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.”

Social Media :)

Found a message to me on Facebook today waiting for my approval:   had I made it home safely last week?

Quite happy to say yes and thank you … and know who my helper was 🙂

I ran through some glass this  morning and… then things felt squishy soft.   Not flat, just soft. Had the pump but … really wasn’t making progress and it was too flaming hot… so I rode down to Champaign Cycle and used the compressor there to amp it full.
We’ll see how full lit is on the morrow.   Might take The Red Bicycle (which by the way is a new ice cream shoppe in Urbana… they should give me a discount…) I should be home by dark after all even if I do a few extra miles.   To keepup with last July I’ll need 52 in the next two days but Friday’s off 🙂  HIgh 89 … but I could knock off 40 in the morning… especially if the sunrise bedroom’s painted and ready.   Moving from the west facing to east facing room just might have me springing into life (snork — or possibly not!  I slept in for the first 40 years and 1 week of my life… I could flop back…)
Today was commute and … the ride to Champaign Cycle at lunch for 4.5 miles and then the Pedaling For Pleasure.   We went to Alto Vineyards and… STaley was awfully busy.  There was talk of “taking the lane” afterward, which we hadn’t.  THe cars squeezed by us.   Coming back we added 2 miles to avoid it.    If we’d doubled up we’d have been more compact — would single file   be more or less likely to invoke road rage than doubling?   Don’t know.     Love that ’round here we have “avoid conflict” option 🙂


I’m pretty sure that was the vanity tag of the intense straight-black-haired female driver’s car who peeled out of a parking lot at me… slowed a tad when I hollered… I wonder if somebody made her get that tag because she tailgates.   It bemuses me when people drive insanely and have memorable vanity tags.

The surprise was the urge I had not to cuss her out (I think I hollered WAKE UP!!! which didn’t fit — she didn’t seem to be distracted or drowsy), but to reach into my basket and hurl an egg at her car.   I don’t have eggs in my basket but … I wanted to hurl the one that wasn’t there at her car and have it smash and leave a mark.

I’ve pondered making something to squirt at cars… but now I’m thinking of designing an ‘egg’ of some kind.   Yea, I’d want it to be biodegradable, as eggs are… but the contents to be less perishable and oh, even less potentially destructive to a car’s finish.   (It’s the surprise that counts, the “what’s that??..”) Delivery would ideally be possible in a way that would seem accidental… oops, you startled me and set off my missile projectile launcher!   For that matter we could design the launcher and have mad nerf battles like bike polo…

Time to get back to mathy stuff. Just because I’m distractible doesn’t mean

Mirror, Mirror

Sunday I had a Not Good Thing happen.   I was cruising down Main Street and I espied the lady in the cart approaching, coming back from Mass, on my side of the street.   I moved left to give her room.

My mirror wasn’t behaving b/c it was drooping madly.   We were navigating/communicating and I heard “blearoop!”  and then two police cars with lights but no sirens went ’round.   We should have both just pulled over & stopped.   I saw the officers two blocks later, and hoped any delay didn’t mean failure to apprehend a criminal (they were talking to a guy with a dog, and no ambulances or other emergency stuff was happening).

Today was different and I wonder if my “fix the mirror and be more alert” decision was partly responsible.   I’m cruising up Country Fair and this big pickup truck with trailer with a crapload of stuff passes me, and then I see it’s stopped up the road… hmm… oh, there’s a big roll of something on the road, and there’s traffic behind me and approaching (though not particularly fast or anything).   I move a little left  and put a hand out and down in a “I’m telling you what to do, not telling you what I’m doing!” manner (and human brains are fascinating because usually we do get that stuff!)  and then point to the Thing in the Road.   The guy in the truck apologizes and retrieves it, I go around when it’s safe, and the guy behind me passes and says “Thanks for the warning!”

— that almost non-event could have been …   interesting.  As in living in interesting times…

… and it’s gorgeous with highs in the SEVENTIES today 🙂  and I rode to work FROM MY HOUSE for the first time this year.  My house has a gloriously orange-painted (“Outgoing Orange”) big bedroom (think: creamsicle)  and the little bedroom will soon be FlyWay Blue.   I decided not to apply “pick a color you like and then go lighter” because my trim will be white semi-gloss in there, too.