Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my tracking my miles and time in the saddle. It also marks the point where I can no longer bring in the raleigh for any free work that needs to get done, which was almost exactly the point I started to hear more groaning from the bottom bracket. Good times.

In the past year, I've been on a bike 225 days. So there was a 61% chance I was biking on any given day. That seems low to me, but I managed to rack up some decent mileage and feel pretty good about that. 1204.5 miles to be precise. With a shorter commute coming this might just be an all-time high as far as mileage goes, but that's alright with me. Not a bad year.

Current beer-scale: 5.9


ouch dude

Well, made it home relatively unscathed. Only my pride was hurt, when a shirtless guy in suspenders was high-fiving, then only gave me a "Cubs suck" upon seeing my shirt. So sad.

It's probably for the best, as I had my hands full being the douchbag who rides his bike through summer street fairs. By that time the parade was well over but Belmont was brimming with people to weave through.

Too busy to take pictures too, which struck me as borderline explotive anyway. Then again, if you're letting your freak flag fly, you have to expect to be exploited at least a bit. At least, it would be exploitive if people read the blog, which they don't. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 3.7

like the wind in your hair (& scar tissue)

Oops. Some friends are staying with us this weekend, and in my drunken stupor last night I forgot to grab my helmet out of the second bedroom. By some miracle, that was the only item forgotten but in my case that's a pretty major one. After two crashes and additional minor dust ups, I'm not exactly comfortable braving the streets lidless.

Anyone willing to stay with us deserves credit though. We're up to our ass in boxes getting ready for the move, which explains why I'm too exhausted to detail the minutiae of commuting lately. It might also explain my helmet being in an unusual place and my missing it while I stumbled around last night, but that sounds like a pretty poor excuse.

the guest bedroom was a little on the cramped side this weekend

On the bright side, after the stupor it put me in last night I'm super-excited to have extra summer shandys around that wouldn't fit in the cooler. That was going down smooth after a long day. As long as I'm in one piece when I get home.

Current beer-scale: 4.1


wake up!

Nothing like a near-dooring to jar you out of a groove that's practically become a rut.

The beauty in having to overcome complacency, whether it's in work, your personal life, or on a bike, is that change is a constant of modern life. If you're unhappy, do something about it. And if you are happy, or at least content, be ready for that to change too. Because there's always someone ready to open a door in your metaphorical bike lane.

I shouldn't get too comfortable anyway, b/c it's time to move and my commute is about to get even shorter, not that I would have thought that possible. It will make things easier this winter at least.

That's at least 6 months away though, and I need to quit doing that. I shouldn't be thinking about getting winter gloves when the heat index is finally approaching triple digits. It's time to enjoy the heat and remember to not leave the house without the liberal application of gold bond and water for the dog. It's not time to start worrying about winter comfort on the bike. Shorts and a t-shirt will work for now.

The lake smelled terrific today. I already need some vacation time, but having that beach smell haunt me on the way to the office is not a pleasant feeling. It's summer dammit--that's no time for work.

Current beer-scale: 8.1


I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Current beer-scale: a mellow 2.8


Some shared restlessness

The dog went for a swim like she was never coming back Friday. Just out, into Lake Michigan. A sign?

Probably not.

Current beer-scale: 4.8


Bike bike bike. Thank thank thank.

Drink drink drink.

Today was follow-up day with some of the shops I shook down last week, with mixed results. The crazy thing is, someone off-handedly suggested Dutch Bikes Chicago, and that lead almost immediately to a donation. Sometimes things just fit I guess.

Someone squatted on my while I was running to some of these places after work, and while I took a picture to post here, that accomplishes nothing. I can't turn every post into "look who pissed me off today," complete with blurry cell pics. So let's focus on the positive.

Dutch bikes, while not my thing, struck me as the perfect fit as someone to donate to a Bike to Work week participation raffle. Thankfully, their manager agreed with me over the phone and said I could stop by. At that point, any excuse to leave work early struck me as a good one so away I went. It's funny--it was a natural conversation and it almost immediately lead to a donation. I will admit most of these have been awkward, and while most did lead to more donations, they weren't nearly as enjoyable as the one from Dutch Bike. I'm glad we have some prizes to entice new people to try biking and to reward those that do already, but I will also be glad when this is over.

