Thursday, October 28, 2010


That was quite a storm. A recorded low pressure of 28.22 in northern Minnesota is apparently the lowest ever recorded in the continental US. But the winds were the big story. 50 miles an hour gusts were rattling my house. And it was raining(and maybe snow), too! So why would I decide to commute to work in those conditions? Because I was lazy on Tuesday and drove. Can't have 2 days no commute by bike.

Tailwind on ride home has me much more relaxed.

So, I decided to be proactive and gathered up my gear the night before. The temp was supposed to drop into the 30's, so... 4 wool layers on top, plus rain jacket. Long John's and Clever Cycles wool slacks on the bottom. Stocking cap, head band, gator and gloves with liners. Rubberized boots and wool stockings. And ski goggles!

I'm glad I had prepared because it ended up being one of the toughest commutes I had ever made. I really needed those ski goggles because the rain combined with high winds would have ripped my eyes out. And I was commuting 12 miles into that wind. I'm glad I was on my big Dutch WorkCycle because, while it's heavy, it's HEAVY! The crosswinds didn't bother the bike much and it just rolled over all the broken branches that littered the roads and bike paths I took. I didn't worry about blowing a tire because those Marathon tires are tough. It was a hard slog, though. Constant headwinds, pelting rain, and crunching branches underneath. I had to stop and move a tree that was blocking the trail. Luckly, it was a dead tree that didn't way much.

I wouldn't want to make that kind of commute very often, but I'm glad that can if I need to.

Ride home. Still branches to crunch.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kayak Hauler

Kuando and his kayak strapped to his Surly Big Dummy,
headed to Medicine Lake.

Early this summer, I had the good fortune to come across this guy, who goes by kuando on the Mpls. Bike Love website. We chatted about lots of things Bike and about how the suburb we were in at the moment, has fairly lousy bike trails. Then we parted, as he wanted to get the kayak in the water to catch the gorgeous sunset to come.
I love seeing hauling bikes haul something!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bikes on Hennepin in 1900

What's the story on those guys?

Great to see folks were riding bikes in Mpls. back at the beginning of the 20th century. But they don't look liked they're locked to anything. Maybe they only had horse thieves back then? BTW~ I bike down this street most days and pass the building in the upper right corner. Happy it's still standing because many of the other great buildings didn't make it into the 60's.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Really Nice Ride: Bike-Sharing Program Comes to Mpls

There has been a lot of good news in the Minneapolis bike scene, lately. The city will be adding 40 miles of bikeways this year, Bicycle Magazine rated Mpls. the best bike city in the country, and we now have the cool bike-sharing program, Nice Ride. Nice Ride started off this Thursday with 700 bikes at 65 locations(I only count 40 stations, though). They do have plans for 1000 bikes!

Usage seems to be starting off slowly, but that's to be expected because it does take a little thinking ahead. You'd better know where you're going because trips over 30 minutes cost extra. The basics are that it's $5 a day, $60 for a year subscription. That's all it costs as long as you get to the next station in under 30 minutes, otherwise you'll pay extra. The reason for the short time period is that they want these bikes to always be available for others to use.

Even though I have plenty of bikes, I signed up for the year membership this week. I hadn't received my key yet, and I couldn't wait any longer, so I tried the day pass this Friday evening. I can now say that once you get the specifics down it's pretty easy. I spent couple hours zipping around town, making sure to switch bikes within a half hour. I've heard some people comment that the bikes don't look very fast, but not being a fast bike aficionado, I was pleased with the nice, comfortable ride. I can see myself using this on regular basis because it is convenient, especially if I don't want to worry about my bike after I get somewhere.

I see programs such as Nice Ride as just one more way to grow the bike community and increase the pressure to improve our bike infrastructure, which will make riding a bike, just like riding a bike. I'm very grateful to those people who made this a reality. It's one more element in a more livable city.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Odd Wheels

Taking flight with these wheels.

I've seen this bike around town a few times, but finally got to chat with the owner, yesterday. He got the bike from a friend who passed away and has been fixing it up. These are airplane tires which don't have tubes. They are the tube.

A nice low rider.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Up Above It All: Time To Ponder

I will dare!

He may be a member of the dreaded Black Label Bike Club. I say dreaded, because I think they'd like it that way. There's a documentary B.I.K.E about the NY chapter of Black Label. I found it to be a fascinating movie, even though it's not my scene. Bike Jousting!

In the documentary, they make a road trip to the headquarters, which is Mpls. What was interesting was how different the New Yorkers were from the locals. The New Yorkers all seemed to see the club as an artistic expression and perhaps also way to get famous. The Mpls. members were rough and tumble punk rockers, who while they'd like to get some attention, don't want really want to be famous. Which makes sense to me. NY is a natural draw for people who want to "make it!", or die trying. While Mpls. is the home of the Replacements. A band that really loved to get your attention, but at the same time, really wanted to fuck it all up. They did leave a beautiful corpse, though.

BTW~ There is supposedly an ordinance against these types of bikes in Mpls.