Spring Break Trippin’

Boy, as far as I’m concerned, this morning was about as good as it gets for a bike commute to work!  At 49 degrees, it’s cool enough to be crisp, yet warm enough that you don’t need a lot of clothes and your body can work efficiently and easily.  In fact, today I wore the wrong jacket and was overly warm in spite of toning down my under layers quite a bit.

In addition to nice temperatures, I’ve also felt a bit like the “King of the Road” so far this week.  You see, here in the Queen City of the Ozarks, it’s Spring Break for the local school system!  That’s one of those weeks I always hated when our kids were in school.  It seemed like there was always pressure to take that as vacation time, and back then we didn’t have a lot of extra cash laying around to go someplace warm so we were always at the mercy of our fickle March weather.  Now that the kids are gone, I like Spring Break week because everybody else is on vacation!  That means less traffic because everyone is out of town and those moms that are still here are sleeping in instead of driving their rug rats to the bus stop and school.  I’m sure I’ll probably be shocked back to reality come Monday, but for now – I’ll take advantage of it while I can!

Anybody recognize what that is in the picture below?

Officially, it’s a quadrupole loop demand actuated traffic detector.  I just call it “the trigger” for the stop light.  The reason I bring them up is that the three I encounter on my ride to the office seem easier to trigger all of a sudden, or I’ve just suddenly found the sweet spot for triggering them with my bike.  If I stop on the middle seam, about 3/4′s of the way to the front, the lights at Sunshine and Eastgate, Fremont and Chestnut, and Central at National will all trigger for me reasonably quickly.  The one at Chestnut has the slowest response time, but it will trip for me when no other vehicles are around.  The other have reasonable response times.

I suspect the city’s traffic department has adjusted the sensitivity to make them work better with smaller mass vehicles like my bike.  If so, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!  However, I’ve also wondered if they work better during warm weather.  Prior to getting the Surly, the bikes I commuted on were aluminum and carbon fiber, so there was no way they would trip the lights and it was mid-November when I got the steel frame, so this is actually the first warm weather we’ve had since then.  Anyone know?  Do those sensors work better when it’s warm, or do you suppose they’ve been adjusted lately?

Tonight was church night, so I met Pam at McAlister’s for supper again.  It smelled like rain the entire way over there, and by the time I got to church it was starting to rain.  I got the bike into the back of the Prius just in time again!

God bless….


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4 Comments on “Spring Break Trippin’”

  1. Steve A Says:

    Tracy, I have no trouble at all triggering induction lights with my aluminum framed Tricross. It is NOT the material of the frame that is important, it’s the rims and where they pass relative to the induction coils. Go to the website post link and there are three good articles in the links that really refine the subject. I suspect the traffic people have tuned up the sensitivity lately or else you have acquired new skills you are keeping secret. Warm weather is not a factor.

    BTW, my wife claims I am NOT a goofball. Myself, I think she is trying to rationalize her judgment.

  2. Steve A Says:

    So, where’d my comment disappear to?

  3. tracywilkins Says:

    WordPress has a new option for filtering Spam that I’m experimenting with. It’s called the “goofball filter”.

  4. Steve A Says:

    Hmm, must be yet ANOTHER Springfield phenomena that I’ll have to write about. Andy’s Spam filter, for quite a long time, would catch me when I commented with my iPhone, but it thought I was an upstanding citizen when I commented from a real computer.

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