Category Archives: vehicular cycling

Not Too Tired

Came in through campus today.  It’s a bunbite – more traffic and lots of construction and confusion – but it has that “urban appeal” with lots of chances for drive-by greetings. Crossing Lincoln is a real challenge at Oregon – going to do the Illinois/Goodwin bike lane thing next time.

My tyres, that is.  Looked over that rear one that had been slapping and it’s dinged and worn but maybe I’ll get a few hundred more miles out of it.

Lots going on in cycling – Sunday is the “resurrection” of the Ride to the Depot in honor of Fritz Miericke.  I’ll never forget the early words of the pastor at his memorial service saying unequivocally that if anybody was interested yes, Fritz was getting into heaven (or was already there, or something like that), and I wondered exactly he considered justification for that, or whether he just said stuff like that.  Welp, by the time that memorial service was over, I knew and agreed, tho’ it wasn’t the stuff of official beatification because the officials don’t like to look that closely at the underbelly of the world.  The ride… we’ll see how I’m feeling but hey, I might make a century + out of it… a double metric, even?

The *next* Saturday will be the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride — a Trek/CHampaign Cycle effort with 10 & 25 mile routes.   Then Sunday will be … oh, a possible informal “10 x 10 on 10/10.”  NOte to self:  make poster for former, find possible routes for latter with 100K and 100 Imperial options. Oh, and get out of here on time to be at Bike Project Meeting. Find Credit Card and/or ATM card?  long shot…

Going west!

had a nice long ride out testing the CUAP ride routes out aroundMansfield.  Coudn’t find camera, tho’ I”m just crappy at getting it out and aiming.  There were adult deer and two adorable fawnlets, and then a great blue heron just hangin’ out in the road, followed by a Cathartes aura doin’ the same thing on a carcass.  The bridge into Centerville is still out, so we have to route around that and, alas, I didn’t bring the right connector to work to ask Sir Garmin where I was exactly getting around the bridge.

Sir Garmin had a temporary total fail.  Just after I was feeling enamored of him for telling me I was going East when I certainly didn’t want to be,  the map disappeared.  The settings for finding the map indicated that I didn’t have anything like a map in there.  I cursed Sir Garmin for his infidelity and made my best guess and in no time voila! the Forest Preserve was before me, with two cyclists who came on our FOurth of July ride there on bikes, and Claudia and Mark Washburn in their car.  So much for getting out to the middle of nowhere 😉   It also gave me time to analyze the problem and figure that if it didn’t think I had maps, I should pull the map chip out and stick it back in.  It worked.

I didn’t, however, get consistent views of the itty bitty roads out in nowheresville.  Even the CIty Navigator didn’t have ’em all.   Of course, keeping up with the construction on 150 would be a challenge anyway.

New bike! (not quite)

Dropped the little Giant off for its 5000 mile checkup, knowing that the chain was hangin’ down and I was shifting three times to get up one gear or shifting up two and back one to get places, and the brakes occasionally made some strange sounds.  Hey, I *had* picked the string of Christmas lights out of where it had gotten wrapped up in various parts of the drive train.

New chains (it’s an Xtracycle, takes two), new cassette (same gears, but 11-28 should be OK even for blackjack hill, and I can walk if I have to), new tyres (wanted to go down to 28’s which with Hard Case tires can still handle the loads I’ll put on it), new disk brake stuff (‘never seen one worn like that!’)…  and it rides like a new bike.  Can’t tell if I”m moving faster, though, ’cause now the speedo doesn’t work.

Went to most of the Urbana “visioning downtown” meeting last night.  We got to do green for good, black for suggestions adn red for bad, and I forget to mention that yea, the IMC is where I go to hang out.  D’oh.  The Bike PRoject, the place to hang out and buy asparagus (which are doing fabulously), get my computer fixed… then I ducked back to do my Wednesday online chat and the Wednesday cookout was happening still.    There will be more chances for public input, tho’.

endorphins R Us

Decided that even though I wasn’t leaving as early as I’d have liked it to be, I was still going to try to go patronize Great Harvest, since they sponsored the art gallery thingy, which I did find the bank card so I could make good on the IOU ’cause I sponsored them too and got a handmade mug much like a chalice.

So I did that “sustainable speed” thing that is significantly easier to do on the road if I’ve recently done it on the trainer (or on a long ride, but those haven’t happened yet), and tossed in a little extra effort here and there, and got to school on time, even if I did have to give the evil finger (that would be index, pointed at the driver who did the left in front of me as the light turned yellow, thinking “a shielding on you and everyone you endanger today!”).   Then I went to the ATM to get said funds and was simply amazed at what wonderful machines ATMs are.  Wow!  You press buttons and the money just comes out!   30 seconds or less!  I realized I had a pretty good buzz goin’…  and people think cycling is a sacrifice ?!??

Drizzly day in the neighborhood

My new green jacket is close enough to water resistant for me.  Probably not going to last for too many washings ’cause I think it’s a regular soft fabric with a coating, but I was toasty in the 40 and raining stuff going out to Walgreens for batteries and their version of Emergen-C ’cause those go with the presents for tomorrow.

Saw Bill Gray at the store, and he inquired about the guy in the pickup truck at Anderson and Florida, yea, that guy who just started pulling out on me when I was in the middle of hte intersection, then stopped.  But yes, he agreed when I said I thought the guy just didn’t see me at all (as opposed to his wife having just yelled at him or something).

