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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Week in Review 

Not much to talk about from the past week. The weather has been shifting, and I've gotten wet a few days. My route is all flat or uphill in the morning, so I usually have a gentler and easier ride downhill when I am tired at the end of the day (though I often kick it just as hard when I am keeping up in traffic or racing the next light if trying to beat the worse weather home, but often I take it chill). Anyway today when I got to the bottom of 'the hill' I hit my flatland portion of the ride only to be confronted with a total head wind, so much for a casual pace home. I was pumping through those gusts like I was on an uphill it felt.

I contacted my grad student association president about trying to arrange better changing facilities on campus for bike riders. Right now my only option is to change in a bathroom stall which I am thankful for at least, though it is cramped and often dirty. I can go next door to the SU campus, but that is not so convenient when it is 8:00 in the morning, I'm wet, and needing to get into 'nicer' clothes and be on time for my 8:25 teaching assistant gig. Two men's room stalls have been 'out of order' since the semester started and I don't think anyone would miss one if the toilet was removed, and a bench, a shelf, some extra hooks, and a raised mat were installed. Does that sound reasonable?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lost my Cool, then Got it Back 

Have you ever experienced that feeling when you know someone or something has just come up behind you, its usually when that someone or something is quite bigger than you. It made me think of scenes from Sci-fi movies when your in the theater and the heroes in the small ship start to feel this deep low rumble and the massive enemy ship comes up behind them. you just know its there and you didn't expect it to be, and maybe wish it wasn't there.

Well today I was at a stoplight, center of the right hand lane, and a car squeezes by me on the right. Boy was I pissed, and I knew it was coming, I could feel its presence moving up on me before I even saw it there. As it passed I reached out and slapped its side , I mean really , it didn't hit me but it had no right getting so close. The driver stopped rolled down the window and yelled how she saw me and was able to pass me, but I let her know she only squeezed by a hair past me.

I mean, I don't have to take that. I have already been hit once and toppled to the pavement during my cycling life when a car tried to pass me on the right in a single lane by partially crossing over the double yellow lines and then had to get back over into my lane and squeezed me on the left, hitting my handlebars and sending my flying. This time I was stationary, but I'm not taking that . No passing me on the right, no squeezing by with your multi-ton metal crate, and no invading my space, and I let em know this time.

I'll take some blame, maybe I was too much center lane, and should have been more just right of center, but they still don't get a free pass for such a close cut. Later I checked out the zen meditation session on campus at Hendrick's Chapel and got my cool back, for now.

Song of the Day: Listen, the Snow is Falling by Galaxie 500

Monday, September 11, 2006

Weathering the End of Summer 

Dang was it cold this morning. I wasn't expecting it. I know it is September, but I should have realized that the end of summer in Syracuse is like the beginning of fall in Pennsylvania where I am originally from. The thing is, the kind of cold hitting now is in that special zone, when if yuo're a bike rider you don't notice it until your cruising down the road. The cold doesn't hit while your walking your bike out, or buckling up your helmet and pack, or loafing down the drive to enter the street. But when the wind starts hitting you from the speed you are generating, well the fingers were frigid, and a chill was hitting me hard.

No sweat though, a few more turns of the crank and the blood starts heating up, and at that point a nice equilibrium sets in. Clothing choices right now are wierd too. I don't want to wear long pants or gloves or a windbreaker, becuase my morning route is all uphill or flat land, and I know I am going to get warm by the end even though it is only 20 minutes. So I still go now with the shorts, and tee-shirt and suck up the initial chill adn wait for the heat to kick in, but I know it won't be too long till those gloves come out.

Song of the Day: Road to Joy by Bright Eyes

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Perception of Bicyclists Speed Awry 

I've probably rambled about this before, but people who don't ride bikes have no clue how fast a person on a bike can travel, and it affects thier responses to you on the road. I've had people honking at me to get out of thier way just after a stoplight turns green after they first came upon me waiting there, and then a few stop signs further on and they are hopefully feeling like jerks for bugging me because I have left them behind quick after each stop.

Today, I had a car who made a right-turn-on-red directly in front of me, and I swear unless they were blind and had no clue I was there (this is the most scary to think about), they chose to pull out because they only saw poor little slow me on my bikey who they could get out ahead of, when in reality I had to slam on the brakes as I reared up on the car's backside as I was cruising through my green light at the intersection.

Anyway, I need some dry lube and maybe a few other little things, so have to check out my first bike shop in Syracuse. Anyone have any suggestions? I was probably going to Advance Cyclery since they give a discount to students, and I am officially one-part student among other things.

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