Jun 29, 2011

LCI Training

As some may know, I registered for League Certified Instructor (LCI) training recently. The training was held this weekend. I wrote up a first-person account of my experience that ran on Cycle Twin Cities today. I am linking to it here as well because some may not be following that site.

It was quite an experience and I am really glad I did it. With any luck, I'll be assisting at a bike rodeo as soon as next week.

On to the next adventure!


Bikes and Bridges
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
Apparently, whenever people go through major life changes they rearrange the furniture.

That's holding true at our house. The TV went up-stairs last week and a recliner followed it up there shortly afterward (much less T.V. as a result - good idea, there). In the living room, the couch moved a bit, and the chair and coffee table have been redeployed as well.

BIkes are getting rearranged as well. I devised a new storage system to clear out some floor space in the garage and concluded that I simply have too many bikes.

Accordingly, the Bridgestone fixed gear, which was a nice bike collecting dust, was sold last week and is out on the streets of MPLS. The Marin mountain bike, which was really too nice to be a winter/bad weather bike as I originally envisioned it, went home tonight with a new owner as well.

The Rawland was a huge disappointment at LCI class this past weekend. The disc brakes made constant noise at very low speeds and the rando bars were not particularly suited to low speed maneuvering. I lost the front derailleur due to a frayed cable early in the road part of the class (that's my fault, not the bike's) but it was a very frustrating day on that bike.

I am withholding further judgement until I can do some maintenance on the bike, but this one is in the dog house at the moment. In fact, I did my final skills test and road test on the single speed Raleigh bad weather bike. I demonstrated shifting ability already, so it's not that much of an issue, but the handling was so much better that I really wanted to test on that bike, and passed without incident.

The recent LCI raises the issue of a "teaching bike". I need a multi-geared bike that's okay at low speed (to be clear, the Rawland does well at regular speed). I may either swap bars on the Rawland or look for an older road bike with room for fenders, rack, lights, etc. and set that up for teaching.

I'll figure that out in the coming days.

Jun 28, 2011

Pulling Stakes

Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
So, I packed up my office today and was surprised to see that after a little more than 5 years in my current office, all of my personal effects fit easily into three paper boxes. The amount of recycled office paper was staggering, however.

There was art, too, so that added to the pile of stuff. A large Larry Welo print (Vanishing Point) that I have had for years now, a print of the Frescoes of St. Thomas, a Jim Brandenburg photo of a buffalo at sunset, and my little "Beat Congestion with Transit" Art Deco thing from Chicago. Still, it all fit easily into our Subaru.

I am currently in the hunt for some new sort of office set-up. I have got a number of projects on the go at the moment, and for the time being I can work from home, but I think there is something to be said for having a creative work space that's separate from home. My needs are simple - I need a place to write, a file cabinet, a window, preferably on an intersection. Second story would be nice, but I could do with a ground floor situation.

The thing is, this kind of office arrangement is not easy to find. There is a metric sh_t load of empty office space but it's all several thousand square feet. I need an office, or an office and and workspace adjacent to it.

My latest idea is to just buy a small, foreclosed house. That would give me a project and a workspace in one, and probably a garage for, oh... a sailboat perhaps? We could hold on to it and work there and then when/if the market turns around, I could probably flip it for a profit.

For the short term, I am fine at home, so that buys me some time to look at options and try on ideas, which is probably best in this situation.

Jun 26, 2011

First Responder to a Bike Crash on Summit Ave.

On the way back from my LCI class this afternoon at around 4:00 or so, I witnessed a pretty serious bike crash on Summit Ave. near MacAlister.

I was riding back from Selby-Dale on Summit Ave. and caught up to a group of four college-age riders heading west on Summit somewhere west of Ayd Mill Road. I tucked in behind them and slowed down rather than passing, because they were a little bunched up and there was traffic, plus I was not in a hurry and enjoying the ride.

A couple of blocks later (mid-block near MacAlister St. I think) one of the young women in the group appeared to either touch the wheel in front of her or hit a grate with her front wheel and lost control of her bike - her front wheel turned sharply left and rear wheel lifted off the ground and to the right. She lost control and fell into the traffic lane on Summit Ave, striking her head and face on the pavement.

Fortunately, the SUV coming up behind us stopped quickly. The rider's friends immediately stopped and told her to not move (good idea) while I took control of the traffic and directed a pedestrian to call 911. Within a few minutes an emergency room nurse stopped and took over the first responder duties and a few minutes after that the ambulance came, followed closely by two police cars. When the police showed up, they took over the scene and the young woman was already in the Ambulance, heading to St. Joseph's Hospital. All told, we were probably out there for about 15 or 20 minutes.

