Aug 31, 2009

The Munger Trail Ride

With the summer season rapidly drawing to a close, I wanted to get in at least one longer recreational ride before the snow flies. Having never been on the Willard Munger Trail, I thought that sounded like a fine trail to explore. We set our sights on the Munger Trail two weeks ago when I was on vacation. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and I ended up bagging that plan altogether.

Last Sunday promised to be a much better day, so we set out for Duluth in the morning with my bike on the truck. The plan was for me to ride the trail from Duluth to Hinckley while the spouse would explore Jay Cooke State Park and some of the other parks around the region. She dropped me off at the Duluth trail head and wished me well and I set off on my first longer ride of the season. This was originally going to be a ride with a friend and co-worker, but he ended up getting married and having a family, so he wasn't available and this turned into a solo ride.

I have been pretty consistent on my commuting this year, but even if I ride every day of the week, with a commute that's only 10.4 miles round trip, the miles don't add up very well, so throwing in a 70-mile ride without much preparation was a bit of a gamble for me, but I figured I could do this.

All in all it took me almost 5 hours to complete; their are no significantly steep hills at all on the route, but it seemed the like first 8 miles or so out of Duluth were up hill the whole way. It's a shallow grade, so you don't realize you're climbing a hill as much as you feel slow. I finally got my speed up around Carlton and started to click of miles after that.

The most scenic portion of the ride is the north end, and the Jay Cooke State Park scenery is spectacular. The stretch to the south (from Moose Lake to Hinckley) got monotonous at times. If I were going to do this again, I would head north from Hinckley, which I think would be a better ride - you would avoid some of the head-wind by going north, and the scenery would make for better rest stops on the second half of the ride. Finally, the canyon run into Duluth would be a wonderful finish to this. I would also start out in the morning. I set out about 12:30 PM or so, and I was feeling some time pressure towards the end because I didn't want to make us late for supper. Even so, we ended up eating late. A morning start would have been better (another reason to ride from Hinckley). More photos from the ride here.

I survived the adventure with relative ease - my crotchal region is a little tender and my arms ache a bit, but my legs feel surprisingly good after the ride. It's also interesting to spend 5 hours alone with yourself on a bike. I can see how some people could get into rando riding. You'd sacrifice a lot of your personal life to spend this much time on a bike, but you'd learn a lot about yourself in the process.

Aug 29, 2009

I Have Been Rewarded

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota is sponsoring the "Do" campaign to help get people off of their butts and walking, biking, dancing, or whatever. You may have seen the ads on T.V. - they are pretty clever and fun to watch. I am trying to get my office to participate in the program as part of our nascent health and wellness program, but so far we have not gotten that together. Yet.

Being a man of action, I went ahead and registered myself for the do.cycle program back in mid-July or so. The office will pull it together eventually, but why wait? There's a very nice mileage tracker website and you can register as an individual and create a team if you can get enough people to join in. And it's free.

BCBS offers incentives along the way - you get a water bottle for joining, a 10% off coupon from the bike shop of you choice (I say that with a grain of salt because my two favorite shops are not listed on the Do site).

Tomorrow I should be making a big dent in the march to my next award with a ride from Duluth to Hinckley. Wish me luck - I have not done a single long ride this year, but have quite a few miles from frequent, shorter rides, so I think I'll be just fine.

Aug 26, 2009

One of The Benefits of Eating Locally Produced Food

I got a phone call today on my cell phone from an area code 651 number that I did not recognize.

"Hello?" I said.

"Hello, Mr. Reinemann? This is so-and-so from the Minnesota Department of Health".

Long pause...


"I am calling because I am investigating a report of someone getting sick after eating at a Minneapolis restaurant recently. I have your name and phone number for the list of people with reservations from [a very well-known and popular downtown restaurant and bar that shall remain nameless] and would like to ask you some specific questions".

I had been to this restaurant two weeks ago, taking a client out to lunch. I could barely remember going, let alone what anyone ate. Or so I thought...

"Um... okay."

"Thank you. Did you or anyone in your party have the Barracuda that day?"

Long pause.

"I remember that! The waiter told us that one of the specials was Barracuda. After he left I made some wise-ass comment that although the special sounded good, we made a nice Barracuda loaf at home last night. None of us ordered that; we all ate boring things".

