Labor Day :)

okay it’s not like the Perrysville adventures — up before dawn and riding 40 miles to Indiana and logging usually just shy of 100 miles… (and getting a ride back).

Executive summary:   I bailed on making a route and just trimmed the “Fast group’s” route for Labor Day.   Talked Laura into going with us even though 40 had been grueling on July 4 *and* high temp today 90 *and* headwinds for the last stretch of 51 mile route.
We did it 🙂   And the fast group did our route too ’cause of hte conditions so we did the “big guy’s route” 🙂   (lots slower…)

No, it was *not* a sacrifice for me to ride Big Red and paint over the bevels on my mirror  w/ the two other folks for whom 51 was going to be enough      while some folks did a tour of FIsher (had to see Buzzard’s Fine Dining, a ‘not fine seating but oh! the food!” place where they put the accent on the second syllable)… it brings great joy to help somebody REACH A GOAL *and* … I have to focus to go fast 🙂

Long version:

… but I rode 7.5 miles to Zahnd Park for the “local alternative” which fast people were doing … I think Perrysville was tabled this year.   I remember having to convince L that my Saturday ride was *easier* than the Wednesday “level one pedaling for pleasure” even with longer mileage because … pace is everything and I’m just a hair stricter.   A:  we don’t have to worry about sunset and B:  I’m less inclined towards “oh, we’re not going that fast.”   (Not perfect. )
SHe’d done our Fourth of July and didn’t fare well for the last stretch, and that was 40 something but… I was riding the fast bike and with a different group.  (No, I don’t feel guilty :))
We’d talked about a Labor Day ride and I’d said I’d figure something out.. it got later and later… so w/ less than a week notice I  posted a possible ride but hadn’t worked out the route, to a select group.  WIthin 5 hours another ride leader posted a Labor Day ride to the whole club.

Oy.   COmpeting rides.   Or maybe not really.   HOwever, I saw the route posted — 61 miles — and didn’t feel like figuring out my route… and figured they’d gotten tired of waiting for me.
SO I posted back “hey, let’s start from the West instead… and I can trim this route.”

THere was much confusion and back and forth and I got unjustifiably grumpy on Saturday about it.  Eww.   I did proclaim I’d be riding the Big Red bike.   I might have “switched” to the “Fast group’s” ride but … I wasn’t riding with the fast group.

Luck works in my favor.   It was hot and windy.   We *did* leave promptly at 8:30.  Yes, 3 of us were hangin’ at the back but *every time* I telepathed to the ones in front — three times — they decided to have a roadside break.   I’d say something to the other two and.. within two minutes,  we’d see the group stop.  We’ve just got leader types who care about everybody having a good time and not feeling left behind… (well, and it was hot and windy!)
Now, they *did* wait for us once when … we opted to zig zag to break up the last 5 miles of head/cross wind.   When they caught back up, I said I figured they’d wait an appropriate time and then move along.

THis route was much better than mine would have been.   Also, having a Major Lunch Stop 40 miles in so we were inside for the middle of the day… only 10 miles to go… that’s “the way to go.”

Lessons:   figure out some routes, on those “fridays off,” for stuff like this.   FIgure ’em out and ride them.   (Not going to talk about the car thing in my stupid driveway that I still don’t have the title for.)

DOn’t take it out on others when you’re the one who put things off….

The weather likes me.   We had cloud cover and haze that kept the heat from making things brutal.  (Wildfire haze? Maybe.)




They’re Baaack :)

It’s the U first day of school and yes, it was a different commute.   Drivers were yielding to peds crossing towards me so… it behooved me to just get across… that was after the driver of SVA BBY 2 gave me a reasonably friendly wave… this being the lady who, two years ago on the first day of school, whipped around my right and cut me off to get in the left turn lane, then rolled down the window to chastise me for breaking the law and being discourteous.   I had made a point of smiling broadly and waving at her other mornings (and I think she found a different route)… I’d love to actually talk to her so she can discover that yes, the big grin and wave is a strategy I employ to defuse dangerously aggressive drivers, thank you.

