I’m itching to do some Bicycle Astronomy. The winter has been long and hard. There have been some clear nights. But some have been just too cold. Into the teens, people’s eyelashes can freeze to the eyepiece of the telescope, which has happened at one of my college observing nights before. It didn’t look like fun.
Some nights I’ve been sick. Or busy fighting the privatization of the school districts. Or paradoxically working my “day” job. Needless to say, it’s been a quiet season, and I’m ready for spring, and more public astronomy!
I’ve even prepared a Ready Bag for Bicycle Astronomy, so I can more fleet on my feet and respond to clear sky opportunities more quickly. It’s a ILE rack bag, (reviewed here) custom made for the Bread Basket on the front of my Yuba Mundo cargo bike. It’s a large bag, and most days it was running empty, while my daily rucksack went into the saddle bag on the rear rack.
So I made it into the Ready Bag. Inside is my minimalist eyepeice collection (inside a great little box made by Jamie Crona featuring an inlaid Plaiedes, a green laser pointer (not as crude as a blaster), a night sky guide, a laminated star atlas for really dewey nights, some wonderful beginner’s guides to astronomy called “Recreational Astronomy” (which is still illegal, though many states are legalizing medical astronomy), Bicycle Astronomy cards, a tool kit for my telescopes, a few solar disks produced by NASA, a clip board for taking names, Bicycle Astronomy info cards to pass out, and my little navigational computer that helps me find more diffiucult objects. This is called a Sky Commander, and if you have a vision of a 1930’s lady in a leather helmet, goggles, and a long white scarf flying a biplane under a starry sky, then, well, you’re as whimsical in the brain pan as I am. What else? Oh, a red light!
So the Ready Bag is ready. Bring on the clear skies. Please?