Tag Archives: commute

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.


IT’s bright orange, with reindeer antlers but — no doubt because of my *success* in not Getting Home FromWork And Plopping In Front Of the Screen — couldn’t find it this a.m.; found under a quilt…

So I was riding 15 minutes late — totally different commute. Stopped at four-way for bus to go … then accelerated through the next one b/c the Green bus was *almost* there 😉 Just pretend it’s a roundabout 😉

Will try to get a pic when I’m *not* late of Krewe de Main, the big ol’ house decorated for Mardi Gras (more so than they do for that other holiday). Planted earworm with sign bearing “and they all masked for you!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSZzsWRx_IE

It’s lots livelier that 15 minutes later. I managed to be after the 13-bus 7:40 departure from terminal … mostly 3 times as much pedestrian traffic — I don’t think more cars, tho’ I was more careful realizing “oh, they don’t now I’m turning left up here …” and itwas also very crunchy. Brian Moline said it was 33 degrees but cars were iced up and only most folks really cleared ’em off. One of those “I never have to do that to my bicycle” things 😉

… and I got my miles logged. Not riding Jan. 1 (freezing rain and absolutely no need to go out there… BYOOTIFUL!!! to look at though1!) was discouraging but.. past seasons there have been weeks of no riding and this a.m. got me over 100 ’cause I did a lunch lap yesterday.

Covid numbers not too horrible here — hospitals have more than 20% beds available — but Students Come Back to the U. the 25th… and bound to bring the fast-spread strain… oh, and the mayor of Thomasboro was a proud, jovial attendee at January 6 “demonstration.”

rabbit rabbit

It’s supposed to be a thing you say the first of the month, first thing. It wasn’t 😉

Put on The winter jacket (and yes, I need a new one if only to go on top of this one tho’ I haven’t gotten any premonitions about the winter weather). I’d forgotten how easy the jacket makes things — it’s got real pockets and the hood is just right for coveringthe ears and keeping the helmet snug. (Today prob’ly switching to the Winter Helmet with Hallowe’en Headband — I found the gorilla tape to get the mirror affixed.)

46 degrees really is my fave 🙂 Endorphins happen! Now at 8:30 it’s time to see about getting a million things done.

And yea, at least a bit of a smile from the green bike lady. No helmet — wonder if ears were cold.. .

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…

nice day :)

Granted, it wasn’t nice reading about the fellow in Washington IL who wrote to the paper saying cyclists were the new ISIS because they ride slowly in both lanes and have signs hidden by grass (so I have to guess there was a sanctioned ride that interfered wtih his life)… but concludes saying that if a cyclists challenges a driver who doesn’t feel like sharing the road the result will be a funeral, and when will they ever learn?

Hello, who’s the terrorist threatening our lives here?

Me, on the other hand, is commuting in and there’s a mess of new construction trucks amassed on Church… and I hear from a guy in the day-glo vest the surprised recognition, “Hey, Sue!”   and wonder if passing math got him a better job…

… and I really wish I had the recorder going tonight to catch the priceless sound of child singing ” …twinkle, little, star…. hey, look at that bike!” 🙂

