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Friday, May 30, 2008

Worth writing home about - I saw Stan on his first day in his shorts today! I recognized his calves from half a mile back on his preprandial constitutional. I'd departed work early because the radar is ripe and red and so is my face because I have this stupid cold and it is just too hot. Jumping from 58 to 88 does not suit my system, especially when the temperature regulators are amok.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's nice to be fit enough to be actually cold-ridden (or something viral... methinks something novel since a: *I* actually caught it and b: it has a different symptom profile htan most colds) and still enjoy a nice ride between naps. (IT's also nice that I sounded disgusting enough at work so that even if I were seen out riding and apparently enjoying myself, it would simply be noted that this was, indeed, the depths of my devotion/addiction to pedaling and not playing hookey.)

Amusing was seeing the bumper sticker where we gathered to ride that said "Consciousness: that annoying time between naps" especially since it so applied to the day, though only the occasional hacking and sore throat were annoying.

Coming back home we were passed by other riders goin' fast... and then I heard outcries ahead. So, when we approached a much slower rider, I said "good afternoon" and that we were the last for a bit... he said, "Thank God!" ... good people, there are lots more folks out riding. Let's announce our presence. It made me think of that article in Momentum that asked "why the hate?" as far as reg'lar folks dissing the lycra-clad - welp, today I saw a justifiable reason for negative categorization, and all it required was streaking by too closely, too quickly.

Now it's time for another nap ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My legs were speaking to me this morning on the commute in - guess that string of four-minute miles in the wind on the Dahon yesterday were a workout :) Seems like a looong way to a 1000 mile month (198 miles) but who knows?

Saw what would have made a great "how not to ride" training clip in front of Christie (corner of Neil and Clark). I'm Westbound at Walnut and I see this couple crossing the pavement to go N on Neil - as in, against traffic. Hmm.... they're aiming for the sidewalk. Oh, no... they're aiming for the *crosswalk* - to my right, coming at me, whereupon the lead rider simply keeps on rolling out in front of traffic. The woman riding behind him stopped, at least... and I don't know if they continued east against traffic, hopped the downtown sidewalk to dodge pedestrians going the wrong way or what, but the lady didn't look particularly happy. I did my best "No... I don't see *why* anybody would do that!" head shake at her and proceeded on.

aRrived at the rack and... the Schwinn Mirada is gone - the one I affixed a lock to. Haven't checked my email yet - Friday I let public safety know I'd locked it and p'raps that was a reminder. I hope so 'cause *somebody* bought it from Durst.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hmmm... Saturday.

We were going to Saunter to Philo, but an intelligence report indicated that a half mile of road was completely torn up. Okay, SIDNEY!!!

We ride to Sidney. Casey's. Oh. BOTH bathrooms are out of order. We send in another person just in case Stan inspired that reaction... we are invited to try the Sidney Saloon as the Only Other Possible Place With Bathroom.
we ride there (sorry Frank! who tried to find us going Back the Way We Came...) and sigh, the door tells us they open at 11 and it's 10:30.
Wait! the door opens... we are invited in.
We facilitize and dine (tho' we don't indulge in the margarita special) and go back by way of Philo... and indeed, we'll call ahead if the wind is from the East. Hmmm... time to revisit the Pub Crawl Ride :D

Today is Monday, though!
The forecast is grim... the radar is grim... but still six of us meet at Pages for all Ages and go for 20 miles. Then, since it's still all bark an dno bite, I cranked out a metric. Not the double metric I'd speculated... mebbe next week. And not a cleated pedal among us :) Toe clips and my platforms on the Dahon.

And then a bikejournal post about the song about "plant a watermelon on my grave" has me googling youtube and finding Petey Greene. Talk about your flashbacks... that hottest summer on record with the ash from Mount Saint Helen's getting all the way to the D.C. suburbs... the man was preaching to "be yourself." And to eat watermelon the way you wanted to. The google link said "bizarre," but I don't think so.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Welp, the site was back within the hour.

Today is byootiful so we rode to Sidney and Philo. Now it's time for some SHOPPING. The Xtra was making odd sounds like unto something dragging on a spoke, except nothing could be seen dragging on a spoke, and then it sounded like a spoke was dangling, except one isn't, and then it stopped. So... p'raps a spoke is off but wedged somehow in the magic of disc brakes. It's still going ot be the ride of choice for this shopping trip tho' subsequent rides will be on other steeds.

Here's an article about a car almost taking out riders in the ride of silence in the Spartanburg SC vicinity (so when I get back from shopping I"ll send an email that way :)) ... cop gave chase and broke it off and then the driver went off the road and flipped. C'mon, people, STFD. (Slow Down.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Must be my day for online dead ends. The Prairie Cycle Club website is inaccessible. Welp, folks who are up for a 50 mile ride can gather at Pages for all Ages - cue sheet is here as a gif and here as a pdf. (Yes, I'm using Fireworks and it's not even the Fourth of July :) )

Duly remember, folks, that holidays like Fourth of July and Memorial Day end up with more drunk driving accidents than New Year's Eve, since people start earlier and there's even less in the culture about Making ARrangements for Being Schnokkered. So be extra careful out there! (Here's hoping I'm thinking of this not as an evil portent.)

