Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hiawatha Pub Crawl

I got out of work and I headed for the neighborhood beer joint
I sat around and had a beer with the boys like I always do
Well I didn't have nothin' to say anyway there ain't no point
There's just something 'bout a Monday that always makes me blue

Well it was well after dark so I knew my wife and kids were waitin'
And I guess I took a left where I generally take a right
Well I filled her up with gas, checked the oil at the Texaco station
I threw the car seat in the dumpster and headed off into the night

There's somethin' 'bout a Monday that always makes me blue

Well I headed south on 35 hell bent for vinyl
I hadn't never had her up past 55 before
Well somethin' 'bout that little red line always looked so final
Buddy you'd be surprised how fast a Chevrolet truck can go

Now, down in Mexico they've got a little place called Boystown
Where a man's still a man if you know what I'm talkin' about
Well, I walked into the Cadillac bar and I laid my cash down
I said "there's plenty more where that came from" and the lights went out

Well I woke up in a county jail 'cross the line in Laredo
With a headache and a deputy staring at me through the door
Well he said "Now how you got across that river alive, I don't know
But your wife just made your bail so now you're really dead for sure"

Now my wife, she called my boss and cried so I got my job back
And the boys down at the plant, they whisper and stare at me
Yea well my wife can find a lot of little jobs to keep me on the right track
Well, but that's a small price to pay for a week of living dangerously

That's a small price to pay for a week of living dangerously

Monday, January 26, 2009

Little Help?

Yesterday afternoon was the Hiawatha Cyclery Pub Crawl. If you attended and happened to find a digital camera at The Blue Nile, I would be incredibly pleased if you would contact me. As coincidence would have it, I seem to be short one digital camera. You'll be able to identify it easily because it has all of our vacation photos on it. Thanks in advance.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

U.S. Royal Bike Tires

I found a pretty neat ad for U.S. Royal bike tires on James Lileks' comics website the other day. Pretty neat stuff. Try the original link if these don't appear very large on blogger.

In other news, the wife and I head to Miami on Saturday morning for a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean. You now have permission to be jealous.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Upcoming Bike Events

Straight from the mouth of the horse:

The City of Minneapolis is hosting three upcoming events for bicyclists. The first is a slide presentation about bicycling in Northern Europe. Jane Shey, a PhD student in Leuven, Belgium, will share photos showing how bike accommodations have been made in cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam. She will also discuss information on policy changes, safety measures, and funding for bicyclists. The presentation will take place this Wednesday, January 14th at 4:30 pm, at Minneapolis City Hall in Room 319. View the presentation flyer (pdf) for more details.

The second event is an open house for the River Lake Greenway, a new bicycle project in South Minneapolis which when complete, will run between Lake Harriet and the Mississippi River via 40th and 42nd Streets. The purpose of the meeting is to present design ideas for the greenway and gain feedback from neighborhood residents. This open house will take place on Wednesday, February 4th at 6:30 pm in the Roosevelt High School Auditorium. View the open house flyer (pdf) or project website for further information.

The third event is a series of public meetings in February on a proposal to establish Public Bicycle Sharing in Minneapolis. The City of Minneapolis and City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation will present a draft plan that describes how bike sharing (similar to the Paris VĂ©lib) could work in the heart of Minneapolis for short trips. The meetings will take place on Wednesday, February 4th at 7:00 pm in the Calhoun Square Atrium; Tuesday, February 10th at 7:00 pm at Coffman Memorial Union; and Thursday, February 12th at 5:30 pm at the Minneapolis Central Library. For more information, visit the Twin Cities Bike Share website or view the public meetings flyer (pdf).

Additionally, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is hosting six meetings in February on the Bike, Walk, & Roll Plan. The plan will set programming and infrastructure guidelines for biking in Minneapolis parks.

Whew. Now, if you made it this far, do yourself a favor and go the the City's website and put your email in so you can get these updates in your very own email box. Because you and I both know I'm lazy and won't get around to posting every one.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Let it snow

Even though I gave myself permission to skip the bike when the Mendota Bridge hasn't been cleared, I found myself riding yesterday and today. And I found myself walking the bridge yesterday and today. That's right, I was that schlub. But for some reason, I didn't mind walking. In previous years I found myself to be very frustrated not being able to ride the bridge. But yesterday and today I had more of an "oh well" attitude. And it really doesn't take that much longer to walk 1 mile than it does to ride. At least not at the speeds I ride in the winter. And then, this afternoon on my way home I was treated to the unexpected surprise of the bridge being clear! Attitude is everything.

Those of you who have seen me in the last few months are aware that the goatee had gotten a little out of control. And now that the cold is here, my balaclava has been icing up and freezing into some sort of hybrid balabeardcicleclava thing. Some mornings I've had to thaw it out before I could take the balaclava off. So in the name of expediency, I've shaved.

