‘nother nice one

Approaching the Big Construction Job I heard the truck beeping and did the ridearound and …. it was a tanker backing up to make a 3 point turnaround in a big driveway… and they waited in the driveway ’til I crossed north of them. (When I say “I felt seen” it’s more literal than most folks mean it these days ;)) SCHOE hadn’t crossed my path yet and we had smiles today. Tailwind helped me get to waveat the 9B which passed me on its way to the terminal, and then on the last little stretch of Broadway. Alas, I didn’t get here in time to not get busted for leaving the door unlocked but more importantly, my keys are now back in my hands. (The same admin assistant to whom I’d confessed leaving things unlocked saw them on her desk…)
Yes. I did go ahead and get the heart rate up a little, breathe deeply, YES another day HEALTHY. Hoping hoping hoping this continues and relishing every day. Just under 7000 cases inthe state yesterday … 7.3 % positivity or something like that… but ** ten ** people from the county admitted to hospital w/ COVID yesterday, as in doubling the 10 who were already there. I wish people gossipped more and we could know whether they were sprinkled throughout or that the Bloovits had a big party last week and….

Hairy, not hoary today

So the lady on the SHCOE (that’s what it looks like as it cruises by me; resembles Schwinn cruisers of the 70’s but is prob’ly European) didn’t look happy today as she went by on Matthews where we have to duck around the construction (yes, the U. claims “bike friendly” status with bike routes that are actually not ever going to be usable within the status timeframe because of major construction but they won’t give a “Ruby” status for lip service)… and maybe that’s because she’d also had to dodge around the total blockage for the second part of that workaround. The first guys have been good with leaving the sidewalk open but this was just Your Morning Slam Door In Your Face.

That big truck in the middle pic? As I put my camera away, the person therein felt compelled to open the door and take my picture. I gave a friendly wave and smile and went on my way, leaping to the Pollyanna conclusion that s/he (looked like a woman) might have seen SHCOE go by, then me, and thought fit to record the issue, too… or just thought I should know she was recording my impertinence…. or I looked pathetic…

At any rate, I still managed to get past the terminal just as the guy was coming out to get the Big Mass Departure rolling . And it’s still good to be riding ;P

Happy Hoary New Year!

First day back on campus so I rode indespite dense fog warning and ice and snow and 21 degrees. Spoiler alert: it went fine. The snow was from early Jan. 3 (yesterday), the ice from Jan. 1 — so the snow has stuck to *everything* and it’s beautiful. I decided that since it wasn’t too foggy in Urbana I’d take a chance…and the puddle at the end of my driveway suggested roads had been treated, or I was effecting some minor miracle. I’d managed to do enough extra prancing and dancing before leaving so I didn’t have the “five minutes of cold hands” (21 degrees doesn’t require much)…

… White street, midtown, the pavement was sort of whitish — and itgot misty. At 21 degrees I duly noted it would be “freezing mist” so I rather fervently hoped it wouldn’t get any thicker and considered parking the bike at the terminal… but it wasn’t happening there so I pressed on. IT was “sticks to the grass, melts on pavement” snow even out in West Champaign, and happily, approaching Mattis I could see the traffic light on Country Fair, another quarter mile away, so … there was at least quarter mile visibility 😉 The fog may have “locked down” another mile out where there’d be all-warm-snow-stuck-to-grass to provide the moisture and I did have my blinkies going. Country Fair was just nice … I suspect they cleared it including the bike lane because (okay, not quite perfect nice) there was a little pile of snow in a spot that took slowingdown to ease out into traffic…

Yes, I had to take the road on busy Bradley — the sidewalk goes over a creek in a spot and that was snow (and ice underneath) covered. Big ol’ truck nicely went ’round and turned into Parkland campus. There, the “mist” had accumulated on the back parking lot — and That Big Truck had left enough room for me to get ’round to it from the access alley… but it was hoary and crunchy mist, not the stuff of freezing rain so I left satisfying tracks, parked the bike, donned the mask, and went to my desk where there’s NOBODY HERE (except the student worker) but there was coffee across the way and office doors open so … things are slowly waking up!