Snork of the day: I was asked about the Mahomet bike path. I figured I'd search online for a map. Welp, no luck yet - and here's a clue: "Mahomet, IL - our hometown plugged-in, online community!" Duly note taht the most recent post is from 2006. (Of course, it's not set up for comments either.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh... dear... I've addeed Xtracycle to my "feed me blogs that say this" list. Going to have to spend some time on the next solo ride figuring out how to manage this concept with the available technology.

At any rate, here's blogness about Xtracycle Vs. Geo and "go from carless to coolness" as an ad campaign.

Be your own cool :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I un-stole a bike yesterday. I picked the chain up off the ground beside it, hoisted it up over the rack and wrapped said chain around frame and rack and affixed a lock (combination 26 ......) to it.
I put a little oil on the chain and rolled it around a few times. I figure that will keep it from totally freezing in place. Perhaps I should recycle a few plastic grocery bags and wrap teh chain up... maybe the brakes to keep cables from rusting? Perhaps selectively mummify sections in ductape?
The semester is over and summer session has started. I'd love to know why somebody would acquire a nice bicycle (looks like a very recent Durst acquisition) and then take it out and leave it as folks leave puppies on the highway. It's not as if it needs to be paper-trained!

Ride of silence 2night. S'pose I should figure out my camera by then :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

THis little hot-spot is raffling off a Dahon in the name o' green. It's not as if I think 'sustainability' when you say Cincinatti, but clearly there's at least an effort at a community about that there. Inspiration?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

110 mile day today :)

took off at 6:40 ... should ahve been 6:30 but the intestines refused. THink I just might have to back off those picante beef ramen noodles for a spell.

Then out to Monticello, the Lions Club ride and back. 175 riders ;) A "cheater" day because the winds gradually picked up to oh, about 13 on the way out (but were about 5 when I started) and were a sweet 18-20+ blowing me home. Happinesses: 1. Butt did not hurt. (Must remember which shorts those were :) ) 2. Did not have to use the spare ones I stuffed in the camelbak ;-) 3. Camelbak was aggravating (*think* that adjusting straps would have helped), so my neck is a little sore. 4. One application of Neutrogena 45 worked :)
Re-discovered that weird double definition of "how fast is comfortable." After the 25 miles into the wind to get there, I felt like I really couldn't go faster than the pace my friends were holding... 'til I dropped the red thingy and said "I'll catch you" and 5 mph faster without drafting was totally possible for the mile it took to catch them and I wasn't wasted.
The trip back is still boring, even with a tailwind instead of a headwind, but either way it's easier to just focus on the numbers and click the miles at whatever horribly inconsistent speed *I* want to go than to get all social about it ;)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Big Brother wants to know (the EPA anyway)

Why are or aren't you riding your bicycle to work?

Lots of D.C. answers saying hte very logical "because i'd get killed by drivers!" and "I'm 70 miles away."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Share the road bus article

(So far 3 for 3 on the positive comments :) )

My goddess powers have, for hte first time, utterly and completely failed. It is raining but harder and I've had all day to tell it to stop, and it's for a not-by-myself-ride. And... I forgot to bring the Gore-tex. Fortunately it's a warm wet :) LIke in _First Day of Spring_ which, alas, seems to have only briefly visited YouTube (in utterly blatant violation of all rights of copy, so I can't say I mind). And being the eternal optimist, perhaps it means that my uncanny luck will simply slide to another venue !

Rode the Trek in today hoping for an after-work ride in preparation for the Sunday Monticello Lion's Club Sangamon River Valley Ride. Heavens, it's different riding a more efficient bicycle :)
Had some vehicular moments along the way. Approached Prospect on Church and proceeded to take the usual right-edge of the non-right-turn land as this truck appears to my left... *just* to my left, thank you... oh, and it's attached to a humongoid trailer... and it would seem that the reason he's hugging so closely... as he comes to a complete stop with a car length or two between him and the one car already stopped at the light is that, well, he wants to turn right.
S'pose he thought he could whip around me?
I stopped and backed up and let him over. Commented "learn to drive," and then pondered that he probably actually supposed that, of course, since I am a bicycle, I would go to the far right, period. (And do what? Disappear magically?) And that he may have been equally surprised that I didn't then pass him on the right and go to the front... but suffice it to say I have lots of automatic resistance to passing a truck with a trailer on the right, period... especially one behaving unpredictably.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hmmm... might just have to ask if this one's for real :)

Beer better than water for post-exercise (in hot weather) hydration

... my automatic blogsearch sent me mention of a dahon on a 'cyclebanter' forum. Urrgh. I guess it's in some kind of zodiac harmony with the fryin' pan song, 'cause it's more a little boys' room than a cycling forum. Think I'll leave them to themselves and go in active search of another earworm song. "Ripple" is a good standby :)

Nice tailwind in :) (yea, wind advisories today so it'll be aginst me goin' home)

Wore yellow... underneath the orange jacket in honor of 'livestrong' day.

