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Monday, March 31, 2008

The Dahon, it would seem, is a babe magnet. Rode it home at 10:00 p.m. and first got honked at close to Parkland, so I waved 'cause it seemed like a "howdy" honk and figured it was somebody I knew. Then on John Street, another honk... I wave, and get "Ooooh, baby baby!!" and something unintelligible. That car turned right... roughly a mile later, an oncoming car (tho' I turned so we never met) exudes "Oh!! SEXY!!!"

They were both, far as I can tell, female voices and *possibly* the same ones but not likely. (And I was ensconced in baggy sweats and gore-tex, so perhaps of indistinguishable gender, but I doubt it. I ride like a girl.)

From the bike co-op email list:
"Pedal People" - delivery and garbage retrieval via bicycle trailer.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Got to the 50's I b'lieve. I switched the Xtracycle for teh Trek at the bike shop, and took the Trek out for 50 morning miles. Contemplated getting out earlier for more but ... 50 was enough, especially since then I hopped on the Folder and rode back out to the bike shop and tossed it onto the Xtra and rode thme both back to the garage. Forgot the foam but I think it went okay (didn't see any dings). then rode the folder here, rode the trek back and put *it* in the garage, and rode the Xtra back here. Grand total- 63 miles, or my second metric of the year. Bike shop was happily busy (but not too busy for howdies). People shoppoing for BICYCLES :D - even saw one person trying out a lime, eh?
50 miles is a lot longer in March than it is in July.

Friday, March 28, 2008

It's time to embed. (As the family response to any given line goes, "that's what they said after the bed broke!")

Left late and saw different vanity tags. CRKLNRS

I gotta say... on the radio, Neil DIamond SENT me. I remember being ready to cry on the way home from swim team practice and "Song Sung Blue" played and ... I was ecstatic. Made me realize then and there the utterly transient nature of emotions... but every time I picked up a Neil Diamond album, the picture would make me want to barf and I'd put it down. But you know, had I actually been at a live performance...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fresh from the CCB list (thanx, Cynthia!) :

Simple Cycling Solutions - an interesting angle on planning and including bicycles. Actually... a vehicular cyclist's worst nightmare in many ways... "In Europe, where they do things better, cycles have their own lanes on the sidewalks (not in the streets -- duh)..." and " of the greatest impediments to practical cycling centers not on roads but on threads. The ride from my apartment to the bus that would take me to work is a half-mile downhill. In a business suit, it might as well be 1,000 miles of open ocean."

Blithe indefensible utterings that perpetuate dangerous myths...

Win a dahon on the other side of the pond - new organization to encourage less congestive travel modes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mundane commute today. Paralleled somebody who was doing the road-instead-of-walkway through campus, but he got ahead when a Facilities & Services truck hopped on the walkway. I got off and walked the bike on the pathway in the name of predictability (and being a bicycle on a sidewalk, no matter how wide), and got a wave from the cell-phone-using driver.
I forgot... on Friday's Eastbound cruise I saw a white dove. Last time I saw a white dove was the day after Pete's mom passed. Odd ;)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Air Bags for the Body. Hmmm....

In The Big Apple (not my new computer; that's a little one!) seems the REverend Billy's CHurch of Stop Shopping has morphed into Church of Stop Driving.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I can see movies now, 'cause I sprang a grand for a new laptop. Smaller, which I like. Mac, which I don't. Macs are made for people who want to do exactly what the computer "knows" you want to do. If I don't happen to *want* to hear chirping birds from my computer, there's no "intuitive" way to shut the dang noise off. (I don't ike artificial sweeteners; I don't like artificial chirping birds.) Yes, I'm going to spring for the Windows operating system (so I can do Camtasia, among other things.

Rode the Xtra out for a short burst yesterday ... intervals with cans, whcih are a heck of a lot harder to get without a kickstand ;) Then the Fire for a little get-out-of-the-house loop. Today there are snow showers, so I think I'll let the hyper build and motivate me for morning rides during the week.

Happy Easter :) (I'm dreaming of a white Easter ?!?)

Snork, must edit to add that welp, it was the Specialized web page chirping at me. Don't know if that's limited to their "women's" pages or not. Close the page, the noise stops. Huzzah.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Welp, the computer I'm on is too old to handle it, but it seems somebody's posted a youtube of "First day of spring," and better late than never ;)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here's Maryland's "how to ride in traffic" video. What I really like is the video that shows... yea, people actually **do** that.


ad project for bicycle:
Australian explanation of economic woes:


Strapped the folder onthe Xtra and hauled it home.

