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Archive for March, 2009

Runner on the MUP (multi-use path) ahead of me, running about as close to the edge of my side as he possibly could. I assumed he was going around the woman walking on the other side and stayed to my right so we wouldn’t collide when he moved back after going around her. Apparently, though, that was not his intention, because he stopped — still on the side of the path that would be his left — and said to me, “the fuck!” as I hit the brakes.

Taken aback, I didn’t get words out till he had already gone around me and was (I think) back to his right side of the path. I located them and spat them out: “You’re on the wrong side, jackass!” and as I turn back to the forward direction I hear his “fuck you!” behind me.

So that’s what happened. The message I probably sent was “I’m staying on my right to make a point because you’re not following the rules and I have a stick up my ass.” The message I intended to send — or would have intended to send if I’d had more time to think about it — was, “I was trying to get out of your way, but you’re a self-important twit who expects everyone else to instantly recognize when he’s not taking part in the social contract.”

Fucking frat boys.

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The co-op should have some whitewall 27″-ers on order if they haven’t arrived already. When they’re there, I’ll be able to finish C’s road bike. Without the tires it weighs in at about 25 pounds.

I spent most of this week with a co-worker in Springfield. I’m only just getting involved with this client but he goes out there all the time and usually stays in the Hilton. This week there was a conference of some sort (I was asked if I was there for the library conference; a quick Google search suggests it was the Sixth Statewide Library Practitioners Conference), so the Hilton was booked. A quick search of hotels.com turned up the Ramada on 6th Street Rd. My coworker said, “oh that’s right there on 6th Street” and booked our rooms. You see where this is going: sure enough, 6th Street Road is not the same as 6th Street. 6th Street Road is a few miles outside of town, on a street where I wouldn’t run or ride a bike unless I absolutely had to, and that goes for most of the streets near it, too.

This meant that I didn’t get to run outside the whole week (though I did go to the gym with my coworker, who goes every day — damn, treadmills are bor-ring), and I was actually kind of glad that I didn’t bring my bike, because I wouldn’t have ridden it. But our next trip out there is a week from Monday, and I’ve already booked the rooms at the Hilton so we’ll be right there in the middle of downtown. I’m definitely bringing my bike then. It’ll be nice to run or ride around a downtown area bigger than three blocks on a side, even if Springfield is not at all made for bicycles.

To illustrate how much Springfield is not made for bicycles, take a look at this street in Google StreetView. This is what the streets look like in Springfield: wide, lots of three-lane one-way streets, no bike lanes, no space for bikes at all, and very little traffic (usually). There seems to be a fair bit of traffic around rush hour, but you don’t sit.

I keep looking around trying to figure out why the town doesn’t look right and then realizing that there are no bike racks and almost no bikes. It’s the weirdest thing. I saw a total of three bikes locked up and two bikes being ridden in four days. But there’s a bike map (.pdf), and I’ve done some poking around in StreetView looking at the streets I haven’t seen in person and they look all right. I’m looking forward to riding around.

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