Past couple days I've seen a noticeably higher number of people riding in pairs. Of course, once that's on my radar, I'm going to perceive them as more numerous than had I not been alerted to them, but I b'lieve it was a downright rare (1 or fewer per commute) occurence before and I've seen at least one and sometimes two or three paired riders on each venture for the past couple of days.

It's tough to be earworm sensitive. A truck that said "the brush man" went by. "Came home from work this evening, there was a note in the fryin' pan
sayin' hon you can fix your own supper tonight
I run off with the Fuller Brush Man.

And I miss the way she used to yell at me
the way she used to cuss and moan
and if I ever go out and get married again
I'll never leave my wife at home." (John Prine)

At least something will come along and replace it soon... I hope ;)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Biking to work: sign of adulthood because you're free from having to be "cool." SOme folks over 18 are more adult than others, of course ;)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Welp, it got too busy for the clocking concept to work, but here is

St. Boniface Loop from Countryside Day School

And here's a cell-phone-while-driving fine story ... interesting class and cultural undertones in the article and comments.

And good ol' Frazz ... do noncyclists get this at all?

Momentum has its new issue out including this article about the 'mental leap' to cycling to work.

Plan to make a map today and clock how long it takes ;)

Monday, May 05, 2008


I have woken wiht slightly toasted ears but otherwise no ill effects from the sun dose of the Bikefest.
The bus looks wunnerful. Two of the models (for the front two bicycles) were there, which was visually fun 'cause you could tell they were the same. The hand-cycle wouldn't have happened, I don't think, had it not been for that stencil on the Windsor path, that the hand-cycle would have gotten on this bus; I"m sure there's a medical metaphor term for that kind of marketing... that stencil didn't get lots of visibility, but it got mine and because it got my attention, there's a bus that's going to get gobs of visibility, like unto the single bit of nasty spores that gets released in the Andromeda Strain, eh?

LOTS of bicycles going to Leal this a.m.; enough to make a person wonder if it wasn't a marketed movement, especially given the number of guardian-units calling out instructions to the juveniles :)

My poor thumbs will, alas, get anotehr workout. The Xtra tube was flat htis a.m. It took six or seven sessions of wrestling to get the tire on the second time (the first time I turned it over to Pete, who resorted reluctantly to levers, which worked except it must have killed the tube 'cause it wouldn't hold air), including sitting it over the halogen light in the hopes that a warm tire would stretch more easily. Seemed each time I'd get a *little* further before the hands gave out... but I suppose the tube must have been pinched somewhere. IT's not a fast leak but I made it a dahon morning anyway and wished once more... ah, well, the plan is that I'll have house and garage back by next weekend.

... and, happily, the state of virginia has gotten around to letting me know that it does look like I have property to claim (15 weeks instead of 8-10 but who's counting ;) ) and oh, well, they have a backlog but in 6-8 weeks they should get to mine.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

welp, InDesign is ever so much more powerful than Publisher... but it's obfuscatory. Fortunately's "writer" (free word processor that does like unto Microsoft ) doesn't do the Microsoft Word mystery-formatting with graphics and text boxes. Unfortunately I couldn't actually *do* text boxes. Just gonna have to figure out InDesign.

In the meantime, 'Fireworks' rocks for doing stuff like annotating maps and fading out the parts you don't care about (IF you remember to make your layers :)) ... there iwll be pdfs in teh future!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Oh, heavens :)
Must download trial of Fireworks here at home... must effect transfer of PC stuff to Mac.
How to make cue sheet: Go to IDOT road maps by city and county. Pull up PDFs. Use snapshot tool on acrobat reader to grab exactly what I need and make image thereof. Insert into Fireworks. SHrink or grow ... it's vector, it looks good regardless. Add text boxes and lines and arrows. (Coulnd't figure out how to make anything but straight black lines or dashed lines; had to make my arrows from three lines.)
Open publisher. INsert pictures. Add text boxes and make a cue sheet. Confuse north and south. Go home.
Now to try the same thing with InDesign...

Dahon under the desk, skies darkening. At least right now it's just rain. I'd considered checking out Sidney Road between 130 & Philo road to see if it's gravelly in the pre-dawn hours, but it was kinda ugly then. Mebbe tonight... right now it's time to see if fireworks will at least bend a little to my will to make a cue sheet .

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Okay, what *is* the agenda on the vw site here?
... "do you want a bigger rebate for owning a bike instead of a car?"

Who dreamed this up?
Do they *know* how many (few) people own a bike instead of a car?
(I want to meet them/him/her.)

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