I also have to admit, REI came through in a big way for me, even though I had to promise a little quid pro quo in the way of an on-grounds tour for their participants. Whatever. Good for REI.

I'm cracking another beer now, but am saving the rest for game 7 tomorrow night. Let's go Wings!

Current beer-scale: 7.0


So there isn't much you can do when you get bumped by a car and don't get the plate number. Too bad. The cop I talked to was nice enough about taking her time to ask me about it. Eventually, when there's a next time, I'll make sure I get the number.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


So yeah, I got hit by a car on the way home today. Nothing serious, I'm not hurt and there was minimal damage to the bike, but I'm pissed enough that I'll be making a stop by the nearest police station to file a complaint tomorrow. According to the officer I got transfered to after calling 311 I have 72 hours to do so but it's got to be in person. Things not being in a state of emergency, I didn't feel like it merited calling 911, but damn was I pissed.
yup, that's the guy. too bad I'm slow on the draw.

I was waiting at belmont and halsted for the light to change. There were pedestrians still in the cross as it did change, so I kept waiting. I feel this jolt, and there's an old man driving a mercedes tapping me, shrugging his shoulders. Literally tapping my bike with his car. WITH HIS FUCKING CAR! It got clear, and I was able to get away from the douche in his car. Of course, he got stopped ahead of me at clark, where I knocked on his window.
It's not a bad addition to the photo though. The yellow is nice.

Looking back, I could have handled yelling at him a little better, but fuck that guy. At one point he actually told me "there's no need to get nasty," to which I told him nasty would be me smashing stuff. Douche. Eventually he just drove away, which was pretty much what convinced me to go see some cops tomorrow. Fantastic.
One last time for emphasis.

Current beer-scale: 9.9


Superstar helmet in hand, I set out to make the rounds this afternoon to see if I could scrounge up some participation prizes for the office's BTW week group. I already had a Friday off where temps were allegedly hitting 80 that I was just going to get all restless on again, so why not make the most of it and get some good done.

With the dog tired out from our usual trip to the beach, I thought out part of the route between the 6 stops I wanted to make and hit the road.
Within a block, I came across my first shirtless rider of the year. Actually, I don't know what's more impressive; that it took until June 5th to see this, or that I saw it with temperatures only in the high 70's at that point.
My first two stops were in Old Town and not the easiest shops to get back and forth to, if only b/c I didn't think out that part of the day as much as I thought I did and ended up taking a few more turns than I expected. I did find myself by the Noble Fool theatre though and their horse yard, which always makes me do a double-take from the brown line. This time I double-taked (double-took?) right off the road, and hopped up to pet one of the horses by the fence. Even when begging for donations, there's always time to pet a horse.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. The word 'epic' seems to come up now and then--this was pretty far from that. Fun, hopefully productive, but pretty far from epic. It was probably about 10+ miles however, which makes me feel better about the 3+ mojitos I'm having at dinner tonite. Yee-ha.
Current beer-scale: 8.1


"They took the bar! The whole...fucking...bar!"

It was one of those days. Dumb emails, headdesk phone calls, not enough sun.

The bike was a chance to turn that around this afternoon, stopping to soak up some of that sun and enjoy the idea of being free for the day, nearly the week.
So thanks, I needed that. I also needed a drink, which I got in the form of some Sailor Jerry's and Bacardi w/a splash of pineapple juice. Tropical, yes. Refreshing.

Refreshing enough to at least go back to work tomorrow, and gut out one more day.

Current beer-scale: 8.8


the other side of the coin

Yesterday, insane. Today:

practically deserted. Both ways.
And that was at 4:15, practically the same time yesterday that I was shaking my head at the roadie who couldn't climb a hill. Of course, the rain had a lot to do with everyong staying in, and the threat of dropping temperature didn't help either. I felt like I literally rode through the front coming in on the way home. Crossing Sheffield it was like hitting a physical wall of 50 degrees. Not cool.

Interestingly, I did have a chance to practice the "Good for you" approach instead of yelling obscenities back on the street. Strangely enough, it was fairly unsatisfying. Funny, but still not as guttural as a good "Hey, fuck you!"

Current beer-scale: 2.1 (gotta let it breath every now then)