Tag Archives: bicycle

Beautiful :)

It was the second time a man riding a tandem solo went by going the other day — and he called out to me that I was beautiful 😉 And I saw Kathy and the Allant on my Coop stop (sigh, I don’t like their beer selection but I haven’t been back to B Spirits since customer and cashier were chatting mask-free…)

Yesterday I tucked in behind Geoff of Itty Bitty Bike Shop and when he turned right on Urbana, I kept going. It’s a daily decision point — tucking north on Urbana to ILlinois then left means getting traffic light to cross Vine, Vine being a royal bunbite road, and even with the light the intersection isn’t fun, especially w/ bright Eastern Sun. It’s a four-way stop if I just take Washington, and yes, it’s smoother because they totally reworked it (summer of 2020 when all that traffic was sent down MY street instead)… but they only reworked the surface. Couldn’t afford to do it right, so it’ll be potholed before too long w/ the traffic there, and … yea, lots and lots of lanes for a 4-way stop. (Should be a roundabout.)

The mess of cars were clear by the time I got there, though — the Illinois light cycle does that 😉 So! I gained about a tenth of a mile on Geoff 😛 and saw him heading west on Elm as I went down Race. However, different day prob’ly could have been different story. If he got green and I had to wait…

Main and Lincoln is different every day…. when the inner two lanes of the four on Lincoln are blocked off, then YAY!! We have that “median island” we’ve b een promised for, what is it, 2-3 *years* since “it’s the next thing!” because the pedestrian/cyclist traffic counts there are ridiculously high… and that’s *before* the rather massive residential/retail “Gather” thing opens. In a truly progressive town there’d be Places To Hang Out Without Your Car as an Important Thing — there’s Einstein Bagels across the street… oh, across *Lincoln…* but I am *hoping* the work renders it so that’s possible (not sure what goes on behind Gather; it’s pretty much right on top of Lincoln).

Today there were two folks behind me at Randolph and University — I let them pass b/c there was a ton of construction and I needed to turn left and didn’t want variables… one of ’em went elsewhere but I’m pretty sure the other was on the other side of Bradley as I headed into Parkland.

I pondered the differences/similarities between “beautiful” and the other term sometimes used, “badass,” and yea, I like ’em both.

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!

New “verb”

While I generally eschew and often despise turning nouns into verbs, sometimes it’s an effective way to reduce an entire phrase into a word.   The fact that you probably have no idea what I mean is irrelevant, eh?

My new verb is “roundabouted,” and it’s what I did at about five intersections on my commute with all-way stops.

If you couldn’t infer what it is…   when *nobody* was there, or an approaching vehicle was going to arrive a mess of time after I did, I slooowwed and proceeded on through.   If I was goign to have to wait my turn, I slowed early so our arrivals weren’t really close (and yes, the other driver roundabouted, too)… and then proceeded through.   Oh, and plenty of times… I stopped and waited my turn.

It’s how one would behave at a roundabout… now, “roundedabout” at least treats a verb like a verb… I”m not sure…

Foggy foggy dew

… DENSE fog tho’ not so much once in town, coming home.

In the parking lot a fellow employee greeted me admiring the wheelbrightz … and we chatted… one part of  conversation she said that when she saw me on church street, it alerted her that hey, bikes are *everywhere.*   And that while I’ve got the lights (and though she didn’t say it, while I’m taking the lane)… other folks won’t be but … look out for them.

So then I’m toodling down Race and a youngish lady on sidewalk says “howdy!”   and I howdy back and she says fast-like (in that way when you knkow I’ll be out of earshot in a second or two) “I saw you last night.”

Possibly she was the one who passed me on the green bike with the pink handlebars (whom I *think* is the same person who passed me outbound in the morning) who noted that “You carry a lot of weight on that!”  and I said in my best Hulk imitation, “And it makes me STRONG!!!”   (Hey, this mornign I was singing my “Stalled out at the traffic light of love” song in the lab… must be the season…)

Or not 😉   I think a lot of people saw me…

Dispatch number — get yours!

