Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Why I took the long way in this a.m. (besides the 17 mph tailwind) - love today's Frazz :)
LOTS of mowing out there... afraid I arrived with bloodshot eyes and hair plastered to my head and ... welp, I got a call from Wikipedia Central asking if they could photograph me as an example of "rode hard and put up wet." Little extra time in the washroom helped... and it gets me close to 2100 miles for the year ;)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Raining now on the Xtra. I promise, I promise, I shall tend to it and clean it and earl it tonight.
Tomorrow a.m. I just might get out and check out the philo route for Sunday's pedal power ride.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Stopped by the house to pick up the black paint (to erase mistakes ;) ) and took a little cruise. Had a communication breakdown with the driver of a macho truck - my turn at the 4-way and I move forward... things are fine exce't now the truck is, simply, aiming right at me. I did a bob and weave and the truck stopped and I turned to see what hostile foe was trying to intimidate me (in front of witnesses - even out at Old CHurch and Race, there were three or four cars at the intersection).
The woman driving lifted a hand in the timeless "I am unarmed and no thread" gesture... I suppose she had assumed I was turning left (she was, too - and thus our paths wouldn't have crossed). Don't know if she could read the basic fear in my eyes but I hope so... and I do suspect she'll be hesitating just a little more at her next intersection.
Drifted on back... still four miles short of matching last April's miles.
Hoping for decent weather next Sunday!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
this is kinda what I was thinking of riding through C-U at the art ride. The bicycle is a natural for being visible and audible, yet covering territory to inform people of a group's position about something. You can hear each other sing :) It's a demonstration for better wages...
Friday, April 25, 2008
Methinks the map will be of the Felt Tip Marker kind - finite technology.
The venerable orange Huffy next to mine on the bike rack was unattached when I went to the LBS... and still there when I got back, so I parked mine and draped my lock over it to add to the illusion.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Only thing is, when I tried to put the little icon up there, this blog wasn't an optoin, so I had to copy the code; hence, it's in a weird spot.
We'll see. It's sort of a test drive for my edumacational blog.
Put haiku on every day
Did they copy me?
Must compete with them.
I will write not one but two!
(Until I get bored.)
But it's not baiku since it's not about the bike ;)
But the 4/18 post at http://bicycle-diaries.blogspot.com/ is.
Includes this article about Tara LLanes
(yes, it's *definitely* more competition-oriented than I am, aiming at intimidated wannabees, per their "who are we:"
If you have ever ...enjoyed breathing so hard you thought your lungs would shred, ..., you belong here!
If you can still remember... on your hybrid ... intimidated by those spandexed "Pros" with the clickey shoes and weird gloves, yeah you belong here too!
If you ride for a cause, or just...because, you belong here!
We welcome you! " )
However, it's time to be productive :) Perusing... later...
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Critical Mass riders Not Guilty
... the lawfolks testified about how good they were and how bad those cyclists were... and the video rather said the opposite ... critical mass minneapolis in the search at YouTUbe gets lots of hits.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Got to try my full-body smile on the nice guy mowing Country Fair who shut her down as I approached. Gotta find those sunglasses.
Close enough to full moon to have major howling urges.
Ducked down at lunch and got its rack and fenders on at Champaign Cycle, where the rugs are freshly washed. Of course it was done well :-) And hey, they're giving a bike to be raffled at the Pedal Power ride for the Center for Women In Transition.
(Come on out and ride! $25 ... they've had big funding cuts and are trying to fill in the gaps. And you really could win a *nice* bike!)
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Rode to church and back, then tossed plastic sheeting and a handful of rocks and bricks into the bags to truck over to the house to discourage Creeping CHarlie. Then had to CHARGE out to get to the show&go on time - Xtra 'caue it's a level 2 ride. Then a vigorous ride into the 15+ mph winds and SAILING back... meeting halfway to take a break and pick up cans along a mile stretch - half an hour of unhurried can-snatching covered it.
