urban commuting


(via CTA 2717 dupe slide | The one-of-a-kind Chicago Rapid Transi… | Flickr)

Caption: “The one-of-a-kind Chicago Rapid Transit 2717 on the old Met L Circa 1950. Built in 1895 by Barney & Smith as a wooden L car for the Metropolitan West Side Elevated Railroad, at some point early in its career it met with an accident. In 1904 it was shipped to the American Car & Foundry plant and rebuilt as an entirely-new steel unit, one of the first of its kind.”

Reasons why a cyclist might not use a bike lane

I saw a question posted on a news website’s comment section. The poster was curious to know why a cyclist might choose to cycle on the road beside a bike lane instead of using the bike lane. Here are some possibilities:

  • Garbage in the bike lane: broken or rusted car parts, toilet paper rolls, wires, metal, needles, animal carcasses, etc.
  • Too bumpy: the pavement may be buckled or cracked.
  • Too many sewer grates: this doesn’t bode well with road tires.
  • Going too fast: many multi-use paths have a maximum speed of 20km/h. For those training for races, this is too slow and it may put other cyclists at risk.
  • They are a vehicular cyclist and don’t agree with cycling in a segregated lane.
  • They don’t know it’s there.
  • If the path is raised or separated by a barrier, they couldn’t figure out how to get onto it or they were required to stop to do so. 
  • They couldn’t figure out how to get off the path, so they figured it’d be best not to bother at all.
  • They didn’t want to.
  • There may be pedestrians, rollerbladers, joggers, skateboarders, and e-bikes in the lane and they’re not comfortable sharing the space.

Any other additions?


Top: Milwaukee Road FP7 101-A crosses Canal Street as it heads into Chicago Union Station.

Bottom: A Pennsy GP7-powered Panhandle freight crosses Canal Street and will run on the though track on the east side of Chicago Union Station.

Early 1960’s

Photos by Frank Hirsch


June 20th - This old chap is someone I’m very pleased to see, for the first time this year.

This elderly, gummy old cat lives in Kings Hill, Darlaston, and is clearly a well loved companion to someone in the old folk’s flats there. I’ve been saying hello to him in passing for years now, and he’s a good natured but aloof fellow who’s proud and busy despite his clearly senior status.

His whiskers are always immaculate, and his lack of teeth doesn’t seem to impede his hunting instinct. But the reason I’m pleased to see this gentleman is that I always think about old cats, lying in the sun, enjoying the day. Never is a cat happier than summer, and I’m pleased this one survived long enough to feel another day of healing sun on his back, ease his aches and maybe stir the memories of kittenhood and a life well lived.

So pleased you’re still around old lad.


June 20th - A day of errands in the Black Country and plenty of riding the canals, green and limpid as they always are in summer, and alive with life, from the Wednesbury mother and foal to the bugs in the cowparsley. 

The pink flowers are stunning and I spotted them on the way home in Harden, just on the canal bank there. Does anyone know what they are? they’re absolutely gorgeous.

June 5th - An awful day that found me running around the Black Country on errands. A strong wind, threatening rain and late for a meeting caused me to hop on a train at Wolverhampton.

Wolverhampton station is functional, but I dislike it - it always feels harsh, inhuman and exposed. With threatening skies today it was almost dystopian.

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submitted by Mikey Bautista

When it comes to your EDC bag, there are three main things you want it to be: rugged, organized, and easy to carry. Sometimes you’ll find a bag that’s got all the pockets you need, but it just isn’t comfortable. Or one that’s compact enough for the day’s errands but doesn’t have enough ways to arrange your essentials. Nitecore’s new NEB10 excursion bag aims to hit the sweet spot of a tactical pack suited for the urban commuter. It’s got the heavy-duty construction and materials of tactical bags, with the size and organization to fit an EDCer’s needs.

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As a daily bag, the NEB10 keeps your gear in check with its array of compartments and expansion options. This includes a loop surface and 6-channel elastic organization in its main 6L compartment and dual front zippered pockets with mesh slip pockets. On the front is a MOLLE system laser-cut from Hypalon rubber that keep a low profile without any loss of expansion and modular capability, and on the sides are retention straps for even more attachment options.

But the NEB10’s key feature as a daily bag comes in its 3-point harness system. Paired with a removable padded shoulder strap, the system lets you distribute the bag’s weight evenly across your body for a secure carry while out and about. And as befitting a modern tactical pack, coated 1050D CORDURA nylon keeps your gear dry and protected.

Stay prepared on your day’s activities with Nitecore’s purpose-built NEB10 excursion bag. You can pick one up in two colors from the Amazon link below.

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