May 31, 2009
May 28, 2009
With a nod to Bike Snob for finding the photo, I have to say this could be the Holy Grail of bad bike set-ups (yes, I confess to being a fan of bad bike set-ups).
May 27, 2009
I received the following email today from the MPLS Dept. of Public Works and am passing it on in case others are interested:
You expressed an interest in taking a Smart Cycling 101 Course – the pre-requisite for becoming a League Certified Instructor for the . In this certificate course you will learn basic maintenance, safe street riding practices, and on-street practical experience. This course will help to develop your skills as an urban bicyclist and give you confidence to navigate the urban landscape safely and successfully.
The Bike Walk Ambassador Program will be offering several upcoming courses. The first is coming up quickly this Friday and Saturday, so sign up soon if you’re interested! All of these courses are multi-day; you have to be able to attend all sessions, and bring a bike in good working order and a helmet. Please register online for the courses here, or contact Jacqueline Scott-Hopkins at or email her here.
Midtown Bike Center
June 1, 2 & 8
Bottineau Park Recreation Center
5-8PM all days
St. Louis Park City Hall
July 6, 7 & 13
Transit for Livable Communities ( St. Paul )
5-8PM all days
I am interested in taking the class, partly to see what it's about and partly because I think it would be worthwhile to get my LCI. I might also learn something. Unfortunately, the close local one does not work for me due to a prior commitment. I may have to work a little harder to get this under belt it seems.
May 25, 2009
May 24, 2009
May 21, 2009
May 19, 2009
May 18, 2009
Twice last week I got caught behind a woman on a tricycle recumbent in the bike lanes on either Portland Ave. or Park Ave. Yes, her Catrike takes up most of the lane, but it's a cool bike, I support anyone commuting by bike over car, and I usually not a problem to go around.
May 17, 2009
May 15, 2009
May 14, 2009
May 13, 2009
May 12, 2009
May 10, 2009
This year the large project was cleaning out a large shed to get rid of junk (big junk, like ancient combines and a dead tractor) plus a lot of old hay and scrap wood. I helped out with some electrical work, so now there's light and power in the shed as well.
Between chores, we birded the farm and were rewarded with several Harris' sparrows.
The Pick-up-Sticks effort culminates with a large bon fire on Saturday night where we burn slash from brush clearing, scrap wood from construction projects, and such. This year the weather was perfect - calm wind, and a little rain fell just before we lit the fire. Here's a little of my brother-in-law getting it going. Don't try this at home.
May 9, 2009
I had to go the basement and get my micometer to determine just how much I cared about Lance Armstrong's Shepard Fairey-decorated Trek Madone.
May 7, 2009
May 4, 2009
May 2, 2009
May 1, 2009
A couple of friends and readers of this blog have encouraged me to commit to the car-free life (I will not say "pull the trigger") and sell my car. They make the point that for the money I would be saving I could easily afford to use an Hour Car now and then or rent a car for trips.
I agree - selling my car probably would remove a temptation, save some money and not greatly inconvenience me to, but I think I may have a better idea...
Vancouver, Ann Arbor, Minneapolis and a few other cities have organized car-sharing arrangements. In Vancouver, you can apparently join a car share group, get an electronic access card, and then walk up to any car in the program and borrow it (they have designated parking places so you know where to look for a car). I have not used Hour Car in MPLS, but I think this works by making a reservation, picking up your car, doing your errands and returning it, much like a short-term rental car.
People of Earth, I have a more radical proposal.
Screw the middle-man. Do it yourself. Go in with a few friends and buy a used car and make your very own car co-op. Park in a spot convenient to everyone, share insurance and maintenance costs, and always bring it back full. Simple, much cheaper than owning your own car, and you would probably have more flexibility. The trick to this would be letting the right people into the co-op, but that's the case with any kind of co-op situation.
I give this idea to the world free of charge.