Tag Archives: Gazelle

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).

Merry Christmas!

Merry… what a nifty word. New Year’s Resolution – describe more things as merry when applicable.

Things froze up hard, indeed, including part of fthe path I fonged out of the driveway.  Parts of it really were every bit as slippery as that night on I-395 near the Pentagon, when traffic was stationary simply because there was absolutely no friction to be had, as in none, as in I’d forgotten what next-to-*no* friction felt like until trying to navigate one stretch of sidewalk.  The rest of the world was only extremely slippery 🙂 Parking lots, mostly untreated ’cause of the season, really are “sheets of ice” like unto the icing on a cake.  Lots of people came in the back door at church – less walking.

I ducked into St. Pat’s for their “Midnight Mass” (at 10:30 – I got home at midnight 😉 ) on my way home (which wasn’t *really* on my way home since I went via roads, not the icepacks)  and shared the songbook with a fellow whose birthday is the 24th.  I wondered if it was a conscious or unconscious thing that, at least on Christmas, you’re more “with” other people, not in your private-in-a-crowd personal worship space.  (Of course, I probably could have found that if I’d sat in the back …)  It occurred to me that   entirely too many Christmas songs – at least the ones done at the services I was at – are just way up there in soprano land.   I’m gonna find the songs that are down in Untrained Voice Land, where you can sing out (or go and hit the “transpose down a step” on every instrument… they’re all electronic now, right?) .

There were comments on being on a bike on the way out (not by my singing companion, though)… but not as if it were odd; oh, yea, the folks had European accents.  The priest loved my outfit 😀  Perchance the blinking lights on the backpack?  The Gazelle just has candy canes and a red and green spokelit… but I shall leave the regalia on the Xtra ’til the 6th of January.

Windows of opportunity

chiseling this path was like unto fonging

chiseling this path was like unto fonging

Got out between the downpours and the re-icing for some nice riding.  Sidewalks are unnavigable, so peds are in the streets so we have complete streets 🙂  Went to CHampaign Cycle via the campus route and those streets & walks will be unpleasant when it freezes up again (it’s down to 28 at the airport already; I felt the wind pick up and the clouds fly away on the ride).  It was deep enough plowing through the slush to make things mildly interesting even now, though I suppose big fat studs would just do the trick once it’s “just” ice.  It’s extremely irregular ice, though.

Got my axle nuts… the grunge on the axle was noted and I shall, I promise, take the next chance at the bike coop to take it apart and clean its little self.

Felt really, really good to pedal hard and use muscles (and used a few more whacking at the ice to make a path on the driveway for when I come home, tho’ maybe I’ll hoist the bike up stairs and take it in the living room… I don’t trust the ramp not to be slidy.)

Lots of people where out ice-whacking (which, I suppose, if you tied twine around the shovel and put your fingers in your ears, would be a form of fonging).  The layers of melt and ice lent for some interesting effects.  Happening in Urbana and Champaign – I wonder if the CHampagin Shovel Laws inspire people to shovel in Urbana more hoping there won’t be such a law or  with “we don’t need no stinkin’ law”  smugness.  I know that’s what got me out on my walk and half of the neighbor’s 😛

Ginkgo Biloba

Sunday night they shrugged off tons of leaves.  A car under one on the way in was dumped upon.  Wish I’d had time to stop for a picture, but I’ve been in an odd phase of lousy time management that will hopefully pass. Maybe I need a good hard ride to get the ions aligned – so Saturday morning, when there is a chance of snow and 25 mile an hour winds and generally heinous weather, I will get out for at least a mini- workout and ride myself into a wheezing, wet frenzy… then figure out how to get the Gazelle to the bike coop to get it ready for winter.

Yea, ginkgo biloba – a “living fossil,” a non-flowering tree.  Still does that amazing photosynthesis thing.