to stay inside… and when you have to go out… well, you’re starting out with navigation strategies for skating rinks.   When you are a bicycle commuter, you skip right past the “maybe it’s not so bad, let’s see” part of figuring things out… the ones that have several of my friends with broken limbs right now. There may be price gouging on those wheeled kneel-on-it ankle carts…

So, yes, I was on the bus again today.   At 26 degrees — balmy but the ice is still ice.   Tomorrow I’ll get back on the tw0-wheeler… especially since I’m using up my “get enough fresh air to keep the germs from building up” account and yes, riding a bus means coming into contact with … germs…

And the itty bitty Christmas tree is on the Xtracycle, tho’ I’ll probably ride the Transport because of the fatter tyres.  The generator light didn’t work at all for a bit — but probably because being in subzero temps for a few days drained the battery.   It came back…

It’s a c-u thing

Took the bus to Lincoln Square. Yes, even a mile is nasty in this ice.

Several other folks were  getting provisions because “tomorrow’s going to be worse” (high of 9 so all this ice is going to … be ice. ) This a.m. I emailed the music director that if I’m not there tomorrow… I’m praying at home.
Don’t want to take for granted either the bus drivers who navigate this mess … and are so incredibly gracious and respectful to the humans of C-U. “No, I”m not being nosy, but you’ve been getting off at a different stop” … “Yes, that’s where my boyfriend lives …. thanks!”
Reminds me how it makes us shine a little inside when somebody cares about the little stuff. Like if you disappeared, they’d actually notice. And not just nice to the friendly people, either… nice to the ones walking with ghosts or demons or vague disorganized voids between their words and thoughts.  The people it’s easy and usually practical to harden to.  

Yea, the opposite of how those people doing finance for cars are… I really don’t like cars.

Time, time, time…

No, I’m not cold.   Tights and my thickest “base layer” and snow pants worked for the commute, though … I need to remember lots of lotion.   I can feel the skin flaking as I sit 🙂

tl/dr (executive summary):  I need to clean out the connections on switch for my generator light and hopefully that will make it work right… and I successfully rerouted tangled cables in the dark!   (thinking actually doing that stuff by feel is quicker than eyeballing it with my lack of sense of space).

the saga…

My light has been behaving strangely.   Okay, for at least a year it’s been prone to going to its dimmer setting and getting brighter if I hit bumps or jolted the pedal crank.  Seems I have to be going pretty fast to get to brighter lights, too.   I thought of dropping by Makerspace Wednesday-a-week ago ’cause it didn’t seem to be charging up right… nope…  Last Friday it just started going … out… entirely on the commute home.   Had to fish out a flashlight.   Except…when I got to the bumpy stretch, it revived.

So Saturday I did my best to secure all connections… and figured that hey!   The little red indicator light that “all charged- you can plug in your phone to the USB port is on!  We’re good!  So… no need to do that extrovert thing and haul the big thing down to Makerspace… (they have a hot glue gun and soldering stuff which I thought might be useful)…

Except Tuesday it failed again.   So Wednesday … I went to the “newly expanded” (they’ve taken over another room, hooray! … but still in the basement…. clop clop cop with the bike down and up outside cement stairs…) and we a:  soldered things onto my garage door opener so it might work (I keep forgetting to check, and it’s cold outside).  B:   checked and determined that all connections are getting that electricity.  No broken wires.

Seemed to work.   Well, actually, didn’t even make it the half mile *home.*

Thursday… the little red indicator went on, hooray! … and the light … went out as I coasted to the traffic light to get out of the college.

Oh.   Expand thinking, dear one.   It ain’t the wires.  What else can go wrong with a light?

Before I got green it was “what did your daddy tell you is always the thing that fails in cheap flashlights?  The switch!”

So I took my thumb and pushed hard on that thing (it’s a soft rubbery thing; I don’t know the term for it)… telling any crud blocking connections to dispel.

I got a blaze of glory.   Granted, an almost-wind-advisory tailwind meant cruising speed was probably 13-15 through town but… this was what it was supposed to be like!   I’d forgotten.

… then I get to the bumpy stretch and … it loses it.   So yesterday I did my best to squeeze things and… it came and went, though it was on 95% of the time and bright 40% of the time.

Today… late to work because hauling the bike down and up stairs mucked up the bungees on my crate and there was a mess of frozen crud in the back wheel disk brakes.  The little red light is back on and …

… Tomorrow, gonna try on my little own self to take the thign apart and get things cleaned.



