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Monday, June 30, 2008

Gorgeous weather ... fast commute, when I remembered to go fast. I remember the year I was pushing most commutes to get 'em under an hour. THose days may return since there are more humans out there riding and htey do activate the rabbit response ;) That fella out in jersey and spandex on the fast wheels on campus peeled off just before I would have passed him...


Oh, my other favourite from that collection: " Expect Delays." I suspect it's safe to say the sign was done independently of critical mass, but in a place where the police do the corking for cm, maybe not...


Mind warp picture of the day :-) If i were to unicycle, that would probably be how I could manage it...
(this from the "bicycling in halifax nova scotia" blog from their critical mass)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Went out for a ride yesterday for a hundred miles as a rough draft for a "faux brevet" (since there aren't any official ones around). Silly WILL said winds would be from the South so I went East. Well, the winds were from the southwest. Got to HOmer Lake by 7:00; tried to get to Block but landed back on HOmer Lake Road, so I went out to the Sidney Slab and tried again... but settled for Sidney. Then to Philo and Tolono and Sadorus, where I got to turn and catch the tailwind. I cut West again at Windsor to swing by and say a blessing by St. Boniface, then out to the Seymour slab. Got to Kirby and considered swinging wider through Sidney ... but knew I'd be setting myself up for the South Wind in my face, and showers to my west which were waxing and waning... and I'd gone a purty long way on the morning's noodles and the Casey's Gatorade. So I aimed myself home and pulled into the house at 81 miles, had a bagel and cheese and tall glass of tea and tall glass of Gatorade and spun South for my concentric loops that just happen to be 19 miles, and figured that 100 is about as far as I can go "spontaneously" and happily... longer and I would do better to oh, carb load and get food to bring along since they don't put rest stops along the way and I have trouble forkin' over convenience store prices ;)
I was done at 2:00 and maybe could have done another 25 for 200K but figured I'd save the pleasure ... and eat more along the way for that. Maybe even carb load :) So I cracked a Fat Tire Enlightened Black Ale and called it a day.
TOday I just did the saunter and this ride out to Parkland... but on the folder, so even that little bit of chafing isn't bugging me. However, I just might try some of that chamois butter they always hand out at GITAP if I can find it.
So... the plan is to do a real faux brevet a week from Friday... as a reward for getting a few postponed projects progressed...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I read the trib story about the big guy in Jersey ... didn't know there was a slide show with audio to match. Just do it!

Hills? What hills? If a person gets on 150 from 700 or the little road that cuts off there, and rides about 200 yards on the shoulder, there's a left turn on Lindsey. That particular road has things that honestly could be confused with hills, getting to the highest point in the county. I like 'em because there are three with breaks in the middle - so a person can either recover or charge through them. I did 'em a few times wtih my favorite pink-socked recumbent rider (okay, he was riding the bacchetta for that, *not* the tricycle with the parasol ;) ) getting ready for his ride across NOrth Carolina.

Monday, June 23, 2008

post 667 ...
gorgeous day with just enough tailwind for a good time. Rode the folder for commute and the Monday Moderate ride, where I confess I was the Bad Rabbit pulling people off the front. Why do they sell me these bicycles that insist on speeding up on hills? And yea, it was "life imitating literature." An English teacher could have found a lot to write about watching the ebbs and flows. The endorphins were enough to inspire another verse ..."I got a folding bike for my travelin' rides, It's got that looooong seatpost that can slide right down inside... but they're such little tiny wheels, and I don't mean to be snide but I"m still lookin' for my carbon fiber frame."
Gosh, my Gazelle doesn't have its verse... but perhaps that will be the bike that satisfies so I no longer search - tho' more likely that sweet Xtracycle once I get those bearings happy again.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dropped in at Kent's Bike Blog 'cause of the Day-hon reference; included random thoughts from the "toward car-free cities" conference. One of my favorites: we've got "ghost bikes..." - what about "ghost cars?" Of course there would be "too many." Soem people already put up roadside memorials... and I'm remembering somebody's "is this a spoof?" idea for putting out an "apology" memorial... I think Kent's skull & crossbone stencil idea has too many other associations. Perhaps, simply, a headstone with a car... words or not? ("R.I.P.", "one fewer passenger..." "Slow TF Down...")

Okay, time to see if I can figure out the camera thing...


Saturday, June 21, 2008

GITAP 2008 - happy trails!!

