Monday, June 20, 2011

Bike Commute 2011 - Days 24 - 26

I bracketed the 25th day, which gets me to 1/3d my goal this year; and I'm only 4 shy of all the commutes I did by bike last year.

Day 24 was Friday, 10 Jun 11.  I have no notes for that day at all.  On Monday, 13 Jun 11 I drove my clothes in.

Day 25 - Tuesday, 14 Jun 11
IN -

It was in the 50s again. I saw a deer on Atkinson, I don't know if it cross the road, but I saw it on the side going away from the road. I think it may have crossed right in front of me when I was glancing down at my gears.

It was very quiet and that struck me. I started thinking about silent animals, like gariaffes. I thought it was odd that most land animals make sounds, but most sea animals, except the mammals don't make sounds even though sound travels better underwater.

Then I thought that maybe marine animals make sounds, except that the higher transmission capability of water means that they never had to develop very loud vocalizations because they didn't need them.

Finally I was thinking about how whales sing only underwater and they don't, as far as I know, use air to make the sounds.

It was when I was thinking about whale songs that I heard what sounded like a snorting bull just to my left.

It was a freight train, bigger than any whale sitting there waiting to cross the road. It was probably less than 50 meters from me, far enough not to set off the alarm gates, but certainly close enough to scare the heck out of me.

By the time I got on the work campus and had the presence of mind to take a picture, I was not in a good place to take a shot.


It was extremely pleasant so I took the Des Plaines River Trail to get south from Atkinson. I took a bunch of pictures including one that is of the underpass that earlier I had pictured flooded.

I took almost all the pictures on-the-fly, or in-the-saddle, literally. As I rode along I took out my phone and switched it to camera for the pictures.

The first is an apple orchard on Atkinson, at least I think it's an orchard.

Pretty sure this is an apple orchard
Then I took several of the River Trail.
Under the underpass I had to stop, but I stayed on my bike. As I was taking the picture of one of the signs I tried to ride in little circles to take it, but the path there has a very steep incline and I was afraid I'd drop the phone in the river, so I had to stop.

Additionally, one of my daughters was at Carmel Catholic High School for a baseball game, so I stopped by there to embarrass her, er, I mean to say, "Hi."

Day 26 - Wednesday,  15 Jun 11
IN -

Rain. When I opened the garage door I saw lightning, but it was dry. I pulled the bike out and I felt one drop, just one drop on my lip. I stopped and looked around, trying to decide. My rule is that if it is already raining when I'm leaving then I don't ride. I saw one more drop on the driveway.

I decided to man-up and go. I'm getting there in about 37 minutes and I thought maybe I could beat the worst of it.

I started riding and got a dozen more raindrops by the time I got out of the subdivision. Half way and it was raining lightly, probably no more than if I sweat heavily. That was all good.

By the time I got to St. Mary's it was coming down. When I pulled off into the subdivision to get to Atkinson, almost within sight of work it opened up. It was raining so hard I had to take off the safety glasses I wear so that I could see.

It rained like that until I got to my building. I had decided to go in the back door, rather than go around to the front in order to get out of the rain. By the time I got to the door it saw a drizzle again.

It was pretty cool, in the 60os with a good wind (I felt like it was a headwind, but my time and the weather service say differently). By the time I got in I was cold. I took a shower which is unusual, but now I'm clean, smell nice and I'm warm.

It looks like it's a pretty good chance of rain all day. I want a bowl of soup.


More rain! Actually, it was sort of misting when I left work and it didn't really rain until I was waiting to cross Midlothian to get into my subdivision.

For some reason the last two days there has been a lot of traffic on Midlothian when I want to cross. This time as I was standing there waiting the rain dialed up two notches from mist to an actual rain with very tiny drops, but a lot of them.

When I pulled into my garage it stopped. I parked my bike and got the mail without getting any more wet.


Day 27 - Thursday, 16 Jun 11

IN -

Last night I really didn't feel like riding in today. I've been getting less and less sleep and although Mrs. Prop and two of my daughters are out of the house I still didn't get much so I told myself that if it were even looking like rain I would drive. My reasoning also included the fact that I had to drive the last daughter out to visit her grandmother today.

When I woke up and looked out the window the moon was lighting up the backyard. Crud.

I had to replace all the batteries in my lights, and I added air to my back tire. I had a lot of work to do today so I don't have time to be late at all. I left at 4:17, which is actually 17 minutes later than I would like, but only about ten minutes later than I expect. I figured if I really pushed I could make it in 33 minutes which would be fine.

I caught the red light at Lake Street, then the one at Butterfield, then the one at Milwaukee. The only big light I caught was St. Mary's. The street was wet and I was sure I had not made my goal.

But I was wrong. I made it in 33 minutes exactly.

HOME - Maybe this isn't such a bonus.  I don't remember the ride home sufficiently enough to report.

Day 28 - Friday, 20 Jun 11
IN - I remembered that I saw the same guy walking to work that I passed walking home from work yesterday.  He was an older guy and I thought it unusual that he walked commuted.  This morning I just happened to look over at the sidewalk and saw him.  He was in shadow under a tree and he was wearing dark clothes so if I hadn't looked over at precisely that moment I would have missed him.

Yesterday I had worn a long sleeve shirt because it was in the low 60os but I was too warm so this day I wore a short sleeve shirt and was much more comfortable, and less sweaty.

I was delayed by a train only very slightly on St. Mary's Road.  In fact it was probably less than if I had had to wait for a redlight, but it still took me four more minutes than Thursday.

There was lots of traffic, vehicle and pedistrian.

I took the Des Plaines River Bike Path again.

There was even more traffic there.  I was passed by a man and a young boy as I was taking a picture of a bridge over the river.  After I put the camera away and caught up to them they were hogging the trail a bit.  The boy was slower and the man was riding behind him and weaving to to help him stay vertical and not over-take the boy.
I pulled up behind them and was going to just stay there, rather than trying to blow passed them and risk being rude, when the man heard me and told the boy to get to one side.
Since they had so graciously pulled to the side I felt obliged to pass them.  I stode up and accelerated as much as I could.  As soon as I did we came around a bend and a woman appeared riding the other way.  I pedaled harder and slide to the right just ahead of the boy.  It was like passing on a single lane highway.

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