Hanging with the siblings and nieces and nephews … the bicycle’s in the rental. We went to an indoor trampoline arena.   I wish I’d done the basketball thing first because there was a goal so you could figure out what to do with your body… I probably convinced myself about a dozen times to fall back but the getting back up on a bounce… my elbows were skinless and my back twinginp before I could get to that.   Have I mentioned I don’t know where my body is in space? I suspect if I tried to fall and keep head and shoulders up that I’d have kneed my face at least once…

(Yes, it was still fun.   Anything that involves using legs and quads repetitively is fun, eh? And watching the social dynamics was fascinating.   Lots of little kids and parental types.   Diverse mix and I suspect our party of nine might have skewed the stats because I swear I heard somebody say to her friend, “So many white people!”  just when I noticed… tho’ it was about 60/40   dark/light about then.

THen home to dream an obvious “life is confusing and I don’t know where I”m going” dream where I was at this marketplace/festival with salsa dancing, people selling plastic beads, chinese food, and my friends and I kept getting separated and it kept getting later 😉



CHill, folks :)

Yes, it was below freezing for the morning commute and still in the 30’s going home.   (Okay, it was 33 by the time I got to work.)

This meant that the house felt *blazingly* warm… nope, the thermostat wasn’t out of whack; it’s 65 degrees.  That’s just toasty, toasty when you’re acclimating.

LOTS and lots of bicycles this morning, too — which doesn’t make sense, because the U is off for thanksgiving.   Three were on the bike lanes on Washington, including one big fat-tired “29er” with a sound system… then not half a mile later a decked out Cannondale goes by with music emitting (and a something-pad on the top tube).

No, I haven’t seen Brian but that would be on 8:00 commute days and… actually, since our cruising speeds are fairly close, we’d have to leave at about the same time to meet each other (he just accelerates rather a lot faster ;)).

(No, I’m not chill about the state of the world.)

Ridin’ on…

Yup, the election happened.

A Jeep passed me and then cut over to turn right on Lincoln yesterday… so I pulled around to the left.   She rolled the window down — youngish Black lady — and I asked her why she had cut me off like that… she said something that sounded vaguely like “Why don’t you go back to sleep?”  a few times.   It was just weird and I’m glad things didn’t accelerate, and she went off to the right and on her way.

Need to put the plastic pumpkin back on my back bags — it’s like that guy with a pool noodle dangling; it gets me a little more space.

Need to get more tires 🙂   They’re what you’d have a picture of for “how to tell if your tire is worn!”  … all smooth and flat, except the  little gouges here and there.

Sigh, my tool fantasy failed to happen.  I bought a whole toolkit that includes the Torx20 I need to tighten my headlight; it’s got a mess of tools that work on computers.   So, I brought it to the conference in case I could Save THe Day.   It didn’t happen 🙂  Oh, well, at least I still know where it is!

It was sweeet riding in yesterday — drizzle and 50 degrees, and yea, pretty much all the usual folks out on their bikes, just with a little extra gear.   Yes, that’s right, people go out side and do stuff when it’s raining.

Lots of little things…

A lady on a fat tire cruiser had gone by me twice with squishy tires… as in, how much work can one person do??? … so I decided next time I would turn around and gently …  but next time, her tires were up and full.   Sort of glad I was so surprised I didn’t holler out “Great! You got air in your tires!”   🙂

That construction that closed of the already-crappy “bike route” through campus still had things blocked even though the concrete was done and smooth (and it ain’t a roadway — there were no stripes to add).   I shifted them a foot or two to teh side so a person could ride by… the next morning they were all the way out of the way, but the “sidewalk closed” thing in the middle was still there, which makes me think it was another guerrilla modification, not ‘official.’

APP!!!   — I need to get around to downloading it to the phone (of course I only think of that in the cave at work…) so that the data collectors in Champaign County can know I ride here. Need to share it, too…

… and I think my bags are so worn out that things are escaping.  I don’t *know* that the U part of the U-lock and … my keys… snuck out, but … I’m heading out tonight to retrace last week’s abbreviated moonlight ride just in case I somehow didn’t notice the keys escaping.   (Since I heard a *flash drive* fall out I would think I’d notice my wad of keys with the “2 mile challenge” bike chain keyring crashing behind me but…)

Oh, and BIKE SUMMIT!   separate post…