Sunday, August 31, 2008


OK, so I've had this frameset kicking around the garage for the better part of a year. It's a very unique item, which is why I bought it. I should hang it on the wall as a piece of found art, but I doubt that would fly with other residents of the house. It's also a tad too small for me, measuring about 22" from center of the BB to the top of the seat tube. So in the interest of decluttering the garage, I'm thinking about unloading it. If you're reading this and interested, shoot me an email with any questions or an offer. I paid $60 for it originally. VelociPete readers will not be overcharged.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm pretty sure I've already peaked...

Most people reach their mental peak between the ages of 35 and 40, then begin a steady decline that speeds up in the years before death, [Valgeir Thorvaldsson] said.


Freewheelin Bike rental

The Democratic National Convention is winding down, and the Republican National Convention will be gearing up next week.  I just found out that the Freewheelin Bike Sharing stations in Denver all have live video streams, which is pretty cool in my book (Thanks to Yehuda Fritz for the link!).  My guess is that Freewheelin will have a similar type of setup here when they do the RNC bike share as well.  So there's a distinct possibility you will be able to see my smiling face somewhere on the interwebs next Wednesday.  Once the RNC feeds are up and running I'll post a new link with more specifics about when and where I'll be.  For those of you stuck at work or with a really slow social life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

No gloves, no loves?

A few weeks ago there was a glove/no glove discussion on the iBob list. It sort of lodged in the back of my brain since I hadn't been wearing bike gloves since the weather got warm this spring. I have for years, but somehow they just didn't feel needed. As I was getting ready to leave work today I realized that my gloves were still at the bottom of my messenger bag, so I put them on.

As I was riding home I started counting cyclists who were wearing gloves and cyclists who were not wearing gloves. I started to count when I got on to the Greenway, and counted all the way home. I counted a total of 101 cyclists, 71 of whom were not wearing gloves (in MN in January it would be 100 out of 101 wearing gloves). I was rather surprised to see such a dramatic preference for no gloves. And it wasn't just folks on more upright cruisers and hybrids either, lots of bare hands on drop barred road bikes. I'm not sure there's a point or anything to be learned here, but it was an interesting observation.

On a personal level, I found that my fingers were starting to get tingly at about mile 8 when wearing the gloves. This is a sensation I don't normally get, and I haven't changed anything about the bike setup recently so I can only imagine that it's the gloves. I may try them again tomorrow morning, especially if it's chilly like it was today. 56 degrees felt awful cold today.

What about you? Do you wear cycling gloves? Why, or why not?

Mileage since last post: 55
Previous month mileage: 473
Current month mileage: 354
Year to date mileage: 2782

Friday, August 22, 2008

My commute

I tend to ramble on a bit about my commute. But a picture is worth a thousand words. And Rod Stewart said every picture tells a story. So, here is my commute in pictures. All taken from the saddle, most of them while rolling.
Looking out at the neighbor's place from the driveway:

Down the street in front of the house:

Heading to Highway 13:

Up the hill on Highway 13:

Lloyd's Barbeque. The smell from this place can be either good or evil, depending on the day:

LCS Metal Stamping:

Trail crossing on Sibley Memorial:

Sibley Memorial Highway, approaching the Mendota Bridge:

Approaching the Mendota Bridge:

Crossing the Minnesota River:

Buildings in Fort Snelling:

The path between Fort Snelling and Minnehaha Park:

Watch out for dogs:


Minnehaha Depot:

The roundabout!

Welcome to Longfellow:

The 27B bus on Minnehaha Ave:

Transitioning from Minnehaha to The Greenway:

The Sabo bridge:

Vandalism advocating rioting during the RNC:

The Midtown Greenway:

The Freewheel Bike Center:

The backside of Uncle Hugo's/Uncle Edgar's bookstore (for The Mongrel):

Park Avenue:

And that's how I get to work. Whew.

Mileage since last post: 72
Previous month mileage: 473
Current month mileage: 288
Year to date mileage: 2727

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An acceptable level of funk

Article today in the Pioneer Press about bike commuting and "how to stay fresh".  Nothing new if you're a veteran commuter, but some good food for thought if you're a newbie.  And especially nice to reassure newbs that with minimal precautions you won't stink.
In other news, I'm volunteering for the Republican National Convention!  Er, sort of.  I'm actually volunteering for Bikes Belong to man one of their bike kiosks during the RNC.  Apparently the goal is to get the Rethugs out on bikes to enjoy our fair Twin Cities when they're not too busy puking.  I figure any opportunity to get folks who legislate onto bikes is a golden one.  I got a sweet location at the Stone Arch bridge on Wednesday September 2.  A very scenic location and should be plenty far away from any RNC protest nonsense that might be going on in either downtown.  I may also be leading a ride to show off some of the finer points of the Twin Cities.  More to come on that.  If you're interested in volunteering, contact Lisa Austin.  Her cleverly encoded email address is laustin AT visi DOT com. 
Miles since last post:  26
Current month miles:  227
Previous month miles:  473
Year to date miles:  2655