"Thank you. I have no further questions. And by the way, that's the only funny comment I have gotten today on this one, so thanks for that, too".

"Um. Your welcome. Good luck with that fish thing".

"Thanks! Bye"!

I will probably go back to that restaurant in the future. It's a good place and the happy hours are good. I will be sticking to the local fare, however.

Aug 24, 2009

Davis Foster Wallace, the Media and Writing

David Foster Wallace is/was about as close to a rock star as a person can become in modern literature. He wrote several books and several more essays, all of which have received critical acclaim and much attention from students of modern lit. Like many geniuses, it seems, he was not able to sustain it, and ended up committing suicide last September.

I have read several DFW works, including The Girl with Unusual Hair, one or two short stories that I can't recall, and Infinite Jest. I am now Jonesing for DFW essays...

This weekend, I had the chance to listen to a podcast of the The Wisconsin Pubic Radio Show "To the Best of our Knowledge" devoted to David Foster Wallace. I am well aware of the themes in Infinite Jest, and the media and entertainment in general looms large in this novel, but listening to the interviews with DFW and the critics in this podcast drove home something that I had not fully appreciated until now.

I learned that Wallace struggled with the media, and more specifically the impact of media on writers. I have to believe that a lot of other writes have felt this as well, but I have not been able to put words to this until listening to him talk about it on the podcast. With the media saturating our lives with information and entertainment, it's damn difficult to write anything anything that does not feel derivative; spun off of a "Friends" episode or some other pop culture detritus. In fact, with the constant saturation of pop culture, it's hard for anything you think or write or draw or create to not be derivative. Smart and snarky is the new good, and the effort and risk of putting out some original thought and insight makes no sense in this world.

The old maxim says that being able to name the problem is the first step in solving it. This problem seems kind of difficult to fight, given the pervasiveness of media and pop culture, but being aware of it might make it more manageable to at least resist.

Aug 23, 2009

Coming Off of Vacation

Bridge near Nekoosa, WI
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
This post marks the end of my weekend and the end of a week off. We traveled to the North Shore, snuck out to Wisconsin for a quick visit to my brother's cabin, had some time to read and relax around the house, and got a few things done, too.

Monday morning at about 7:00 I'll get on my bike and ride in to the office, where I'll inevitably have a stack of things to sign waiting for me, have a few messages updating me on the crisis du jour, have a few other notes from people wanting to check in (on what? I've been out, remember). I will be out of the starting gate on another week. Coming off vacation is a lot like going through the door at the airport; as much as you are going to miss the person that dropped you off to catch you flight, once you are through that door, it's like they were never there - it's all about the security check, dealing with baggage, finding the gate and thinking about whatever your trip is going to present you with. Sad to say, but in less than 5 seconds you forget about the life you are leaving and focus on the life in front of you once the revolving door swings closed.

The only thing we planned but did not accomplish this week was a ride on the Munger trail. That was foiled by the bad weather/tornado action on Wednesday (in fact, my bike filled up with water during the storm and the guys at Hiawatha ended up draining the damn thing for me - thanks very much!). Otherwise the whole week went pretty much according to plan. We'll do the Munger - maybe next weekend, we'll see about that. Until then, it's back to the office for me.

Aug 21, 2009


I rode in to work today, despite being on PTO, for a lunch/interview with a senior-level candidate who flew in from out-of-state. I was ready to go a little early, so the spouse suggested I leave early, take my camera and enjoy a slow ride. The weather was rapidly improving, so I took her up on the idea.

For whatever reason, I was thinking about those road-side memorials that commemorate people that have died in traffic accidents. There was a particularly spooky one on Jewel Lake Road in Anchorage near our house, and I saw several of these coming back from the North Shore earlier this week. That got me to thinking that there are two memorials located on my basic commute route that I go by almost every day.

The first is located at Park Ave. and 24th Street, just south of St. Mary's and kitty-corner from Phillips Eye Institute. This memorial was originally installed in March, 2008 to commemorate Sharonda Harrison, who was killed in a car accident at this intersection. I suspect that most people traveling through this intersection may not even be aware that it is here, but every time I ride or drive past this site, I look over at it and wonder who this person was and who put that memorial out.

The second memorial site on my route is much better know; it's Dennis Dumm's Ghost Bike at Park Ave. and 14th Street. Dennis was killed by a truck that turned into him as he proceeded straight through the intersection, in the bike lane, at 7:40AM on May 20.

