Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Hennepin before change. Bike lane in between buses and cars.
When I got home I did a little research and found that it wasn't exactly as I had imagined it. But it still isn't complete, which has all the cars using it like it's their lane. I found a video that explains how it's supposed to work and website describing the changes to Hennepin and 1st Ave.
And I didn't even get to 1st Ave, yet. That's real interesting.
The new 1st Avenue.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday was my day to go shopping for winter clothing. Things to keep me warm on my bike when the snow comes. My destination for the day, was that retailer where you could climb rocks if you wanted to(hint). It's about 8 miles south of my place and I've made the trip before. I always have a little apprehension about the journey, I'd be going out into the suburbs and there aren't any path/trails down to this store. But driving just didn't seem right.
The ride down Lyndale Ave. wasn't too bad. While I did have cars passing me all the time, they seem to give me plenty of room. Just when I saw the spire of the store up ahead, I noticed an obstacle to my destination. The bridge over the highway was closed to all traffic. The detour sign suggested crossing a half mile down the road at Nicollet. I declined. I'd take my chances with a few construction workers. Plus the bridge looked pretty much done anyways.
I'm not a frequent shopper. I need to get in the mood, which usual happens when the weather changes, and last years clothing have lost their appeal. I went at it with gusto. Getting gloves, socks, caps, undershirts, pants and shoes(reviews in future). Whew! Time to get out of here. Get that bike loaded up and let's roll.
Riding back up Lyndale was okay for awhile but it was a little darker and the motor traffic was starting to bug me. Then a 4 bus whooshed by, about a foot away from me. Just as I was trying to think of a better route home, I had a sign.
It was a sign... that said Minnehaha Parkway. I didn't think twice but hopped on the bike trail headed East toward the river. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it earlier. I was going to be on trails the whole way home.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Yesterday, I was having a chai at my favorite cafe, planning to meet someone for dinner at six. When my friend Emily dropped in. We got to talking about her new job and other stuff. Then I remembered that we had talked about her taking my bike for a ride, sometime. Since Frankie was waiting out front, this was her chance. She's a tall lady, which is what you need to be to ride this Dutch. She loved it. So smooth and stable. The upright position was new to her.
Emily was on the bike for less than 10 seconds before this couple stopped her, because they were curious about what kind of bike it was. First ride and already peppered with questions. Get used to it! I was thinking of making a handout, explaining the bike and it's accessories. But figured it's funner to do the spiel myself.
I noticed that was going to be running late, so we said our good bye's. She mentioned that she'd be walking over to the Wedge Coop, about 10 blocks away. I offered to give her a on ride on the back of Frankie, and to my surprise, she agreed. Nobody's ever said yes before. I had read that it doesn't taking long for rider and drivers to get used to it. So, I knew it could be done. She hopped on, side saddle and I pushed off. It was definintely a different ride. We wobbled for a bit and I had to really grip the handle bars, to keep it from swinging too far one way. After a few blocks, I started to get the hang of it. Frankie, really handled it well. I got the sense that with practice, it would become much easier, as long as the passenger knew what they were doing, too. If she had started shifting around a lot, it could have got tricky.
I was really fun. People watched as we passed. We were taking side streets and I noticed the cars behind us didn't mind that we were taking the lane. They just sat back. When we got to the Wedge, we cruised past the windows by the check out. Then I doubled back again, just to show off! Since I was already running late for dinner, I didn't take the time to arrange a picture. You'll just have to believe me.