Oh, and the Gazelle…

I should take pics of it, too, except they would make you sad or mad.   My third bike ride of four was to ride over to The Bike Project and get James’ opinion of an injury to it.   Welp, that one place with chipped paint, he declared:   “That’s sound, no problem.”   Then he went to the bottom bracket, which is rust central… oh, and the place where the thing inexplicably deemed a “seat stay”  connects back to the hub of the wheel … oh, and the other place on the other seat stay halfway through? The tapping of the wrench upon them yielded a “not sound” sound.   “The rust is deep.”   (Yes, and it never sleeps…)

I’m afraid he didn’t even look on the left side of the bike.  “You have to stop riding this bike.”   (Not that day — it didn’t break on the ride home…)

So… I can swap out the dynamo hub sooner than later… and I suppose put that little carrying bag on something…

Time to get productive housework wise but there are pics of the charger-dynamo-USB set up to come…


Better than tolerant

I’ve had to go through campus a few times this past week, where there’s the usual construction happening despite the budget calamities.   (The twerds supposedly running our state  have, basically, signed off on a six month sort of budget — like getting another credit card to pay off this one because of the deadline, but with worse interest and further damage to credit rating because that will only pay the upcoming bills, not the unpaid ones from the *past year* of many, many defaults.   I was surprised to hear that many of them have not been paid since April or so and I wonder what it’s like to be the comptroller who actually writes the checks.)

It seems they have allowed a path through the construction for bicycles.   They had left a bit of a path – hopping curbs and dodging debris — before; and this has its share of gravel and debris, but you can get across the road to the bike paths.

I don’t k now if this was done after hue and cry (in which case we’re still in “tolerant” category, but they are at least listening) or if it was a recognized need (adding a tiny silver tinge to the bronze).
Now, the tinge would be even brighter if there were a clue given as to which paths go through to where.   It’s not obvious — all of the through-paths go around things and under things so none of them *look* likely.   Still, lots better than this from earlier this year:


Parked there for over a week. Typical Mother U attitude towards non Single Occupant Motorized Vehicles.

… and this past week — in doldrums of summer — there seemed to be lots and lots of joggers out.   Maybe they’re just out there earlier (we go in half an hour early these 8 weeks and get Fridays off)…

Return that car…

So, another day of driving, heading out and marking the Thursday routes for the Grand Illinois Trails and Parks ride.  The two of us got it done reasonably efficiently and Lexington, IL *is* a completely awesome place to pause if you’re traveling.   Kemp’s Upper Tap has all kinds of craft beers and burgers and fried food… and the coffee shop’s open 7 ’til 2:00 with … coffee… and panini and probably delicious good for you stuff.

Made me wonder whether the INternet wasn’t helping them — w/ people like me spreading the word — the same way that it is hopefully inspiring people to avoid Farmer City… just go to LeRoy:)   Then you get get on the LeRoy Lexington Blacktop and be there in no time!

… and I’m trying to think of things to do with this car with an extra hour… maybe pick up some mulch.   Thing about Urbana is that it really *is* nicer to get from here to regular grocery via the bicycle.

I”ve got some pics to post but … let me get rid of that car thing.


Well, crap, ridewithgps

So  I just automatically paid my premium membership at ridewithgps and … voila!  It doesn’t work any more.   Oh, if I have my laptop wiht me on the bike I can download things, well, except I’d have to buy the wifi hotspot too… but no, on the phone I am no longer a member.   I even made sure to Log In as the right Sue Jones in case “log in via facebook” got it lost.

It’s really, really annoying to be told to upgrade my account.

So I go out onto the internet and log in and … “open in the app”  — oh, sorry, that web page not available.

And SUnday is hardly the day to expect a support ticket reply and I am pretty darned sure they’re not going to be able to help.   They don’t even know how to label their form as email address to get android to pull up the right keyboard (much less trigger the automatic completion).   (Note to self:   if you put that into your app, do that)…


Bit of a bummer

Okay, I really, really want to secede from this craphole of a state. Downstaters can do better!  I know *everybody* isn’t a corrupt, greedy slimeball!