Having ridden through here many, many times, it occurred to me that I had not yet taken a picture of Dennis' Ghost Bike, so I paused on the way in to the office to capture these images as well.

I didn't know Dennis Dumm, but I do know some of the people that installed this memorial to him. Again, every time I ride by this I glance over at it and can't help but reflect for a moment about Dennis and his loved ones.

I think that's a lot of what these memorials are about - a reminder from friends and family to not forget the people who have been lost to tragic accidents. On that note, it seemed appropriate to recognize both of these memorials here.

Aug 20, 2009

The Tornado

For the locals, this is old news, but for friends and family out-of-state, here's some scoop on the tornado that hit South MPLS yesterday afternoon.

The path of the the storm was north-northwesterly. There was a report and photos of a touch-down in Cottage Grove, and the path of the tornado in South Minneapolis was basically my commute route to and from work, more or less. We saw damage at 48th and Park Ave. (about 10 blocks west of the house) this morning, and saw reports of damage in what was essentially a straight route north between Park and Portland north to 34th Street or so. From there, it seems like it lifted up, hopped over I-35W and then clipped downtown at the Convention Center.

Being a huge weather nerd, I can't believe that I missed this. Our experience was not so dramatic; we were driving back from Duluth, leaving the Twin Ports around noon. I had planned to ride the Munger Trail yesterday, but the radar promised heavy rain and high winds, so we bagged that idea and just headed for home (good idea, because the storm went basically north along I-35, and touched down again in Stacy or Pine City before heading off to pillage Wisconsin). We drove through steady to heavy rain the whole way back from Duluth but it was not difficult until we got to Roseville, were we caught some very high winds and driving rain, which made visibility very poor, so I pulled of on County Road C and turned on WCCO, only to hear reports of a tornado in South MPLS. We ducked the Mighty Tundra behind some parked semi-trailers for shelter (probably a bad idea in retrospect) and waited for the rain to let up some. We picked our way home taking the "high route" because of reports of intersection flooding, but we really had no trouble at all with street flooding.

When we got home, we had 1.9 inches of rain in the rain gauge, but that was it; not even leaves blown down in our yard! This must have been very localized, and they are saying it was a small tornado (F0 or F1), but it sure did a number on the tress along Park and Portland Ave. Very little structural damage though, from what I saw. There are some broken windows and one house lost a portion of its roof. Still, it's amazing that no one was hurt.

A visiting meteorologist captured the touch-down on his I-phone. This video would have been taken from the south side of downtown, looking south-southeast.

Portions of Portland Ave. were still closed this morning to allow for City crews to complete the clean up and chip up the trees. It's funny how close this came and yet we were unaffected (we did not even have to re-set the alarm clock). Very lucky indeed.

Aug 19, 2009

Sampling the North Shore

Drift wood artsy photo
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
We returned today from a few days on Minnesota's famed North Shore. We stayed at Blue Fin Bay resort in Tofte. Blue Fin Bay turns out to be a compound of Town homes in the ghost town of Tofte, MN. Tofte was a fishing community on Lake Superior about 85 miles north of Duluth. It turns out fishing isn't a good way to make a living on Lake Superior, so they packed it in and put up a resort instead.

Blue Fin Bay seemed mostly empty while we were there; we had no waits at the restaurants and were not disturbed by noises or partying Minnesotans at night. I suspect they are feeling the recession this year just like everyone else. The good news is that the state parks, and Lake Superior, seem unaffected by the economy, and are just as beautiful as ever.

Today's Plan of Operation was to head down from Tofte to Duluth, where the spouse would explore Jay Cooke State Park while I mounted a solo assault on the Munger Trail. She would pick me up in Hinckley hours later, so we thought. That plan was foiled by heavy rain, wind and even tornadoes. but we arrived in the Twin Towns unscathed. I'll have to find another time explore the Munger, it seems.

Aug 13, 2009

Super Bridge Club

Super Bridge Club
Originally uploaded by oneononebike
I am of half a mind to do this ride on Saturday. It's a leisurely lollygag with some beer stops thrown in. I am not a bike 'n beer rider, but I have a few co-workers that are planning to do this and I might tag along to support their group ride "toe-in-the-water". Depending on how it goes, I might just sneak off when we hit the parkway and roll for home or strike out on my own if the scene is not my scene. Anybody else planning on this one?

