The tank unseen

Rode the green thing in today (the Transport).

It’s not as visible, Id on’t think — though this is a sunny mornign and we’re approaching equinox so the sun-in-eyes factor waxes.   Crossing First street, a guy w/ turn signal to go left was across from me  but  I popped out knowing I could get halfway across the lane before he … turned right towards me, not going wide at all. He braked hard and said, “Didn’t see you.”   I said with all angst, “Please look!”

Going to put the hi-viz on the body even if I sweat.   I’m thinking that the Xtracycle has so many things that flap and aren’t a “nice” shape, so they attract the eye.   Now, I don’t *want* the green tank to be all floppy and dangly… but I bet I could design an intentional irregularity on the crate on the back… maybe that dog-puppet I have 🙂

Just had the feeling (before and after that incident) that I wasn’t being noticed…

Champaign… Bronze…

… Last week I rode by the Clark Bar in Urbana and heard a band and … decided I’d psych my introvert self into stopping off for a brew next time — at least to discern wehther the way the sound system sounded in the street (pretty bad) was better inside.

So today I approached and thought “Drat!   It’s even a lonesome-acoustic sound that … I love… I’m going to have to do this.”

Or not.  No parking for our kind.  I rode all around the joint. Nada.  Took my introvert self on home for my own beer.  Went to their Facebook page and said so and noted the band — maybe they play at the Iron Post.  Urbana has bicycle parking — sometimes not enough.   Of course, Champaign can say “why should we hae bike parking?  Bicyclists never shop here.”   You bet!

Family RIDE :)

Whew 🙂     This one’s in the bag.   So I figured out a good route… I hoped.

TWENTY ONE PEOPLE!!!!    Happily that included four or five grownups including parents and  our Mayor Pro Tem and an guy on a recumbent tricycle.

I’m scatterbrained so it wasn’t ’til we had turned right on Race that I “realized” that … d’oh, my route went right through the sweetcorn festival.

You know what?   You can tell kids to walk their bikes and they will 🙂   And it was the sweet corn festival after all so seeing it in “not quite started” was kinda fun… and that meant we really only had to ride half a mile on Main Street.

I’d ‘planned’ to ride around Meadowbrook park but the better plan was to say “Ten minutes to do what you like!” which meant cool off, ride around like crazy, or WHATEVER.   Then… back we went!   One person didn’t navigate the wind around sidewalks in Carle Park (my route went by four parks), and somebody’s chain came off.  Otherwise, no bad stuff.   The kiddos up front were calling the ride like sports announcers, including telling people to ride single file, etc.

I was really glad to get it done and extremely glad there were other folks’ looking out for things.   I’m great at thinking on the fly but also at missing the obvious.


60 degrees :)

highs in the 80’s even down to 70’s this week 🙂

Drivers, yes, are nuts…  first day of University and Community College.

Nasty looking brown smudge in the sky — prob’ly across (ugh, I don’t have the spatial sense to do this properly) 15 degree swath of the horizon.   Couldn’t see a source of the smoke but I’m thinking something along the interstate.  Maybe just a weird inversion trapping the smog but… it’s the prairie, there’s not much to invert around…

Ah, now I remember what I took a picture of!   Not the not even close to full bike rack (which last year was full at 9:00 a.m.)… which I don’t think is a function of fewer people on bicycles or people being able to afford cars. My confirmation bias says it’s evidence of the school’s desire to focus on recruiting the “higher end” student as opposing to supporting the locals.   Show me evidence to contrary, I’ll shift.

No, it was the pair of Xtracycles on the rack 🙂   We’ll see if I get the chance to upload..

More pics :)

First one is probably a sad one – feel free to download and share when somebody thinks a U-lock means your bike is secure.

Second one:   Lot Full at Schnuck’s.

Third:   colorful clouds.

I didn’t snap a picture of a certain white VW SVA BBY1  which, in my ramblings to make a family route for next Saturday, I discovered in its driveway on Pond STreet. While she isn’t mobile enough to run me down, based on her behavior and that elephant 2016 bumper sticker, she just might be one of the “Second Amendment” people a certain candidate refers to.  Happily she’s not too close of a neighbor.

School officially starts tomorrow!