Those are “the more of us who are out here, the safer we are” situations.  I’ve made a cognitive imprint on him and if he’s wired normally, he’s more likely to see the next riders at intersections.  It’s a big ol’ clear intersection — this was definitely a “not in my search image repertoire” blindness.  Yea, I’d probably have been seen if it were night, with the CHristmas lights.  So, hopefully his “search image” gallery has increased…

Okay, the teapot I went off and left to boil dry is still making noise out there, but it might have cooled enough to be dealt with…

… wow.  that copper plating on the bottom … I guess that’s what the black, charred stuff is sitting on the burner…

Detroit, detroit… cycling utopia?

Interesting that a certain theme appears: NPR discusses adding more green space to shrunken  detroit

and the Ny Times:  Detroit as bicycling utopia … not sure what the fact that the incident he’s reflecting about happened a year ago and he’s just writing this now means.

Dahon on Xtracycle

dahon on xtracycle

dahon on xtracycle

Everyday fun

I considered titling this “every day an adventure!”  but that would imply something (probably unpleasant) exciting happened.    No, but the rides yesterday & Monday had their pleasant moments.  Monday I blinked, so I didn’t *see* the five second get-the-bike-on-the-bus grace, ’cause it happened so fast.   Last night I enjoyed the vehicular Cannondaler who pulled to a stop behind me at Neil & Hessel’s eternal light (as opposed to running the light), then pulled around because a Cannondale accelerates faster than a Racer, and I noticed from (not very far ;)) behind him that he had a small band with a key on it dangling from his flat handlebars and wondered if that were for defensive purposes.  (Yes, I wonder if the bicyclist across the street might have run the light were it not for the presence of the two of us Not Running The Light.)

Interesting day in the lost and found department. 3 out of four painfully and recently departed items found (but one of ’em got to me via the volunteer director at the marathon).  I was a tad worried since I’m not up for another five month stretch living undocumented when I’ve got rental car plans.

63 and sunny.  I can deal 🙂

on-street parking (Baltimore)

(Okay, I”m procrastinating)

Found this article about a little grocery store on St. Paul Street in Baltimore that put a bike rack in a parking space.  I *think* it’s a store I went to when I lived nearby back in ’84 and ’85.  I’ll never forget getting my CHristmas Cookie Supplies – lots of sugar and flour – and being asked “is it far to your car?”  and when I assured the man “no,” he then proceeded to *take* the stuff to my car. (I think the weather was weird or something, too.)  It was the first store in my experience to have figured out that its patrons tended to be single or couples, so you could get things in small quantities.  That was 25 years ago – same owner, maybe?  I’m impressed 🙂

Not much riding today, though I could have done more at the tail end.  Put the wheel on the Racer and took it down to the bike coop for a little oil and the meeting.  Good bike stuff is happening!

Now to Get Things Done…

can’t plow a forecast, honey

Or:  When in doubt, stud, though no bad consequences.

This a.m. the forecast was a “winter advisory” until 11 a.m.; that some freezing rain and snow would move through  The radar showed blue right over head – but almost gone, and there were but scant flurries.  Therefore, there should be less than scant flurries when it was gone.  Possible snow showers tomorrow.

COnsidered taking the Trek in so I could do the inside ride.  Decided that since I had frittered last night instead of making Progress On The HOuse (putting stuff back in the newly painted kitchen and living room), I should go straight home and do that tonight, and take the Xtracycle instead.

Checked weather before leaving at 5:15.  30 degrees – balmy enough to toss the Smart-Tex in the backpack.  Clear radar. I’m hoping to get in some good laps before going home, which I’d tried to do at lunch time but there was this meeting that I’d forgotten about…

Not so clear skies… and what’s this stuff falling from the sky?  It’s barely heavier than fog… but, I thought, p’raps the 30 was airport and the guys had put salt *everywhere* and here might be heat island enough so I could just do llllapsss… that was my foot skating on the parking lot just a teensy bit, enough to make me laugh at the timing and say, “Yes, weather, I hear you.  You promised *better,* not good.”

Happily, everywhere I put my foot down things were basically damp, not icy.  HOwever, I was grateful for having had enough assorted musical experiences so that, indeed, I could hear the subtle difference between the swish of tires on damp pavement and the rice-krispies-treat crunch that meant the mist had frozen there.  Oh, yea, and my bike had just the thinnest crust..  However, when I shrugged, my jacket didn’t crackle, so it wasn’t but *so* bad.

I was also grateful for having enough cycling experience to know it was even more important to claim my part of the lane – that this would make motorists, perhaps thinking foul thoughts of my inconsideration in being out in this weather, be sensible and give the extra room merited… instead of hugging the line and having drivers focusing on the conditions not see me at all.  I noticed the same tendency for drivers *not* to want to go into the left lane when passing (on the one-way two-laner at State). And I was glad I had the SPokelit on the wheel… I think I might have had at least one Airzound Moment otherwise, and I’ve been off the Xtra for weeks so I’m not in the habit of hov’ring near it when approaching a perpendicular driver.

And!  I found the business end of the Turn Signal, so as soon as I find the strap again, which wasn’t lost anyway, I can re-unite them and give it a try on the left arm.

Tomorrow, it’s the Gazelle.  I’ll even have to apologize to her 😀  Maybe we’ll ride a little extra to make up… I could and *would* have done laps with the studs tonight on this teensy bit of slipper.