Thursday, June 25, 2009


Life in the corporate world:
We had a meeting today, and somebody used the term "vernacular."  Somebody else said "I don't know what that means."  So, in an effort to call out the closet Lebowski fans, I said it means "the parlance of our times."  Nobody laughed.

Biker beers

Every so often, Bicycling Magazine sends me an email.  And every so often, I actually read it.  Their most recent email had a subject line that pretty much ensured I would: 
I thought perhaps it would be beers with lots of B12 or some other chemical that will aid cyclists in recovery, or some such nonsense.  But it was just a straightforward slideshow of 12 different beers that were either inspired by cycling or were named for cycling.  I hadn't heard of many of these beers, so I may need to go search them out.  You should too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

After a Fall

About 15 years ago I bought my wife an audio recording of several Garrison Keillor short stories, recorded by the man himself. One was titled "After a Fall" and discussed what happens after you fall down:

"When you happen to step off an edge you didn't see and lurch forward into space waving you arms, it's the end of the world for a second or two, and after you do land, even if you know you're OK and no bones are broken, it may take a few seconds to decide whether this is funny or not."

Nancy and I went for a ride on Saturday, and I fell off my bike. First time I've fallen since the Hiawatha Pub Crawl. After those few seconds, I decided this was funny. We were riding through Crosby Farm in St. Paul and ended up on the wetland trail. This is a boardwalk that allows you to travel across the marshland. As we approached the end of this section of trail, the boardwalk angled up, sharply. I slowed down some and headed up. And of course, on the other side was a drop of at least a foot that I totally wasn't expecting. The front tire made the drop, and for a brief second I thought I was going to make it. But then my pedal caught on the peak of the boardwalk and I pitched over sideways. Nancy was behind me and said I fell very gracefully. I have a couple of red spots on my left palm, but didn't even break the skin. Nice! We finished out the last 5 miles of the ride, but my wrist was sore.

Later that day, I noticed that it is nicely swollen. And today, well over 24 hours later, it's still nicely swollen. But all in all, a funny experience. Even if my wrist might disagree.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A right, or a privilege?

Bob Mionski wrote a book a few years ago called Cycling and the Law.  I haven't read this book but I have wanted to.  I learned today that he also writes a blog for Bicycling magazine.  His most recent post discusses whether cycling is a basic right, or a privilege.  I have always been told that driving is a privilege, and assumed that cycling was the same.  But Bob mentions something called the "right to travel" that I was unfamiliar with.  I won't try to summarize it here, because the post does a very good job of explaining things.  The end result is that I learned a fair amount of the history of both motor and cycling law.  Is cycling a right?  I think that could be argued either way.  And as Bob points out, if we cyclists keep riding like jerks, it may be.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

More bike lanes

I received this from the City of Minneapolis a while back, and it's been languishing in my in-box.

Bicycling Update Subscribers,

On Wednesday, June 10th, Minneapolis Public Works will host a public meeting (pdf) to present the draft proposal for new bicycle lanes on 4 street segments:

* 10th Avenue SE – Como to University Avenue (pdf)
* 19th Avenue S – University to Riverside Avenue (pdf)
* 20th Avenue S – Riverside to Minnehaha Avenue (pdf)
* Minnehaha Avenue – 20th Avenue to 31st Street (see pdf above)

The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm in Room 114 of the Oren Gateway Center at Augsburg College. A bicycle ride will also take place before the meeting at 5:15 pm to tour the proposed bike lanes. Meet at the old North Country Co-op and bring a bicycle.

For more information about the project, including project summaries and opportunities for online feedback, visit the Bicycle Operations project website.

Happy Riding,

City of Minneapolis Bicycle Program

So get thee to the meeting on Wednesday. The Pro-Parking League usually shows up in force for these types of things, so the cyclists need to balance things out.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Big 40

Last week I turned 40 years old, Thursday to be precise. I'd thought about how to celebrate this for a while, and decided I wanted to have a party. So, have a party we did. I don't often consider myself a popular person, as most of the time I'm an introvert and don't easily insert myself into social situations. Yet ironically, I love gatherings. But I certainly felt quite popular on Saturday and was extremely pleased to be surrounded by friends and family who came from both near and also much farther than I ever would have imagined. We had a great time, spun yarns about the old days, caught up on what is happening in the current, stayed up too late and enjoyed each other's company. I'm not completely deluding myself, free food and beer is a big draw, but it was great to see every single person there even if I didn't get a chance to chat with half of you as much as I would have liked, and talked to less than half of you twice as much as you deserved. A big heartfelt thanks to everybody who came out and made this a great party!