Sunday, October 28, 2012

River rat

I went out for a ride on the Minnesota River Bottoms trails this morning/afternoon.  It's a pity that I live so close to this great little urban wilderness and don't take advantage of it more often than I do.  I rode my old Miyata Shredder, which is the fattest-tired bike that I own.  It's no Pugsley, but it's about right for these trails.  Speaking of Pugsleys, I saw multiple pug tracks while I was down there.  There was a time when a Pugsley Sighting was an event, but with the fatbike explosion over the last few years it's hardly worth mentioning any more.  

Yes, I forgot my helmet.  Don't judge.

Highway 77, which is where I turned around.

The abandoned parking lot at 77 was vaguely creepy.  

Old school.  26", fully rigid, anodized bar ends, neon graphics.  What's not to like?

I chose not to ride this.  With no helmet, I figured I'd play it safe.  Yeah, that's it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Greenway bike to the bar

The usual summer Sea Salt gathering never really happened this year. But I saw this article on and wondered, could we pull one off before the weather turns?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rained out

I attach proof that though the weather was bad, at least two people showed up last Thursday. Anybody want to try for a less rainy day?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pedal Power

The Big Picture, a photo blog from the Boston Globe, has a nice collection of bicycles around the world titled "Pedal Power". Take a look.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bike to work day

I did make it over to Minneapolis Bike to Work day last week. It's just been one of those years when I haven't had a chance to reflect on anything. I caught part of the Mayor's speech, saw the new stamps, and nabbed a few stickers and maps. I even hobnobbed with Ray for a bit. Then I rode back to work, stopping for some pulled pork tacos at a food truck.

The celebration was the usual, and I enjoyed it. But I kind of missed the early morning celebration with coffee and whatnot. The lunchtime event just didn't quite have the same vibe. Change is hard, sometimes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

30 Days of Biking: Wrap up

In case you were wondering, I did complete the 30 days of biking challenge. There were a few rides at the end that were nothing more than a ride around the neighborhood to put the check in the box for that day, but they count according to the rules. Everything was on an actual bike, outside, no trainers or gym bikes were used in the completion of this goal. Which is something. The more important something is I'm still riding fairly regularly. Not every day, but most. Short rides, mostly just to the park and ride. But rides none the less. On a bummer note, Tuesday when I got back to the park and ride I unlocked, threw my leg over the top bar and went to pedal off home. Crunch! Catastrophic rear derailleur failure! I noticed while walking home that my rear shifter lever was in the "all the way down" position, when normally it's somewhere in between. So my guess is either somebody monkeyed with it while I was at work, or I bumped it during the unlocking process and didn't realize it. Either way, the resulting displacement of the derailleur caused the chain to bind and the force was too much for the derailleur. It's actually a blessing in disguise. When I bought the Kuwahara frame, it included a headset (Kuwahara branded, no less) and also front/rear Suntour derailleurs. I built the rest up with a mish-mash of new and used parts. I added 8 speed bar end shifters and an 8 speed rear cluster, but the derailleur never had the reach to get to all those gears. So I was effectively riding a 6 speed rear cluster, as the range prevented me from getting into the highest and lowest gears. Replacing it has always been on my list of things to do, but so far it hasn't been done. Now it will get done. It's just a question of when.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

30 Days of Biking: Halfway

Still holding strong on the 30 Days of Biking challenge. Though the weather looks to become a bit more challenging for us in the Twin Cities, starting tomorrow. This past winter and spring have been some of the warmest on record, but since it's Minnesota we still have a chance of snow in tomorrow's forecast. I have managed to make every ride so far be what I call "productive". Productive doesn't always mean I'm riding to a specific place. Productive just means I got something out of the ride, rather than just taking the bike around the block so I can say I rode for the day. Over Easter weekend, my two rides were just simple loops around the Eagan area. But I consider this productive, as I've lived in the City of Eagan for almost 8 years but rarely bike here. 99% of my riding involves heading out of Eagan into Minneapolis or St Paul. I don't know my own back yard very well, and it's time that changed.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

30 days of biking: Day 7

One week in, I'm still on track with the 30 Days of Biking goal for April. I've been taking the short route to work this past week (bike 2 miles to the local park & ride, lock the bike up and bus in). One thing I've noticed as a result is that my biking shoes suck. I've known this intellectually for a while, but walking the 2 blocks from my workplace to the bus stop in the afternoon has rammed it home. To be fair, I bought these shoes almost 10 years ago, and they have thousands of miles on them. And they were the cheapest shoes available. I think I paid $35 from Performance on closeout. So it's not as if they owe me anything.

Rather than buying a new pair of shoes, this morning I swapped out the clipless pedals on my commuter to a pair of big platform pedals I had in the parts bin. This way, I can wear regular work shoes on my shorter commutes, and be able to walk like a normal person. As I finished the pedal swap, I gazed upon my vast fleet of cycles and realized that I now only have one bike with clipless pedals. And looking at the log, I haven't ridden that bike since 2009. My Raleigh 3 speed and my Schwinn Suburban have never had clipless, and never will. It would be too weird. And my mountain bike has always had flat pedals, mainly because I've been too lazy to put clipless on it and I don't ride it enough to make the swap worthwhile. The fixie has clipless, but as mentioned I haven't ridden it in nearly 3 years. My Jamis "go fast" bike used to have clipless, but I pulled them off 2 years ago for a Duathalon so I wouldn't have to change shoes between the running and biking portions (great transition times!).

I'm going to head out in a moment for today's ride, and if I like these platforms I may indeed buy a new pair of biking shoes. But they may never have cleats installed.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

30 Days of Biking: Day 1

Having been a bicycle slacker lo these many months, I decided to do something drastic. I'm going to attempt the 30 Days of Biking challenge. For most people that I know, the challenge isn't the motivation but rather just scheduling it out. Logistics. But for me, the motivation has been sorely lacking and I'm planning to use this month as a kick in the pants. And surprisingly, I've never tried the 30 days before. Should be interesting.

I started the month by escorting my daughters to a friend's house. They're spending the night, as it is officially Spring Break. I rode back home. 3.4 miles round trip. And a great way to start off. Tomorrow calls for a 50 percent chance of rain. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Trouble, right here in River City

Hi all,
Yeah, it's been a while. Sorry about that. Been biking much? Want to continue? Recent legislative shenannigans are making it look like biking may become a bit harder, soon. But there's still time. The League of American Bicyclists has a nice, easy to use form on their website that allows you to send an email to your congressperson telling them that you want bike funding. Do it now.

If you're not already clicking the link, you're missing out on stuff like this:

House leadership is exerting pressure to completely cut bicycling and walking out of transportation. Lawmakers seem to have gone through line-by-line to gut programs that make streets safer. The outrageous American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act:

Destroys Transportation Enhancements by making the program optional
Repeals the Safe Routes to School program, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and ride bicycles to school
Allows states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles
Eliminates bicycle and pedestrian coordinators in state DOTs
But there’s still a chance to save biking and walking. This week, Representatives Petri (R-WI) and Johnson (R-IL) plan to stand up to leadership by offering an amendment that restores dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Representative Petri and Johnson can only be successful if everyone with a stake in safe sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways contacts their Congressional Member today.

Do it. That is all.