No cars were involved in this crash - it was either a solo bike crash or a bike-bike crash.

This was a scary crash - the rider was unconscious for a few minutes and was a little combative when she came to, so I would not be surprised if she sustained a concussion, but I am certain that her helmet probably saved her from much more serious injuries. It was also an eye-opener to see such a severe crash happen on a straight road with no intersections in dry, daylight conditions. While it's likely that a lack of group riding experience or distraction was the root cause of this crash, even the most experienced cyclist's attention wonders now and then. This was a graphic reminder of the consequences.

Scary to see this on what was otherwise a lovely ride home. Hopefully she will be okay.

On an unrelated note, I passed my LCI and will get my certification number in the coming weeks. Now to  do some teaching and and lose the "in-training". I feel that was quite an accomplishment and will bring a new dimension to my cycling, so I am thrilled to have that under my belt. Stay tuned for more on that both here and over at Cycle Twin Cities.

Jun 23, 2011

Editorial Direction

Guard Donkey
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
As frequent readers will know, I am staring down the barrel of a Significant Life Change. I am also a contributor to one or two other blogs, so I've been giving some thought to editorial direction of this blog.

The bottom line is that after ruminating on this for awhile, I'll be posting Twin Cities-specific cycling content on Cycle Twin Cities (that is, if they want it) and put more general or non-geographic focused cycling content on this site, as well as the usual broody, observational rubbish that I occasionally post that nobody else would pick up.

Hopefully, I still appear now and then on MPLS Bike Coalition or other sites, but that will probably be project-specific, at least for the time being.

If I do a post on Cycle Twin Cities, it's more than likely that I will link or re-post it here since it might be interesting to somebody, but I really want to see Cycle Twin Cities succeed and I am happy to create toothsome content over there to make that happen.

It might take awhile, but rest assured that I will make the MPLS Cool School happen.

That photo has nothing to do with this post. It's the Bad Ass Donkey. This beast chased some of our co-workers off a farm we were monitoring for post-construction issues awhile ago. The landowner told us that this donkey attacks and has chased down and killed several coyotes, and regularly shags people out of his pasture. That's one bad ass donkey.

The Futility of Average Time

So, I sprung for a snazzy new Garmin GPS cycle computer about two weeks ago and have been playing with it on my recent rides.

It's actually not all that fancy as these things go. I don't have cadence (I know my cadences without being told, thanks) and I don't have a power meter. I just want basic speed, elevation, time, etc. and this Garmin 500 Edge covers those bases nicely.

I love that I get route data that I can upload to Garmin Connect (the Garmin "cloud" site for keeping and tracking ride information). Here's an example of what you get - this is data from the last 3-speed ride, so the speeds are not impressive, but the route is well-mapped and is there for future reference; I can link it or send the URL to anybody that cares to recreate this ride for themselves. Handy as hell, really.

What's frustrating to see from the charts and graphs is the impact that stop signs and red lights have on my average speed. It seems every time I look down at this unit, I am motoring along nicely and keeping up with the cars, but then when I get home and look at the data, my average speed is a little below par for a TCBC "C" level. WTF?

Here's an example of a speed read out from todays commute (there and back, merged together). I think the slow flat spot is when the GPS lost connection in the parking ramp, but it's hard to tell for sure. This ride was completed on my relatively low-geared single speed mountain bike rocking 2-inch Big Apple tires:

What's immediately obvious is that this an absolute saw-tooth pattern. Any hope of a sustained speed must be abandoned on an urban commute. The cruising speeds are between 14 and 16 mph, with some peaks to 18 - 19 mph on the down-hills. What torpedoes my average speed are the red lights and stop signs. Zero is an awfully powerful number when it comes to pulling down an average. One and Two are pretty powerful as well. Add a long light and you've got no hope of an impressive ride.

To be clear, I have never been "fast", but I pass most people and rarely get passed. Nevertheless, according to the data, I would be desperately hanging onto the last wheel of a C ride. Ridiculous.

I am always skeptical when people tell me their "average speed". If it's at all high, they either road on rural roads, or they are telling you what the computer told them most of the time when they looked down at it. It's just not possible to average a decent pace in the City.

