1927 on three different rides

1060 miles on the way to work, plus another 867 on the trainer, plus X amount of mystery miles before I got hired on rides to forget the job search. That number in reality is probably over 2K, but I'm neither concerned nor accurate enough to hazard a guess. But not bad for a year that got off to a horrendous start. Good riddance 2010. Now let's watch a ND team I can't quite get behind pound on 'the u' before washing the year down with copious amounts of alcohol. Happy new year!

Current beer-scale: 8.9


Like it never happened.

Almost getting run over or not, I'm not about to stop riding. And with gas prices getting out of control in Chicago right now, I can feel pretty good about that decision. Via bikecommuter's gas savings calculator:
Your daily gas savings is $8.16 dollars and lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your weekly gas savings would be $40.79 dollars and 226.88 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your monthly gas savings would be $163.17 dollars and 907.50 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere
Your yearly gas savings would be $2,121.17 dollars and 11,797.50 lbs of CO2 will NOT be added to the atmosphere.
Granted I wasn't commuting all year this year and this is based on the exorbitant gas prices I've seen since the holiday, but I got in a good 5+ months once I got rolling. Depending on how motivated I am to hop on the trainer before new years, my mileage count should look pretty good by Saturday evening. I wonder if I could talk the wife into getting yet another bike by showing her that yearly gas savings number...

Probably not.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


Ah, such a picturesque scene. You almost can't imagine nearly getting run over by the 66 Chicago bus. No, you're right ms. bus driver, honking and speeding by w/inches to spare is a fine way to handle traffic conditions.

Fuck you.

Current beer-scale: 8.1

Timing issues

No, not that kind.

My commute has been all over the place lately. Getting up yesterday after a few extra days off, I got a bag together relatively quickly and left a few minutes early. It was only 8:15 when I got to the office, making for a pretty long day of doing nothing and listening to construction on the floor above me. Hoping to avoid more of the same today I dragged my feet a little this morning and left later than usual. Still got here at 8:20.

Even though it was cold enough to motivate a little speed it's not like I've been sprinting both days this week. I have a lovely new pearl izumi jacket just for weather like this BTW. Maybe the lack of car traffic just makes it that much easier to get downtown quickly without fearing for my life every few blocks. We did get some weather over christmas but by now it's all taken care of and not slowing anyone down. I guess I'll just have to sleep for a few more minutes tomorrow morning and see when I make it in by.

Current beer-scale: 5.1 & about to watch some Tuesday night football


Happy photobomb!

Hi! Merry christmas!

Current beer-scale: 7.3 & on our way to the brother-in-law's


made it!

I don't know how it happened, but the holidays are here and I have a few days off. Perfect timing, b/c even in decent conditions I feel like today's ride will take a day or two to recover from. But after a few drinks last night I feel ready to have a few more and get that recovery started.

Holiday beer-scale: a festive 6.9


Wow. Just...wow.

So. That is indeed some guy reading the situation's book on the train, and not noticing my taking a pic after 5 drinks at the office christmas party. Let's just say I was trying not to cackle hysterically while taking it.

Even better, we saw the christmas train just as we exited the red line @ fullerton. Now that's good timing.

Current beer-scale: 1.9 after a solid 5 whiskeys @ the party this afternoon.


Wednesday at noon

And counting down.

Someone got to open some presents a little early this weekend...

Partly b/c the in-laws thought it would be funny to wrap some treats and throw them under the treat. A cute thought, but wrapping a pig ear isn't going to keep super-turd there from:

a)immediately smelling a treat and
b)immediately shredding anything keeping her from said treat if she can get away with it.

So she was happily shredding presents all day yesterday. Hopefully she doesn't get any ideas home alone with the tree today. She did look pretty tired by the time we got home last night.

Current beer-scale: a Bears/MNF high of 8.2 & climbing


I snuck over 1000 miles on the bike since starting my new job this week. And just in time too, b/c my riding is about to taper off for the holidays over the next two weeks. It wasn't something I was actively shooting for but now that it's happened I feel pretty great about it. Good to have a job at least.

Current beer-scale: 6.8 & climbing on a Friday


So it begins

Tonite's the second holiday party on my schedule but the first of four coming from work. There's tonite, Saturday's reception for Dec graduates, Tuesday's department party, and Wednesday's University party. Woof. I still rode today b/c having to go up to RoPo means I could leave early to stop at home then go to the party. Tonite's actually the one I'm least looking forward too, but when it's done it's Friday so I'll suck it up. I'll deal with having to take the train next week if it comes to that. That's what fancy phones are for.