Problem solved.

Friday, January 02, 2009

A winter affliction

Many cold weather cyclists are familiar with the beardcicle. However, there is a lesser known winter cycling affliction. While beardcicles normally appear when the weather is at 0 or below, this newly documented affliction normally appears as the temperature approaches freezing (32 F). I have dubbed this new disease "Mitten Mouth."
mitten mouth
Mitten Mouth occurs when a cyclists needs to increase his or her manual dexterity and the weather is warm enough to actually remove one's mitten while riding. One hand remains on the handlebars, the other is performing whatever task requires manual dexterity (taking panda pictures, for example) and the mouth is the only remaining place where one's mitten can remain secure.

2008 wrap up

Last January I posted a summary of my 2007 mileage. For my 2008 summary, I'm basically going to copy that exact same post. But this year, I'm not making a graph. Apologies to graph fans.

Miles per bike, from greatest to least: Net Change
Kuwahara 2008: 2785 2007: 0 (not owned) +2785
Raleigh Triumph 2008: 1015 2007: 143 +872
Trek Fixie: 97 2007: 0 (not owned) +97
Raleigh Robin Hood 2008: 87 2007: 66 +21
Schwinn Suburban 2008: 62 2007: 151 -89
Schwinn Premis: 0 2007: 2010 -2010
Jamis Satellite: 0 2007: 960 -960
Raleigh Eclipse: 0 2007: 317 -317
Sun EZ-Tad Trike: 0 2007: 159 -159
Miyata Shredder: 0 2007: 30 -30
Total: 4046 2007: 3836 +210

Number of rides per bike, from greatest to least: Net Change
Kuwahara: 117 2007: 0 (not owned) +117
Raleigh Triumph: 63 2007: 9 +54
Trek Fixie: 8 2007: 0 (not owned) +8
Schwinn Suburban: 5 2007: 7 -2
Raleigh Robin Hood: 2 2007: 4 -2
Schwinn Premis: 0 2007: 85 -85
Jamis Satellite: 0 2007: 35 -35
Raleigh Eclipse: 0 2007: 16 -16
Sun EZ-Tad Trike: 0 2007: 6 -6
Miyata Shredder: 0 2007: 1 -1
Total: 195 2007: 163 +32

There are some pretty seismic shifts here. The variety of bikes I rode really went down dramatically, with two newly acquired bikes (the Kuwahara and the Trek) really jumping over several others. And the number of bikes that didn't get a single mile went up as well. That's a somewhat disheartening shift.

I also broke my riding down by the types of ride I did. Those were fairly predictable results, at least in the commuting department:
Commute: 3584 2007: 3263 +321
Hiawatha: 291 2007: 420 -129
3 Speed Tour: 85 2007: 0 +85
Camping: 56 2007: 0 +56
Family ride: 20 2007: 30 -10
Errands: 10 2007: 10 0
Ironman: 0 2007: 104 -104
Exploring: 0 2007: 9 -9
Total: 4046 2007: 3836 +210

I also broke this down by number of rides:
Commute: 173 2007: 142 +31
Hiawatha: 12 2007: 15 -3
Family ride: 5 2007: 3 +2
Errands: 2 2007: 1 +1
Camping: 1 2007: 0 +1
3 Speed Tour: 1 2007: 0 +1
Ironman: 0 2007: 1 -1
Exploring: 0 2007: 1 -1
Total: 194 2007: 163 +31

I had hoped to increase the number of family oriented rides this year. And while I did have a nominal increase (5 vs. 3) it's not much in the grand scheme. I suppose I could count the 3 Speed Tour as a family ride, since I did it with the lovely wife. That would increase the mileage, but the number of rides is virtually unchanged. I have two ways of looking at this. One is that biking, for me, is normally a solitary pursuit. Should I feel guilty about having an activity that I enjoy doing by myself or with other adults outside the family? No, that's part of being a well rounded adult. But the flip side is that I have a desire to share my love of cycling with the family. I don't realistically think any of them will become bike commuters or any of the other "extreme" types of cyclists. But I would be pleased if they enjoy the activity. And they do. The girls biked on their own much more in 2008 than they ever did in 2007, so that's progress of a different sort. I'm going to have to ponder this more.

The last statistic I had last year is my month over month mileage. This one's pretty self explanatory:
January: 309 2007: 309 0
February: 239 2007: 282 -43
March: 331 2007: 308 +23
April: 445 2007: 379 +66
May: 219 2007: 332 -113
June: 412 2007: 265 +147
July: 473 2007: 472 +1
August: 402 2007: 389 +13
September: 422 2007: 395 +27
October: 471 2007: 386 +85
November: 229 2007: 176 +53
December: 94 2007: 143 -49