the daily fun

Chatted at work w/ person who reminded me how easily we make false assumptions about what is “convenient” based on habit. Bicycling just gradually took over… and then driving was the weird, inconvenient thing. (They were figuring out acquiring another car.) No, really, it’s about 3 times a year that Having A Car Would Have Made That Easier. So many more times when Not Having A Car Makes This So Much Easier.

TOday’s commute just had so many Little Biking Things that I knew I had to blog about it — but work was crazy busy so now I won’t remember half of them. I ducked down Anderson instead of turning and … yea, that’s the smoothest road around ;0 Had a holler out the window at me “I Love your Bike!”… and at Main and Lincoln it’s all dug up and crazy and I was compelled to say “Thank you! It’s going to be beautiful” at workers whose faces just made that face when oops, nope, I didn’t say what they expected. I figure they’ll hve figured it out and smiled by the time I got to the end of the road 😉

Now that they’ve almost finished construction so that a person can use the “bike route” (that’s on the map, but has only been usable for less than 20% of the past 5 years b/c they keep putting new buildings in), the “oh, we can’t make a curb cut” is painfully obvious. I hope we wear down that triangle quickly.

Had a rare horn thing happen when yea, there were two cars trying to get past on Church westbound. I couldn’t figure out which person was horny, but … I caught up to them all at the light. Yea, they could have just … gone ’round like most of ’em do… but it was my fault, too. I’d just gone much further to the right than usual b/c a person slowly pedaling the other way on the sidewalk and I had to exchange radical smiles… and hadn’t gotten back out. C’mon, Sue, your full-endorphin-beatific smile doesn’t need proximity. (Sigh. I still haven’t figured out how to capture the beatific tone of voice except on that one video…)

Got out iwth the Green and … *totally* outrode it!! Usually if things go well, I see it again at the terminal — today it was half a mile *from* the terminal when our paths crossed. I had to wait Forever And A Day (okay, probably a full minute) at Main and LIncoln going home — happily, no confusions but OH yea, NOW I REMMEMBER … there was just a Full Midwestern Wait Your Turn thing where we all just ignored the precise “who has the right of way” and … the guy made a left, the next guy went, and the other guy knew he could go next and nobody had their faces in their phones… You sorta had to be there but it was mildly beautiful.

And finally, I’m going east on Washington to the Dreadful Four Way at Washington and Vine, and oh, the kid and maternal type look like yes, they do need to cross there — and all the traffic stops as mom seems to be explaining that they’re going to be there a while so I say “I think they’re ready for you to cross!” clearly and she looks up and says “Thank you!” and gets goin’ and I’m the big fat cover bike slowly starting across but yes, they’re all waiting.

That’s how we roll 🙂

(On the other hand… so many candles for Alura who died crashing into the tree… and somebody else went SCREAMING up the street just now.)

Beautiful :)

It was the second time a man riding a tandem solo went by going the other day — and he called out to me that I was beautiful 😉 And I saw Kathy and the Allant on my Coop stop (sigh, I don’t like their beer selection but I haven’t been back to B Spirits since customer and cashier were chatting mask-free…)

Yesterday I tucked in behind Geoff of Itty Bitty Bike Shop and when he turned right on Urbana, I kept going. It’s a daily decision point — tucking north on Urbana to ILlinois then left means getting traffic light to cross Vine, Vine being a royal bunbite road, and even with the light the intersection isn’t fun, especially w/ bright Eastern Sun. It’s a four-way stop if I just take Washington, and yes, it’s smoother because they totally reworked it (summer of 2020 when all that traffic was sent down MY street instead)… but they only reworked the surface. Couldn’t afford to do it right, so it’ll be potholed before too long w/ the traffic there, and … yea, lots and lots of lanes for a 4-way stop. (Should be a roundabout.)

The mess of cars were clear by the time I got there, though — the Illinois light cycle does that 😉 So! I gained about a tenth of a mile on Geoff 😛 and saw him heading west on Elm as I went down Race. However, different day prob’ly could have been different story. If he got green and I had to wait…

Main and Lincoln is different every day…. when the inner two lanes of the four on Lincoln are blocked off, then YAY!! We have that “median island” we’ve b een promised for, what is it, 2-3 *years* since “it’s the next thing!” because the pedestrian/cyclist traffic counts there are ridiculously high… and that’s *before* the rather massive residential/retail “Gather” thing opens. In a truly progressive town there’d be Places To Hang Out Without Your Car as an Important Thing — there’s Einstein Bagels across the street… oh, across *Lincoln…* but I am *hoping* the work renders it so that’s possible (not sure what goes on behind Gather; it’s pretty much right on top of Lincoln).

Today there were two folks behind me at Randolph and University — I let them pass b/c there was a ton of construction and I needed to turn left and didn’t want variables… one of ’em went elsewhere but I’m pretty sure the other was on the other side of Bradley as I headed into Parkland.

