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07 May 2009 @ 01:34 pm
Commuter snippets and other random stuff  
Saw a couple of fun things on my way to work the last couple of days. Yesterday, it was a jeep-like vehicle with a cloth cover on its rear spare tire that featured a skeleton pirate fist-pumping and steering a ship's wheel. Today, it was an ooky-green GTI with the license plate "YODA 63". Hee!

Did some adventure-cycling near the office, in preparation (once again) to try commuting to work from my house. There is really no good way to get to the Interstate where I need to cross (at the pedestrian/bike bridge). One of my choices-- the one farthest out of the way!-- has a bike lane all the way up, but the neighborhood becomes iffy. All of the other ones have roads with little shoulder, which is nervewracking. The shortest of them all would be ideal, except for the lack of a bike lane. I'll try driving along it tonight to see if the city's recent repaving project improved that. I used it last year for my single ride, and there were 0-4 inches on which to ride and some fairly heavy traffic. ETA: Same as always, though I notice the bad stretch is < 1 mile. I might be able to swing it going the other direction, where there's a detour route that adds about .7 miles.

This weekend I'll investigate the route from my house (the other side of I-80) and see if I can find a better way to avoid the traffic hell of too many business driveways/schools without riding on a street where I have to stop at every freaking corner. :0

Yesterday, I went out on a ride toward a major street near I-80 that I haven't visited in about a year. Refreshing my memory, you can't get very far before the traffic picks up, the stoplights increase, the neighborhood becomes ratty-looking, and there are a ton of business driveways. I took that road out past the last artery and into a more rural area. There IS a bike lane, but the traffic is busy, and after taking a connecting street to the route back in, my return road had no marked shoulder and was kind of narrow. White-knuckle biking-- it's not for the faint of heart!

In TV news, I have to Torrent both Reaper and the Scrubs finale. Apparently, even though there is sufficient space on the disk, my DVR machine will only record things at the END of the disk. Which means 7 minutes of last night's Reaper, and nothing at all of Scrubs! *kicks machine* Earlier this week on 24, "Bug" made an appearance (as an Arab, though, not an East-Indian). No sign of the Senator's traitorous aid, who is played by an actor that keeps cropping up everywhere-- he's on "24," he's playing Gillian's husband in "Lie To Me," and I thought he was in "11th Hour" earlier this season. I'm getting whiplash! Frederic Lane (SPN's "Yellow-Eyed Demon") was on L&O last week, and SVU a few weeks ago. I also spotted Alan from "Reaper" (the soul who beat the Devil's system) in "Lie To Me" last week, and of course Reaper-Tessa made an appearance on "House." I think I need to make a character-actor bingo game...

Still making my way through the Drabble Meme. Just two more left, and I've started one of them. *prods self to finish*

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Princess Robot Bubblegum!: dodoastrothsknot on May 7th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
I got blown off my bike yesterday. It was a wee bit windy
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 7th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
Literally blown off? That's always my fear. :0

I went out one windy day years ago, and when I got to the top of the levee and turned right (moving very slowly) the wind picked my bike up and started to thud it over toward the edge of the 20-foot embankment. Yipes!

I've never been able to explain to guys why I don't like to ride in high winds. It's not just the aggravating effort of a head wind, it's when the wind gusts in from the side. I've been stuck in spots where I can's shift down (because I'm afraid to let go of the handlebar) and others where I turned... and the bike went out into oncoming traffic instead of turning where it was pointed. :0 :0

When it is darkest, men see the stars.witchofthedogs on May 7th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
I drove my route this morning. 13 miles. Most of which is uphill on the way home. I'm going to start practice runs sometime next week.

Just finished rebuilding the Bianchi last night... We broke it down to the frame and components, cleaned it entirely, and then put it back together with all new cables, a new bottom bracket, new compact double crankset, new Shimano 520 pedals, a Terry Butterfly saddle, and a new (for me) seat tube. Now I just have to retape the handlebars and she's ready to go!!!

Edited at 2009-05-07 09:41 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on May 7th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I envy your route (except the final uphill part).

Mine is in two halves, because I can't map the small part that crosses the freeway. About 8.5 to 9 miles on one side, and 10.5-11.5 on the other (so, 18-21 miles one way).

Part of my big issue last year was that the "house" side of the freeway is incredibly slow (stopsigns and lights), and the "work" side tends to be more dangerous but faster. The ride IN took 2 hours last year, the ride home 1.5 hours. I could tolerate about 1.5 each way, but that's quite a time hit.

My car commute goes out to the freeway, then the freeway cuts diagonally across the route (removing boatloads of distance), and then it's surface streets again. The bike route.. is less direct.

Did the Bianchi need rebuilding, or was it for fun? I tend to do only "as needed" maintenance on my bike. My husband always enjoyed the stripping down and rebuilding on his bike, but I don't have the time or inclination.
When it is darkest, men see the stars.witchofthedogs on May 7th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
It didn't start out as a rebuild, but ended up that way. We discovered that the previous owner had taken less-than-optimal care of the bike, so we (my friends who work at the bike shop and VetGirl and I) took it all apart and built it back up. Which was awesome because VetGirl and I got the experience of building a bike, combined with basic maintenance tips.