Tag Archives: xtracycle

Pictures or it didn’t happen

blockedroutesmallSo Lily says “hey, let me know when things on campus don’t work for bikes.”   Well, of course, except for the known “black eyes” that … well… it’s the U.

So many black eyes, though!

So here’s a typical morning.   This is the “bike route” — duly note that actually, this isn’t a great route.  Yes, we’re maneuvering through a *fountain.*   We’ve already had to do tight 90 degree turns because no, we can’t have curb cuts for the bike path so we have to cut 20 feet over to the sidewalk curb cuts.   (City of Urbana put some in where the city and U border.   Urbana is Gold, the U. bronze per “bike friendliness” and while the metric’s far from perfect, yes, that kind of thing counts.)

So, yes, they just close it off.   It was closed for construction for *a year and a half* just after they put in their “master bike plan” with it as the “bike route.”   Have I mentioned that the University is concerned with What It Looks Like On Paper, not the reality?

I’m sure it’ll be closed for beginning-of-year events, too.

bikelaneparkingOh, and see that line of cars (second one w/ headlights on)?   That’s where the bike lane is.  This is a compromise I’m willing to make — let folks park there moving into dorms — but I’d love to see stats on whether people are allowed to bend parking rules in other places.   I didn’t think so.   The bike facilities are there under duress and as soon as it is inconvenient to *anybody,* the anybody takes priority.

main street bike rackVery nice bike parking on Main Street in Urbana for our post-bike/ped council brew.   (We were mindful of public notice of meetings act and talked about other stuff.)

Here’s a bit of contrast with Champaign, where yes, if I made a left and rode across some grass, I could access a multi-use path behind Springfield to get to the happy hour at El Toro.   Parking at El Toro?  Well, find a table to cable it to.   This is Champaign (and typical).

champaignbikeparkingclothes from bike ride

Finally, somebody left their laundry basket exposed in their truck… clothes all over the road for our Saturday Saunter ride.   THey’ll go into a hot wash and dry… and go on a probably smaller person.   ERm, yea, we were rained on a bit — though we were at Casey’s for the pouring part.   (We also just had to slow our pace a bit for that loooong train to go by…)   Really nice cottons and a fellow who sorts his clothing (grateful the delicates basket wasn’t on top).  Hauling soggy cottons makes a nice workout…

quiet commute!

Seemed like there was less traffic than usual this a.m. — it’s Monday, so I was an hour later and usually things are busier.   Few cars and fewer bikes … so I guess people had Prez day off or something…

12 degrees is palpably warmer than 7.   My little face did not mind the ride in at all (and there was almost no wind but I think that was true yesterday, too).

Did not get my Xtracycle light soldered this weekend… I realize that with the new setup it is easier to take it off and take it inside to do things with it, so that I could conceivably drop in at MakerSpace without having to haul a bicycle down stairs, which given the fact that I’m an “ex” of the Bike Project, which I’d have to go by, would be a good idea.   I should also just check & see what I need to have around to solder on the home front.  I obtained an iron but don’t know if I have the actual solder…

Got an email about the latest things Xtracycle is doing.   Seems they’re no longer selling things online but have some new things in the offing.   Hoping they can make things work.

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 🙂 🙂

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…

Xtracycle N+1

Forgot to mention that yes, there’s another Xtra in the C-U community (in the process of being built).  Glad to hear that one of the “fewer than 40 left” sale versions landed here!  Looking forward to the conversion tales 🙂

Mine is running a little rough, though… think I’ll drop in at CHampaign Cycle and check out the status of The Other Wheel… ’cause perhaps I’ve run these bearings into the ground, too.  Is it a karma thing?  I’m just a frictional soul?

They’re back :)

And it’s not just more auto traffic.  Scads more cycles.  I was led into temptation by playing accordion with a lady on a Trek — I’d pass, then hit a stop light and she’d be gaining… at First Street, I didn’t wait all the way to green, then reconsidered the example I was setting… it’s tough to be an introvert in the morning 😉  Then a fella caught up to me on Church Street on his sleek old  Schwinn and was all over the Xtracycle concept.  In both cases I thought maybe I should grab soem maps to hand out… but Mr. Schwinn seemed to know exactly where he was navigating.

Back to making maps…

il peut, il peut

OK, it’s *pouring.*  I got here before it did, though.

Here’s a testimonial for Xtracycle — and I have to add that unlike your favorite late-night weightloss product, these results *are* typical.  From http://www.cogandchain.com/?p=20

“For a racer who is used to light weight, responsive bikes, it’s quite a shift. Even so, the BD has become one of my favorite rides and the one I reach for on a daily basis. The magic is that it has turned cycling from a hobby into a utilitarian, integral part of my daily life. Instead of rushing through grocery shopping and errands so that I can take a bike out for a ride, I do the grocery shopping and errands on a bike. Since getting the BD at the end of March, I’ve only used my car a dozen or so times, usually when I travel and have to go to the airport. Everything else has been by bike.

The BD isn’t the most fun bike I own, but it is the most life-altering, useful, and purposeful. In fact, if you told me that I had to get rid of all but one of my bicycles . . . I would keep the Dummy.”

magic engine killer rays…

… on a tangential search, I found a News-Gazette article describing Champaign’s decision to up the fee for getting a car out of impound. Prob’ly not so many SUVs or trucks, since more expensive vehicles are somewhat mroe likely to be driven by people who coudl afford the extra.

Notable quote, tho’ at least from an attorney, whose job it is to spin reality so hard it skewers itself:

“You’re taking somebody’s home when you take somebody’s car,” Dobrovolny said.”

Do what now?

Riding the folder today because it begged me to.  The completely nasty pavement is so nice and bouncy 🙂 Made me ponder studding those tires, tho’ the *big* drawback is that man, the Gazelle is so encapsulated that I don’t have to do cleanup after every ride, even in execrable conditions.  Still, I feel nekkid and vulnerable without a horn or at least a bell… but I can holler real good.

This news is  from Asheville NC about an off-duty firefighter, “concerned” about a dad riding on a busy road with his toddler on the bike behind him, shot him in the head… the helmet deflected the bullet so there was no injury.  It sets stereotypes of Southern Good Ol’ Boys etched too deeply, especially when the comments reveal that there was a similar smelling incident very recently involving a deputy sheriff.    However, the fact that there were no more than the normal “cyclists are pigs” comments speaks well of said southern culture and, in general, there were more than the usual number of untrolly comments.

Saw my video!

Don’t get too excited, but I watched all 38 minutes of yesteray’s commute, as shown by the camera I taped to my Snapdeck.

Okay, I fast forwarded a fair amount.

Okay, I grabbed hte mouse and dragged the little pointeer thingie a few times…

It’s a zen thing.  Do you know how much traffic there isn’t on an early morning of a summer day? It’s rather calming.  Soon as I figure out how I’ll post it for your narcosis needs.

I felt a tad invisible today, though, even on the Xtra.  It’s a summer thing, I think – since there is so little traffic, people aren’t looking for it.

Xtracycle clone


It isn’t even that hard… I dare anybody.  Hacksaw and wrenches; not even welding.

xtracycle clone

xtracycle clone