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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Motivation to stay alive for *years*!!! (Not that there wasn't anyway.)
The Master Bike Plan for Urbana has a timeline of 11 months and we saw the plans for the next few years' of pavement slapping. Ah, the hard-core vehicular "don't mark the roads for me!" folks will not be happy but Goodwin Ave. will have a Bike LANE... not a bike path. As in *marked* as such - not an anonymous stripe three feet out, a five foot marked lane. Out of the closet and all that! and the next year there will be one on Illinois, and then on Oregon.
Champaign... are you listening???
Got to ride in snow tonight, but (whew!) the roads stayed WET. Now let's hope they ... well, if the temp's 22 like it says it will be, not muich chance of that tomorrow unless htey're a-salted. They're calling for an inch but radar says it's leaving now.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Creative Protest that's easy to love :-) :-)

He *cleans* the silly tunnels in images... in this case skulls, with the cursive message "Go gently." A poignant message to drivers, indeed.

Tired of dodging major ice floes?
> B. Illegally Discharging Sump Pumps
> Where can I report an illegally discharging sump pump?
> Call the Engineering Division of Champaign Public Works to report sump
> pumps discharging onto an illegal location (such as a street), or that is
> causing a nuisance (ice build-up) on a street or sidewalk. Sump pumps
> connected to the sanitary sewer are illegal and should also be reported to
> the Engineering Division.
> Champaign Public Works
> Engineering Division
> Phone: 217/403-4710

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The REal Reason You're Broke - might be in your driveway.

Read it and click on the ratings and they'll think people care about such things!

Amazingly doing with one fewer car *is* mentioned as an option.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One Fewer Excuse: "AAA" for bicycles. (I send back their solicitations to me noting that when they will service my primary vehicle, a Giant Nutra, I will consider their services.)

Interesting idea - would like to know somebody who's used it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Google Maps for bikes... mostly in certain local areas but I'll be exploring it...

and then there's

in not-so-far Bloomington Indiana: "Bicycle apartments" designed for people without cars.

Patched tube (again). Had to put it in tire twice 'cause i forgot to take that screwy thing off first so it would go through the hole in the wheel. Left the Ductape *somewhere.* Had to make a lot of trips out to the garage barefoot at 1 a.m. so it was good it was SO WARM. No Ductape. No tape. Anywhere.
Band-aid boot! MacGyver loves me.
Put wheel back on. Get th;ings in right order. WHeel is not really even, though. On the old Schwinn you'd just wrench that fender over a bit ... ain't no grabbing and bicepping this bad boy. It's 11:20 and raining hard... if it will deign to dry up a bit I"ll ride down to shoppe. It spun nicely enough though something was gently hissing against something... but not really slowing anything down. SOmething else rattles when I'm riding. Gazelles should not rattle. Old Schwinns are allowed to. xtras wtih four strings of Christmas lights and tinsely stuff and batteries held on with big magnets can rattle (tho' I still haven't diagnosed that sound). Gazelles should be stealthy.
Pink to the west of us on the radar. C'mon, gulf, keep sending us the warm stuff.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Gazelle Update:

Developed another slow leak. Ride, pump, repeat.

Took off nuts and washers. Laid them on bookcase in order. OF course I could have done that the first time, but don't count on the memory to call up the process next time, either!

Made note of relationship between valve and writing on tire. Two o'clock. Took tube out. Found little bitty bubbles in the bathroom sink. Glad I didn't have to spend all that time figuring out to put the screw thingy on first.

Can't find trauma in tire. Rememebr that I always get things backwards and look at 10:00 too. Aha! Remember that gravel ding! It's right there... Get the BIG light.

LIttle teeny slit in tire. I heard about this - it pinches the tube and makes little teeny leaks. What to do? TIme to buy studded tires???

Decided to go to bed. Perhaps tonight I"ll make a ductape boot (see? Sioux knows those cool biking words. Boot, indeed. It's not a tall shoe! It's not the trunk of a car! Why isn't it a patch?), patch that little teeny hole, and get her out there on the destined-for-sogginess morrow.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Welp, tonight I got one of the better comments of commuting... I'm cruising down the road, grocery store on one side, apartments on the other, with my Xtra and its two taillights, two strings of Christmas lights, headlight, headband-lamp and hokey spokes and -- he must have been a Daddy, 'cause I hear this voice say in exactly the sing-song you'd say to the baby behind the blanket... "I can't see you!"

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Interesting combination ... "I tried so hard, but in the end, it doesn't really matter" is the theme song... with lots of hard riding in the video. I s'pose it's one of those "it's not the lyrics, it's the beat" things, except that I know a coupla folks who could identify right now with the sentiment.

Monday, January 08, 2007

My kind of riders : Slug Velo

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Boring Saga Of Fixing A Gazelle Tyre

You get to miss the parts about gazing at it in rapt ... confusion... and wondering what to do, and posting to the bikejournal forum and getting directions to "take the black ARM and push it in toward the center of the wheel like it would move if you pulled the brake lever. "

Here we go!!!

The Black Arm. Find the Black Arm... there it is... push it in and slide.

Voila! Fewer than ten seconds!@ She is FREE!!
The tyre is off... the first obstacle is hurdled (and no objects have been hurtled!!!)

oh where, oh where, are the tire levers...

... but remember, there was this cute tool kit that the nice man gave you with the bike...

Sioux puts those little hummers in and tells herself, “PRETEND you have muscles and USE THEM” and the tire cooperates.

The rim tape is luxury rim tape. The tube even looks, oh, just more “luxury bike” than other tubes. It's got writing on it that isn't in English.