UPDATE: Been there, done that, and got the picture to prove it:

Aug 11, 2009

Getting a Helping Hand - The Experiment

I am re-posting a thread I started on tonight. If you want in, click the link and post. If you don't have an MBL account, you'll need to sign up to post (don't worry, it's free), but it's a good site and you won't regret it.

Here's the text of the post and the premise for this experiment in making the world better:----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I am reading a book called "Whose Got Your Back" (we have a "book club" at my company and I am previewing this book to see if we want to pass it on to the senior management). The author makes a strong argument that in general, people today are starved for strong peer-to-peer and mentor relationships, and that these kinds of relationships can greatly enhance ones ability to achieve personal or professional goals. He also asserts that most people want to help others because it makes them feel needed and appreciated (something we also are chronically short of in our modern world).

At one point in the book he states that most people have only one or two close confidants that they can bounce ideas off of or expose vulnerabilities too. That's pretty grim, but I don't think it's wrong. I also believe that there may be a number of folks out there that have a destination in sight and are trying to get there but not sure how to do it.

That's where this social experiment begins.

If you are interested in achieving a goal, post it here. It's hard to describe how little I care what the goal is, but it should be important to you; it could be work, it could be social, it could be personal. If you want in on this, post your goal or dream here. Others will read it and I hope they will contact you via this thread or PM. The odds are good that someone on this website has some insight or experience that will help you make that goal. Please don't just rip off some bullshit goal - think about this a little bit or it will be a waste of everyone's time.

if you participate, you need to be open to the experience. Recognize that all connections may not be perfect. Accept that and move on - don't immediately assume this is bullshit and give up. Also, remember that you don't need to be an "expert" to help someone - an interest or opinion, or some past experience, is enough to qualify you to try and help someone else. This is about sharing connections and information.

I will think up a goal, but I need to sleep on it before i post one.

I hope this works! Enjoy!"

Aug 10, 2009

The Lesson of Achilles Heal

Sometimes it's the little things that can stop you cold. The ancient Greeks understood this well, hence the legend of Achilles and his eponymous heal. Let's look to Wikipedia to remind us of that story...

"According to a myth arising later, his mother had dipped the infant Achilles in the river Styx, holding onto him by his heel, and he became invulnerable where the waters touched him -- that is, everywhere but the areas covered by her thumb and fore-finger."

We know the rest - Achilles was invincible and kicked ass all over ancient Greece until the point where some guy named Paris (of all things) nailed him in the ankle with one well-placed arrow. The rest was (pre)history.

Why am I thinking and writing about Achilles tonight? Because my own personal "Achilles heal" has been revealed, and it's a little north of the heal, but south of the heart, if you get my drift. I have been plagued with bike-saddle-related "skin problems" that have complicated life on the bike for a few weeks now. The good news is that I think I have found the solution and seem to be well on the road to recovery, but still, this has been an eye-opener. The interesting thing is that something as small as this can knock off of your goal.

I have heard that in the infantry, they drill soldiers on the importance of dry socks and foot care (can't vouch for that - I am 4-F but it's from a reliable source). Bicyclists should learn from that and pay attention to the little things. I am struck by how a little problem like this can make the larger goals all but unobtainable.

Aug 9, 2009


Peacock Groove
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
I rolled with a small group around the lakes today before stopping in at Vine Art Center for the last day of the Minnecycle show. As expected, beautiful examples of local frame builders were on display, including Goodrich, Clockwork, Kvale, Osell, Wyganowski, Peacock Groove, Freeman, Dominguez and maybe some others I am forgetting. Each bike was truly a work of art and it was fun to see them all in one place.

More photos of the various bikes are on the Flickr site.

Aug 8, 2009


Most bikes fit into a convenient category; bikes with drop bars, tight frames and narrow tires are "road bikes", those with stout tubing, compact geometry and wide tires are "mountain bikes" (unless they run slicks and get branded as "commuters" or "city bikes"). The old ten-speeds stripped down to the bare minimum and run fixed are "fixies" or less flatteringly, "hipster bikes".

There are two kinds of bikes I can't quite pigeon-hole. The first is the very nice, steel, seat-as-high-as-the-bars bike that Rivendel and some other manufacturers produce. I've heard these called "day-tourers or rando bikes" but I just don't know if that's a common usage. The other bike that seems to defy current categories is my humble Rawland.