Saturday, August 16, 2008


As reported by Yon Saucy, we went camping last week. Curiously, she did not mention the failed putsch involving me and a tree. After we set up camp Nancy pointed out that there was a rope tied to a tree in the campground, approximately 20 feet up. Being a guy, I naturally grabbed the rope and gave it a few test tugs. From my perspective, it held fine. I pulled back, ready to launch myself, Tarzan-style, through the trees. As soon as I did, there was a loud crack! and the tree gave way. Below is the tree, post fall:

The exciting part was where it fell. The tree fell right on one of our camp chairs, seen here after temporary repairs:

Fortunately, this chair was unoccupied at the time. Unfortunately, three of the other four chairs in the vicinity were occupied. The rest of the family did not take kindly to being endangered by falling trees felled by simpletons. An outraged participant (with another hidden behind her):

Over time, after plying the would be victims with s'mores and roasted carrots:

all was forgiven. However, for the remainder of the weekend the damaged chair was known simply as, Daddy's Chair.

Mileage since last post: 397
Previous month mileage: 473
Current month mileage: 201
Year to date mileage: 2629

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturday Morning Hijinks

I made the Hiawatha Ride this morning. It was a "family ride" so there were lots of kids and spouses. A big, big group of about 25 folks rolled out. Final destination: Polish Food.

I got to ride Paul's 1940's Swiss Army Bike. It has a spoon brake, which would have been very frightening if there wasn't also a coaster brake. The spoon brake was very ineffective.

I had the special, Polish Breakfast. Eggs, potato pancakes, polish sausage and sour cream mixed with horseradish. What cholesterol?

Double up

I just found that I've been tagged, not once but twice. And unfortunately, it's two different meme thingies. I've been putting off answering these, but now that it's the weekend I've run out of excuses.

First, from Tex:

First, the background.

1. Post the rules of the game at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

5. Create an arbitrary rule to keep with the whole fives theme.

What were you doing 5 years ago?

Five years ago the girls would have been 4. I was doing pretty much what I'm doing now. Being a dad, working at the same place I work now, married to the same wife, commuting to work by bike. Some of the things that were different are that I think I'm a better dad now than I was then. I might be a better husband, hard to say on that one. One major difference is we were still living in St. Paul 5 years ago, so while I was still bike commuting it was a different route.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?

1. Hiawatha ride - done
2. Pack for upcoming camping trip - maybe tomorrow
3. Mow lawn - maybe tomorrow
4. See Kung Fu Panda at The Riverview
5. Do some work work - maybe tomorrow

What are five snacks you enjoy?

1. tortilla chips and salsa

2. ice cream

3. cheez its

4. pretzels

5. sunflower seeds

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

1. have one "good bike"

2. landscape my back yard

3. start a foundation, something patterned after the Bill Gates/Warren Buffett thing. Or maybe I'd just donate it to theirs, save me the headache of running one.

4. Take a lot more trips with the family

5. Buy a boat

What are five of your bad habits?

1. Being crabby

2. waste excessive time on the computer reading blogs and crap (saved this one from Tex because it applies)

3. Portion control with snacks (see above)

4. Not returning phone calls

5. Being a slacker

What are five places where you have lived?

1. Twin Cities, MN

2. Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN

3. Rapid City, SD

4. Huron, SD

5. Pierre, SD

What are five jobs you’ve had?

1. busboy
2. telephone operator
3. ice cream truck driver
4. perfume salesman
5. pizza jockey

And then there was the bike related one from TOB:

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
Some sort of all-rounder. A bike that can go everywhere. Not too fast, not too slow, not too heavy, not too light.

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?
With every bike I buy, I'm working toward the ideal. I'm getting closer, but perfection is never attainable. It keeps me tinkering and experimenting.

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
My commute isn't bad. It's about the right distance, and if I take the long way home (Greenway to West River Road) it's plenty scenic. I'm sure there's a better route I should be choosing. Someplace that goes by both a free beer stand and the practice court for women's beach volleyball...

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride for the rest of her / his life?
I'm a creature of habit. I do most of my miles now on one route. I can thing of worse fates.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?
I own both road and mountain bikes. However, the off road riding I do can hardly be called "mountain biking."

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.
I own a recumbent trike. It's a nice enough bike and fun to ride. Don't make fun. However it doesn't get the miles it deserves, simply because it's not an efficient commuter.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
Not. Gonna. Happen.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
Ice cream, natch. Biking's good for me, ice cream's not. Seems an easy decision. I also like biking a lot more than I like ice cream.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
Q: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A: 7

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?
I had this experience on a motorcycle once, only it was two bear cubs. Figuring mama bear was close behind, we gunned it and kept going. I'd probably do the same with an adult bear.

Now, to pass the tags along. If tagged, choose with meme you want to do. Feel free to do both. Or neither.

Yon Saucy

Friday, August 01, 2008

In which I am a dork

I believe this is the official sign that I am:

a) a dork
b) socially inept
c) a geek
d) all of the above

I am now on facebook. Will you be my friend?