Monday, December 31, 2007
Crunchy frost along the roads
Just 34 miles.
Now where's the snow?
Got out the door by 6:30 and almost wanted to do a longer ride, but decided on moderation. Glad I still have to go to the ban, 'cause I tallied up the past 7 ddays and it totals 399.65 or some such thing! Never thought I'd do a 400 mile week in the winter time :D 10,002 logged for the year. Of course, Clyde & Rickey do that without the fanfare or the grand finale!
(Of course, the question remains: what *would* I have done with these hours... shopping? knitting? housework? Saved the planet? I shall never know.)
Sunday, December 30, 2007
seventy four more today
thirty four to go
Saw two or three other people on bikes today. Tomorrow's supposed to be pretty nasty but I hope I'll have time to finish before nasty stuff hits. It was flurrying when I finished today's (tho' I will have maybe another mile or two with a trip down the street).
I have one Power Grip on with a zip tie instead of a screw. I figure I don't want to put the otehr one on because that's the side I take my foot off first and there's that mandatory learning process.
I am not sure about the things - it wasn't too weird when the actual shape of the contents did not match the pictures in the directions. I could figure out how to adapt the directions. However, I'm supposed to put a screw through a hole in the strap ... only there are no holes. I guess I get to make them myself. These things should have been half priced as "seconds."
The way it's set up now my foot wants to set on the pedal in a bad way (as in, too far to the left so I'm hanging off the pedal and it's sticking into... and my feet aren't **that** big). However, I think if I poke a different hole closer it will move everythign back and it will work better. On the third hand, I just might go back to toe clips.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Registration and a teensy tinesy bit of informatin is at that link.
I will get to be there this year. Which bike ??? Schwinn? Gazelle? Xtra? (prob'ly the latter unless studs are called for, tho' I didn't use studs when things were *really* bad that one year and the Schwinn did just fine!)
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It's drizzly cold and damp
Didn't work too hard.
Yesterday I saw the mounds and mounds and mounds of trash out waiting for pickup. Amazing. If people *thought* about that stuff, maybe we could do a holiday without quite as many tons of debris. So much styrofoam, looking for a home!
Today Champaign CYcle was open so I could swing by and spring the Trek for 27 miles. Wasn't *that* much easier, but I suspect that's just because the 34 on the Xtra toasted me, though I had ... yes... before the twelve days of Christmas were up... taken the tree down. I figured when I leave it at the shop to get its brake rotor (which I didn't do today) that'll be a little easier without the decorations. Couple of customers were admiring the carbon fiber bikes and saw me & said "What the hell do you haul in that thing?" and I said, "oh, anything I want!" and as they gazed, I said, "Just took the Christmas tree down this morning."
"Oh, right away thne! (laugh) Too much air drag."
"yea, I did 75 yesterday and it was a lot of work. I'm taking it easy today."
Bet they're still wondering...
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
ALL OF THEM on the Xtra
That babe is heavy.
Or... I hope it is!
Hope when I get on the Trek
12 won't be mean speed :D
Sixty Miles A Day
That's what's needed for 10K
Six whole days to go!
... tomorrow's plan (like today's until I realized LBS wasn't open) is to do *some* a.m. miles then pick up the lighter steed.
I might, just might... take off the tree. I picked up the decorations I've been resisting buying at their half-price (some stockings and a santa I can ductape to the snap deck and a sleigh I can tie down, and four more little light strings that I"ll use right away). Now, if I could find something good for January commemoration...
I snuck across the Curtis Road Interchange Christmas Eve. It's almost finished (and I was looking for every tenth of a mile to nudge to 40 in the ferocious winds... yes, I *did* average over 12 today thanks to less wind, but hills are a BEAR. Hmmm... perchance I should have Scot put the brake rotor on when I switch out the bikes tomorrow, as he says it contributes to drag, too. Hey, I gotta be getting strong, though! DON'T TELL HOWARD I'm sneaking up on him again ... the weather is, despite its fickleness previously, being kinder to me than to him! )
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Of course, none of the blogs featured were cycling blogs so obviously those folks are just out of touch!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Now they're using solar juice
Ain't that peachy keen?
Duly note that I
start to think in haiku time
Every time I blog.
Shall I start to speak
Words and lines, sevens and fives
Let the meter flow.
(It is a little like when I was writing about Flash the FIsh for a structured phonics reader - I used a lot of one-syllable words. It did not vex.)