Rode it in today, with extra laps (h-498 yesterday). The Schwalbe Big Apple tires are nice and cushy on the ravages of Main Street. It has nice acceleration at intersections. I left earlier than traffic so my question about being smaller and 'cuter' but concern that people would cut closer hasn't been answered, tho' nobody out at that hour did.

The little light that I thought I could pop on pops off as easily, and when I ductaped it down... well, then it refused to *turn* on. It was a really cheap light.. I think I got what I paid for :( I've got the headlamp and I leave at 5:00 anyway so I can get in some more howl-at-the-wind miles anyway, tho' I dare say this thing doesn't lend itself to the fierce miles... but we'll see what it feels like out there. (I remember taking the Gazelle home the long way and ... it simply isn't the vehicle for that. It's a tank.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Oh, yea, yesterday's interesting driver behavior: I'm cruising down State STreet (one-way, two lanes plus parking), in the very empty parking lane, 'til I see a car up there and cars in the rear, so (well in advance) I scoot over. The guy in RAABO hovers behind me (red truck of course). He's got an empty left lane and I'll be turning left in a bit, so I don't budge. He hovers, and hovers, tho' well back... and finally goes around (without hostility... and/but didn't seem to be doing something electronic, tho' he could have been before going 'round me). He gets back into the right lane...
I ease over to the left lane and watch as he proceeds to make a left turn from the right lane. I decide to do the pre-emptive wave-through to the car coming to the four-way the same time I am, because I want to wait until that guy's further away. (Okay! I also assumed that this was somebody who wanted to be RAMBO but couldn't spell it or found it was taken already ...)

Still Sloppy Today ... for getting such a small fraction of the predicted rainfall, we're still pretty close to flooding.

Seeking the ever-elusive answer to How To Get Focused And Accomplish Things Without Deadlines. I know, it's called (and I thought of it before Nike) Just Do It. As in ONLY THAT. Not even .... back later ;)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cashed in major weather goddess chips today. THe Deluge simply didn't happen :) I got drizzled on in the a.m.; the sweats were mostly dry (totally dry on all the parts I'd stuffed behidn the computer, but the right leg had a wet part) by lunchtime's errand, which was simply foggy, and a little drizzle on the way home (which was enough to dissuade me from the Seder, since sitting with a wet butt for that long would be entirely too penitential).
Awesome Barak Obama speech... what I almost dared hope for. Even readable. LIttle bit of Abraham LIncoln in the reference to how many years ago the fearless constitution was put together; little Sojourner Truth in referencing the inclusion of slavery (tho' he didn't say it had a "little weevil" )... and a lot of things that were not sound bytes. HOly sheet.
Luv that I got in 30 miles on what should have been a minimum-mileage day. Yea, it took a side trip to the store so I could sip some Pinot Noir ...
... and my computer is ailing. Blleeecchh. ON borrowed keys.
But here's to love and bicycling.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dead Blog of the Day: Purple Pig (Something one only does during spring break, avoiding being productive).
Not Dead Blog of the Day: The Dr. Codfish Chronicles. The guy is talkin' about feeling out of shape, but mentions that gosh, his Paris-Brest-Paris medal showed up. As in he finished in the 2007 one, hte one with the worst weather in the universe. I'd say he'll be back in shape before too long :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oh, yea... I *did* have one of those "See? People really do that!" moments crossing 130... the light turned green for me as I approached (they do that), and oh, 2 seconds later a Suburban plows right through as if there were no light. No, it wasn't a particularly close call 'cause I wasn't at the intersection quite yet, and I *think* I'd pegged him as proceeding (and would have if I'd been further along)... but it wasn't even running a yellow; my light had been green. (My guess is that the fellow ascertained that there were no cars going E-W... and I was like a moonwalking bear.)

Considering giving up on the search for my camera and acquiring a replacement. THinking of something bike-mountable...

Took the Xtra out for 30 this afternoon. No encounters with petunias, or other flowers for that matter, though there are a few things trying to bust through.
It was one of those days of "I don't feel like riding!" ... until I got out there. It felt good to do the odd intervals, tho' I also snagged my share of beer cans as part of 'recovery' ;)
I'll do a practice try on the Dahon-on-Xtra tomorrow, but with the rather rainy forecast I may wait until Wednesday to actually execute and bring that puppy to the home front. Personal Plan: to ride at least 20 ... shoot for 25 or 30 miles tomorrow. Tuesday shall have its own adventures with "rain. heavy at times." aimed at our we're-already-close-to-saturated soil. MOld spores will be happy...