Jun 22, 2011

Hyper-Local Bike Racing

Who's up for joining me to spend a Sunday watching bike racing within blocks of my secret base of operations? Cycle Twin Cities ran this article yesterday on a Criterium coming to South MPLS in July, so I am linking to it rather than re-posting, but click it because this event is worthy of your support.

Some New Things to Try

Close to Home, Now
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
As I round the corner into my last week of work, I am already moving into some non-work related "next life" projects that I have been keeping "on hold" but can now move forward on.

Last night I was inducted in a local Sportsman's club (aka "gun club") and will be honing my skills at target pistol and rifle this summer. There's the option of competition if I am interested in that, but I'll strive for consistent competency first and competition second, and let the results dictate the pace of advancement.

This weekend I have an intensive League Certified Instructor (LCI) course racked up. I've been contemplating pursuing LCI for awhile now, but time and energy has been a scarce commodity. For those that don't know, LCI is a certification overseen by the League of American Bicyclists which gives a person the credentials and skills to teach effective cycling for anything between youngsters to commuters to senior citizens.

When I realized that an LCI class was being conducted in late June in St. Paul, I jumped at the chance to sign up. The course will be interesting, and challenging, I think. The main thrust of the course is how to teach - not what to teach. Traffic Skills 101 is a pre-requisite course that I took last summer, and I recall most of that, but to get into LCI one needs to pass the prequalification exam. It's not particularly easy, either. I studied, took the exam and passed my first try, but I did miss a few answers so I was able to resubmit and up my score, hopefully.

During the course of the course, we each need to teach two segments and then get critqued on our instruction. My assignments are co-teaching bike type, bike selection and bike terminology and then solo teaching riding at night. Fortunately, I am pretty conversant in all of those subject areas already, and I love riding at night, so for me it will be a matter of nailing the presentation, stressing what the manual says is important and not forgetting something, I think.

Still, I find I am a little nervous about this - I don't think I'll have too many challenges with the road tests, and my public speaking and presentation experience should pay off here, but mastering any new area requires making a few mistakes and learning from them, and that's usually uncomfortable for most of us.

Jun 18, 2011

3-Speeding to St. Paul

The intrepid riders of TC3-SAS gathered for an exploration of the quiet trails leading to St. Paul this morning.

We had a heavy rain the night before, so the world was wet and fragrant as I rode to the meet up spot this morning at about 8:30. I was feeling exuberant enough to snap a rare overhead-panda on the way there.

Four other riders joined me for an amble to St. Paul. This route is a classic Twin Cities ride - it's mostly on trails, and the ride on the east side of the Mississippi river is particularly lovely. Some of the participants had not ridden this route, so I am glad we choose this for today's ride. An added treat was into my friend Mark, who did a few 3-speed rides with us last year and was good enough to bring me along on one of his Train Ride adventures last fall. Hopefully we'll see him on a ride sooner rather than later.

I was enjoying the ride enough that I forgot to snap photos during the event, but we did pause to get a group photo at the overlook across the river from Fort Snelling. The ride took just under 3 hours, counting a coffee break in downtown St. Paul.

The 3-speed is surprisingly comfortable for rides this distance - I really anticipated that such an upright bike would put too much pressure on my nether regions, but the Brooks saddle helps with that a lot, and the relaxed ride is a refreshing change of pace of from the chatter of my road bikes. I was fresh as a flower at the end of the ride. It's definitely a different experience than my other bikes, which makes even familiar rides something new.

The Twin Cities 3-Speed Adventure Society is now on Facebook, so if you want to follow along or join in the discussion and ride planning, you can "like" us here.

Jun 16, 2011

Or Maybe You Can...

This just in...

I got back from an evening meeting tonight to find this little gem from Singular HQ waiting for me in the in-box:
Hi Joe, 
No problem to ship you an xs peregrine from the uk. Doesn't work out too badly as you don't have to pay sales tax. I am away at the moment for a week but will drop you a line next thurs when I'm back. 
Best regards,
How awesome is that? Despite being on vacation (or "Holiday" as they say in the UK), I got an optimistic email reply from Sam at Singular Cycles promising follow up in the near future.

It's disappointing, though, that apparently the U.S. dealers don't pursue order requests very diligently. This is not the first time I've brought this up at the LBS (or with Prairie Peddler, for that matter). I think the margin on a single bike must be too small to make it worth the while for a bike shop to chase a single order. It may very well be that dealing "factory direct" works, too - even for the common (wo)man.

Stay tuned...

