May 4, 2009

The Good News and The Bad News

The good news is that the bike life is being good to me so far. I seem to be in okay shape already, and I scored many miles (relatively speaking) today despite a typical Monday work day. And, I feel no ill effects whatsoever from those miles. I commuted in to work early this morning, then back home again around 5:00 (hellish - more details below) and then rode over to MMRB tonight to try and fix some bikes for them. Got home about 9:30 tonight and according to the bike computer, I spent about an hour and 35 minutes on my bike. Pretty good for working full time and doing some volunteer work in the evening.

The good news continues in that the Rawland delights me. It's nimble, lively, accelerates and climbs well. It is comfortable, it fits me, and it's frickin' bomb proof, too. What's not to like? I even got compliments on it today at the bike rack from a lawyer riding stealthy Voodoo mountain bike and another guy on a sexy, sexy Kona. 

The bad news is downtown Minneapolis. I would not wish this on my enemies. The Marq2 has turned Marquette Ave. and 2nd Ave into a scene from WW1 (think trenches full of grim, desperate-looking men who need a bath, surrounded by relentless noise and dust, but with lots of office women in SUV's, Audi's and silver Lexus sedans impatiently waiting to drive through the battlefield). 

As much as I bitch about Marq2 on this blog, I can live with the inconvenience of what amounts to two blocks of construction on the last little leg of my commute into the office due to that project. The last straw, the line in the sand, the final insult, is that The City has now closed the bike lanes on 9th Street (one way going west to the IDS Center from Park Ave.) and 10th Street (one way going east from Nicolet/Marquette Ave to Portland and South MPLS). This puts a serious hitch in my giddyup (see my usual downtown route to appreciate the horror of this development).

Where the hell am I supposed to go? Not to be melodramatic, but I feel like a neotropical songbird whose rain forest has just been chopped down. I guess I am supposed to walk the bike from Marquette to Third Ave. and 1oth St. or succumb to temptation and ride on Nicolet (breaking the law and dancing with buses only to hike down 10th again) or just elbow my way through the cars to Portland, It sucks and I am not happy about it. I sent an email tonight to The City. We'll see if I get a response. 

Just a little room, that's all I ask.

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