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Took up most of Saturday
I did not go fast.
Big sticks falling from the trees
No long ride today.
Tomorrow is cold
But just ten-to-twenty winds.
Who knows what I"ll ride?
Friday, December 21, 2007
IT was written by Longfellow; originally it had verses about the Civil War which don't get included in the "Christmas song" versions of it, but I think bear inclusion in times of war.
Let us not let the cannons' black, accursed mouths silence our carols.
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
Christmas lights help, but that tire
Needs better seating.
Take the center, narrow lane
Got me a finger :)
Caught up at the light
Said, "Not enough room, darling!"
Pedaled into school.
Working towards the day
I will say that with a smile
Love thine accoster.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
You can search blogs by topic if, like me, you don't care to find "random" blogs (yuk- the might have coconut or squash in them).
Besides what it is, it's also an example of "fascinating obsolete web pages," and led to another: http://www.droodles.com/ . HEre's my essay question of the day: why didn't droodles become one of those "email to everybody" things? Gone the way of the googlewhack, it has.
The page of examples of "psychological traffic calming" was really unnerving to me - much like, I"m sure, a college prank pulled in DOver DE many moons ago when students took the head of a mannequin and simply placed it between the yellow lines in the middle of Main STreet. You want to see traffic "calmed?" (NOT!)
Morning's dew was 31
Still, took the Gazelle.
Nasty places gone
Just some big patches of ice
Message on my phone
Left at one o'clock a.m.!
Wallet has been found.
(No, I didn't even no I lost it. No, I don't *like* this. I hate using up karma points on things that I should be able to avoid ;) )
Jen's carlessness blog
Says lights make her feel dorky
I say "be a clown!"
Is a clown an dork?
Clowns are there to make you laugh
Blurry "with" vs. "at"
'nuf about that... time to work on a presentation...
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Forecast low of 25
Now it's 22.
The Weather Channel forecast was more accurate than the WILL one - we didn't et above freezing at all. The Gazelle light has not deemed itself glowable despite lots of cleaning of contacts and cobwebs from its inner workings (Probably Dutch cobwebs - should have snagged 'em :) )
Too crunchy - twenty degrees.
Half mile, slush and snow
Glad I took this heavy thing
Cruised three campus laps.
Six hundred more miles
For that lofty ten grand goal
Not very much time.
Yesterdays browsing led me to the "feet first" http://www.feetfirst.info/ pedestrian advocacy site, with a chicken ("why did the chicken cross the road? To make a better world!") mascot. "Click the chicken!"
So. What animal totem would I want for bicycling as I see it... or perhaps to promote more broadly? A fish was suggested, as in "one fish two fish red fish blue fish," as in "We like our bike.
It is made for three.
sits up in back,
We like our Mike
and this is why:
Mike does all the work
when the hills get high."
Of course, it dredges up assorted famous quotes about women needing men (and the original use, man needing God) and also visuals (google 'fish bicycle' images yourself and see ;) ) ... but perhaps it's time to *grant* iconic status to some otherwise unmaligned creature :) (and why animal... flower? mushroom?)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Divergent Amusement: I have always felt like assorted creative protesters are missing the mark by not utilizing the captive audience of Traffic Jams, tho' I suppose the reg5golb yaw5eerf at least attempts it. Imagine what some strategically placed bicyclists could do! (Okay, I haven't yet; the idea just occurred to me.) If stuck in the "send words at people" it could be done with that spray chalk as that Xtracyclist (hsub tsniaga s5ikeb) Republican National COnvention. Not that I want Google to know I've mentioned them ;) (But a *little* googling reveals that the chalkmeister is still out in blogville.)
And now, back to your regularly unscheduled blogness....
had to scrape my seat
Rode the NOrth route in
Parts of it were purty bad
Other parts were not
I can ride on slush
But after a stretch of clear
I'm chicken again.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Truck and cycle, turning left
No-one needs to stop
Is it a bad sign?
THe forecast low is 22
Still day, and 19.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Rode to church and training ride
came in second place :)
(That means there was more
Than one woman in the thing
hooray! There were three!)
Gonna ride hard all this month
Want to beat her time :-)
I bet she does too!
