June 26 bike forecast: Cooler weather continues

Monday: new week, new weather. (Duh.)

What do we have to look forward to? Spring-like balminess and wind levels verging on annoying.

MONDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: High 73, low 54. Partly cloudy, winds 10-20 mph. “A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible.”

AM: low 60s, mostly sunny, wind from the west at 12 mph.

PM: high 60s, mostly cloudy, wind from the northwest at 15 mph.


Lettuce Cat Wind Meter:

Not surprising. 15 mph is about the speed that will knock lettuce off of a cat’s head.


DIVVY REPORT:We’re guessing Phillips Ave & 82nd St. isn’t coming back, so we’ll just say “all stations online.” Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:Flag_of_Chicago__Illinois_svg.png

3/4. Winds from the northwest could challenge the fortitude of northbound commuters in the evening, but otherwise this looks like a pretty nice day.

June 23 bike forecast: cooler, calmer, collected-er

Friday: less hot, less windy, but probably the same level of wetness compared to Thursday.

FRIDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:unnamed.jpg

Overall: high 80, low 62, cloudy, 50% chance of rain.

AM: low 70s, ~40% chance of rain, wind from the north-northeast at 9 MPH.

PM: high 70s, mostly cloudy, wind from the north at 7 MPH.


AUDIOVISUAL REPRESENTATION OF FRIDAY WEATHER:

 


RECOMMENDED RAIN GEAR OF THE DAY:

Consider a Gripmotoriker® poncho to protect some of you from that early mornin’ rain.

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Replete with a cutout for legs, which is very useful for lots of reasons which I won’t go into here.


DIVVY REPORT: all stations online except for Phillips Ave & 82nd St., which even still remains stubbornly closed. Maybe it’s closed forever? Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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2.25/4. Should be all right, even with precipitation.

June 22 bike forecast: horrid.

Wednesday: wasn’t it nice? Remember how cool, calm, and pleasant it was? Good. Now forget it, because none of it matters anymore.

THURSDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 91, low 69, windy from the southwest with 20% chance of rain midday.

AM: low 80s, partly cloudy, wind from the southwest at 14mph

PM: high 80s/low 90s, partly cloudy, windy from the south-southwest at 17mph.


APPROXIMATE VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF WEATHER:

Because it’s really hot and really windy.


DIVVY REPORT: all stations online except for Phillips Ave & 82nd St., which remains stubbornly closed. Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

This rating raises philosophical questions. Extreme heat is bad. High winds are bad. But when combined, is the whole better or worse than the sum of its parts? A windy hot day means you have to exert more energy to go the same speed. But the wind might also cool you down. All of which is to say, you can take this many different directions.

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1.5/4. It’s gonna suck regardless. Bring a change of clothes and enjoy your rides!

June 21: Perfect weather returns

Just when you thought you were going to spend the rest of the summer enduring a sweaty, humid, wet, lightning-ridden cycling existence, think again!

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This is a “Peak Bike Commuting Conditions” Siren

Enjoy it while you can, because Thursday’s set to be awful.

WEDNESDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Look at that! Can it get any better?

Overall: high 74, low 68, mostly sunny with modest winds from the east-ish

AM: high 60s, sunny, negligible wind

PM: low 70s, partly cloudy, wind from the east at 10 MPH


FELINE WEATHER REPRESENTATION:

Here we see A) sunny skies, and B) responsible use of helmets. Protect yourself.


DIVVY REPORT: all stations online, except for Phillips Ave & 82nd St. Still. Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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4/4. Perfect! What a day! Ride your bike! Or don’t, and regret it.

June 20 bike forecast: cooler, but wet again?

Tuesday: like Monday, but a little better. Cooler and sunnier, with the rain (we hope) confined to non-commuting hours.

TUESDAY BIKE FORECAST:

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Overall: high 77, low 60, partly cloudy, rain 70% likely in the early afternoon. Thunder possible.

AM: high 60s, sunny, wind from the west-southwest at 8 MPH.

PM: high 60s, partly cloudy, rain possible, wind from the southwest at 9 MPH.


DIVVY REPORT: all stations online, except for Phillips Ave & 82nd St. Still. Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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2.5/4. Hedging, because if it rains, it’ll be worse than this, and if it doesn’t rain, it’ll be better.

Abbreviated post because of big day tomorrow. Gotta prep! Enjoy rides!

June 19 bike forecast: refreshingly cool, un-refreshingly wet

An unfortunate start to the week Monday, with scattered thunderstorms expected in the morning and the evening. Oy. But at least it cools down a bit from last week.

MONDAY WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

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Overall: high 75, low 60. Scattered thunderstorms with an 80% chance of rain.

AM: 70 degrees, mostly sunny, 35% chance of isolated thunderstorms

PM: low 70s, partly cloudy, 50% chance of thunderstorms, windy from the west-northwest at 14mph


RECOMMENDED RAIN GEAR OF THE DAY:

Biking poncho, available for humans:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and felines.

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DIVVY REPORT: all stations online, except for Phillips Ave & 82nd St. Up-to-the-minute updates here.


STREET CLOSURES

and

PARTIAL STREET CLOSURES


OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

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1.85/4. Because hey, the thunderstorms are supposed to be isolated, and at least it won’t be 90 degrees. Enjoy your rides!

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!

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!