Pictures or it didn’t happen

blockedroutesmallSo Lily says “hey, let me know when things on campus don’t work for bikes.”   Well, of course, except for the known “black eyes” that … well… it’s the U.

So many black eyes, though!

So here’s a typical morning.   This is the “bike route” — duly note that actually, this isn’t a great route.  Yes, we’re maneuvering through a *fountain.*   We’ve already had to do tight 90 degree turns because no, we can’t have curb cuts for the bike path so we have to cut 20 feet over to the sidewalk curb cuts.   (City of Urbana put some in where the city and U border.   Urbana is Gold, the U. bronze per “bike friendliness” and while the metric’s far from perfect, yes, that kind of thing counts.)

So, yes, they just close it off.   It was closed for construction for *a year and a half* just after they put in their “master bike plan” with it as the “bike route.”   Have I mentioned that the University is concerned with What It Looks Like On Paper, not the reality?

I’m sure it’ll be closed for beginning-of-year events, too.

bikelaneparkingOh, and see that line of cars (second one w/ headlights on)?   That’s where the bike lane is.  This is a compromise I’m willing to make — let folks park there moving into dorms — but I’d love to see stats on whether people are allowed to bend parking rules in other places.   I didn’t think so.   The bike facilities are there under duress and as soon as it is inconvenient to *anybody,* the anybody takes priority.

main street bike rackVery nice bike parking on Main Street in Urbana for our post-bike/ped council brew.   (We were mindful of public notice of meetings act and talked about other stuff.)

Here’s a bit of contrast with Champaign, where yes, if I made a left and rode across some grass, I could access a multi-use path behind Springfield to get to the happy hour at El Toro.   Parking at El Toro?  Well, find a table to cable it to.   This is Champaign (and typical).

champaignbikeparkingclothes from bike ride

Finally, somebody left their laundry basket exposed in their truck… clothes all over the road for our Saturday Saunter ride.   THey’ll go into a hot wash and dry… and go on a probably smaller person.   ERm, yea, we were rained on a bit — though we were at Casey’s for the pouring part.   (We also just had to slow our pace a bit for that loooong train to go by…)   Really nice cottons and a fellow who sorts his clothing (grateful the delicates basket wasn’t on top).  Hauling soggy cottons makes a nice workout…

Those bronze shadows

Yup, another day when the “bike route across campus” in the “don’t we have a wonderful master plan” is blocked completely for construction, with no notice ’til you’re upon it.   Hey, it’s only when people are coming back to school and all.

I’m sure there will be fun events planned that will need that space blocked off to traffic, too – except bicycles aren’t “traffic” to the Mother U.   They’re an inconvenience.   Well, that many people in cars would be a bigger inconvenience but that would be logical thinking and we can’t expect that from the poor souls at a University.  Privilege is privilege, period.

The trip up Randolph was amazingly quiet, and I thought “Okay, 5 minutes early is the way to go!”  … and then there was Church.   It might calm down as people settle into the academic year but … a car w/ Missouri tags just started rolling forward at me.  SOrry, I cannot tell if you’re just anticipating me or haven’t seen me at all.   Happily, what came from my lips as I stopped the bike was, “Hello!!!!  Please wait!”  (unlike the one Wednesday night which included the a-word, and that one wasn’t even really called for since our group was behaving utterly unpredictably *in* an intersection out in the country, having just yielded to the Eastbound fast bicycle riders who were of course just plowing past the stop sign, before the Westbound driver arrived. Yea. While we were somewhere between stopping and going, he just went.   Technically we had right of way but we were a hot mess.)

A different car squealed on by me — the air horn works — and it was just … trafficky.   Things did time nicely w/ gaps in parking to let the busses by, and once past that things were normal.

Oh, and last night I actually got to see the woman driving SVA BBY 2 as she went East on Washington.   I waved at her and she drove on by, as she stared fiercely ahead, looking threatened and defensive.   Saddening, but at least she didn’t holler out her window at me.  Having seen her, I’m reasonably confident that she would not get out of the car to physically accost me, which is a bit of a relief (but I hope she’s not armed).

Oh!   and the new neighbors next door (rental) have commuter-looking bicycles that were in their living room (when they were between curtains and it was totally exposed).     Next house down a fellow was heading out on his bicycle yesterday.   If I could find my inner extrovert I’d … well, I don’t know, I can’t find my inner extrovert…