My sunburned lip and poison-ivied foot and the rest of me are back from GITAP 2008.

This is a big fundraiser for the League of Illinois Bicycliststhanks to Chuck Oestrich and a whole lot of volunteers (myself included, sort of - I spent two days doing rest stops and helped give out door prizes, but since that also meant getting in at half price it wasn't "free" for LIB - they had to feed me all those days :))

I had many inquiries about the "smoothie making bicycle" (tho' I wasn't riding it) - happily, about its utilitarian and world use as well as its margaritability - enough to make me want to figure out a way to take it next time, hills or no hills, even if it doesn't fit on a bike rack. And it would seem the hub may be the source of the screaming (bearings) ... which would explain why it seemed harder to ride for a while. I'm not getting old, my bearings are :D It was definitely not hte bike to take on a high-mileage tour, especially since the mechanic there wouldn't be likely to have that genre of Bike Stuff on the "travel team."
Velosophie was good, too. I am wondering what was different about hte selection process, since this year's readings ... welp, they were different; many more infusions of life and hope than the usual offereings. "Walking Woman" was one selection. I liked it 'cause it reminded me a little of Dave Carter's "River Where she Sleeps" (that's not Dave Carter, just the song) which I love because it takes mysterious sacred people off pedestals.

Soap really does help poison ivy. Reckon it cuts that nasty oil stuff.

A fine week of sun and pedaling and social stuff though I am happy to have space and quiet right now.

Friday, June 13, 2008

To the driver of 38 CLIF: I do regret pulling forward too far in the Prospect/Church intersection. YOu had to look around me before making your right turn on red. I"m not sure it merited your matter-of-fact "I hate you biker ________" (indistinguishable two syllable utterance that sort of sounded like pickup but I don't think was people...)

I"m afraid I simply sang out inanely, "I love you!" and waved the sign language... in hindsight, an abjectly sincere "I'm so sorry" might have been more effective. (Which reminds me, over at The NEw BElgium Brewery there's a "booklet" of assorted cycling stuff including discussion of "how to responde to screamers." I'd just heard my buddy Stan's rather disarming strategy of saying a loooong "Wow;" somebody else had suggested both-arm-wave with a wild wail... or a confused, "How can you *do* that?"

Last night I had to get across Green and Wright. I approached as the front-of-the-line (this time *not* too far out) and waited... a car pulled up behind me. The walk segment began and I stayed put, figuring that driver would be surprised - but there was a lot of diagonal traffic and from where I was even walking the bike across would have been disruptive to it. However, I know that unless I really sprint I have to wait at sixth street, so that when traffic had cleared with a good four seconds left on the countdown, I started easing out and then turned on the afterburners.
The driver behind me followed demurely - but happily, I noticed, also got throgh the sixth street intersection on the yellow, and then passed me... University cop ;)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh! And once more, there is a brave, unsecured bicycle sitting out on the rack.

At first it bothered me. The other one was an old Schwinn ... this one is a Surly. With a bottle opener on the frame... I got out my camera and realized... oh, yea... and clipless pedals... oh, and it's a fixie. Still hoping it's not a "swiped and dumped" scenario but seems less likely. This is too individual.

Given that nobody rode off on the Schwinn, I don't *think* anybody's going to ride off on the fixie (without falling ;-) ) ... it's still out there at lunchtime. WOnder: Student or employee?

Have camera... with card... but not cable. HOpe I can find it...

Another "cycling makes mainstream" that I missed on my birthday - May 16 in Wired... "five ways to make bike commuting easy" - very ungeeky in a geeky-wired kind of way :)

My puir bike was screaming at me last night ... but then on the veyr last leg home it stopped. It started Tuesday night with a noticeable squeak prob'ly from the front. Then Wednesday it got a bit louder... I was going to take it down to Champaign Cycle (to penguin-on-the-porch fans... yea, that's the one) but had office lunch and didn't remember 'til I got back on and the music started. Heading SOuth on DUncan I stopped several times to diagnose with no luck - it's much more prominent when weight-bearing. It was well into the "incredibly annoying repetitive noise" category, except it was a compatible rhythm to the day's cognitive cacophony so I just sang along in my head. The tones were close to thirds and fourths from each other (two of one and one of the other for each wheel revolution).
By the time I got to Savoy it had graduated into 'painfully loud,' though... which I was still screening out but figured it was the stuff of headaches.
Heading home... it took a while for the sound to rebuild... then it changed on that last leg. There's still something causing friction, but it's as if something in the hub fell off that was sticking into something. I paid close attention to what the ride felt like under me, and remembered reading howmany times this week that steel is real and if it fails, it doesn't do so suddenly... this frame *does* have a few miles on it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm reading the Google Mail terms of service. It includes lots of things that basically boil down to "we could just disappear" - and no, they're not responsible for finding that stuff you wrote or files you attached to yourself in email and left online to refer to later.