Then back home to drop off the chunk of iron I'd also picked up (pump handle? construction thingy? I dunno, but I wanted more on the plastic sheeting adn ... I liked it. Somthing artistic about it and it's the BOneyard Arts Festival weekend.)
Then back out to Panera for the bike club meeting... and tooling back in the falling dark... to find at the burned out house on Oregon a crowd and candles and slide show ... oh, "site specific dance." ARts ;) Neighbors :D Stuck around. Ate cornbread. Blinked.
Cell phone went off. Well, dang it... I *do* want to hear it when I"m out on a ride, folks - if you're going ot put on ART like that it's gonna happen. I do NOT feel guilty :)
By the time it wrapped up there were, like, *8* bikes hanging on trees and stuff. Yea, the street was also a bit more parked up but lots of folks had walked, too.
SPRING IS HERE :D :D :D
Twice (maybe thrice) in the past week, the activity I do on my bicycle has been referred to as "driving," as in "drive safely!" and better yet "I saw you driving your bike on my way in."
I don't *really* think everybody's reading those LIB handouts but I like the trend.
Friday, April 18, 2008
People asked what the occasion was; a common answer was "Art!"
(made me think "Art Garfunkel!" and then Paul Simon ... adn "A Most Peculiar Man..." and half a dozen other ditties...)
"ride on a vehicle that doesn't hurt the future!"
tryin' to start a movement, they are... leave no child left inside :D
Yesterday's early departure and altered route had me cruising through some of campuses construction zones when automotive and pedestrian traffic were heavy. The intuitive part of me says "it's 5000 accidents waiting to happen!" but the analytical side says "this is such chaos that people are on high alert." Still, it is a complete mess. I attempted a sidewalk trip but some students had already tried it and were coming back 'cause it was a fenced in dead end. I thanked them for sparing me the trouble and figured that the Stark truck parked across the sidewalk was an attempt to suggest not to bother going there.
Then it was back on the bike lane with the frequent signage telling pedestrians, for their safety, NOT to walk in the street. Made me thnk about the kind of people who are sure that the poor, helpless pedestrians *can't* be at fault if a motorist hits 'em. Yes, there were still pedestrians walking down the bike lane.
Came in this a.m. through campus so I could drop by Panera. This meant cruising the "bike lane" with the amazing potholes... I noted that the bike lane sign was upside down at one point. A statement, perhaps?
I want my camera... but hey, I've got my keys back :)
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Makes for nicer riding.
Culture jam of note: digital snaps of adhesive-backed papers granting vehicular permissions to perch in desirable places. IMage on adhesive-backed imitations of original. Reproduction. Distribution on, say, student windshields, ready to be used. What will they think of next?
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Saw possible plans for Main Street last night that look really promising. Then heard our U of I man boast proudly about the bike lanes being repainted... the ones on pretty ghastly roads. Ouch. 'Cause our consensus has been that welp, we'd just as soon *not* have an essentially unsafe path labeled as "where you're supposed to be."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
This is the man with my hair. Snork.
(I'll have a post tomorrow.)
Monday, April 14, 2008
The Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Choir are singing Sweet HOme Alabama.
Better what than what??@@??!!??
*THIS* is cultural diversity. Maybe?
(tho' it does remind me of hte bluegrass from .. I forget which military band...)
What *is* propaganda? What is groupthink? What is completely silly? Who does their LAUNDRY ?!?!? )
THere were 8 with cute little apples on them.
the times they are a-changing..
Is embedding clarence, the traffic calming sasquatch, legal?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Hoping to get out and check the first street section that's due for bike lanes tomorrow a.m.
Saw nary another cyclist out there, tho' I did see an abandoned Huffy on Wright and White.
'Tis a good day to do spring tidying and taxes and the like so that when Spring *arrives* on Tuesday I can ride more! Feeling less attached to things that don't need to be attached to, today.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Club Rides start next week and I have requested Spring to happen.
