Drove a car

… Bad weather is bad weather.   At two degrees, I fought the urge to hop on the bus, and drove the Avalon in to work.

I   spent much more time being cold — and I let it warm up while I did the last stuff in the house.   The steering wheel’s not going to warm up (handlebars don’t either but *I* do when I’m riding).   Had to brush the snow off (I think I need to windshield wipers).   Had to … drive the thing.   Three pawn shops on the route, and the gas station corner of Vine and Illinois is closed and the gas dispensers gone.   I only saw one or two other people out in the cold.   I was cold on  the trip in from the parking lot … and the trip back out because one forgets things in the car.

Okay, the driving and forgetting would be cured by routine. Still… bad weather is bad weather, and I wasn’t really dressed for it.

When I had a car back in aught 8, the debate was bike or car.  I didn’t have a bus pass (or know that routine).   I wondered where my inclination would be.  Introversion aside, right now the bus comes in ahead of the car.  Even when I wasn’t feeling like a little human in a belching, spewing tank… it was just too much space for me to be taking up.

It’s supposed to warm up Sunday so I should get real riding in next week.

Now, that other advantage — if I need to be somewhere to take somebody somewhere, I can just do it — yea, there is that.

 

Bus day

11 degrees and snowing — not hard, but … that’s cold enough that I’d have to ride fast to get warm and I don’t ride fast in snow.   (Don’t have studded tyres either.)

Rode in yesterday at 13 with a 20 mph headwind… and the light is still being strange.   Goes from usually full blaze ahead, sometimes going to ‘daytime running light’…  to … off.   Requires bumps to make it go on.   Sounds like Saturday at MakerSpace is in order….

This morning, I waved at the car that is in the driveway and got on the bus.  I might take the car tomorrow just to see what it’s like.  It has been 8 years since I drove a car to work, except once (don’t remember why).   ( I’ve got custody of this 2008 Avalon ’til the sibling who inherited wants it, which would be when their old van dies.)

Students aren’t back yet so it wasn’t crowded, tho’ several regulars weren’t there.

The display in back of the driver’s seat have been switched from telling me when there’s no service to assorted admonitions about bus behavior — priority seating up front and not being loud and obnoxious w/ electronics or one’s voice.

I think I’m a few bicycles away from there being enough room in the garage for that car thing.  Need to take wheel & lights off the Gazelle frame … and decide how to make the transfer to the Transport happen.

Sadness

… So I’m riding to the bank Wednesday… except … there’s a fire truck.   Two police cars.   Two ambulances. Cops in the doorway.

In front of my friend’s house.

When they’ve got the stretcher out in front of the house but it’s been there a while, it’s because they don’t need it.

My friend who’d had a physical 2 weeks ago and everything was fine… had had a massive heart attack.

Well, at least his wife didn’t have to call me.

Pete Wetmore is sorely and suddenly missed.   Now the folks who’ve depended on his constant caring (he basically hadn’t left Marge’s side for 41 years)  … are going to have to think and regroup.

The challenges of the new year….

 

above freezing :)

So nice to be able to do things like walk!   And ride a bike!   I even took the Xtracycle in because … it’s got the cute little Christmas tree.   Now, I didn’t get any callouts for it — I think it’ll take more lights and bling for that (and I forgot to turn on the purple bats).

A few other bikes on the commute home and all but 1 had glorious headlights. My headlight was wimpy going down Country Fair so I used the flashlight (lots of lumens but about 3 hours of battery life before it fades fast)… until a nice bump got me bright again, and it stayed — even when we got to the other bumpy spots!   When I stopped it sometimes took a bump to get back to bright but… much better than before, and hopefully I can take it apart this weekend and find something to align or clean.

Sigh, the financial insanity of a sudden cash outlay of $19000 means that it might just be February before I do the fun stuff to the Transport, but that will happen. And not having a car is a huge part of why I could actually solve that little problem that way.

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.