Browsing the blabbage on Bikeforums tonight, I came across the moniker "Monster Cross" used to describe the Rawland and the Salsa Fargo. I like that name. It's kind of a cyclo-cross bike, but it's more mountain bike-like and can run bigger, knobbier tires (even 29'ers, if you so choose..).

The first two photos are my Sogn; the third photo is one I snagged off BF of the Fargo. They look like very similar bikes in many respects. I like this niche; it's like a comfortable road-warrior ride.

On a related note, I caved in today and sprung for a rear rack for the Rawland. I liked the look of the bike without the rack, but found the inability to run panniers to be enough of a hassle to add a rack. I'll be rocking some snappy Ortliebs by Monday, I reckon.

Aug 7, 2009

MPLS Bike Count Stats are Available

Interesting stuff from The City in the email today. The Minneapolis bicycle count survey results are in and available. The high level summary is as follows:

  • The number of bicyclists counted at 30 locations increased by 15% between 2007 and 2008.
  • The number of pedestrians counted at 27 locations increased by 3% between 2007 and 2008.
  • 15th Avenue SE north of 5th Street is the busiest location for biking among 128 count locations, with an estimated 3,570 bicyclists per day.
  • Washington Avenue SE west of Union Street is the busiest location for walking among 128 count locations, with an estimated 21,740 pedestrians per day.
  • East River Parkway north of Franklin Avenue carries the highest bicyclist mode share (17%), among 65 count locations.
  • Washington Avenue SE west of Union Street carries the highest pedestrian mode share (32%), among 65 count locations.
  • Bicycle riding on sidewalks or bike paths is lowest on streets with on-street bike lanes (18%), and highest on streets with off-street bike paths (78%).
Some other interesting bits include the fact that bike traffic on the LRT trail next to the light rail increased 164% from 2007 to 2008, and Midtown Greenway west of Hennepin Ave. experienced 2110 riders during the count. That's a lot.

The full text of the report is available here. An interesting map depicting count locations and result is available here.

Aug 5, 2009

Stick Figures in Peril

Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
Flickr is amazing. It's great for photo hosting, that's why I signed on with them in the first place. But since then, I've developed a number of contacts through Flickr; people that like my photos, or are into whatever I posted on the site. I have a contact from Barcelona, a few local friends I've never met, and somebody from Boston who seems really neat but I have never spoken to.

Flickr also has groups, which are fun. I stumbled into groups when I got an email out of the blue to post some photos I had taken of Fatbacks (titanium "Pugsley" -like bikes from Anchorage) on the Flickr group "Titanium Bike Addict". That was the gateway - after that I got into the Surly Pugsley group, then the Xtracycely group, and then "Things I see in my neighborhood".

My latest favorite is "Stick Figures in Peril". It's simply a collection of safety signs showing stick figures in precarious situations. I made my first contribution last night - it is a photo of a Tsunami safety magnet we got when we lived in Anchorage. Some really funny stuff here. It makes me glad I am not a stick figure after seeing some of the bad shit they get into.

Aug 4, 2009

More on the Mystery Tool

Jaws Open
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
Some may recall that I came across a mystery tool at a garage sale a few months ago. On the advise of a reader, I sent an email off to the Midwestern Tool Collectors Association and got a very helpful email back that solved the problem of what this thing is.

At the same time, I sent an email and a Flickr link to the Minnesota Historical Society, and I got a reply tonight from MHS, and here's what they had to say:


Your inquiry about a mystery tool was just forwarded to me. It looks like it may have been floating in our Flickr queue for a while – I apologize for the delay. I have two guesses on the tool’s identity. It looks like either:

1.) A shell crimper, used to reload shotgun shells
2.) A saw set, used to bend the teeth on a saw

I see from your Flickr photo set that you’ve already had the tool identified as a saw set. I can tell you that “A.F. Bruchholz” refers to August F. Bruchholz, president of Minneapolis-based Northern Machinery Company. Northern did make saw sets, so that is probably a safe bet. The Minnesota Historical Society has a couple of early 1900s Northern catalogs in its library. It might be interesting to look through them sometime to see if your tool shows up.