I pondered the differences/similarities between “beautiful” and the other term sometimes used, “badass,” and yea, I like ’em both.

tailwind ;)

Nothing like little tailwind and 60 degrees to make the morning commute sweeeet. Saw my regulars and the one person check her watch when she saw me 😉 I think she was running a little late; if she knew that and saw me, running early, she’d have thought it was later so would have checked. Yes I have that much power over the world!!!

Sigh, almost 6000 cases today, but still, give it a week because … about 8 times as many tests in some places, because testing happening at schools. But still, it’s spreading. I hate that they don’t post anything over weekends any more.

The Famous Sue Jones

…. talked to Kathy (Cathy?) on an Allant at the food coop and when I said I was Sue …. she asked if I was the famous Sue Jones iwth the bike blog 😉

Nothing like knowing there’s a reader or five to inspire a post or two!

On the ride home, the path through campus has been OPEN — tho’ I’m not sure it is in the morning. I think they’re still doing some construction. Yes, the U has “bike routes” that in the five years they’ve been “bike friendly,” have been closed for 3.5 of them, and they know that. Part of the Ruby “lip service” category in my book…. no, they can’t make a curb cut for us so yes, I can cut through and then have to dive right or left, take sharp turns on the pedestrian cuts.

And there were two blivit-faces today…. one on University where there was a parked car on the right and the car in the left lane slowed to turn, so the poor guy in the Mercedes had to slow down for almost 3 seconds before laying on the horn going ’round me. To their credit, not a close pass. Then crossing Lincoln — which is awful because they’re doing construction so it’s one lane southbound — when somebody slowed to turn which created a gap, I went across and CRFTN5 decided he could make a left anyway. He may not have seen me because he looked “defensive white male figuring out if he has to punch somebody” when I hollered “Usually we wait our turns little boy!!!” at him. Dudes, if the sun is in your eyes, wait. (And don’t have a vanity tag if you’re going to break the law…)

Riding is faster if you pump up your tyres 😉 but I still don’t have the Xtracycle back… I’ve been riding the fast bike on the Saturday Saunter because it’s been so hot that going slow just happens.

I’ve been matching the Green on the ride home most days — see it leaving Parkland, at the terminal, and again coming up Race Street. Not today — didn’t get out fast enough, and … that might be normal now that Students Are Back when I’m leaving at 5.

and … this weekend is Labor Day. Fall’s comin’ 😉

Gee, facilities and services

Yes, they’re ramping up and Getting Things Ready for fall semestser.

That means this greeted me yesterday and today.

Now, I ride perpendicular to this and turn… and there’s a road on the other side of the hedge I could take — IF there were one of those sign things saying “closed!” but you know, that would be considering folks not in cars to exist.

It was nice to be back on the 8:00 arrival commute as opposed to 7:30 — saw my dogwalkers… my folks in front of EDEN who are sometimes out for earlier… and yea, had a little wave exchange when I cut to middle lane and a driver could make the right turn onto Prospect, and when I stopped to mail a letter a guy in pickup w/ bike asked if I needed a pump or anything 😉 The *citizens* know we exist.

Sneaky 31 miles

Last night the forecast was rain, rain, rain. 1-3 inches.

This morning? We got out and did 31 miles, and since I was riding the Tank, it felt more like 50.

Its brakes got a workover at Champaign Cycle so they’re not so noisy but I’ll be keeping an ear out. Xtracycle’s still in search of a 203 mm AVID rotor and BB7 pads.

This morning’s highlight was starting out and hearing folks singing, as in a whole group of workers ripping off shingles in harmonic rhythm. I hollered “good morning” and got one back. (I don’t know what’s socially appropriate to holler in Spanish even tho’ I’m on my 90th day of Duolingo…)

On my ride back they were packin’ up the truck. Like me, they’d prob’ly had an eye on the clouds all morning.

I’m not a mind reader but it seemed like it *was* joyful singing, not vent-the-frustrations singing. I didn’t catch any lyrics (thinking of sea chanteys here, and those verses about the captain….)

Summertime :)

… and four day weeks started this week. Yesterday was “drop the rental car off” after riding in Rock Cut and since I sort of left the front wheel at the park… had to use the bus for the rest of the commute. The commuter bike isn’t going into a rental 😉 Fortunatley the ride was a “let’s have a camping weekend ride before the Grand Illinois Bike Tour” and half of us are going to that Sunday so … the wheel will meet me agian. In the meantime, I’m on the Big Green Thing.

Also have to get to work 7:30 which means… differnet commuting tme, different people. Hoping they get used to me 🙂 Won’t see SIHCOE person on her bicycle… won’t see GD FVR on Main Street or … assorted others… but my guys outside Eden assisted living were already there; seems their morning routine is to just go outside and chat (and greet bicyclists like me :)).

It’s hot … and the a/c doesn’t work. I will talk to it again this evening and call THe People tomorrow. I might try the “online contact, we’ll be in touch” but … they weren’t in touch. Oh, and it seems The Internet Is Down All Over THe Wolrd right now for a lot of folks (not me so maybe only BIG IMPORTANT places…)

Spring is here

For the second time in my 20+ years here, a driver passed me on the viaduct going under the railroad track, going around the concrete pylons to the other side of the street…. the first time was before they’d put traffic lights at Neil. I had the pleasure of coasting up behind the hustler ’cause it saved him no time at all…

Last week Tuesday’s late-morning ride in was a tad slushy…. maximum drowned rat effect. Real snow would have blown off; real rain would have washed off. Slush ….