These are Woods valves?? How to get them OUT??? (p'raps we'll patch on the fly).

There is a fat screwy thing and a skinnyh screwy thing. Fat one comes off first.

Sioux successfully extracts tire.

Sioux successfully changes Road Morph from Schrader to Presta. (Personal Best – First Try!)

Sioux pumps up tire. Thinks she hears hissing. No, it's the computer.

Sioux decides this will not be the first time she found a leak without dunking. She takes the pump off, which takes half of that valve off and all that air is gone. Oops!

She sticks the valve back in. Tries again. Noope. She takes pictures of the valve pieces in Correct and Wrong places so that the tire can see what it should do.

Third attempt...noipe. Fourth attempt revision: we'll pull on the valve, not the pump. Duh :) (However, in ten attempts we'll just put another tube in it and Ask The Man for help patching it. )

Two attempts later... there must be some kind of sproingenheimer that's supposed to keep the valve thingy in there that isn't in the right place to lock it there, or something. We'll give it two more tries...

I don't care, I really want to patch this bad boy, even if I can't pump it up later. So bring the pump and the whole schootchala to the water.

That's not enough ... so we ponder... and say “what can we change?” Let's see if those other skinny and fat screwy thingies can go back.

Voila! Clumsy attempt at immersion in a very large under-bed rubbermaid that we've got tilted over the sink, and Leak is Located, as well as two other disgustingly neat patches. However Sioux is consoled. When she saw that this was, indeed, a Dutch tube she thought perhaps this pristine bike's tubes had not yet been so much as tickled, and that she had crudely abused it. Perhaps abused, but not crudely.

Half an hour spent finding the patches purchased Friday and so painstakingly placed where they wouldn't be lost. ah, well, that bookshelf is neater.

Patch applied.

Now the terrifying part. Will we be able to reconstruct and recover all those sproingers and thingywhoppers? Take fat screwy thing off. Put tube in tire. Remember the order of things and take tube out of tire and put tire half on wheel.

Oh, yes, we did remember to go over that tire and look for compromises, glass, etc. Nothing discernible.

Super Thumhbs!!! We got the tire on there. (No biceps, but adequate fine motor skills and thumbs.

Okay, put fat thingy on, no that ain't right. Fat one came off first. Goes on last.

Skinny thing. Then fat thing. Not happy because it doesn't look like the back wheel at all. Hmmm. Welp, the back tire was a replacement. Maybe different flavor tube, too?

welp, we did some more screwing and fiddling and now the bottom screw thingy is all the way down and it looks like the back wheel.
There is one left over little thingy but who knows which tire of life that came from?

Okay, the other thingies. Oh, dear.

We put the wheel back in the place.
Where does it all go????? There's that arm... it's just a-hangin'. O noingo. that nice picture isn't big enough to show where the danglin' thing goes. One of the doofus's rooles of fixing things is that things aren't supposed to be dangling from moving parts. Christmas trees, yes. Tires, no.

Okay, the other rule is that if it ain't danglin' it musta stuck into something. Is there a place to stick it?

Boomsala! There's a place to stick the dangler thinhg. And oh, my, that little sticking oiut thingy can tuck behind that notchy place and now it feels just like when we were going the other direction! And we step on the brake... oops... let's step on the front brake... and it stops the wheel :) :)

Just a few dozen more little thingywhoppers to go... why doesn't the valve cap fit any more?

Switched with the back? Well, it doesn't fit there, either.

Two tire levers... let's put them and this extra screwy thing in the SIMSON tin where there is another screwy thing so it's an extra extra screwy thing and a spare part, not a left-off part. We feel better.

Okay, where do the washers go? We do our best analytical thinking and stick them on. We will have LBS dude check that.

Where's the last lonely eagle? I mean the last, lonely nut that I gouged with the vise grip, with the cute gazelle on the top... Over there, next to the valve cap... one that fits!!! Okay, that tiny one must be another Spare Part From Another Mother.

Wow... could it be? Okay, where is that adjustable thingy. In the meantime break out Sam Adams. Sweetness! That church key on the bottom of those Reef Sandals works!

And here's the third tire lever right by my side :)

One wrench away from riding back and posting this...

YAY! We found the wrench, we tightened the nuts... we're here!

Orchard Downs "Secret Access" route!

I have been made privy to the Secret Back Way Into Campus from Orchard Downs! I can't give away my source - but now I am going to TELL THE WORLD! :D

Just Click HEre for pictures and directions. I tried to figure out where it was on Google's pedometer, but I couldn't. Obviously it's so secret that "they've" made sure of that ;)

This little route does a little wrong-way stuff, a little off-road stuff, but it's basically a safe and commonly-used route which **could** be very, very much improved if, um, cyclists were actually included in the planning process for the Big Bad Changes going on in ORchard Downs which people like the CHancellor like to tout.

I rode 64 miles yesterday... today it is slimy and raining and I'm allergy-infested. Sorry, kittens, we'll all just have to sleep alone and I'm going back to My HOuse (to try to figure out the Gazelle).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Fritz Miericke of Champaign Cycle and all kinds of mountain biking and cycling support for many moons has passed away, unexpectedly. He was the man who would invite you in for hot chocolate ... who hooked me up with my Gazelle last November... who *listened* to people (even if he did say "at our age we're not trying to get faster" to someone that wasn't true for) and helped them find the bike that was right for them... who told me I should **go** 18 mph on the RAIN ride because after riding my clunkers, yes, I could so, when everybody else was saying 'be careful, take it slow!" (and he was right ;))
Acutely missed already.

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