Saturday, March 15, 2008


So! We were paying lots more for groceries today and noted tomato prices, and I suggested we grow our own. Whip Inflation Now! Which, if you search for it online, has been mentioned quite a few times in the last six months.

Trying to come up with slogans for cycling for the ride we're planning in May to raise money for Women in Transition. Something with a theme to address our utter insecurity about being lazy, fat, planet-destroying Americans who "have" to shop at Wal-Mart instead of the food coop... - but in a positive way, of course!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dahon sales leap forward in 2007

Note that the U.S. market seems to be, by definition, "recreational" as opposed to utilitarian.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hmmm... Critical Mass meets Pedestrians: THe Crosswalk! Interesting concept...

So, today I had this little problem. I got to school and... the bike lock is not here. Now, I've forgotten to*lock* the danged thing twice and it was still out there at the end of the day, but I can't do it on purpose. That's testing the fates.

Oh, and da person in charge... does NOT like bicycles in the lab. Oh, and today, we're having reasonably important visitors. And I really like da person in charge.
I survey the halls and when the coast is clear, "sneak" the Xtracycle in and park it against the wall. Truck down to bookstore. THey have locks, but no cables.
At 9:14 the Person In Charge comes in for a reminder of today's events. She proceeds to walk back out with that big, honking bike in plain view, without reaction.
At 10:00 there's the changing of the guard, so at 10:10 I stealthily sneak that thing out the door and ride the 2 miles down to CHampaign Cycle. Wave at blog-readers as I go by :D
"Hey, I've got a problem, I don't have my lock. Da boss doesn't like a bicycle parked in the computer lab. Hey!! I have an idea! I'll buy a folding bike!"
I successfully fold and unfold the FIRE. Ride it up to school and stick it beside me (alas, not as successfully folded). Throw my coats over it.
I tell da boss: "If you saw it, it's gone now. If you didn't, don't ask."
Far as I can tell, she didn't see it.
Here's to selective attention, just like in the movies!
SNork. I had no idea it would come in handy even before I bought the thing.
However, it'll be a trade-off this evening 'cause part of the plan is to figure out its other eccentricities in front of witnesses. But I just might pay for it today :D

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm glad to see this one tweaked (copyright be danged, eh?) :

Of course, it looks rather a lot like the movie here...

It makes the important point that if you're focusing on task A, you are going to miss things not included in that task.

This means if you're focusing on automobiles, you are not even going to know that bicycle was there.

This is why taking the lane is safer than being invisible (because we *are* looking for "vehicles in our path" - but not "stuff beside the road").

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

And spring fever *is* starting to break out... they're riding nekkid in Oregon...

While what most turns my stomach are the tragic deaths, I am also disgusted with the abuse of language by so-called reporters. Granted, this story in teh Mercury News starts with "Two bicyclists were killed when a Santa Clara County sheriff's patrol car crossed the double-yellow line on Stevens Canyon Road in Cupertino and hit a group of riders shortly before 10:30 a.m. Sunday."

However, it then describes the carnage thusly:

"The group collided with the deputy's car while the deputy was on a routine patrol in the area, Sgt. Don Morrissey said.

Coming around a corner, near a straight-away, the deputy accidentally crossed the center line and struck the group. He called for help and immediately began CPR on one of the fallen cyclists, Morrissey said."

I do most fervently feel for the sheriff's deputy. However, he didn't exactly go a little over the line and have bicyclists *collide with him." The guy went clear across the road and up the embankment on the *other side.* [deciding not to describe further.]

But no, sometimes bicyclists ride erratically. (Absolutely *no* evidence that this happened this time, but we need to find a way to make this just a tragic 'accident.' We need to distance ourselves and turn this into a statistic.) I'm wondering what pressures Mr. Council (the deputy) was under that had him in that condition - sleep deprivation? Kids and three jobs, perhaps? Or partying too hard the night before? Or some medical cocktail? Instead of weeping and writing this off as Fate, let's see how we can make it less likely to ever happen again.

Monday, March 10, 2008

More bikes out there this a.m. We shall see what tomorrow brings :D

Here's some "hmmm... shouldn't really be surprised by this" news: all those pharmaceuticals are seeping into our water system. Wonder if there's more or less of the stuff in bottled water?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

and on that same theme, let's just flash back...

"Brand New Key"

Took a little ride around 'cause it's 41 degrees. Saw only three otehr cyclists out there; saw four or five closer in.

Saw one of 'em going north on Race as I approached it on Airport Rd. Didn't look like he was going too fast, though the posture and gear seemed like they could. Just as I got to the intersection, another rider came along behind him. With a nudge of speed I passed her and we exchanged howdies. Then I gained on the fellow in front, who I inferred *could* have gone faster after all. He slowed... and as I went around: "How's my sweet petunia?"

