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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My turn to do the passing last night .. a fellow with a reallite looking like Mr. Commuter was going down Country Fair. As I approached, he slowed to a coasting *crawl.* Fine (I was doing much the same yesterday, albeit *not* on a road as busy as CF).
HOwever, when I went by him, his response was to accelerate and try to keep up. Yo! Rein the ego! Riding two abreast is a STUPID idea on this road. (No, he couldn't catch me, but yes, he was pedalling his buns off.)
No, he wasn't trying to catch me to communicate, or he could have done that at the stop light.
I'm not guilt-free when it comes to speeding up like that... but only when it's not blocking traffic!!!

Somebody's gone and written my letter to the editor for me :-) Thanks, crazy biker chick...

Sunday, September 24, 2006 - the spot in Savoy to get your Xtracycle ... or any of a number of things. My web design advisor would say "they don't have a tag line on the home page that says what they are!" but...
"At Tribal Life we are committed to selling products that are compassionate (vegan), ethical (fairly made/fairly traded), and environmentally friendly (sustainable/organic). We want to meet the needs of people looking for these type products from all walks of life. We also hope to support local businesses and artisans by giving them a way to reach more people with their products." - shoes leaving less of a footprint. Gotta say I've long been tired of seeing Made in China...

Planning letter to editor, or at least editorial for newsletter (re: below, not above)

The vigil was somber yet solacing. A few words, a few songs, a quiet commitment not to forget and to work to make things safer for people and to work for changes. Still have to read today's News Gazoo which had a spread on it. Might get a ghost bike out there.
Today it sort of, well, um, rained on the rain goddess. IT was only a damp drizzle but it got to the dripping off the helmets point so our group made it a shorter ride. It's also cool enough for that nasal drizzle thing to happen, too. We were sniffing in harmony... we should have tried for some syncopation :) .

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Vigil, Friday, MEadowbrook Park 7:00-7:30 for Matt Wilhelm. Silent.

Parallel Universe Ride this morning - 'way east on Green, I go by a fellow on a cruiser, who crosses from the right-hand sidewalk to the left-hadn sidewalk. For the next 3-4 miles - all the way through campus and almost all the way through Champaign - we're a study in contrast of vehicular vs. That Other Kind of cycling. He'd bob and weave and pretty much go through intersections at will... I'd proceed in my lane and stop at traffic lights.
I don't know if he could have gone faster or was moderating his speed for maneuverability (odds are he wasn't), but I was only keeping up with him because I was moving faster when I was moving.
I wasn't moving all that fast, though - I went Green all the way and went by the school. The intersection cop waxes all official and I see him looking into that radar gun and hear, in that authoritarian cop tone, "That's 12 miles an hour, Ma'am!" I chorgled and said in equally drill-seargentesque tones: "Gotta pick it up!!" and he echoed, "Gotta pick it up!"
This enabled me to charge through that PRospect light with seconds to spare :-)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why you should ride like a VEHICLE:

This morning at sixth and Green, or wherever that second light is just west of Wright and Green, I pulled up and stopped at the red light. 8:30 ish so a fair amount of traffic; another cyclist was facing me.
The light changed to the all-walk and the cyclist cruised. I decided in that split second not to yield to peer pressure... and watched the truck just instinctively follow the bike into the intersection, then stop, pretty sheepishly.
We really do process things quickly and automatically - predictability is *important.*

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sunny and slightly crisp today - but I honestly believe I enjoy drizzly mists even more. That Celtic/Norwegian/Germanic ancestry? Or just all those years on the swim team... I'm more accustomed to being damp than dry :-)

Fall is definitely seeping in. Here's to good insulation!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rode in and again an almost constant stream of cycles. Also a large, black limo pulling out of somewhere in the U. For Matt Wilhelm's funeral, maybe?

Hoping that sentiment doesnt' evolve towards "those cyclists need to be protected from themselves and doing things like ride on busy roads." Focus on phone-impaired driving, if you've got to focus on something...

Dodging the storms... they came after I rode this morning and I *hope* I'll get home from chorus first...

Photo in Springfield paper :-) Not front page, not online... but MY BUTT is in all its glory, propelling the blender. GOod thing I'm secure about my body image :-)

Friday, September 08, 2006


I just went to
... no updates on the journal, but the guestbook entries as of 6:00 a.m. (it's 8:30 now) are mourning Matt Wilhelm's loss.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Today's ride... indeed, a *constant* stream of bicycles, including a spell of choking on the fumes behind the E-cycle with teh engine attached. Gotta say, the fumes were truly gaggable.

Okay, I was going to send this to the email group, but it's just more of a bloggy thing.

Just a vent... (but a short one)
I often keep a mental tally of how many cyclists I see on the ride to & fro. Today, I couldn't - it was, pretty much, a steady stream.

This, and the accident on 130 say ever so loudly and clearly, that:

Boub notwithstanding, cyclists *are* using the roads.

Decisions are being made as if they don't, for fear of increased legal liability. What about genuine moral responsibility?

We're out here. Riding. On the roads. As the law says we have the right to be; as all kinds of indications say we should be.

Signage, laws and road construction should be done with this in mind. OUr lives should not be deemed less valuable than others', simply because we choose to use bicycles for some of our traveling.

Safe bike paths are a great idea - but in the meantime... cyclists are riding on the roads and paths we have. What has been done to make the roads safer for cyclists?

I didn't think so.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lessons Learned from Bike Co-op:

People who are very interested in promoting bicycling ... want better bike paths.

Desire isn't based on extensive knowledge of what that would take, or what safe paths are... but:

"The bike path at .... looks so nice!" (Ridden on it? I didn't think so...)

"Yea, I know the paths on campus need help, but..."

I don't think we have the means or the resources to educate them all (or to educate ourselves if they're right). If we're going to make things better for those of us who ride on the roads, I think the best angle of education is to expand their idea of The Perfect Biking Town to *include* safe streets, until/while we get safe paths. (Idea being that in the meantime we educate on what safe paths really mean.)

Other lesson:

There's this cool bunch of students who want to facilitate bicyle use :-)

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