Just another reminder: Back it up, people, back it up :D

(and... of course.. there's this little chunk:
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of my emails publicly performed, myself...

More from Toronto (okay, from the Christian Science Monitor) about forming a "cyclist's union"

The comments are the typical variety... I *think* we're gettinga better ratio of "this is what roads should be like" to "get your bikes back on the sidewalk - we can kill you so get out of the way " though there's the usual trollishness on both sides.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's totally not working (okay, there's student traffic).

How'd I miss this in Toronto? Got there through bike blog in NYC (via and their description of a promotion Sweetskinz Tires are doing) ... who noted, and I agree, that were such a thing to happen in NYC it would be treated as a terrierist plawt ... whereas in Toronto... it seems the cops merely met them at the next exit ramp and sent 'em down the off ramp. Adventure had, 'nuff said, couple of arrests but mostly an exercise in taking followers and leading them.
Bet next month the cops are at the on ramp, though.

Welp, I signed onto Adventure CYcling for two years. It's one of those things I Have Been Meaning To Do Forever. So, it's forever!

Now back to work ;)

Okay, I haven't had a "feed" for blogs with "xtracycle" in them for long, but I'm thinking that they really *are* catching on. (I know they're in backorder status. Wonder what happens to 'em on e-bay?) I'm seeing a fair number of "I just got an Xtracycle..." - I'm glad I let my snapdeck fade. Good heavens, the world must know taht I got one before they were "hot" :) And speaking of mainstream and hot... will that mean that people will figure out how easy it is to swipe a snapdeck off the top?

Trek's "go by bike" promo

Much like their "Women who ride" blogs, it seems they've chosen some "winners" and told them to ride and blog.

Yea, I cringe every time there's a *true* novice statement, like being surprised that the sidewalks are uneven and a bit dangerous... but my reaction is to want to encourage 'em to get out and learn and ride... I think maybe just perhaps something akin to a ROAD 1 class might be in order (tho' that could have been part of the package), but mostly I want to say "welcome to the fold! Get out here and enjoy it!"

Did the commute and the Monday moderate ride on the Dahon. I'm going to order new tires rather than wait for these to wear out - having a spare set makes sense (hmmm... I'll try to store them to preserve them) and prices of oil-based things aren't going to go down any time soon and... I WANT SKINNIER TYRES!!!!

As we were leaving for home, I may have caused Family Friction. This threesome with a Guardian Unit and two Youngsters (one around 10?) came around the corner of Staley and started proceeding down Kirby... oh, the wrong way on both streets (at dusk). And... neither Staley nor Kirby are high on the list of "comfortable cycling roads" - they're busy. I called out "You're on the wrong side of the road.... it's illegal... and dangerous." The mom did not look happy... and then I saw them leaving the roadway, perhaps heading for the sidewalk.

I figure I might have caused the child to... welp, basically get scared (and she may have been anyway). Rebel. OF course, I have no idea - perhaps this was an experimental junket and they'd come out of their dwellings onto Staley... realized it was really a crappy road for doing that and eked up on the wrong side and turned off ASAP (and then got y elled at ! We'll never go riding again!) ... and yes, saw a sidewalk and hopped on it with relief.
Or none of the above ;) PUtting Speculator Away Now...

Today's goal: get work done and get toe clips put on.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Keep up with thoes Geonzes!

Seems that since I've acquired my Dahon, the Speed D7 that I rejected for the P8 has been purchased, and 3 (yes, 3!) Mu P24's have been purchased... oh, by people who ride with me :)

Just successfully got the speedo on the Dahon (tho' it was a guess at the wheel size number). Now I am going to go down to that bike coop and see if it's true that they have toe clips skittering about in assorted corners, and perhaps install on the big red thing. Hmmm... p'raps I'll offer to update the website, too?