Welp, we *were* both on red bikes with yellow jackets :) "She's doing just fine and will be along in a second!"

Here's to love and bicycling!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Took ride on P8 today - couple of laps around Parkland (retrieving my cell phone cleaning the desktop in honor of expected visitors). It's 25 in the heat of the day (so I'm listening to Mary Cliff on WAMU instead of riding).
It's a better bike :) All the gears felt like gears, not like "oops, shouldn't you be in a different chain ring?" at the top. I didn't even feel like I needed to be attached to the pedals; I could use the toe & ankle strategies that work on the Schwinn (but not the Xtra, I dare say) and get her cranking. I felt like I could ride it for 50 or a hundred miles.
So, now to figure out how to attach it to the Xtracycle :) Even if I could find the Tray Bien pieces parts I don't think it would be compatible. I am thinking the three straps and perhaps an extra bungee or three on top should do the trick.
Went to Monical's last night - the new one on Philo Road. It was pretty crowded but we were there late enough to get in pretty quickly. However, there's no place to park a bike. NO place at all. I mentioned that to the charming manager guy that waited on us rather solicitously, as if we were visiting royalty... social skills good enough to be scary ;) I was inspired.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Sustainable acts of charity: small-scale foot-powered food re-distribution in NY City. Get those leftover bagels into human hands and mouths... we don't need no stinkin' truck :D

Roads mostly clear this a.m. (Duly note that these past few snows the cut-curb *has* been cleared on the campus route so people didn't have to jump the curbs.) Legs felt like the ol' winter legs, though... the inside rides are over. Tomorrow I've promised to bring a bagel feast for the office so it will an early day. I've done it before on the Gazelle - the Panera's box fits on the pie basket nicely and gets rave reviews for "best imitation of Miss Gulch" but happier...

My 'dahon' alerts netted me the "bits and bikes" blog about dahons... and bike maps... and other nifty thigns, but being in a Competing Blog I can't make comments there no matter how much he begs. A girl can only log in so often...and ironically he's got content about privacy as if it mattered. (I love being a Jones at no fixed address ;) )

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What would Robin Hood do?

I waited at Lincoln & Nevada... watched a bus plow through as the light changed - no harm, no foul but barreling pretty fast.

I went through and it seemed like a delightfully long time for us to have the green, which made me contemplate that somebody might have programmed the light to "punish" the N-S bound if somebody ran the light.

And that made me ponder that *that* is what Robin HOod would do if he were a 21st century hacker.

How many "smart" devices are out there?

How many of them could have their chips discreetly replaced with ones programmed just a little bit differently?

Not stuff that's going to have high security... don't even try the ATM's (no, I take that back... go for it!) Now... what could stuff be programmed to do? Hmmm... how about like, computer chips in cars?

From Cycle-licious Blood for gasoline... Time for some creative brainstorming on the planet about What Would Robin Hood do?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Slimy commute but kinda fun, especially since it certainly *seemed* that I got stronger from this weekend's efforts. (Could have been that it was enough above freezing so nothing was frozen on the bicycle, though.) 46 degrees and rainy going in; right now cloudy and 31. We'll see if the precip stays south. It's not supposed to.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Just went out for a quickie today. I *do* like a headwind. 20 mph lends itself to those "hold 12 mph for 50 3-rounds" intervals. (I come to this from swimming and 'alternate breathing' so when I'm trying to hold a pace I do it in three counts so I'm not stomping on one foot harder than the other.)
Lots and lots of cars and people and bicycles and recumbents and wheelchairs and walkers. 60 degrees after this wicked winter and a forecast of freezing rain tomorrow will bring us out, eh?
(lots of mold spores, too. Hard to lead the singing with all those frogs in the throat!)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Rode 100 km today. Time to get fit again. Rode out to CHampaign Cycle in the afternoon for a teensy spin on the Speed P8 but didn't really have time to do the process justice, so I"ll continue that courtship during the week. March 'goal' - 700 miles and 100 aluminum cans ;) snagged about 15 today.

Odd incident at County Market in the Blighted Philo Road district. 5-6 People were gathered at first, and when we came out of Walgreens, police had been summoned ... I could see the back window of a car with a major (oh, at *least* basketball-sized) hole in it, shattered for lots more space around it... going *out* from the back seat. The front windshield was shattered in four places. None of the folks gathered seemed particularly alarmed, but that doesn't mean they weren't.

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