New commute

Old commute, 2 miles, -198 ft. elevation.  New commute, 13 miles, net -2 ft. elevation (although there is a low point at -50′ and a high point at +10′).

The ride is nominally westward, and there are various ways to pass the requisite checkpoints: in order – crossing the Skokie Highway, the freight line, the MD-N commuter line, interstate 94 and the Des Plaines river.  Depending on the route, some (but not all) of those can be made relatively stress-free and dry.

Here’s what my bike saw  at the Skokie, MD-N and Des Plaines today.

3 2 photo


Photo update: riding home, across the same train tracks.  Even at modest, approach-path speed, a moving train is an impressive creature.


Bike to work week 2012

A blog post!  For what occasion?  The second major holiday of 2012 has arrived: Bike to Work Day.*

Commuter bike made minimal progress on my data analysis.  On the upside, I identified a good use for MBOC4.

[*] In celebrating, I’ll put aside my grudge against the League for rebranding themselves – I preferred “League of American Wheelmen”.  Since then, I’ve felt entirely out-of-place in my wheeling scarf.


Nearly spring

It’s the time of year when the weather oscillates aperiodically among winter, tropical (i.e. 38 and rainy) and that funny zone in between where we see seventy of the seventy-five types of precipitation linguistically differentiable by the Inuit.  Yesterday was one of those: incredible, dense gloppy stuff that stuck to trees, houses and bicycle wheels alike.  I paused mid-commute to snap a few photos using my phone.  Here’s my favorite.

That was was monochromed in postprocessing, but there wasn’t much color information there to begin with.  Here’s another shot without adjustment.

It’s good that traffic was light (public schools were closed); I needed modestly more room than normal to coast ski downhill, particularly as my rear wheel stuck still when I wasn’t applying torque.  At this rate, I’ll need a way to make summer commuting more exciting.  Remove brakes?  Explosive helmet?  Unicycle?