I installed the available update for my Droid X yesterday and I have to say, that might be the last phone I ever need. The camera is great, there's plenty of memory for my decent-sized personal playlist, angry birds is addictive, and the call clarity isn't too bad either. I'm not immediately comfortable with change on a device I've gotten used to, but most of the changes seem surface-level. The only thing that did happen was I lost the band and album info on all the music I already had on the phone. But everything else works.

I took this last night after the update while I was goofing around. I had hoped a picture of the tree would help my mood this morning, no luck so far. The polaroid effect does a nice job of concealing just what a crappy fake plastic tree we have. Other than the laptop that could be a picture from my childhood. Minus the tinsel. I miss tinsel.

Current beer-scale: 8.1


You can still laugh

4 degrees out, ice everywhere, about to pull on 5 layers to be able to keep riding to work, the dog could still make me laugh this morning.

"What do you mean I can't take this inside?"

Of course, that's after letting her run through the park and not being able to convince her it was time to go home right away. When she finds a good stick she likes to keep a good stick. Still funny enough to make me smile. Thank god for dogs.

I hope I don't have any pictures of me or the bike covered in snow after I get home tonite.

Current beer-scale: 8.2


Baby it's cold outside

And I really should have stayed home today.

My office had a cookie exchange yesterday during our all-staff update meeting. I took the train to work carrying 30 cookies. At least I remembered how to make them from my time-killing exercises during unemployment last year.

In any case, it was 10 below zero so I wasn't too upset at not riding. Today I was back on the bike, even after having had too many cookies yesterday and wishing I could stay home. I probably should have, b/c work has me wishing I could reach through the phone and strangle people.

Not being able to use my usual bike rack this AM wasn't helping--why the fuck are there suddenly more people riding when it's below zero then when it was snow-free and a balmy 20 degrees? Pile that in with someone walking right in the front door with their folder when I was walking back from a rack further away and the day started with me ready to decapitate someone. Phone calls from idiots are only making things worse.

Current beer-scale: 9.9


Taking a day off

From the bike at least. With the wife having a day off and a stack of presents under my desk to bring home today was as good a day as any to leave the bike in the basement. I hate the lazy feeling that comes over me when I don't ride, but that's just the OCD in me. Some routines are easy to stick to and biking is one of mine.

The worst part is getting a ride to work on a morning where it would have been just as easy to ride. If anything, I have an easier time riding a bike than in a car as a passenger. The only positive going for the car is it's easier to stop at starbucks for a coffee But even then you get stuck behind some Michigan fan mouth-breathing in line, so it's more of a wash.

But damn is it quiet in the office today. All the more reason to leave early I guess. I've got whiskey to drink back at home.

Current beer-scale: 4.1


One of the drawbacks to bike commuting I've found is that over time I've become more and more anti-social. The wife makes fun of me for tending agoraphobically but that's not quite it. I just prefer being able to control when I leave, how fast I go, and not be physically confined in an uncomfortable position for long periods of time. Of course, riding can be uncomfortable sometimes and I got used to that, so there is an argument I could re-acclimate to the train or bus.

But I had a mid-afternoon meeting today up north, and instead of riding there and calling it a day I took the shuttle from and back to my office. I used to ride the shuttle a lot when I lived up north and had class or worked downtown, but it's been about five years since then. More, actually. And a lot's changed.

The convenience of having a phone that can play mp3's, games, and video is not lost on me. I spent the trip back playing angry birds and listening to the white stripes. But that was while engulfed in a cloud of axe body spray positively wafting off the undergrads on the shuttle. I wish my phone had an incense app.

But the shuttle was the right move, b/c the look I got at the lake path was awfully icy. Back in school sometimes I was so busy that the shuttle going on LSD was the closest I got to a beach trip and today reminded me about that. But in weather this cold I think it's wise to stay away from the lake unless we're at the dog beach.

Current beer-scale: 5.9


10 degrees

Eventually the thought "Holy piss it's cold" will get old. Until then, HOLY PISS IT'S COLD! Nine degrees yesterday meant I was happy it was at least a double-digit 12 today. Added a layer and the facemask, toughed it out. Honestly the ride in wasn't bad either day. The ride home last night was fucking awful. Windy, dark, and slow enough that I noticed just how cold my hands and feet were getting. Total shit.

At least I remembered my phone today, so I can play angry birds all afternoon. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 7.2


Thank god for coffee

Not bad for Dec. 1st. Snow flurries are starting to intensify but temperatures aren't what you'd call "arctic." If I ride the rest of this week and all of next, I'll be at over 1000 miles for the year. Add in the trainer miles and that's a decent-looking 2010. Much prettier than the scene out my window right now:

Yeah, that's snow starting to stick. You could actually see it drift during big gusts of wind this morning on the path. I was thrilled to pour a big cup of coffee this morning, and I think it's time to pour another.

Current beer-scale: 1.2