Interesting to find the local connection on this piece of history. Still, knowing it's a saw set, and knowing how a band saw works, I can't quite picture how this tool works. The point (no pun intended) is to off-set the teeth in the saw blade a little bit to remove the saw dust and improve the cut, and this thing must sproing the teeth out a little bit in a systematic fashion.

Ah, the simple mysteries of life.

Aug 3, 2009

Catriker and Curmudgeonhood

In May I commented (and by commented, I guess I mean complained) about a person that I see fairly regularly on my commute (it's also her commute, so to be fair we should just call it "our commute"). She rides a spiffy Catrike with a flag, and is often observed talking on a cell phone.

I caught her again today in front of St. Mary's on Park Ave., and this time I had my camera, so I am providing photo-documentation. To her credit, she was hugging the right side of the bike lane a little more today; she can be kind of hard to get around when she really "takes the lane" as they say.

One of the interesting things about any kind of self-work is that it can lead to unanticipated discoveries. For instance, I am becoming increasingly aware that I may very well be an opinionated crank. I can't claim full credit for this insight - I had some help coming to this possibility when I overheard my spouse explaining to one of her friends the other evening that my blog "creates an outlet for his inner curmudgeon".

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I tend to post more about that which annoys, rather than delights, but I don't think I am all that bad. After all, people without opinions have very little to say that's worthwhile (see, there's an opinion right there).

Still, this is a discovery that bears some further observation, after all, nobody likes a crabbypants. That said, it's unlikely you'll be reading about puppies, rainbows and unicorns on this page in the very near future.

Aug 2, 2009

Bikes and Commerce

Store Front
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
We are getting a new store at our humble little node on 48th and Chicago Ave. This store front used to be an upholstery place (with an old beat up guitar in the window).

I purports to be a bike shop and art studio. There's little information available on the exterior of the store, but there's a website/blog here.

On another note, we are also getting a bike/coffee shop in the South MPLS metro area. Angry Catfish has a page on Facebook but no other web presence from what I can tell.

It's a little odd because we already have a neighborhood bike shop at 46th and Bloomington. Hopefully these places will increase demand and not compete for finite demand with our existing local bike shops.

Positive Peer Pressure to Join the Gang

We got a voicemail message at the house yesterday afternoon from one of our neighbors, who shall remain anonymous. The message was pretty close to this:

"Hello! This is your neighbor, so-and-so, from across the street? I have a daughter that lives in Anchorage, that's our connection! Remember? I am calling to remind you about the block party. We are going to be gathering mid-block at 6:00, and hopefully we'll be eating by 6:30. We have not seen you there the last two years, so we are hoping you can make it. Thanks, bye!"


I learned several things in this short message. First, I now know that the National Night Out block party is going to be this Tuesday. Second, it starts at 6:00 with chow at 6:30. Most importantly, I now know that my neighbors have been taking attendance at National Night Out for at least the last two years, and my lack of participation has been noticed. I don't know if I should be flattered or flustered by this knowledge.

Anytime someone doesn't join in a group activity, I think it's natural for those participating to wonder why the no-shows opted out. In my case, it's often as simple as the fact that I have been traveling that night. Nevertheless, if your not there, you can't explain your absence, and so people wonder. I suppose their fear is that the no-shows have made a conscious decision to reject NNO because either they think it's stupid, or they are too busy with evil-doing to free up their schedule and participate. In our case, it's none of the above.

Aug 1, 2009

Bridgestone Project

I came across an ad for an older Bridgestone on Craig's List last evening and went out to Minnestrista(!) for a recon this afternoon.

The bike was in really good shape. It's a 300, which is a little on the lower end of the line, but the price was fair, and I talked the seller into keeping the wheels and pedals, which knocked some more off the price.

I converted it to fixed gear this afternoon and just got back from a spin around the 'hood. It's got some sort of slight eccentricity in the right crank (I noticed this in the test ride but felt it was not severe enough to spoil the deal). At some point, I'll inspect the bottom bracket to see if that's the problem. If it is, great; I've got a spare in the old parts bin. If the bottom bracket looks to be okay, and if I ride this bike a lot, I'll probably change out the crank to remedy that problem. For now, it's just fine.

It's a fun ride. This is kind of a cult bike because of the Grant Peterson connection, but setting that aside, the lug work is very nice and the frame is lively for a lower end bike. Good deal for a Saturday afternoon's effort.