In the “Just Do This” category — get the ‘non emergency dispatch’ number for where you are most often and either commit it to memory or stick it on your phone.

Ours is easy to remember:   333-8911.   (Hey, it’s “911”  almost — 8911 — and then 3’s in front.)  It’s for “animal control” — yes, they want you to call even if all the dog did was *almost*hurt you, and for situations like last Friday when I was heading East on University from Country Fair and watched as a semi made a U-turn … on Mattis.    I wondered as I approached if I’d get to see a jackknifing happen … it didn’t, and the Plain WHite (18-2heeler) Truck proceeded on its way… with the light standard smashed to the ground behind it.    Wasn’t in the traffic lane, somehow, but it was worth a call (no, I didn’t get license or name of company from the truck but ‘that’s good enough’).

Today’s commute was speedy ’cause the wind is from the East; “rain developing” had started spitting at me on arrival.


I bugged out in a reasonably timely manner from work so that I could get to the terminal in time to re-up my bus pass, even though the forecast had changed from possible freezing rain tonight to a “low” of 33 (in quotes because it’s 32 right now) and a warning for dense fog, instead. It’s not foggy (in fact, we’ve had fog I wouldn’t have ridden in, when we had a swath of very cold snow, and a warm front moved in — for three feet off the ground things were condensing madly and visibility was nonexistent, which makes me kinda wish it would happen that way for a week or so just for the science fiction experience, but I digress…).

I pondered the statistical significance of the number of people who work for CUMTD whom I’ve tutored since the fellow behind the counter was one of ’em 😉 I got the same picture — dont’ have that many new grey hairs — and went out and turned on the lights and rolled out.

Two men were crossing the street and I heard one of them say “…security.” The response was something about no, it wasn’t… oh. THey were talking about me, in that special tone … geez, between Ferguson and New York, I probably should have said “chill, I do not represent murderers!” but I said “No, just a bright jacket!” and they complimented my lights and bicycles, still in the tone of voice one uses to a tyrannical despot when hoping to stay on the good side. Then I realized that it was more likely the blue lights on the wheel … but that the rainbow nutcase helmet and the purple and orange lights spoke to my true Advent nature.

People get ready, there’s a train a-comin…

Sinewave Saga … not so good match with my GPS.

So I’m hearing the reviews of folks using their Revolution on the road, “out in the wild.”  

Well, my first ride with it wasn’t so wild and yes, I’ve found a mismatch:  GPS and stop and start riding (my commute).

(Important note, though: YES it is rainproof. Yesterday, while I didn’t have it running ’cause I hadn’t located my GPS, it got rained on, and rained on hard. When exactly the same thing happened to my “high end” Luxos U, things got wet and the handlebar mount switch to turn on the light *always* drew power, enough so that the light went into “daytime running light” mode instead of nighttime brilliant because it didn’t have enough power; I had to unplug the handlebar switch entirely. The Revolution, which cost less, is unfazed.)

  Also, this is *not* what I’d consider the reason to get one of these.   My GPS doesn’t use much power on my commute anyway — like to use my GPS on the commute if for no other reason than to know what time it is, and because yes, I log those miles in the nationalbikechallenge and if I do that extra lap around the campus perimeter, I want a log of it..

I noted that one reviewer said that the sinewave still charged a phone with ease “when the mobile network was disabled.”   I wonder if that setup was like mine, 

YOu see, my GPS has several features that annoy me every time I use it, and I haven’t found a place in the settings to change it.  First, if I arrive at work and hit the stop button, it assumes my trip is over.   Do I want to save or delete?  Second,  If I power down, the trip is over. 

Oh, and it also will automatically shut down — tho’ it gives me 15 seconds to touch the screen and tell it not to — if it gets unplugged. 

Can you see where this is a problem with a power source with no storage on a morning commute?   It was beeping at me roughly every four to ten seconds either powering up or down, and if I didn’t get to the touch screen in time, powering off

I have to wonder about what this will do “in the wild” at GITAP.   I have to assume that if my GPS is attached, my trips will “end” with every town that has a stop sign. 