Got out for soem riding yesterday - did the "Race-airport-first street- old church' loop almost all the way, and then decided that the rather noisy water going across the road wiht the significant wave action at one side was ... well, I could just get a few more miles and go bakc the way I came. I didn't see a "water on road" sign, as I had for hte much less significant streams in three other spots, but it quite possibly had blown over since the winds were about 20 mph. (Yea, going South on First was slow going, but I was on the Trek).

This week's goal: ride lots with fat bikes so that GITAP with Trek is fast so my butt doens't get sore from too much time in saddle. And find good songs to sing along the way.

GITAP next week. I am politely negotiating with the weather to have a week without tornadoes. Last year's 6 days of tailwinds would be peachy but not necessary. Should get that tent out and set it up...

Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's very very wet today. No Saunter ride and no Playing it Safe, which means no womanning the helmet booth. LIke any other weather cancellation I've been completely unproductive in the "extra" time, which could have something to do with trying that Fat Tire Ale last night (and trying it again to make sure ;) )
Picked out new handlebars for the Xtracycle - I've been riding on the bent ones. Just about every part on that bike's been replaced now, except teh frame & seat post. Even the stem was replaced when I bought it with a Bianchi 'cause I liked the angle better. Got the big chain ring shifty thing lubed 'cause it rully rully didn't want to go into the big ring, which didn't exactly matter getting home into the 30 mph winds but I figured I'd go the other way some time or other!
SInce I'm going to take the Trek to GITAP next week I have to find that handlebar bag... I"m awfully spoiled cargo-wise.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Link about Xtracycle's History from the lemelson foundation

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hmmm... the second time in less than a month that the weather did not bend to my convenience, though the deluge and lightning were over by 7:00 and I really didn't get very wet.
I decided to take the regular route and the Logan viaduct, hoping that even if the road were underwater, the raised sidewalk would be passable, as the rain had been in abatement for a half hour or so. This proved to be the case; I may have been able to plow through the road, but I decided to take the high road. A cyclist approached from the opposite direction just as I got to the vegetative slime where clearly the sidewalk had been submerged. In deference to the slime and the narrow sidewalk, I commenced to dab my way through. "Bleccch!" I said. From the other rider, slightly cheerily: "Thank you for your kindness and courtesy in/for (?) safety."
I have no idea - but I reckon we both got where we were going ;)

Monday, June 02, 2008

New Performance Enhancing Strategy: Blow Your Nose.

I went out after work and did a lap around campus and felt too hungry and coldy to cruise over to the Monday ride... so I did two more easy laps and toodled home. Decided I'd grab a bite to eat and then maybe take the Trek out for a short spin.

Walked in the door, drank half a cup of gatorade, and then did a most thorough Sinus Clearance, thinking "yoga breathing" thoughts as if I have any idea what htat means. All that oxygen... I went out and straddled the Trek and cruised out for 3 17 mph laps around the block (4 miles each). Took the tailwind (not much - 5 mph or so) lap in the middle at 23 'cause there was a roadie ahead of me :). Now, I kept it under the Pain Threshold, but I would never have thought I had 40 minutes of GO in me. And now I feel... like I rode well. Clear-headed and everything.

Oxygen is a very good thing. Go blow your nose!

HOw'd it get to 2:oo and I haven't done anything about this yet? Oh, yea, that's right, I"ve been working :)

If I'd known about this last year, my brother might not have gotten his taxicab replaced. Those folks at New Belgium Brewery are doing a "Bike Trade" - you give up your car and they give you a bike. Yea, it isn't like winning the lottery - the car goes to charity.

I just might send them an email, though, and tell them that they should drop in on the July frolicking over in Loveland, CO and... find somebody to ride back to C-U with me and support the adventure. But... right now it's back to work ;)

Nice ride yesterday from Countryside, tho' with this cold, 35 miles felt like 70. Not 100 - I didn't overdo it ;) - but I was pretty tired at the end. It would be nice if the conditioning effect paralleled the fatigue, but somehow i doubt it.

Coincidences are nudging me towards taking a trip for a weekend of cycling in Colorado. I would rather like to ride back - it's only a thousand miles - but I'm good for a day or two solo and then I start talking to things and expecting them to answer. A gregarious introvert am I.

But. The question is: could an AT&T Blackberry phone with GPS switch to SPrint?

(Mebbe I need to see whether I got a one-year or a two-year contract wtih Sprint.)

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