From http://www.copenhagenize.com/ - this is how to drop your kids off at school in a bike culture.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Now, transportation is only one issue for energy use here, so lots of time was spent on heating and cooling issues, the acres of land that are mowed lawn instead of something more sustainable, and the fact that the food services aren't using local food sources.
However, when transportation came up, cycling was conspicuously absent. Someone asked whether things could be done to encourage walking, but there are very few students who live in walkable distance.
There was also an acknowledged emphasis on technology, while expressing that well, actually, behaviors were going to have to change... but now, let's talk about technology again, shall we?
Then there was the conversation I had with the fellow who "cycles, but not to work." After all, he lives so far away in Urbana. "Oh, like I do." Well, yea, but, he works in two different build... and he stopped and said "don't say it."
I probably would have said it, yea, but only because it's a teeny, tiny bit better than not saying it. Actually, I explained that I'd started small - when I worked 10-3 and knew I'd be riding in daylight, and only on nice days. THen the meeting started, which I had to leave early.
THen the conversation started fermenting. Why had he stopped considering riding with "It's too far" - when he wasn't even satisfied with the answer? I just have to wonder... was that the goal - to find an excuse that all the rest of the folks who don't ride would agree to? Now that I've challenged that... what's your next step?
What I see too often is: Note sustainable act. Recognize that you don't do it. Find excuse for it. Commiserate with peers, who then feel reassured about their habits. THen wonder why everybody else doesn't make the changes you've made.
Here's my challenge: If you really, actually are concerned - not just belonging to a nice club of concerned people - take it a step further and ask "and is there something *I* could change?" and maybe even try it. Tell me why it didn't work when you **tried** it... not why it Just Can't WOrk for you. I tend to be sympathetic.
(And now I'm going to figure out how I can *get* the food-deciders in my household to use more local food, instead of making my own excuses...)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Ferocious tailwind gave me time & inspiration to cover the mile from Prospect to Mattis in 3 minutes and get in two fierce laps around campus. Cooled down, swabbed down...
It was raining on me some goign to the CCB meeting - drat those gore-tex pants. Poured right at the end of the meeting but I got weather goddess credibility points 'cause I told teh ride-offerers that "we're not outside yet." By the time we got downstairs, it had stopped. Of *course* I won't tell about the sprinkles earlier - but I should mention that this morning's commute was during a "break between the showers in our area." I reckon my average is pretty good :)
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Endorphins keep at bay the
So I'm at the light at Lincoln & Nevada, which looks like it's not acknowledging my folding presence. Pedestrian on other side pauses, I telepath as hard as I can, and yes! he hits the walk button. I contemplate my telepathy skills.
After another eternity the light actually changes (note to self: be patient, it might have sensed you), and we proceed ... and realize that I should have wafted a "thank you" as he hit the thing.
The Dahon is awfully nice for commuting and I don't even have the rack and fenders yet. It's got great, zippy acceleration to get across intersections, and I do believe it has a little bit of recumbent syndrome as far as attention-getting. Strictly physically the thing should be less visible but it Is Weird. (Now, I *do* think I'd disappear more quickly if I hugged the right side.)
(what happens when you google for the lyrics to 'if i should die before i wake, all my bone and sinew take')
Once again woke up early but didn't get out early... but not late, either. Once again, I'm on the Dahon. It's just got so many options. I'm going to Za's afterward and if the weather gets putrid while we're there, and somebody offers ar ide, it will be easy to accept, except it would have tp be pretty putrid.
The other reason is that there's really no good bike parking there, or lots of places in Champaign. So instead of having to get all kinds of creative, I can bring the bike in and say why.
http://www.resourceroom.net/cycling/pedalpower.html is my rough draft web page for the pedal power ride. Soon and very soon I'll apply the same "get the good info for potential riders" principle to this little page.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
So! This a.m.'s entry was
Okay, first - the Bicycle Plan got approved by City COuncil last night. Hooray!!! The media... aargh... I don't even want to *know* how the News-Gazoo will mangle it.
WILL's take? That we need a plan because cyclists have to "resort " to riding in the streets. And then it cut to Brandon Bowersox talking about the plan... which could lead a person to think the quip was from him.