46 degrees :)

Lunch laps — yes, good for two. I’m supposed to give a “lightning talk” Tuesday a.m. so I’m giving it to the fields… and I relatively powered in this a.m. so the thighs feel it. Methinks it’s “Must prove I am healthy!” and “if I’m in better shape the virus won’t get me,” though that’s not supported by reality…. it was approaching freezing but the RR tracks and where sidewalk goes over creek were very crunchfrosted. I left a path 🙂 Here at work, Just a couple students and 2 zoomers.

… those Campus Communication Group truck drivers continue to be just that inkling nicer than they have to be. That little hesitation of headlights behind me says “oh, it’s one of them about to pass” 😉 The trucks are big but the bike lane is wide…

I’m failing utterly at figuring out the brand of bicycle of my morning pathcrosser. It looks like SCHOE — and the one time I got close to her, she looked definitely European — but I’m not sure and “smart”searches insist on finding me shoes. If I knew the country I could change languages…

Now to do that focusing thing. I have several Pots on the Fire…. that I need to figure out “how to plate”

Jacket

Water beaded very nicely on my new coat. I think it is a valid Gore-Tex competitor. I overslept but a big old plastic bag found its way to me (I’ve finally gotten into better storage habits — there’s a “camping stuff closet”), so not too much delay.

Yesterday was interesting in that car windows on the street were heavily laden with dew. On Church in Champaign a car went by that had clearly been heavily crusted with ice. Another mile west and cars in the shade had a light curst, and out on Bradley the “shadowfrost” phenom was in all its beauty in the grass where there are some trees. Where the sun hit, there was no frost, but white glistening in the outline of the trees’ shapes beneath them.

I took that as a reminder for this morning b/c our forecast was for precip “mix” but it was a full 40 degrees so I was dodging earthworms, not ice patches. I need to inquire about re-upping the bus pass, tho’ they’re still not making anybody pay.

Almost Holidays

… and cases were down today, but I don’t see how that’s going to last. I know too many people sincerely believing they’re “being safe” and they’re not, and we’re still getting enough more cases to make spreading faster happen too.

Ran late enough to be after the mass bus departure (which is better than during — 13 of them leave at 7:41 ish) so I saw my person all the way in Urbana. I still haven’t been able to make out the kind of bicycle she’s on… it’s sort of 1960’s Schwinn style and may be that old but it says something else. Something with an S and OE and a C in there somewhere/?

Vanity plate of the week passing me on Country Fair: BED BY 10 . Hmmm.

“Bike friendly” moments — the Pink (yes, prob’ly Sunshine driving it) behind me, turning left on Bradley, and knowing I was cutting wide so the bus could just turn… and the 3 cars all taking the left lane at the Prospect light so I could just roll up by them and cruise through as it turned green.

Last Friday I had a first! A car approached w/o lights on and I successfully covered mine w/ hand to “blink” and they turned their lights on. This is first time I’ve done it with the generator light on the Red Bike; on the Tank it’s down lower so I can’t blink as well. It even happened again, tho’ that was w/ car pulling out so more likely to be correlation w/o causation.

Such excitement 🙂 🙂

Sunshine :)

Last Thursday *all* the Campus Communication Groups (installing, digging stuff for communication) trucks passed me on Country Fair. There’s a good bike lane and they tend to go a bit further out…. I shall post that happy regularity again to social media…

I sat in a yard w/ a couple of folks and drank beer, and returned to be informed that a bus driver, Sunshine, had brought my purse to the house. Apparently it had bounced out of the bike on Country Fair.

A few Saturdays ago I’d ridden out to the bike shop b/c the Stupid Wheel Wasn’t Being Round — the one they’d rebuilt around a new hub — and on the way the front wheel informed me that, in fact, this sounded a whole lot like I just hadn’t seated the tire… so I bought a lock instead. Said lock and cable would be why said purse was riding higher in the bag where I wouldn’t hear it bounce out with all the big trucks going by.