Today I got here in under 40 minutes – major tailwind, and the forecast is for the winds to pick up… enough for a “special weather statement.” If it’s too gusty the ride back will be via mass transit 😉

Last week I was going to do club rides but the weather was dubious…. Saturday *my* ride happened b/c the rain held off. Have I mentioned the weather likes me? (Shhh… ignore Tuesday. Besides, I have the gear. It honestly was pleasant.) and since the other 2 folks were year-rounders, we did 25 miles … so I got a workout on The Tank.

I will prob’ly sweep by Itty Bitty Bike Shop and inquire about a few things including confirming that yes, I’d be interested in building up a bike 🙂 Hard to explain to housemate that its purpose would be … to be another steed in the stable. Housemate hadn’t really known the Gazelle, though, or its story 😉

[The story: while eating with bike folks, Richard M. motioned me outside to the street where was parked a Gazelle. He showed it to me, explained it was Dutch and designed for commuting… showed me all those amazing features like built in lock, skirt/coat guard, lights, internal everything so it didn’t rust…. I went home and searched the web madly but nobody imported them back in that day and gee, I could go to the Netherlands and spend about 800 for one… oh, well…
…. some November or other I’m riding by Champaign Cycyle and I am possessed by the desire to drop in and chat, so I decide I’ll go in and buy a tube. I walk in the door and Fritz says “Sue, Have you ever heard of a Gazelle?”
My jaw drops and I inform him that I have heard of one, I have seen one, I have lusted after one.

A voice behind me says “for $450 it’s yours.”

Grad student from Holland, graduating, going home … he’d asked Fritz if the price was too high and Fritz had answered, “you just need to find the right person.”

Spent many years with the delightful machine having folks with accents approach me to admire it and ask where I got it….]

And now to get back to things of work…

April Snow Showers ;)

The outside pics didn’t show the snow, but those soggy clumps on the mirrow and the jacket almost do 😉 It’s in the 30’s so it wasn’t that cold so it *was* an enjoyable ride. The mask is b/c I’m inside the college; it’s tucked down for the most part outside, unless I’m going through that stretch of campus where I bring it up in solidarity with everybody wearing them as they walk along. Our county’s positivity’s a bit better than most of the state’s… and we topped 30% fully vaccinated…

Today I get to work 11:30 — yes, I could have gotten on the Green just outside my door and sat back and enjoyed the ride all the way to work. I may do that for the ride home and going in tomorrow. I pulled in and several folks were under the awning — it’s the sneak-a-smoke place. They were talking about somewhere or other… about how they went there recently and it was fine, but they wouldn’t go there at night and this street, that street, you know… where so and so got killed…

It reminded me again of the realities of so many people’s lives. A verdict is supposed to be delivered in a few minutes.

My red bike is still in the Itty Bitty Bike Shop, waiting on parts 😉 I think I”ll formally let them know that yes, I’d be interested in a custom build around oh, a frame w/ similar geometry but not a long frame (necessarily ;))… going to keep trying to get extra miles in despite … flakiness!

And speaking of prayers (extra miles get that), so I cruised towards University and Wright trying to get to church in time to practice stuff and it counted down to zero and … *waited an extra five seconds* for me to get there to go green so I could get across. When I came out, it didn’t have that extra five seconds. Yea, I know, prob’ly just a different part of its algorithm but I’ll take it!

Geese of way

What with nobody being awake in the house and a stiff tailwind, I was very on time this morning… sailing up Country Fair, a goose decided to do a very. stately. stroll. across the road. No, it didn’t appear to be injured … and it was alone (relatively; there are geese *everywhere.* Pretty sure Branta canadensis Canada Goose tho’ I thought I remembered a close lookalike invasive species, but Dr. Google informed me there is a lookalike “Cackling Goose” that only got its own species ranking in 2004, and my wildlife courses were in the 80’s, so it’s some other bird with white on the front that fools people. (Once I went into education, I realized I’d picked A Major That Did Not Match My Learning Strengths. Organizing and remembering visual information …. is a challenge…)

A bicycle’s an easy maneuver ’round — but to my delight, the oncoming Jeep who really would have had *plenty* of time to get by just stopped about 30 feet back to watch the critter get where it was going and give me a thumbs up. (My ears get compliments these days — the fuzzy purple bunny ones on the helmet…)

Another Midwestern Morning 😉 Storms on the horizon…. the Illinois tour is going to be all motel/hotel (I forget which since I’ve always camped) and I forked over the dough for that, thinking COVID or no COVID, climate change has meant weather hazards are just more real, too.

Getting new siding 😉 Looked at samples yesterday, had mad coughing fit and put ’em back outside… think it’s probly a good thing I never put siding on for a living 😉