June 16 bike forecast: PM thunder

Friday: like Thursday, kinda hot. Like Wednesday, stormy.  Too bad.

FRIDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

Overall: high 86, low 68, 50% chance of thunderstorms, wind at 11 MPH from the southwest-ish.

AM: mid 70s, partly cloudy, 20% chance of rain

PM: mid 80s, 11mph wind from the south-southwest, 50% chance of thunderstorms


RECOMMENDED RAIN GEAR OF THE WEEK:

Consider a protective plastic bubble.

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Available for babies:

 

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And cats:

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DIVVY REPORT: all stations online.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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On account of lighting and rain. Stay safe!

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June 15 bike forecast: a return to normalcy

[Editor’s note: another late and short post, for which I apologize. Blame Paul Simon.]

Thursday: a day of regular old hot weather. No thunder, no rain, nothing too extreme.

THURSDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 87, low 68, mostly sunny, 15% chance of rain in the AM


DIVVY REPORT: all stations online. Plus a new station opens at Michigan and 8th Street! Congrats.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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2.6/4 stars. Nice, but too hot! Ride your bike anyway.

Review: Evanston’s Chicago Avenue project, a bike lane built for drivers?

A new, separated bike lane opened along Chicago Avenue between Davis Street and Sheridan Road in Evanston this past weekend. It’s a big deal. It’s the first phase of a $13 million project to build a 2-mile protected bike lane from downtown Evanston to the northern end of Northwestern’s campus along Sheridan Road.

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The plan was first approved in 2014, but the Evanston city council delayed it for two years. Then in September 2016, Chuyuan “Chu” Qiu, a first-year Northwestern student from China, was killed by a cement truck while turning her bike at an intersection onto Sheridan Road. That awful event spurred residents to press the city to complete the project quickly. Officials complied, and work began in late March.

At first glance, everything about the new lane suggests progress for cyclists. Few would dispute the need for better bike infrastructure on Chicago Avenue and Sheridan Road, as it’s a busy route for cyclists and drivers alike. It’s a refreshingly ambitious project, and as far as bike lanes go, it’s expensive. You’d think this would be something of a jewel in the crown of Chicagoland bike infrastructure.

But the second glance tells a more complicated story. Yes, it’s a separated bike lane. But the result so far is marred by compromises that actually create new dangers for cyclists. In many ways it’s a bike lane for drivers: its main priority is getting cyclists out of the road. What they do once they’re in the bike lane hasn’t gotten as much thought.

I won’t overstate the case, because there’s lots of good to this project. It looks like a bike lane and sometime acts like a bike lane. It provides pretty good protection to riders between blocks. They’ve even extended the walk signal timing at the intersections! That’s wonderful. But especially at intersections, where crashes tend to happen, the plan leaves something to be desired.

Read on and see what I mean.

Continue reading “Review: Evanston’s Chicago Avenue project, a bike lane built for drivers?”

June 14 bike forecast: hot thunderstorms

[Ed. note: Apologies for the late and abbreviated post.]

Tuesday was pretty nice! Not so Wednesday, which looks to be a return to hot weather. Plus likely THUNDERSTORMS.

WEDNESDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

Overall: high 89, low 69, cloudy, fairly windy, and 70% chance of THUNDERSTORMS.

AM: high 70s, cloudy, 70% chance of rain and T-storms, wind from the south at 11 MPH

PM: mid 80s, cloudy, 30% chance of scattered thunderstorms (reaching 55% chance at 7 PM) with 15 MPH wind from the south-southwest.


DIVVY REPORT: all stations online. Plus a new station opened at Michigan and 11th Street, but only for one hour. Now it’s been shut down. :/


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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1.5/4. Pretty awful. Rain, lightning, heat, wind. What more could you ask for?

Enjoy your rides!

June 13 Bike Forecast: a bit cooler, wetter

As my skin’s DNA struggles to recover from the sun’s relentless assault Monday, let’s look forward to Tuesday. Cooler, yes, but also wet. Thunderstorms possible!

TUESDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

Overall: high 85, low 70, cloudy, 40% chance of thunderstorms mid-day

AM: high 60s, mostly cloudy, 25% chance of rain and thunder, moderate wind

PM: 80, mostly cloudy, 15% chance of rain, 8 MPH winds from the southeast


RECOMMENDED RAIN GEAR OF THE DAY:

Consider a babushka to keep you dry and aerodynamic.