Beat the rain in by 20 minutes 🙂 Happily it’s the kind of light rain we need — it’s been dry enough a hard one would mostly run off.   Then there’s Hurricane Harvey in Houston (which the local Republican referred to as a she…)  — hey, what’s 50 inches of rain here and there?



K-12 school starts…

University and college folks are coming back, too, tho’ move-in is next week.   Today was the morning for K-12… will try to remember to wear something Hi-Viz tomorrow.   Seemed everybody at the corners was just a little late in seeing… though there are fewer lanes blocked off from consruction; clearly today was a deadline of sorts.  Yesterday I approached the Goodwin “T” — well, for cars it would be a dead end but bikes/peds go through (and the Ruby Lip Service Bike Friendly U. allowed Urbana to make curb cuts for us even tho’ it’s their road).   One lane was closed and a signbearer with her back to me was guiding the every-twenty-seconds-or-so car through.   Happily, the driver noted me so we could do that communication thing, he could go through and the signbearer could be a tad startled… and… “You going straight?”   I do hope she was more attentive for the next folks…
That Busch-Muller light is … oh, probably not connecting right, still. It’s only at its brightest on bumpy roads, then for a stretch if it’s smooth and then… what’s reasonably bright, but I fear on “stand light” mode and thus, draining the battery.  Wondering if it’s something the hot glue gun could ameliorate, and wondering how much the Planet Bike system costs (and how to find it).  However, I also will try setting up the charger thingy. Wondering just how crazy the world is getting, but that’s another story… but having a power generating  bike is a good thing, I think.
Time to get focused on creating math things…


Be careful…

I heard sirens as I came down my driveway — common enough.

Not 10 seconds later I saw the profile of a bicycle on the side of the road in the dusk… and “bike down” silhouettes (I don’t even know what they were but they were wrong.)
The ambulance came ’round as I approached,  and a silhouette was waving them over.
I got on the sidewalk and dismounted. (Did taht a couple times today w/ construction…) Silhouettes turned into people and  EMTs were inquiring, “What’s your name?” to a lady I didn’t recognize who was sitting up, near the banana-seat Stingray.  The police were approaching and they nodded at me…
The fellow with hte blue bike told me he had been JRA (Ju(st Riding Along) and had seen her and… wasn’t comfortable with her condition so he had called…. should he stick around?  I suggested he give the police his contact information … and walked a little further and Jack and his wife were on their porch.  I was JRA when they were trying to haul something up their steps a few years back… they asked did I know…
One of ’em wondered why the ER doctor who lived ‘cross the street wasn’t out there… the other ‘I think he’s out…”   and then a fellow  with a little dog approached and inquired about things — I am thinking he was said ER doctor and dang it, I remember the dog’s name was Nell but his ???   He asks “was it the lady who lived up the street?” and then went along his way and I thought to speculate “oh, he probably means me…”I hope it’s a person with insurance and relatives/friends… (a collectible Stingray makes it more likely).

Update:   there’s reason to think it wasn’t a fall, but a drug/reaction kind of medical issue.   Same hopes…


…  I was feeling this amazing positive energy riding in … and realized it was coming from the tailwind 😉

On the other hand, yesterday and today were “dodge the construction” days — yes, somebody was coming in the entry way that I was exiting because construction made that seem safer… probably is safer since even though I was going wrong way… I was visible.   Yesterday a big ol’ truck driver didn’t see me at all as he was making the right turn onto Church, but I knew which path he was taking (tell tale dirt trail from other trucks) and was taking a wiiiide trajectory… he saw me, stopped (stopped again — he had stopped at the stop sign), and apologized with that “what did I just almost do ?!??” look…

I’ll be glad when there aren’t so many half-the-road-closed things happening…

Oh, and a lady on a Schwinn riding significantly faster than me caught up on Church… but she went to the sidewalk, so she had to wait for that very truck and she stayed on the sidewalks, which aren’t on Church between Mattis and Country Fair.  I was on the road and … I saw her behind me crossing to get over to the path… I had to wait at the light but still saw her behind me crossing on the path… but then I had to stop to check something so she beat me to campus 🙂