You Can't Always Get What You Want

It's been a frustrating day to be a consumer.

I have been fending off a case of bikelust for awhile now and finally put feelers out on the possibility of scoring a new Singular Peregrine. I figure now is the perfect time for a new bike since I'll be having a bit more time for cycle adventures.

Alas, I would require an extra small frame in the Singular geometry. The LBS has advised me that they can't get one of these until perhaps December. A call to Prairie Peddler (one of the few dearlers in the U.S. that carries bikes) was even less optimistic - the answer there was "December, maybe?".

I finally sent an email off to Sam at Singluar over in the UK this afternoon and was pleased to get a very prompt reply. "Fantastic!" I thought to myself as I opened the message. Here's what it said:
Thanks for your email. I'm afraid I am out of contact for the next while as I am on my honeymoon. I will be back on 23.6 and will respond to your mail as soon as possible thereafter.

Best regards,
Congratulations on the wedding and all that, but I wish you had knocked one more out and shipped it off to the Colonies before you took off, mate.

Not sure what I'll do now.

Catrailer Training: Back at It

Astronaut Training
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
We have got to get back on the stick and re-start our cat trailer training program. The weather has been so sketchy this Spring that this project has been way-layed, but Coltrane and I will have to pick this up in the coming days and weeks.

Our ultimate goal will be a ride around Lake Nokomis, I think, but we'll have to work up to that one step at a time...

Jun 15, 2011

At TC3-SAS We Are All About Options

1973/74 Raleigh Sports
Originally uploaded by (cobrabyte)
People of Earth:

There will be not one, but TWO Twin Cities 3-Speed Adventure Society rides this weekend. Yes, two rides. Count 'em. Two.

The Saturday ride will be the more challenging of the two; we shall meet at the Princess Depot (aka Minnehaha Falls train station) at 9:00 AM. The route will be reprise of my early Spring Flood Ride, except we'll be able to take the low roads, which were underwater for the Spring ride.

I reconned the route again last Sunday with friends, and it's in good shape. It's almost all on designated bike trails except for a small portion of the route through downtown St. Paul, but it will be Saturday so that should be no problem. If there's any interest, I can use this opportunity to lecture the group about proper lane positioning and vehicular cycling during that time.

Bring your Big Boy or Big Girl pants, though - this ride will be about 19 miles start to finish, and there are one or two hills to make you appreciate the flat roads. Bring water and do what you must to prepare yourself for this journey. Do not worry, though; all TC3-SAS are no-drop, casual and non-competitive, so this will be fun, and entirely do-able on a roadster. I guarantee it.

Sunday there will be a second ride. The reason for a rare two-fer is the Blind Lizard Motorcycle Club annual picnic. I know nothing about this but have heard tales, so it's as worthy a destination as anywhere else I would ride.

The Blind Lizard Ride will be shorter and flatter, and the pace will be easy. We will meet at high noon at the Midtown Freewheel. From there we will amble to Nicolet Island to take in the scene, see the motorcycles (or in my case, the motorcycle riders) and then meander back to the start. Bring a camera if you come because it looks one hell of a photo op.

Tune 'em up and get 'em ready, because we shall ride!

By the way, TC3-SAS is now on Facebook. If you are interested, you can "Like" us and keep current on rides and join in the discussion.

The lovely bicycle in this post is cobrabyte's 1973/1974 Raleigh Sports - that's the same age as my bike, but this one is in prime shape. Thanks for sharing that one!

Jun 14, 2011

So Long and Hello!

Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
On June 30, I will be leaving full time employment to pursue my interests. Note that I say "my" interests and not "other interests".

I am fortunate... no... I am blessed to have this opportunity.

I have had a great career in My Chosen Field and done very well, but after more than 23 years of the same thing, I am seriously ready for a change.

I have been moving in this direction for awhile now. I used to be a text book example of a guy who's whole social network revolves around work. I have largely corrected that and have a lot of friends and acquaintances outside of work, so I don't think social isolation will be an issue for me.

As for keeping busy, I have always had more hobbies than time (bicycling, bike repair, bike advocacy, fly fishing, fly tying, weather spotting/storm chasing, playing music, drawing, literature, shooting, placelessness and urban geography, photography, etc., etc. That said, I have never had sufficient time or mental energy to really delve into any of these to my satisfaction. Now's my chance.

