There was nothing especially offensive about this morning's weather, but nothing much to praise either. It was the kind of muggy, cloudy summer morning where the wet air is pretty still and ominously (but not really) foreshadows an afternoon thundershower that might or might not come exactly as you leave from work. I brought my jacket, just in case, but I'm expecting to leave it in the bag. I wore it for a bit yesterday and while I appreciate it's coverage (I hate getting rain on my arms for a reason that could only be exposed through rigorous hypnotherapy or maybe rigorous dermabrasion), the jacket has no real ventilation and I feel like I'm wearing a bright yellow trash bag. If you can't tell, I'm rather looking forward to the cooler temperatures of autumn.
Fridays in August are essentially weekends and the roads are lightly trafficked, even by bicyclists. I don't think I even saw another cyclist until after Court House. I remember him because he was in the process of screwing up the merge from the bike lane to the travel lane at the presumably everlasting line of barrels where there used to be a bike lane on Wilson. It's kind of like merging onto a highway- you need to get up to speed and then blend in. Slowing down is just going to leave you stuck in the bike lane, waiting for traffic to abate. And then you have to start from a stop, which I find, at least, to be much more dangerous and difficult than blending in with traffic while everyone is more or less moving at the same speed.
I've taken to riding down to Lynn Street and turning onto the Lynn bike lane from the center travel lane, since there's almost always a long line of cars waiting to turn left and merging in with them requires more foresight than I usually possess. Since I only do this when there's a left turn arrow and I'm assured that there's no other traffic coming, I feel relatively safe in adopting this strategy. Of course, as a result, you have to ride on Lynn, which might have a bike lane but I can never tell since it's always occupied by double-parked cars, delivery trucks and tour buses. And then there's the Lee Highway crossing OF DOOM where cyclists can take the full lane but probably won't on account of their likelihood of being run over by a speeding driver behind them.
Stuck in a caravan of four bikes on the bridge. Girl in front of me was carrying a yoga mat. We rode slowly and it was fine, until we reached the Whitehurst Freeway entrance OF DOOM and were cut off by a turning car and then the front bike guy just barely didn't run over some pedestrians foot and the whole thing was some of embarrassing. Don't think the bike guy even apologized, which is very rude. Downstreamers. Ugh.
I gave 33rd one more shot and of course I have to now retract my apology since once again it was devoid of cars using it as a cut through. I promise to stop flogging this non-issue, but it really boggles me.
If I wanted to upgrade to a 105 groupset, would anyone be willing to help me do it? Like, with tools and such. And as you can see by that last statement, by "help me," I mean, keep me as far away from trying as possible while you pretty much do the entire project. Maybe if you need to reach a certain number of hours of community service to get something expunged from your record or to fulfill your probation? Send all emails to email@example.com and remember to cc your parole officer!
Ever been chased by a mystery car? One that you're totally certain exists because you have this strong sense that it's right behind you and you're pedaling along thinking 'just pass me already' and then you turn around and it's not there any more or maybe even wasn't there in the first place. I'm hoping this is a relatively common feeling amongst bike commuters (happens to me all the time on Wisconsin) and that I'm not just suffering from bike-related brain rot.(That would require considerable dermabrasion) Mystery cars can be powerful motivators and I'm certain all the pros use them in their training. That, or real cars.