I knew from the very rare and generally not-too-informed comments about bicycling (such as when Marketplace interviewed a cycling commuter and the segue into the weather was to the effect taht it was too cold for cycling today) that it's not something on WILL's personnel's radar... but obviously this is a topic they feel is unnecessary to explore in any kind of depth.
Now, the first email link was dead. And I clicked on "podcasts" and it said the brand newest one was about the 2006 election (and the file name said 2006, too). I am confused - I haven't done podcasts but I thought they were like, current, as in NOW not even yesterday.
The bike plan made the 6:00 'headlines' but not the 7:00 or 8:00 ones... but 7:30's report was much improved (tho' let's just say it made me think of somebody reading something in a foreign language when describing that there would be sidepaths along busy roads, bike lanes on some roads and signs on others...)
WILL often bemoans the low percentage of listeners who are members. I know lots of cyclists *are* members. Maybe it's time for a little noise?
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Do I need to mention that there were *lots* of folks out on bicycles today? prob'ly 30 in our parkng lot.. another clump of 10+ out at Monticello and then several pairs along the way.
55 isn't as much in April as it was in March (especially with gentle breezes).
Friday, April 04, 2008
... applies to big and small ideas, including oh, bike lanes ;)
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
This is a bad idea.
GOod people: always attach your shoes securely to your bicycle, whether clipful or clipless or none of the above.
The chain does one of those little jumps it sometimes does in number four... and because I haven't put the toe clipsback on yet, the foot slides forward... and ... oh, I have big feet.
My toes nudge my spokes and the spokes seize the shoe and suck it right off my foot and sail it right around and it snags the fender along the way.
There was definitely one of those extended "Oh, this is not right. We are going to do a face plant." moments when I realized the wheel Was COming To An Abrupt Stop, and I Assumed the "look up and spread out your arms!" position as one does before landing in the swimming pool with goggles(so they don't fall off), and smack that pavement nicely.
I'm lookin' around but there were no witnesses. I gather myself and get up and stand the bike up and heft it to the parking lane and pick up the bungie cords that fell out.
Then I"m standin' there in front of Holy Cross Church in a shoe and a sock, lookin' like a wayward soul... wanting to put my danged shoe back on... but it's wedged in there so tight I can't get it out. And the fender is all wrapped up in there, too.
But I'm OK. And out of traffic. Which there isn't any of at all. So then I figure I have to do like MacGyver because I can't ride the bike the way it is, with my shoe all stuck in between the fork and the spokes and the fender all wrapped around it. And rats, the metal thingy that was holding the fender on has ripped off and is cutting into the tire, so it must be flat... except it isn't.
So I say, "I have my pump, so I will let the air out of the tire to make more room for things and so that thing isn't squeezing on it. That's what MacGyver would do."
Then I tug at things to no avail and say, "tugging isn't working. My goal is to loosen. What else can I loosen?" So I undo the fender nuts and was doing the last one when I realized it was the same one holding hte light on, and thought, "don't do that!" and just wrestled the fender out so it wasn't tangled.
There's that silly shoe. My sock is getting dirty.
I wrestle with my shoe some more. WHat would MacGyver do? I call work to say "I'll be a little late, probably 15 or 20 minutes, or however long it takes to get this shoe out of my wheel."
"Okay, I'll tell E___." (No questions about shoes in wheels. Hey, it's me.)
The shoe has not been inspired to release itself. What is the rule, here? I say to myself "if it went in, it should be able to get out. Let us reverse the process." I push the wheel backwards. VOila! Shoe extricated!
I bend the fender and the things I've unbolted so they're not going to stick in the wheel. I put my shoe all the way on. It is fine. I've stopped wobbling.
So I ride in and am almost exactly 20 minutes late.
The fine folks at Champaign Cycle helped me extricate the fender and all those things I bent out of shape... I've had prophylactic ibuprofen... tomorrow is another day!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Wake up. Stop being a bunch of april fools all year round.