Immediate plans are admittedly kind of unimpressive - I am registered for the upcoming League Cycling Instructor (LCI) course at the end of the month and hope to teach traffic skills to children and adults. I also have some mandolin lessons lined up (that's kind of a whim - the teacher revealed herself and student stepped forward). I also have some important family obligations to attend to as well in the coming months.

Finally, I am already a contributing author for Cycle Twin Cities and am an occasional contributor to Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition ("once" counts as "occasional", right?), plus I scribble here. I plan to keep up the writing as well, but that might go in a new direction.

We can never know.

Longer term, I will look for a part time enjoyable position by Fall or Winter. Perhaps bike shop, perhaps sporting goods or hardware store, perhaps energy policy and government relations.

We can never know.

So, that's the big news. Thanks for stopping by and seeing what's up.

Jun 9, 2011

So Much for Good Ideas

Even the most well-intentioned of things can end up leaving greasy black smudges across the clear blue sky now and then.

Jun 8, 2011

Staring at the Moon

Last Night's Moon
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
I tried to capture a decent photo of the moon last night. It took many, many attempts before I got a shot that I thought worked, and I was not even sure I captured that until I went through the shots on the computer. I finally gave up and sat on the front steps next to my tripod, staring at my photographic subject for awhile.

Staring at the moon unplugs thoughts; it taps into the subconscious - much like gazing into a fire does.

For my moon-gazing, I was rewarded with an insight. It occurred to me that "moving forward" requires "leaving behind".

That sounds pretty bloody obvious when you type it out, but if you stop and think about it, there is quite a bit there to chew on.

Jun 6, 2011


Velocipete has polled the masses and concluded that Thursday, June 9 (Bike/Walk day) will be next Beer for Bloggers day! Ride your bike to work, then toast your sustainable lifestyle with a cold one at Sea Salt.

Hooray! Thanks, Velocipete.

Sea Salt, 5:00ish. Be there or be square, Daddy-O.

48th and Chicago Bike Parking Update

The ride to support better bike infrastructure at 48th and Chicago went very well! My comrades at MPLS Bike Coalition ran a summary of the event on Coalition blog today, so rather than rehash it here, I'll post a link and let you read it over there.

2F4L took some good photos of the prep, ride over there and the 48th and Chicago scene (including the one with this post). Those can be viewed on his Flickr site. Thanks for snaps, 2F4L! And again, a big thanks to everybody that helped out with this event as well!

Now we'll just to follow up and see if anything happens...

Jun 5, 2011

The Things I Carry - Part II

I posted previously about the miscellaneous and assorted gear that I carry with me on commutes and rides and such, but today, as I bombed down a steep hill with a stop sign at the bottom, I realized I neglected to include one small but important (to me) piece of equipment.

This item is not a tool - it's more of a talisman, albeit a traditional Catholic talisman.

About six years ago now, my Mother gave me a St. Christopher medal for Christmas. Her rationale at that time was that I was either flying all over the world or riding my bike around the lawless streets of Anchorage, AK. Given that reality, a St. Chris medals seemed much, much more appropriate than, say, a Salad Shooter or Chia Pet.

I love my St. Chris medal - for those that don't know, St. Christopher is the patron Saint of Travelers, and by extraction, the patron Saint of People Who Ride Bikes or Drive. I've worn this religiously (no pun intended) since I got it, and despite a few close calls, nothing Bad has happened.

Recently, the clasp opened and my wife went to work to close it up again with her jewelry making tools. She got the clasp fixed and added a little silver heart, to remind me that I am loved. Shucks... That's been hanging around my neck for the last year or so now.

For whatever reason, this little talisman makes me feel protected and cherished.

Superstition? Faith? I am not sure I know the answer to this. You can call it what you will.Whether it's a placebo or divine intervention doesn't matter to me.

A Good Old Fashioned Get Together

And like that, it's summer...

Velocipete has been so moved by the onset of summer as to declare the next meeting of Beers for Bloggers! I love this event; it's a fun to actually meet the brains behind some of the local bike blogs I monitor, and we always have a good time and lively discussion that comes from getting a bunch of smart, funny people together.

Perhaps my brother and sister authors at Cycle Twin Cities can join as well? Velocipete is running a poll to determine the specific date, so check there for the latest news...

This shall be the official kick-off to my summer bike social scene, I think.

Jun 4, 2011

Ride Your Way to Better Parking and Have Fun Doing It

Tomorrow (Sunday, June 5) a group of concerned cyclists will be meeting at noon at Midtown Freewheel and organizing for a fun and casual ride to the 48th and Chicago business node. Come early for lunch if like - they have very good soups and other things at Midtown these days as well as ample parking. I have not decided on a route to 48th and Chi yet - maybe we'll take the Parkway or perhaps we'll check out the 17th Ave. Bike Blvd (still only "planned", I think).

