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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Not too many other cycles out this morning, tho' it was nicer than yesterday's 30 mph wind. 24 degrees & 8 mph winds. Watched somebody else go straight through when the left turn arrow turned green (straight ahead light was still red), and it was a car... then the driver opposite with the green light, who had just sat there, realized s/he should go... but only a brief pause and the red-light-runner went through. Reckon they both needed more coffee.

Bigsmallall people want 'representatives of the cycling community,' recognizing the 'distinct needs' of recreational vs. commuting cyclists. We'll see. The current state of roads & bike routes might as well have "lip service" painted along those little yellow dashes, but maybe this can evolve into more than token "listen to the people" followed by approval of "bike paths" in the middle of the road...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Byootiful ride to TOlono/Sadorus 2day. Passed the HS as they were frying up a football team's worth of bacon. There were between 20 & 30 riders out there at Meadowbrook at 9:00 a.m. :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

N ippy, nippy, nippy this morning! (17-ish, wind chill supposedly 3, but that doesn't really apply in town.) (Fortunately all the way into the 20's by the time I went back, since I left my top-layer jacket somewhere; I just put on all the clothes that were in my desk :-) :-))
Many students out and about (THursday before week off, and at 6:00-ish the weren't all potted yet) - so yes, I finally got some of the advertised-type comments about the lights as they went whizzing by assorted clumps of undergraduates (though there was *still* something midwestern about "That is the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life." Different from the "Tight light!" which was what the Planet Bike 10-watter got...what's with the complete sentences? Can't believe it's the University influence)
However, I saw just as many people today as other mornings when the temps were warmer. Like me, they were moving a little faster :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It takes just about 8 minutes to break a sweat. Last night, most of the ride was spent in the state of 'just about to break a sweat.' I could feel it over most of my skin. I couldn't tell whether it was all those square inches of surface area with perspiration just below the surface, gathering its collective pressure forces to break out, or was it the first gentle layer of sweat, already outside the skin but not yet part of somethign flowing? Ah, sweat poetry :-)
LIstened to the forecast and drove today. (didn't get rained on last night, btw) Had second thoughts when the forecasters waxed ominous. Might have been better to brave the elements in the mornign on the bike but to have the car in the garage if the wind got too strong. However, C-U is following the typical pattern and the nasty stuff is just to the east. TOmorrow it'll be time for the layers, though :)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Maybe it's a midwestern thing, but hokeyspokes have not had the expected effect. When I put the (missing in action) big honking headlight on, it seemed I cast an aura and people gave me more space. If anything it's the opposite with the hokeyspokes. The idea that you can be so gaudy that people drive more erratically seems to be quite possible, even if I've only got a few nights' worth of observation. I'm thinking that on late-night commutes they aren't a bad idea, when vehicles of all sorts appear unpredictably and get more attention than they would as part of the 'rush-hour' (if a D.C. area soul can call it that without laughing out loud) stream.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Cycle count this morning: 16. Two on sidewalks; 14 on the road. One riding something that looked as old and heavy as mine - and since it wasn't a Racer, it probably *was* a lot harder to get moving!

Discovered I missed the "bigsmallall" meeting closest to me in Urbana, but I'm going to at least try to make an appearance at one of the other ones. appeared in the News-Gazoo last Sunday. Typical of the news-gazette, it doesn't include what I wanted to see :) There was a list of considerations for improving overall traffic flow, and tacked to the end as the afterthought of life was "oh, update the bicycle routes." Something tells me it's not a priority...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Another midwestern experience.

I pull up to the traffic light on Country Fair and coast a few feet further than I should, to the right of a car who's going to turn right. So I assume my "definitely waiting for you to go first" pose (feet off pedals), and then realize that now at least two cars with their signals going are in that lane. (Usually-always this light's green and almost never do I get *two* cars before the green.) Argh. Here I am in a non-lane, right of the right turners with intention to go straight. Yea, that's me, the model commuter.
So the light changes and the voice through the open window says, "Do you want to go ahead?"
"Sure. Thanks."
End of problem.
( I was riding The Big Schwinn with the big baskets.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Oh, my! Got my hands on the December issue of Bicycling, and it's actually interesting. Yes, it's still MTV meets print media - enough visual clutter to make my head spin - but the article "invisible riders" - people riding because of necessity, usually on cycles beneath their disdain, commuting to 'entry-level' jobs was fascinating (yes! there is more to the world than the Main Marketing Demographic Groups!). Then the "lose the training wheels" article talked about good ol' Champaign Urbana, and a man's 'retirement' into designing bicycles and teaching methods for folks who have trouble with surrendering those training wheels for one reason or another.

Saw many bikes yesterday, streaking stealthily through the shadows. I *still* don't know why more pedestrians seem to get clocked than these invisible guys in the dark of the night.

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