I can’t do it before GITAP but I may wander down to MakerSpace again and see if, perchance, I could re-wire it so that it feeds off the battery in my light, especially since it was set up with a USB port originally (but failed with the first rain shower– Luxos U == thrown away cash; I hope Peter White figures this out).   

Tonight’s task:  to try to install my handlebar bag which I think could hold my phone, so I can charge it tomorrow.   

Could be that I need to abandon the Garmin and go with the phone app… 

Harley Wave, Urbana Style

So I’m riding down Washington Street and I spot an I’m-pretty-sure-diaper-clad toddler with some kind of scooter/tricicyle, walking it along next to a grandfatherly-looking dude. Yup, it’s a swaddling waddlekinder and as I approach she scrambles on board her scooter (as in, “ME TOO! ME TOO!”) and gazes raptly at me and points with her arm and whole grinning body, “Gaaabaa!!!” Which I believe translates to “You would make a GREAT crib toy!” (I have a fair number of colorful danglings and moving things on my bicycle, myself included…)
… but actually, my *first* impression was that this not-quite-verbal-yet person was giving me the equivalent of a Harley wave — we were both on very awesome human-powered vehicles. It totally made my day (and when I thought of having been able to catch it on screen if I had my helmet cam on, I thought about that going-viral thing “look up!” and decided it was better to just BE THERE 🙂 🙂

New year comin’

I’m shopping for a new bike.

I *might* be sort of thanking my bike thief. I have been thinking of this slothful-sabbatical year, when I’ve been riding to get to work and other places, and riding the club rides where I’m expected.   I’m outta shape. To cut it short:   I haven’t  ridden *hard* any time, any where, at all this year.   Maybe up the odd hill at GITAP…

It has occurred to me that at 52, if I don’t do something about it, my days as a closet endurance athlete might be over.  Since October I’ve been trying to psych myself up to think 8 or 10,ooo miles next year, to get out JAN 1… and wondering whether I’ll be able to trip that “on” switch that drove me to WHEN IN DOUBT, RIDE AROUND THE BLOCK ONE MORE TIME!   It’s utterly exacerbated by my GPS being AWOL (and hence, no magic numbers creeping up on the mileage tally) tho’ I stopped keeping score in March. (No, Sue, DRIVES you.  Think present tense ;))

However, this morning, I did something I hadn’t done in forever:   intervals on the commute… partly ’cause cold weather inspires me but also just thinking that I could get me a bicycle overtly for randonneuring.   (No, I don’t expect to do the formal stuff with their weird rules and paperwork.) I might have to go to upper Canada in the summer to get weather cool enough for the odd double metric…


… but hey, 32 is still a LOT of degrees.  Yesterday I tossed the rain pants and jacket because I knew the temp would be dropping even if it really wasn’t likely to rain (especially on ME :)), and it did… and I*hadn’t* brought gloves or socks, and I was wearing sandals on the grounds that nekkid feet dry faster.

Glad to say that the extra layers did their job and my hands were a little chilly at the start, but not for long. Took almost as long to get into work this morning – there’s something about a serious headwind that activates an attack gear, and today’s winds were enough to slow me down but not enough to activate that gear — or, I need to check the bike. Today I *did* use the extra seconds at Prospect and Church to charge through after the countdown hit zero.

Last night, I was advised to “watch those country roads!” — because of what happened to Cindy and David. THen the person asked if I knew whether it had been a case of coming over a hill blindly… um, no.   It was a case of a wide open road and not paying attention and killing somebody dead because it wasn’t worth the time to keep eyes on the road. Looking out at the empty bike rack on Mondays where that tandem SHOULD BE creates … a disruption in the Force or something.

Websites that are almost worse than not having a website at all — especially if you’re gonig to manage to send me an email to encourage me to look at yoru products — http://www.propatchinc.com/ … the original link was to a cell phone holder for my handlebar, which I *would* be interested in, but if you do as half-a33ed a job on your products as done with the website, then I’m not interested.   It seems to be a website set up from a template… including “chat with us!  Except we’re not available!”