The MOther U and traffic

I failed in my attempt to have enough time this mornign to get my helmet camera functioning. I want to capture and share the U’s idea of “bike friendly” — once again, the “bike friendly” route (which at *best* takes you through a fountain with pretty significant lumps and cracks in the sidewalk on a pedestrian route) is closed for construction so weaving around even more obstacles is necessary.
Don’t know if I’d have wanted to record this commute, though — it was “one of those days” – things did come in clumps. The University/Randolph light was a bear — I was wheeling up as it turned green, in the bike lane –so the lady in the red car didn’t know what to do as she went past me but wanted to turn right. She let me proceed… but I started mentally designing the graphic to put on the back of the bike to try to explain what to do. Hmmm… maybe I could make it so I could pull a string for the vehicles to move and show that if you slow down and duck behind me, I’ll shift to the left so you can go right easily.
At Prospect and Church things work better ’cause there’s a right turn lane proper and no bike lane. I could ease to the left and the lady in the very clean orange Subaru could pull into the right turn lane and look incredibly stressed and worried — it was 7:58 and I’ll guess she had somewhere to be at 8:00. The countdown ensues and at 2 she starts to ease forward … and I see this kiddo jumping back to the curb because … for whatever reason he decided to cross the street then. I exclaimed, “look at the numbers!” but happily could tell from the poor lady’s face that no, she didn’t think I was yelling at her; we were sharing the heart palpitations…
I’ve got a new tire sitting on the back of the bike — will post pics of the old one which was flat MOnday morning. There were three spots in the Kevlar where the assorted dings had penetrated so I booted them with gorilla tape; we’ll see if I can get a fwe hundred more miles out of ’em 🙂


Looks like we’ll be seeing a fair amount of each other; this morning I was turning left from Anderson to Washington and mentally noted that no, I hadn’t properly signalled … and I don’t remember if that’s because I could roll on through… which probably disgusted and dismayed the car behind me as it passed grumpily. Nothing aggressive, just that little bit of extra gas … and it was SVA BBY of yesterday’s snarky insistence that I needed to ‘be courteous.’
I do wonder whether she was grumpy because my existence was slowing her down or if I’d not done the foot-down (which would have slowed her down a lot more). I did spontaneously wave and smile at her… and noted that there were a *lot* of bicycles out and about that she was being forced to navigate with… and pondering the most effective ways to generate peaceful coexistence between competitors for time and space when our hormones/affective regulators/ whatever is behind our interactiions don’t always react peacefully.

Crunch time !

Monday I had the pleasure of chatting up The Bike Project – and at 9:30, after Chorus, I’m wondering where my coat was. Couldn’t remember where “weird” I had been, so thought I’d have to chalk it up to draping on a too-open chair (I vaguely remembered draping it somewhere unusual but couldn’t reconstruct where) and somebody deciding they liked it, and since it’s less than two weeks old and ArcTeryx (splurged at Sierra Trading Post), it might have been a temptation, ‘cept most folks back here are known entities.  Dug out a knit top and put that on top of everything and too my surprised, three layers were enough for all but the insides of my elbows to be toasty warm.  Shouldn’t have beensurprised – everywhere but the inside of my arms has a healthy amount of insulation 😉

I was cruising home reasonably quickly so as to generate sufficient heat, in that low gear on the Gazelle, having snuck down during lunch to ascertain that yea, it needs a new cable or five and how about a hub overhaul… also want to scope out some replacement parts on the chain coverage assembly.  Did a complete mental walk-through of the day to determine the window of wandering for the bike, and got to the “was wearing it  riding from the bike shop, and then …” oh, indeed, then I was snagged from behind my desk and taken to the television studio and forced to remove my outergarments.  I did some sprint spurts in celebration (but not enough to sweat and freeze – it was 32), and tracked that little sucker down the next morning.

Yesterday I rode the Xtra because things would only deteriorate to Nasty, including for the Prairie CYcle Club annual meeting/holiday party.  About 17 present and all voted us back into office, and would have canceled the term limits had we followed the procedure for making bylaw changes (which ncludes announcing that there will be votes in the newsletter).  The wind did pretty much take the tree down – I need to get another tube in on the action – but while I was out it was only drizzling.  Left El Toro with perfect timing so I was going through campus as people were leaving the b-ball game (Illini won again 🙂 ) but even the fallen tree had enough lights. (I have been informed that the dim flashlights in front make passing me and going back over a little challenging — they’ve been refreshed, though, and tonight I’ve got the Fenix).