Mini cultures

I toured four of our diverse mini-ecosystems today. First out on the prairie riding to Homer Lake and around… corn, soybeans, trucks, farming…
… then CAMPUS. Construction of course! Yes, “Ruby” level of bike friendly as I wended my way on the “paths” full of right angles and gutted pavement (note to self: photo essay called for. Lots of pedestrians looking like visitors
Got to Neutral CYcle and per usual bike racks next to road almost full — I just wheel-locked mine and went into the Brewlab coffee place next door. Lady asks if I was sent there by “the bike place.” Well, I’d seen it as a bike party on Facebook, an event! And they’ve got the posters we’re told we can have if we go to both places and I’m told I can show my receipt at Hopscotchc and get one there.
The walls on this whole place are “dry erase” and there are markers every where  It’s “campus culture” — create!!! Get shit done (and say so on your sign — it’s campus!)
IT’s not crazy busy but people come and go, many of ’em on bikes, including one of my Parkland regular’s who’s off to Florida Sunday… and Tim from Neutral Cycle who tells me about plans to have the space — whiteboard walls and all — usable by the community. He also says Hopscotch is opening same day and he knows them and encourages them to welcome cyclists because they hvae limited parking.
I decide to go ahead and ride out to there because that particular building is one that was for sale forever and I had assorted fantasies about it (Day care/ literacy center…) .
CHAMPAIGN CULTURE… bikes? What are they? Oh, *those* people ride them. THere’s nothing to even wrap a cable around to lock the bike to. Much much attention has been paid to maximizing that parking for car things.
I inquire about bike parking and … oh, maybe in phase two… not even RUby (lip service) level of bike friendly. No mention of “bike party” or posters. I get a muffin and go. I give ’em 18 months and resolve to see if the bakery on Philo is still running… I’d rather visit the Blighted Business District.
Swing back to BrewLab — get my poster. Cruise Neutral and look at gear and talk about panniers w/ James. Meet … Mike? who recognizes that I’m a Local Character and asks my name.
Swing by Common Ground — URBANA culture. Covered bike parking and plenty of it because it’s not even about “oh, we’re bike friendly — bikes are nice…” it’s “bikes are part of us.” And… *everybody* is a local character. Get beer. THe caffeine from the Tasmanian deliciousness is starting to wind down (with the help of one of those beers — it’s FRIDAY! and I’ve got 40 (s)miles on the day!)

    Looks like I’ll be able to match last July’s 864 miles — 52 to go in 3 days … two of ’em weekend with no rain in teh forecast.   Tomorrow might be a St. Joe day but I need to see when and where they’re doing a 5K so we don’t collide… 


Hey! They’ve painted bike lanes onto Country Fair where it’s wide enough!

Mixed feelings. First, no, they didn’t make soI bold (tho’ I’ll double check) as to paint even sharrows on the narrower part.  Secondly, drivers tended to act as if the crack that’s about four inches further in than the bike lane was … a divider.   They stayed on that side of it.  So… do I really need a white stripe? Because Thirdly, seems maybe they don’t stay on that side if I’m not there because there seems to be tons more debris. Perhaps the cars brushed it off before.   We’ll see, though – it’s just been a week.
Also… other folks think it’s fantastic that they are there.   If the line gets people out there because they didn’t just try it and discover cars gave ’em room (though perhaps that’s just my carma and I get room when others don’t)…

so 33.5 miles today 17. 3 yesterday and17. 2 the day before that.  BikeJournal’s down  … I should prob’ly also log over at the National Bike CHallenge but that’s gotten so slick that it’s hard to do.   I *think*  I’m still on 33 1/3 miles per day average and… I’m taking Monday off…

Yesterday there was a dude walking on the sidewalk on Bradley and … I quailed.  Rather than brave the off-road (grass, people… maybe maybe a bit of a bump transition…)  I slowed ‘way down so we’d pass on the driveway … and I’m pretty sure the look wasn’t “what? You didn’t want to get that close to me?” but rather “hey, thanks for giving me space.”