I took the studs to the limits (welp, *my* limits, anyway) - on the deep stuff I couldn't go fast enough to stay up. Maybe somebody with more nerve could have; perhaps I shall with a little more experience. I'm not good with the physical equivalent of going faster than my "headlights" show, a.k.a., faster than I can see and sense what I'm going to have to react to. So, I walked that last stretch up the hill to the stoplight on Springfield and Neil.
Yup... I took *springfield* - in the left lane sometimes, even, and it was fine 'cause there really wasn't much traffic to speak of and it was the closest thing to clear.
I took JOhn back, which was similar (I figured with the number of busses that go there it would be pounded down well.)
My bicycle led me on the initial trip out to church to take the "usual" route, not Green, and this was wise since the paths and sidewalks on campus were much clearer than the roads - even on Christmas break :) Good to know for the morrow. I bummed a ride (thanks, BOb!) to the bike club meeting, though, on the grounds that I was *tired* after the training ride and that's when you hurt yourself and it would be dark. (This in spite of knowing that the previously nastiest conditions I rode in last year I would have walked on had I seen 'em - 'cause I did the next day - and they weren't a problem - but I wasn't tired and it wasn't this nasty.) If I don't make 10K, but don't break a leg or my face... I still win :)
Planning to take two personal hours tomorrow to avoid going home via dark, too.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Gotta put a speedo on
(not a bathing suit)
Friday, December 14, 2007
WHen you really do try to write something with strict rules, whether fitting phonics patterns or iambic pentameter... the fun and scary part is when that thing you really didn't intend to sneak out... well, except it needed to... just lands there. Somehow. If you were "freely" composing you could have stuck to Your SUbject and said Exactly what was on your little verbose mind. Not sure where that ties in with the relationship of freedom and structure and discipline - it's the kind that encourages expression, not repression - but it's somewhere.
Alas! More invisible!
Needs a Christmas tree?
This a.m. I was a little late 'cause I *did* force that big fat studded tire off the wheel of the Xtra and find a way to get it *and* the assorted chain guard parts I couldn't figure out how to assemble onto the back of it, get a pillow into my backpack, and ride to Parkland. There seemed to be oh, about 20 times as many People Getting INto Their Cars perhaps because a: I was 10 minutes later than usual and b: it was taking htem all ten minutes to get into their cars because it's a Heavy Scraping Day.
Lady at the first four-way stop simply drove as if I weren't there, then made mea culpa gestures when I didn't stop... I mean, I was out there, coming from the left lane (the right lane being right turn only)... but *not* 'lit up like a Christmas tree,' tho' I did have my helmet light flashing. Throughout the ride there was that "just closer" margin thing happening, though after the initial awakening I was darned sure to have good lane position... which Ms. WW ???? seemed to personally resent as she passed wiht her delicate child in the back much closer than three feet. I tried to hold up three fingers but one of 'em got stuck in my glove so it was a peace sign first... and then I debated discussing it with her at the stop sign and decided to just pull up behind her and we gazed into each other's eyes via her rear view mirror. (I didn't want her to have to pass me again and figured modeling vehicular behavior while creating cognitive dissonance was a fine goal for the morning. She looked a tad dissonant.)
So! I shall string that 10-LED thingy from Schnucks on t here and add the little bell wreath before I go down to the LBS to see if they can make her a Studworhty cycle.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Just a little or a lot?
Gotta get those studs!
(thinking sonnets not limericks right now )
WOn't melt either; it's too cold - but not cold enough for snow; it rained last night, so I have tomorrow to get the Gazelle in.
Did the indoor training ride last night and they brought out the Carmichael ones and yea, I like 'em better. I love the five-minute "power interval" because of course you set this pace that is only fun at the beginning... *knowing* that some time around minute 1.5 it will get the breathing going harder... 2.5 the sweat and by the end you're ready to stop... and then you get to do it again knowing all that stuff will happen a little earlier and a little more thoroughly, but you can get your mind ready for it and you can also focus on all that technique stuff. (Tho' I still get contrary and every time the man says "you have to..." I want to say "No I don't!" or "Only if I want to *win* races!")
INdoor time trials Sunday, and gobs of snow predicted Saturday (unknown size of gobs - 2-4? 4-6?)
Gore-tex, Gore-tex, WHERE ARE YOU???
Ah, well. I won't melt.
(posting this from the screen I never hit send on yesterday ;) )
Just because I'm distractible doesn't mean I
I'm thinking of doing limer-bikes for a bit, anyway :)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Rode the fast blue skinny bike
Snow for the trip back?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Though it's raining, dark and cold
Long way to travel
From here to ten thousand miles
Weather may improve!