Once at 48th and Chicago, we'll engage the merchants in friendly dialogue asking for improvements in bike parking. I have talking points developed and will have enough copies for leave-behinds as well. I'll need a few volunteers to accomplish this, so hopefully I'll get some extroverted (or at least motivated) people.

With this little chore completed, we'll saddle up and meander on to 42nd Street and 28th Ave. to thank Angry Catfish, Baker's Wife, Buster's and the other local merchants for their ample and secure bike parking. I expect coffee will be sipped, beers will be raised and bakery appropriated during the after-party.

Hopefully, this will be a really good time, and just maybe it will get at least one more rack installed at 48th and Chicago. More discussion on Bike Love here.

If you can't make the start at noon, you can look for us 48th and Chicago from about 12:30 to 1:00 or so and then at Angry Catfish/Buster's/Baker's Wife by about 1:30 or so. Who knows how long some of us might be at Buster's?

Jun 3, 2011

Grease Rag Adds New Night and Location

Grease Rag announced this week that they have added a new night and location. They will be getting together on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at Recovery Bike in Northeast Minneapolis, 7-9PM.  Please come and show your support at the NE Grease Rag, June 14th.  And/ Or show your support by attending the...

Grease Rag NE Kick-Off Ride and Party

Meet at Sunrise Cyclery (901 W Lake St) at 6PM, group ride at 6:30PM to Recovery Bikes (2555 Central Ave NE) to check out the new space.  We will take a meandering ride back with a couple of stops (BYOB), ending up at Sunrise for a party!  We have some food planned (feel free to bring yummies to share), and music!!  Stay a little, stay awhile- we'd love to see you.

Please invite your WTF and ally friends!  This event is open to everyone.

Here is a link to the Facebook event so you can RSVP.

Congratulations, Grease Raggers!

Jun 2, 2011

Let Me Tell You About the Ride Home

Here is the quick summary of my ride today from downtown MPLS (north of where I live) to far southern Minneapolis:

TC3-SAS Comes to St. Paul

Those mysterious people behind the Twin Cities 3-Speed Adventure Society (TC3-SAS) have emerged from their top-secret Skunkworks to unveil the next 3-Speed Adventure: an invasion (albeit a slow-moving invasion) of  the lovely and essentially defenseless City known as St. Paul.

We will begin our exploration of this mysterious realm by meeting at 10:00 AM at The Cross (otherwise known as the scenic overlook of the Mighty Mississippi on East River Road at Summit Ave) on Sunday, June 19.

The ride promises to deliver the architectural stylings of Cass Gilbert as well as site seeing and photo-ops at some of the haunts of St. Paul's own F. Scott Fitzgerald. There may very well be an eatery thrown in for good measure...

Like all TC3-SAS adventures, the pace will be leisurely, the fellowship companionable, and the focus of the ride on experience of Place and enjoyment of cycling rather than "personal best" or "most expensive kit". Despite our dedication to planetary gearing, TC3-SAS celebrates diversity of drivetrains, and welcomes riders of any bike suitable to English Roadster pace. After that, minor things like race, creed, gender, age, sexual preference, degree of bike-culture coolness and anything you else you can think of is an after-thought in my book.

We aim to win hearts and minds first; we'll go after the gearing systems later.

I have it on good authority that there might be a little extra treat for those that show up, too. Photo credit to Cycle Twin Cities.

Jun 1, 2011

The Next Grease Rag is Tomorrow!

Thursday, June 2 is the next Grease Rag event at Sunrise Cyclery. If you are not familiar with Grease Rag, their mission is to encourage and empower women/ trans/ femme (WTF) cyclists in a collaborative and fun learning environment through rides, discussions, shop nights and educational seminars in a safer space.

My take on Grease Rag is that it is a good place for women to learn bike repair skills and make contacts in the bike community without the testosterone that sometimes comes with the cycling scene. Being a self-sufficient rider makes one a lot more confident and willing to venture further afield, and prevents problems as well. So what's not to like about that?

Grease Rag has a blog that can be found here and they also listed on my site in the "Friends" feed at the right of my page as well. If you are a WTF and need to get some new tires mounted, want to learn to change a flat or have more ambitious maintenance plans, this would be a great place to start!