DIVVY REPORT: after some closures yesterday, all stations back online.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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On account of weather threats. Stay dry and enjoy your rides!

June 12 bike forecast: good day for sweat enthusiasts

Monday: the first infernal weekday of the year. Oy. Bike commuting not recommended for the sweat-averse.

MONDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

Overall: high 94º, low 70, ~45% humidity, sunny, moderate winds from the southwest.

AM: low 80s, sunny, wind from the SW at 13 MPH

PM: low 90s, sunny, wind from the SW at 12 MPH


Approximation of Predicted Sweatiness:


Semi-Ridiculous Warm Weather Gear of the Day:

 


DIVVY REPORT: several stations down as of Sunday night:

Dearborn St & Adams St

Franklin St & Monroe St

Clark St & Berwyn Ave

Track up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


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1.75/4. Really nice! No, just kidding.

June 9 forecast: pretty nice, too

Friday: like Thursday, but not quite as nice. A little hotter, a little windier.

But just wait ’til this weekend. 90 degrees! Oy.

FRIDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 81, low 59, mostly sunny, moderate wind

AM: low 70s, sunny, wind from the west-southwest at 10mph

PMhigh 60s, sunny, wind from the northeast at 10mph

Note the wind direction reversal from AM to PM.


TANGENTIALLY WEATHER-RELATED CAT GIF:

Sunny.


DIVVY REPORT: all stations operational.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


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3.75/4. Really nice! Enjoy your bike before sweat-fest this weekend.

June 8 bike forecast: perfect.

Thursday: like Wednesday, but better.

Drudge siren?! That means we’re at peak bike commute conditions.


THURSDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

Overall: high 76, low 62, mostly sunny, not much wind

AM: high 60s, sunny, no wind!

PM: low 70s, mostly sunny, winds from the east-southeast at 9 MPH


FELINE SUN METER:

Sunny enough to put dandelions on a cat’s head.


DIVVY REPORT: all stations operational.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING: 

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4/4. Perfect. One of the best days of the year.

If you have a bike, ride it. If you don’t, get one!

June 7 bike forecast: extra nice

Wednesday: like Tuesday, but less windy. NEAR IDEAL BIKE COMMUTE CONDITIONS!

WEDNESDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 60, low 64, sunny, winds up to 12MPH from the north-northeast

AM: low 60s, sunny, 9 MPH winds from NNE

PM: high 60s, sunny, 10 MPH winds from NNE


RECOMMENDED SUN GEAR OF THE DAY:

 

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Also good for welding

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DIVVY REPORT: all stations operational.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


SPOTTED ON THE ROAD…

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OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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3.75/4. Near peak commute conditions. If you have any decency at all, ride your bike.

June 6 bike forecast: cool, windy

Tuesday: like Monday, replete with dreaded high-speed headwinds from the north.

:/

TUESDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

Overall: high 68, low 55, cloud-free, annoying gusts

AM: high 50s, sunny, wind from the north at 13 MPH

PM: mid 60s, sunny, wind from the north at 17 MPH


LETTUCE CAT WIND METER:

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Classic. See the lettuce fly off? That’s a marker of high winds.


Recommended outfit of the day:

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DIVVY REPORT: all stations operational.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


A TALE FROM THE ROAD:

A youngish doofus on a fancy road bike plopped right in front of me at a red light on Devon and Glenwood today. He had been a few blocks behind but jumped ahead while I waited at the red light. This practice is called “shoaling” and it’s very uncouth.

Annoyed, I decided to speed by him when the light turned green. I did this because I was riding my dinky 20″-wheeled folding bike, and I knew it would bruise his ego.

I passed him. It bruised his ego. So he tries racing me down Glenwood. Foldilocks and I hold him off, because folding bikes have heart. But then we reach a stop sign, where a a tractor trailer ahead of us was turning left.

What to do? Like a sane person, I slow down to remain behind the tractor trailer. But the doofus squeezes past the truck on the right while it’s making a left turn. Truck makes wide turns! Very dangerous!

No, he didn’t get smushed. But the point of the story: this guy, bad.


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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3/4. Deja vu. Nice day with unfortunate wind.