Tag Archives: bicycle commuting

Law of Averages

Gary Cziko shared a video of a ‘drive out’ – where a driver just pulls out into an intersection as if you aren’t there – and speculated on why it happened.  (Hint:  even the best “lane control” doesn’t. actually. control. another. driver’s. behavior.)  I agree, seeing the video, that the driver simply didn’t see him.

I’d have liked to have had a video of my morning’s similar incident… I’m approaching where Main meets I think Goodwin and ends, but the bike route proceeds through between University b uildings.  A bus is stopping to discharge passengers, so I signal stopping to share my intent to wait… and the bus proceeds and then I’m going — and the car behind the bus simply accelerates along with it… and about the same time I’m hollering, “It’s a stop sign, lady!”  she’s covering her mouth with her hand as in “OOPS!” (which is probably why “lady!” is what came out of my mouth; had there been a cell phone there I’m pretty sure something stronger would have escaped… still workin’ on that…) — I only wish this had been one of those times when the police were watching that notorious intersection… and I *do* wish they’d do something about the visibility of the stop sign.

Then I’m waiting to cross Fourth Street, and like me, the guy coming the opposite direction is rather far out into the street because you have to do that to see anything… which inspires a driver to just stop outright with no stop sign.

Guess it all averages out, but a little better road design would help…

’nuff o’ that snow stuff

… I’m back riding in again, having taken the bus the past two days.  Yea, I rode on worse stuff in previous years but a:   I didn’t have a bus pass & that familiarity with the bus system, and b: each of those days came with a long-term forecast of even worse weather, and c: the Gazelle didn’t have a tire with a gouge so big you can see the cardboard boot all too clearly.   (I’m on the Dahon with its studded front tire.)

We lose our hour this weekend… so I’ll get to ride home in sunlight… and get up in the dark…

endorphins R Us

Decided that even though I wasn’t leaving as early as I’d have liked it to be, I was still going to try to go patronize Great Harvest, since they sponsored the art gallery thingy, which I did find the bank card so I could make good on the IOU ’cause I sponsored them too and got a handmade mug much like a chalice.

So I did that “sustainable speed” thing that is significantly easier to do on the road if I’ve recently done it on the trainer (or on a long ride, but those haven’t happened yet), and tossed in a little extra effort here and there, and got to school on time, even if I did have to give the evil finger (that would be index, pointed at the driver who did the left in front of me as the light turned yellow, thinking “a shielding on you and everyone you endanger today!”).   Then I went to the ATM to get said funds and was simply amazed at what wonderful machines ATMs are.  Wow!  You press buttons and the money just comes out!   30 seconds or less!  I realized I had a pretty good buzz goin’…  and people think cycling is a sacrifice ?!??

Who am I?

There was a weird rash of drivers ignoring my right-of-way day before yesterday … the second and third at the same four-way stop (Vine and Washington — yes, a four-way that I see more folks “being bad” at than others).  I pulled up just barely after car 1 gets to Southbound stop, and he proceeds – and the guy behind him *right* after ward, so quickly, it would seem, to make sure I didn’t get a chance to start (hmmm… should I thank him?)  and in the meantime, as I laid on the horn,  and my big fat light did a good job of illuminating his face (which seemed mildly surprised and young and male- wasn’t direct illumination) a third, even later dude pulls up Northbound.  So I proceed and Mr. North simply starts proceeding.  I was so surprised that I played chicken and won… and cursed boldly, as if from the voice of that young male and figured I was being too easily impressed and that I should contemplate nonviolent reactions more regularly 😉  Next day I peeked at Boing Boing  and the description of a YouTube video of a man who was arrested and taken down by police, for charges unmentioned, who complained vociferously but politely (“I am at peace with all”) and was tased and prayed harder and then escaped.  Hmmm….(I wonder if he turned himself in later or what…)

I’m wondering what the hidden factor behind the driving issues is — a:  I looked different (but I wasn’t on the fast bike, which sometimes has that effect), b:  hey, I wasn’t *here* for a week, and therefore people forgot how to drive around bicycles (um, yea, that’s logical!)  or c:  less traffic (it’s summer) = less willingness to wait?

Also definitely not liking the coaster brakes, but thinking the odds of it being quiet enough to get the Xtra hub fixed tomorrow at the co-op are nil.

can’t plow a forecast, honey

Or:  When in doubt, stud, though no bad consequences.

This a.m. the forecast was a “winter advisory” until 11 a.m.; that some freezing rain and snow would move through  The radar showed blue right over head – but almost gone, and there were but scant flurries.  Therefore, there should be less than scant flurries when it was gone.  Possible snow showers tomorrow.