Yesterday when I waited for the light to change so I could go left onto University (where it’s been giving left signal for a couple of weeks without me having to hit the sweet spot!) I hear somebody ask me if I got everything from my billfold — the Pink Bus is on my right, and Sunshine is inquiring 🙂 Nice to be able to thank her in person 😉

My new coat is really nice and warm (and not too warm, and big enough to toss a coat under it) but … long enough to grab the back of my seat 😦 I have to figure that out.

Sigh, I also re-wound my interaction with dude on First Street coming back from COVID test — the one who accosted me when I took the left lane to make a left turn and said that if I was going to inconvenience people he’d teach me a lesson, went around to my side, said I was cool, and “Do you know what’s behind you?”

I realize it probably had nothing to do with the bus back there and everything to do with that’s the thing you say so somebody turns around and you can assault them to varying degrees, and me saying “Yup!” and pushing forward because I have a good mirror (and, also, I suspect, too many years with siblings to just turn around when somebody says “look behind you!” ) kept that from being a more exciting afternoon…

I need to figure out how to make the mask work w/ the helmet and coat, since the stupid virus is exploding and it’s a visible reminder … the hood’s supposed to be set up to work w/ helmet but I don’t know over or under; I need under for the padding and warm ears and because the witch’s hat would interfere … but hey, I can swap out for the reindeer horns now… time for some strings of Christmas lights too…

Sunny morning smiles

Since that student with the “you must have survey results in your English paper” surveyed a dozen folks about how much they smiled each day and most were “1” or “2,” I’ve been noticing….
I’ve just crossed Lincoln (UGH it’s only been about 3 years since the improvements were going to happen; 4 busy lanes…) and rolling between apartments and there’s a dude jogging towards the road; I slow a bit but there’s also a car coming the otherway, and he just stops so the dude can keep goin’ cross the street. Driver gives me a “thumbs up” as we pass. Worth a good smile 😉 I’d like to think it wasn’t for my “marvelous” bicycle (last week’s cyclist comment), but rather … hmmm… we need a “Wakanda forever” gesture for: “YES. Vulnerable Users First Forever!!!”
I find myself smiling when GAV VAN license plate goes by, and of course if the folks are out at the bus stop at Church and State. The drivers who just STFD and ease around me… if I see the Pink on Country Fair which tells me I am ON TIME…. when the Campus Communication Group monster trucks with trailers (think they’re digging in and doing underground broadband somewhere) pass me nicely….

Ebullience :)

The first Really Pretty Cold day, I didn’t see the cyclist who’d never had anything on her head or hands…. then I saw her when it got a little warmer, and then there was another missed day. I wondered if, like me, she just didn’t have as much energy in the day when the biking didn’t happen, and if…

Yesterday she was decked out in bright blue coat and gloves and it was every bit as cold and damp; today I even got a wave… I was late so I wonder if she was wondering….

The “Vision Zero” resolution passed city council Monday night. Two folks killed this year, several other unhappy incidences… here’s hoping the resolution will carry some weight.

One of my students had a required survey thing and he asked people how many times they smiled in a day. Most were 1 or 2, some 3 or 4, and a couple smiled more often. Good grief, if I don’t smile 10 times on my commute it’s because one smile lasted for most of it…

rabbit rabbit

It’s supposed to be a thing you say the first of the month, first thing. It wasn’t 😉

Put on The winter jacket (and yes, I need a new one if only to go on top of this one tho’ I haven’t gotten any premonitions about the winter weather). I’d forgotten how easy the jacket makes things — it’s got real pockets and the hood is just right for coveringthe ears and keeping the helmet snug. (Today prob’ly switching to the Winter Helmet with Hallowe’en Headband — I found the gorilla tape to get the mirror affixed.)

46 degrees really is my fave 🙂 Endorphins happen! Now at 8:30 it’s time to see about getting a million things done.

And yea, at least a bit of a smile from the green bike lady. No helmet — wonder if ears were cold.. .