I'll get on it tonight ;) THere's always tomorrow!
Wet below today. Hoping to find those Gore-tex pants soon :) It's above freezing nicely (34) and raining... supposedly the "worst" for riding. Still fun :)
Monday, December 10, 2007
She said streets. It's what she was thinking of when she thought of people riding bicycles.
It *does* happen :)
(Unless, Sioux suggests, it's an algebra problem.)
I have studs in front
Xtracycle and Gazelle
Which one should I ride?
Brake adjustment at the shop
It's gotlights that work.
Get connections for the lights
get studs on the back
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Here ya go, John - and maybe cycle-liciuos will pick this up and maybe ;) ...
Which I suppose could be "bike for bears" too. Idea being: take the bus, wear white,a nd tell somebody what you're doing it for - supporting fighting global warming (which may be rather like fighting a tidal wave at this point).
(Except ... I just don't have that much white and it isn't *warm!*)
Just took the one-studded creature out. Those things really do grab the ice - but the back wheel was spinning a bit :) I was so ferociously inspired by the almost real control on ICE for crying out loud that I rode over and almost all the way put the Gazelle back together. (Parts of that chain case have me cornfused.) Found some serious calming from interacting with mechanical things - p'raps the right side of the brain was feeling ignored or somehting.
and I got a full bunch of hours of Mary Cliff today for hte first time in a long time :) :) Talk about the planet righting itself on its axis. Now Christmas can come.
And then I almost got the Power Grips on ... with directions that didn't match the pieces parts!!! Yes, **I** was able to figure out which part that wasn't quite like the picture had to be the one they were talking about. However, I got to the part where I was supposed to screw something through the right hole in the strap ... and there aren't any holes in the strap. Oh, well. AND - heavens - it looks like I put the left strap on the left pedal. I am not sure they really will work with these pedals, though, so I might put 'em on the Trek instead and put the toe clips back.
Tomorrow's goal: try to get the rest of the chain case on and see if the studded tire will fit on the front of *that* thing. I can guarantee that the Gazelle woulnd't stop at silly ice if it were studded. (I'd wondered how much disadvantage being lighter than most men would be on the ice... cant' tell for sure.)
not michelin man
but a tick set to explode!
Can you raise your arms?
Today's forecast like unto last Saturday's, except that it really does look like it won't get here for a little while, so my 10miles on the studs really *could* have happened on the Trek.
(Yesterday's haiku was interrupted by a "credible threat" that sent us home from school early.)
Ridge Road Christmas Trees
Had a wreath to deck my bike
Ready for the halls!
(Actually somebody thought it was part of the inside display until I rode it away.)
Friday, December 07, 2007
Last night at the Master Bicycle Plan meeting I heard a first: "Someone left their lights on in the parking lot: your rear blinky." Gosh, I hope he could get his bike started :)
Our table was graced with a new hire for the University's transportation planning, and generally people who Knew From Stuff. I talked briefly with a reporter of the "so you ride to work? On bicycle paths?" persuasion and I said, actually no, and she said, "so do you like bicycle lanes?" and I said I didn't have a lot of experience with them, since my route was mainly on streets. And spent some time with the "paths are more dangerous here because of conflicts" which fortunately there were big photos on the walls to demonstrate. (THe 'separate path" picture was a lovely path that went for a solid mile without conflict.)
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Alas, when attempting rear stud installation, there just wasn't room with the fenders, so that one had to be replaced with the Hard Case.
Several customers came in during the action, including two prototype commuters with messenger bags and an entire bicycle (frame and headset and wheels and tires and pieces parts) attached to their bodies as if they were fashion accessories, and removed with the same degree of fond automaticity that a lady removes her fine pearls. Clearly, as soon as I left, a special kind of labor was going to give birth to a bicycle. Oh, and they'd brought soup, too.
I have ridden two miles in real snow on those studs. Yes, "just the front" is still a good thing, though both would be better for getting started and stopped. Will leave EARLY tomorrow to avoid traffic, besides the obvious :)
It's soup weather :D
Sidewalks are well-salted while
Parking lots are slick!
... I decided to take the sidewalks across campus yesterday instead of the road, even though I wasn't anything like running late, because I could see they were safe and salted. Heard that the parking lots were, in fact, slicker than deer guts on a doorknob...