COnsidered taking the Trek in so I could do the inside ride.  Decided that since I had frittered last night instead of making Progress On The HOuse (putting stuff back in the newly painted kitchen and living room), I should go straight home and do that tonight, and take the Xtracycle instead.

Checked weather before leaving at 5:15.  30 degrees – balmy enough to toss the Smart-Tex in the backpack.  Clear radar. I’m hoping to get in some good laps before going home, which I’d tried to do at lunch time but there was this meeting that I’d forgotten about…

Not so clear skies… and what’s this stuff falling from the sky?  It’s barely heavier than fog… but, I thought, p’raps the 30 was airport and the guys had put salt *everywhere* and here might be heat island enough so I could just do llllapsss… that was my foot skating on the parking lot just a teensy bit, enough to make me laugh at the timing and say, “Yes, weather, I hear you.  You promised *better,* not good.”

Happily, everywhere I put my foot down things were basically damp, not icy.  HOwever, I was grateful for having had enough assorted musical experiences so that, indeed, I could hear the subtle difference between the swish of tires on damp pavement and the rice-krispies-treat crunch that meant the mist had frozen there.  Oh, yea, and my bike had just the thinnest crust..  However, when I shrugged, my jacket didn’t crackle, so it wasn’t but *so* bad.

I was also grateful for having enough cycling experience to know it was even more important to claim my part of the lane – that this would make motorists, perhaps thinking foul thoughts of my inconsideration in being out in this weather, be sensible and give the extra room merited… instead of hugging the line and having drivers focusing on the conditions not see me at all.  I noticed the same tendency for drivers *not* to want to go into the left lane when passing (on the one-way two-laner at State). And I was glad I had the SPokelit on the wheel… I think I might have had at least one Airzound Moment otherwise, and I’ve been off the Xtra for weeks so I’m not in the habit of hov’ring near it when approaching a perpendicular driver.

And!  I found the business end of the Turn Signal, so as soon as I find the strap again, which wasn’t lost anyway, I can re-unite them and give it a try on the left arm.

Tomorrow, it’s the Gazelle.  I’ll even have to apologize to her 😀  Maybe we’ll ride a little extra to make up… I could and *would* have done laps with the studs tonight on this teensy bit of slipper.

Next Up…

What was I thinking? Ride looong the day before the lincoln circuit ride? Welp, still, maybe. I’ll try to make it the “get stuff done and then ride” carrot.
Had a fun ride home last night as a student with Soho was curious about cycling and our cycling community and good routes; we went across town together and lighter-traffic routes were revealed.
Rode the long way in this a.m. with minutes to spare *and* managed to wind down the energy level so as not to induce panic in those I approached at the tutoring table. There are energies science is afraid to explore ’cause some of them would be called spiritual… imagine, instead of being skeptical about such things, actually exploring the properties of the alternative energies – and *finding* the ways of exploring them that would not disrupt them entirely with the observation process?
Must find the rest of the blinkies of life!

I want turn signals :)

GOin’ down John, getting across Prospect. LEft at 5:00 so there’s genuine traffic.
Car to my left going to turn left… I’m in my spot (I got there first; he pulled up beside me) kinda out in the lane so that a right-turner could get get by, too.
As a window of opportunity opens up, there’s a head leanin’ frmo the driver’s side. “You goin’ straight? Just want to be sure.”
Okay, I wouldn’t have “straight” signals, anyway… and if I *were* goin’ left I’d have made sure not to cut in front of him, but if he were going straight it was a *really* nice thing to have thought of. ]

Going to pick up the big red bike and toss the folder on top and trundle both of ’em home.
Sprinted home to beat sunset because somehow, my headlight redundancies were all piled into the red bike… didnt’ even have a front spokelit. Did have a back-of-helmet blinky and a blue backwheel spokelit, but I sprinted home anyway. A youngster on a mountain bike eased by me at an intersection… but he deserved to, since he really could keep ahead of me 🙂 I did maintain behind him, just to keep him honest, and he was flagging before he turned off … and I did remember how silly it looks when commuters are chasin’ each other so I maintained my kewl, nonchalant air.
Got home with hordes of endorphins buzzing in my brain. Got the bills paid and didn’t get the dishes done. Didn’t care one whit that, oh, my mileage tally was lagging for that day.
And ’cause I got to bed early, I rose early and … didn’t do the dishes. Got out early and rode the long way in.
Gotta pick up that bike and… go home and do the dishes. Still warm enough for fruit flies, otherwise. Gotta pluck maters, too…
Oh, and it was a dry day tod ay 🙂 Ed Kieser’s not doin’ the weather at WILL this week, and I do miss that technical talk 😉