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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This is how the star-spangled banner should be sung. (Listen through.)


Xtracycle's latest offering:


I want to move to wyoming :-)

I am loving my little string of lights. THey're justenough bigger than the Walgreen's dudes. With the little blue spoke light up front that I don't have to turn on, and my generator light that I usually leave on, I can be pretty danged illuminated with a poke at the back of my helmet and one switch on the saddlebags. Tracking battery life - it's been two nights with about an hour's ride each time.

Shaved a squirrel this morning. Glad it *had* registered my existence and was turning around - maybe I shouldn't grease the chain after all.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Howard, Howard :) REading the fine print where reading the fine print is due: The list was *sent* to David Letterman in the *hopes* that he would use it and promote pirate day; however, the show was "dark" that week and it didn't happen. I'd hate to give David Letterman's writers credit when a mess of pirates deserved it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I arrived at work loving everybody and thinking that banana the lady was carrying down the hall was a singularly elegant and beautiful expression of life and creation.

The endorphins take a good hour to wear off :)

We were all told to leave campus around 1:00 after being told not to drink the water and then not to wash or flush. Latest is that we *will*, in fact, have school tomorrow (contrary to the dismissal announcement). Something about misinformation... ah, well, time to get out and ride! It's 88... gas is about 2.88 a gallon but oil's going for $82/barrel. I went to Champaign Cycle on the way home so I *could* flush... and Scot tells me they'll have brightly colored helmet covers coming in so as people who ride in the rain as I did last night will be drier (I suppose if I'd also worn rain gear it might have mattered!) and warmer and even more visible. Hmmm... but will they work with the helmet lights?

Stolen from bj in honor of Talk like a Pirate Day yesterday:

Ten pickup lines for "talk like a pirate" day... hmmm.... I'm feeling the compulsion to compose a few from the other gender perspective... now, there's something to consider whilst riding (so who says this isn't cycling related!)

10 . Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?

9. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?

8. Come on up and see me urchins.

7. Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.

6. I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon.

5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?

4. How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?

3. Ya know, darlin', I'm 97 percent chum free.

2. Well, blow me down!

And the number one pickup line for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day is:

1. Prepare to be boarded.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Yesterday I went by the bike shop for Tri-LUbe for the Bike Coopwho were having a wheel-building frenzy. Got the chain checked at the same time. Measured fine... but it was a "slow Saturday." They had that bicycle up on the stand and the adjustmentizers going and the tri-lube going into all these little brakey parts and because it was a slow Saturday Suddenly I had a new noodle and cable and all kinds of unnamed parts were flying around and little tri-lube droplets dribbling everywhere. I didn't knew mechanickizing was so much fun to watch!

The day before yesterday was also a day of Purchasing New STuff, which I will attemptto put photos up for when I find the little cable. THe new Trek light mounting for their Flare 7 and Flare 10 will snap very nicely around the back of the Vapor helmet (and, I"m sure, whatever the next higher up helmet is). Seemed to my sensitive ears that the telltale "we're slowing down because we don't know what that thing up there is" sound was happening at a very nice, comfortably distant distance. The Flare 10 has a couple of LEDs that are sidewards for 360 degrees; I went with that because the "frontward" ones were angled so were good side-angle LEDs (I don't exactly need for lights to face the back of my head ;)) . Something wedged in there would improve the angle a bit ... I'm thinking a bud vase ...

Friday, September 14, 2007

How to ride a bike in a skirt (how to ride like a diva) here :)


I can't believe somebody actually *did* this. This blog is aptly named...

Had to hang out at Prospect for oh, 2 or 3 minutes today (2 light cycles). In that time, however, I watched 3 cyclists go through the light up at University, and another 5 0r 6 wait there, and there were three of us that half-block down. Maybe a sample size distortion but we were, not for the first time, a significant percentage of the vehicles on the road.
Supposed to be nippy tomorrow ;) Going to put together my "more weather cycling" web guide...

Monday, September 10, 2007

You know it's an endorphin morning when you arrive at work and you're just sure that everything and everybody are just going to be ALL RIGHT, really... when you actually didn't get any of those little things done this a.m. that you were going to and... well, there's no *logical* reason for that feeling. (Note to self: consider knocking off the 8-mile loop at 6:00 a.m. and seeing if bliss helps productivity or not. And who knows, maybe it was just a psychic moment...)