Today just cold - 13 - but warmer than my trip home last night. (Perhaps simple depression over being deprived of the inside ride ??) Snow's on the way. Studs on front tire - back one, there isn't room on the Xtra. **Hope** there is on the Gazelle but I have to figure out how to get the wheel off. In the meantime I'm doing the "front wheel studded" thing because it's better than nothing.
Sharing disgust over another fatality and the "objective" reporting - to quote the New York Times:
"A bicyclist riding northbound on the Avenue of the Americas yesterday morning died after he struck an open car door, fell off his bicycle and landed in the street, where he was hit by a truck, the police said. The cyclist, David Smith, 63, of West Ninth Street, was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, the police said. "
That silly cyclist! Falling off the bike like that! the door was (as the next sentences duly note) opened into his path (and the car was parked in front of a hydrant, by the way).
(and no, I do not like the forecast: snow tonight, cloudy tomorrow, then five days of "wintry mixes.")
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
riding Clipper snow to work
Only railroads slick.
Think those studs go on the Red
Work on it tonight!
Okay, side roads were a little interesting... I took Green STreet in instead of concrete and lumpy Main and the assorted paths. I was a bit of a weenie and didn't take the Trek even tho' it's Wednesday which would be Inside Ride day. Going to have to figure out the Tray Bien and get the bike out there on its own.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
How do you remove the rear?
My Gazelle wants studs.
Got the chain guard off
Brakes and gears make me confused.
What to twist or pull?
Someone tampered with my bicycle again ... I suspect officemate or perhaps certain students... but also possible just one of the anonymous passersby or photography students who, I hear, are inordinately enamored of the creature. THe star-shaped squeezable "stress relief" toy from last year's TRLD conference has been effectively impaled upon the top of my Christmas tree. I don't know whtehr I had one rolling around in the saddlebags or whether somebody thought to grab it from inside (where there are several.) It was good for a big grin when I saw it - why don't I think of these things?
Tried unsuccessfully to take of the Gazelle's back wheel, but of course it's 'way too dismantled to ride tomorrow. So. I hope it doesn't snow very much. I *could* try to put the Trek on the bus if it's dukey, and that would mean I could do the training ride later, but I don't know how to do that. Might see if there's info on a website.
I'm glad I ventured out Saturday, though - I know that even if I push the pedal an dthe back wheel just spins, the bike doesn't immediately hurl to the ground or anything :) Long wheel bases are good!!! I *could* put the studs on the Xtra, but it could be 2009 before it snows again.
Monday, December 03, 2007
20 m p h head wind
Twenty whole degrees!
Still I got to work on time
Planning can be good :)
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Sitting on the office desk
In the church office.
This was a good thing 'cause I had photo ID to go to LIB meeting. Parked bike at train station, tho' I'd considered police station 'cause it's close and perhaps more secure, and when i got back, I think somebody might have tampered with it - the CHristmas tree lights were bblinking ;)
Talked about lots of stuff - it was a good mix of "get through the agenda... but we've got some time for brainstorming." (Hey, we had to catch the train back, too.) One recurring theme was "how to get more members?" Seems bicyclists aren't joiners... You'll join the Sierra Club before a bicycling club, maybe?
We talked about other groups to coordinate and cooperate with, and somebody said something about churches, and I remembered the local UU folks coming to a champaigncountybikes meeting to talk about cycling as stewardship of the earth (it was interesting to see the assorted facial reactions to the very notion of involving religion...)
This thought was expanded to i nclude other evangelicals - like the folks waxing evangelical about global warming... but driving their SUV's to speak and hear about it.
I realized that before groping for our penalty flags of hypocrisy, we needed to consider the simple fact that most humans around us honestly do think riding a bicycle three miles is an arduous physical task. Oh, and you can't bring anything, and you can't be dressed up and... (yo! let's make it chic to be dressed for riding, okay?)
Could be ripe for the folks who *are* ready for that wonderful camaraderie of "group sacrifice" - so that they would be willing to do things they *think* are arduous ... and then might just keep going, especially when they find out it's not.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Where'd the music bindre go?
time to make phone call.
To where wallets like to hide
In a black binder
Fear of losing it
Meant I stuck in the sleeve
with concert music
Let's just go and see
If it's really sitting there
Reason for a ride!