Bike pulls up beside me:  “Hey, wanted to say goodbye.”   He’s going to Indiana to teach there (slight emphasis on the word “there”).

“Oh,” says I, “Lots of people in education are going to other states these days.”


This whole fiscal year — from last July 1 — they haven’t made a budget at all, so… except for enough court ordered payments & special cases, the bills aren’t getting paid. So they’ve carefully picked the things that will help them most politically to pay for (including a 100,00 $ position to be an assistant to the governor’s wife).

The rape crisis center — cut down to one emergency hotline (where they can tell you I suppose to go to the police but there’s no counseling any more)… drug treatment… mental health facilities…. they’ve just tossed some scraps — between 30-60% of what they budgeted last year — at colleges & universities (again, granting more to the places that are more politically noticed).

Ride of silence tonight…  and it’s beautiful out there, and my co-worker has ridden in today and yesterday (yes, rainy yesterday).


Xtracycle fantasy

So I almost had 2.5 miles on my errand trip… and I was curious about what the construction signs were about on the side street… so I went past my house and turned.   I went by a family going across the street where the man and boy child were in comfortable shoes and carrying day-glo sneakers, while the woman was struggling behind them in heels… and then saw the lady standing by 8 bags of stuff… loading them onto her shoulders… what’s up with that?  There’s a story there, I thought… but she looked like she knew what she was doing.    I went a little further – looked to be ordinary asphalt repair, because the busses do that.  I turned around and … the lady was just a little further up the road, bags off her shoulder now… catching her breath.

I popped up on the sidewalk  and dismounted.

“How far are you going?”   …
“to the corner (bout a quarter mile), where the bus *usually* stops.”

Okay, was she trying to catch it?  Didn’t matter.

“How ’bout putting your bag on the back here…’  (the skateboard thing on the back)

“No, I’ll be okay… these allergies aren’t making it any easier to breathe.”

“You can hold onto it… then let’s walk.  ”

She started lifting the bag… “It’s really heavy.”

We hoisted together.  “You keep it stable and we’ll walk.”  She was still breathing hard… but it got better as we walked … seems that it was a nice day so she had walked to the store &  got on the bus… that rode right past where it usually turned… because of the construction.   It had been re-routed.

“I’ll be fine now.”   She lifted the bag and walked to her front door — which was oh, 100 feet from “where the bus usually stops.”

Yes, I’d imagined years ago exactly that as being “something I could do with an Xtracycle — help somebody with heavy stuff,  without them worrying about me riding away w/ their stuff.”

She’d have made it, eventually, probably,  but it would have sucked.   It’s a good day when you can make somebody’s day not suck *and* it doesn’t even get complicated.

Update:   CUMTD replied “Apologies.  Reroute was posted for the 5 but not the 50. It’s been corrected online. Thanks for tweet and assisting on the street.”

Dude, they gots poet tweeters at Mass Transit!

48 degrees…

42 when we started.   20-30 mph winds.   Hey, its a level 1 ride so we did 9 miles with two rest breaks … the Garmin said we averaged about 9.2.   Frank, Jason, Margie and me… bragging rights.   It wasn’t “epic” because we just slowed down, thank you, and wore extra clothes.   Loaned my favorite mismatched gloves (didn’t say where I got ’em from ;)) so everybody was reasonably comfortable and worked reasonably hard:)

Then to farmer’s market where by then if things were going to blow over, they already had.   I didn’t see the compost bin/ rain barrel sales but I forgot to look for it until I was home and saw it on facebook… but … I’m thinking those things might have been rolling all over the place.  Could have been quite amusing while it lasted…

My new ATM card works… so I’m almost fully wallet recovered (well, I have no intention of replacing the bus pass ’cause that would be the full $84 annual cost and I hardly ride it in the summer).. .library card & job ID about all that’s left.  Oh, and zip car card😦  which I will need… tho’ Imight cash in Enterprise points for that rental.

The new Busey Bank on Springfield (where I got my new ATM card) has nice, up-to-code bike parking.   That’s rare in “Bronze level, bike-tolerant” Champaign… but hopefully it’s a sign of the times!   And I’ll be chatting w/ News-Gazette folks Monday about Bike MOnth…