Would have liked to have a camera on my helmet this a.m. three times. First for the incredibly sweet snapshot of the grey-haired man walking with the little kid who was clutching a flag; both of them contrasting visages of ambiguous ethnicity. Second and third for the contrast in motoring styles where vehicles come in from Duncan Road to the college. I'm riding Southbound and a northbound-but-turning-left car should by all means yield to me but because he sees the layout quickly, he cuts over and is on his way before I'm even in that first part of the intersection. The Westbound exit lane is separated from the Eastbound entrance lane by a gore of sorts, about 20 feed wide? ... So. I'm moving forward 'cause it's my turn, and the "coming into college running late" folks are easing in, too... mostly curling through and going right, which this lady is doing with like gobs of time and room... and then she sees me, a completely distressed expression comes over her and she brakes and waits for me to cross. She was going the same direction as me, and faster, with two car lengths between us... but when I entered her field of vision it was a surprise and she didn't have time to process that. (I know that because I have been there and done that. This is why I don't suck the wheels of strangers much, but that's yesterday's story!))

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I heard and believe that there were 155 riders through town today in memory and celebration of Matt Wilhelm's life, most of us with "Drive now, talk later" T-shirts.

Friday, September 07, 2007


This looks pretty. I am infatuated. ... I must be visually hungry :)


My dream bike.

Let me be the first to inform you that there are changes in the psychic energy forces of this day. That could be the only explanation for the tenfold increase in interactions with humans on the commute in. Saying howdy to Frank as I got onto the road, as he rode up to school wasn't so weird... and Craig waving and shouting "Hi, Sue!!" from his Jeep at Main Street was normal behavior for him, even if we generally don't cross geographical paths, but that's when I thought "okay, it's an odd morning."
The next couple of miles were packed full of "coincidental" situations that meant instead of just passing by, I was interacting with people. Squirrels were squirrelier (usually one good chirp sends them bounding for the trees), dogs wandered further, that guy on a bicycle (not a cyclist, that's for sure) had to meander all over the road so I could announce "one side or the other would be good" (realizing he was not going to discern words through the headphones or whatever haze he was in). Hey, it's a good thing I am not in any kind of hurry - but I have left ten minutes early before (hmmm.... perhaps not since classes were in session with this route?). The topper was the lady at the corner of Bradley and Country Fair, calling out to somebody in a car... "Hi, Lisa!!" ... except when I crossed the street she asked me, "Isn't your name lisa?" I managed to say "No," without laughing too hard... I don't t hink she'd understand if I explained it's just a warp in my psychic vibrations or something, me being the center of the universe and the driving force behind all of this of course :) (Oh, yea, among the interactions was a fellow on Prospect who ***really*** wanted to wait for me at Clark with a gap between him and the next car but a light that had turned green. I had to put both feet down. I mean, when he first stopped there was a car behind him who, of course, just went around him. Which would have been at me... and even though there wasn't another car after that and I prolly could have made it, it was another ten whole seconds before I could go after he gave up and went forward.
However, the rest of my day wasn't too weird. I had wanted to leave early but a: I had folks in the lab 'til closing time (on Friday to boot)... and it was POURING at 4:40. I duly informed people that it would stop so I could ride home... and it did :)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today seemed a good day to Discard Drafts. Flush out that stuff and acknowledge that it Ain't Gonna Happen so it's time to start fresh pages instead of dwelling upon what you might get around to!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The grapevine tells me taht our dear Governor decided that saying planners "Shall" consider bicycles and pedestrians in planning would be, um, too indicative of gonadal tissue. Okay, it would involve caring about the lives of people he doesn't need to care about (most of us). So, "complete streets" aren't getting his okay for ILlinois.

Unfortunately he's already alienated so many people that I am sure that letting him know my reaction would matter even less than my well-being does.

On the plus side, today the "balanced schedule" schools did their "bike and walk to school" day... and at Barkstall, it didn't really seem like a big deal because there's a bike rack full of cycles there usually. IT's a cheesy bike rack (suggesting the typical pattern of the Folks IN Power being out of touch with the needs of the people they affect with their decisions), but it's used. Lots and lots of folks were walking and riding... and not because it was a special day :)

No surprise, though, that when people have tried to engage the folks concerned with traffic, they've come at it from the "oh, the cars are having trouble?" point of view instead of considering the peds and cyclists.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


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