Tonight’s plan, though, is to drop the Gazelle off at Champaign Cycle and take the bus home.  I do hate loathe and despise standing in the cold, waiting for a bus … but ain’t nothing but a thing.  It’s 20 degrees now with 26 mph winds gusting to 46 (they were over 50 for a while) … so it’s as good a time as ever to take the bus (and it’s not as if I don’t have four  more bicycles at home ;)) … just might do the chat from my house, though, with the low temp of 9.   THis morning’s gusts crossed that threshold to *genuine* not-really-fun, not the stuff that other people *assume* is uncomfortable, though at least 30% of the discomfort was just knowing that assorted things aren’t really working, and another 30% my extremely low threshold for havign to respond quickly to changes (as in wind speed from 20 to 40 mph).

“car free day”

Twitter told me via Xtracycle that CNN was doing “I report” spots on people going without cars for a day.  (Alas, I checked it *after* the deadline, or I might be on cnn…)

Reality check here/ – (I googled “CNN car-free”) — here are the “typical American” responses.

Possibility Cheque here – Wisconsin man doing the grocery shopping.  Oh, let’s insert it. <object width=”450″ height=”370″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.ireport.com/themes/custom/resources/swfplayer/mediaplayer.swf”></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><param name=”menu” value=”false”></param><param name=”flashvars” value=”height=370&width=448&autostart=false&autoscroll=false&showstop=false&showicons=false&showdigits=total&controlbar=34&backcolor=0xFFFFFF&screencolor=0x000000&frontcolor=0xDEDEDE&lightcolor=0x00A2FF&logo=http%3A//www.ireport.com/themes/custom/resources/swfplayer/data/images/ireport_wm.gif&file=http%3A//ht.cdn.turner.com/ireport/big/prod/2009/09/15/WE00326225/1064900/pbcarfreemp4-1064900_web_flv.flv&image=http%3A//i.cdn.turner.com/ireport/sm/prod/2009/09/15/WE00326225/1064900/pbcarfreemp4-1064900_lg.jpg”></param><embed src=”http://www.ireport.com/themes/custom/resources/swfplayer/mediaplayer.swf&#8221; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”450″ height=”370″ menu=”false” flashvars=”height=370&width=448&autostart=false&autoscroll=false&showstop=false&showicons=false&showdigits=total&controlbar=34&backcolor=0xFFFFFF&screencolor=0x000000&frontcolor=0xDEDEDE&lightcolor=0x00A2FF&logo=http%3A//www.ireport.com/themes/custom/resources/swfplayer/data/images/ireport_wm.gif&file=http%3A//ht.cdn.turner.com/ireport/big/prod/2009/09/15/WE00326225/1064900/pbcarfreemp4-1064900_web_flv.flv&image=http%3A//i.cdn.turner.com/ireport/sm/prod/2009/09/15/WE00326225/1064900/pbcarfreemp4-1064900_lg.jpg”></embed></object>

Both say much for the importance urban planning.  The Wisconsin man has roads he can ride on and a good place to park. On, Wisconsin!

aphids in the air…

(exchanging glances?)

Alas, I don’t ride fast enough to splatter them onto my jacket, just get ’em to stick.  So, when I go into the house… htey fly around.  Blecch. Hey, I’d rather have aphids than floods. (Interesting that the Weather Channel didn’t give a Promo Name to the flood event in Atlanta.  Is it because the new owners don’t want them to, or because it’s jus ttoo close to home?)Rather have aphids than dust storms a la Sidney.

Monday, as I cruised by the bike shop at 10:00 at night, I shifted gears… and they wouldn’t cooperate.  Serious floppage aroundage of hte chain.  Had me hobbling the bike along enough to inspire a motorist to turn back and make sure I was okay.  Then I found a gear it would ride in and didn’t change it.  I figure the puir wee cycle was trying to get into the bike shop nad was simply informing me that no, I really should NOT do just a thousand more miles and wait ’til “off season” to get the maintenance that, um, I didn’t get three thousand miles ago.

So I stuck the Dahon on top today and cruised it in. That kid who passed me in the alley gave it several glances…

Must also decide what to do about its original wheel… the one with the drum brake and generator hub that simply devours bearings in a year.  Time to hit ye olde bike forum and see what opinions are lurking out there…