Saturday, September 03, 2016

Elmwood Cx Labor Day Weekend Practice Course

If you've been lamenting the lack of a legible practice course at Elmwood Park this weekend is for you. I have carefully flagged what I believe to be the course that "they" created.

It's certainly very close to what is being ridden the most. I base this claim on this "2016 Early Elmwood Practice Course" Strava Segment viewable here -

It is generally an anti-clockwise lap and starts at the triple flags along the east edge of the big parking lot. It ends on the west edge parking lot by the picnic shelter.

I make no guarantees on the flags remaining in place. I was not invited to flag the course and am possibly stepping into someone else's territory. I will be removing the flags Monday night because mowing around them would be difficult.

Be sure to stop along the north woods and notice the abundance of Monarch butterflies.

Finally, want to ride it with me? Hit me up, let's work something out.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride Is July 30

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride Is July 30

The Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is Saturday July 30. We depart the Falls Park Farmer's Market at 9am. There is plenty of parking in the north part of Falls Park.

The Falls Park Farmer's Market has some vendors that sell food, most notably one that sells coffee.

Here is a link to the probable route.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Teaching The Boy 14

Question: I go up to the 26th and Discovery intersection on the line that triggers the light and then a car comes and sneaks in between me and the curb and turns right. Any thoughts?


Answer: Being in the left portion of the lane kinda encourages that.  If you were driving a car and there was space to your right for a right turning car you'd see that as normal. In fact, that's a feature of being in the left potion of the lane, it allows for drivers behind you to do right turns on red.

What's not normal is if a driver comes alongside your right and doesn't turn on red. They could choose to go straight and pass on your right. When the light turns green be hyper vigilant so you don't move to the right and end up in their path after they've already started to overtake you. If you are being overtaken on the right go slower so the danger passes quickly.

To prohibit right on red you'd need to be on the right side of the lane but the trade off for that is increased likelihood of a driver coming alongside your left and passing improperly in the intersection or worse turning right, across your path. That's known as a right hook.

A hard part of driving a narrow vehicle is lane position is a bit of an art.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday's Saturday Coffee Shop Ride Manna Bakery

Stepping inside the Manna Bakery is like stepping into another world. I like that about any place. Thanks for coming out this morning fellow riders. 

Next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is July 30. We roll at 9am from the Falls Park Farmers Market. They always have food and coffee for sale within.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tour of Sioux Falls

Happy Tour Sioux Falls day. I'm going to ride from TSF Central at Cherry Rock Park to FAST singletrack at Leaders Park. After that the bike trail will take me to FAST singletrack at Yankton Trail Park. I'll hang out there for awhile as a FAST board member welcoming all the singletrack curious riders. Then back to Cherry Rock Park for some food truck goodness.

See you out there.

Cherry Rock Park - a few of my favorite things.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


58! Degrees. It's important to write it like that - 58! Degrees. It was so nice out this morning I rode in with the top down.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride Is Sunday

The Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is this very next Sunday. June 26. We depart the Manna Bakery at 9am. The Manna Bakery is at 812 E 6th St which is the intersection of 6th Street and Indiana Ave.

What the Manna Bakery lacks in coffee it makes up for in freshly baked pastries and such.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Learning to Ride a Bike on Father's Day

I've been working with The Boy 14 on how to safely ride in the city. Lane control & release, being predictable, communicating. Soon he'll be released into the wild so that he can fulfill some volunteer opportunities downtown this summer.

For today's 5 mile round trip between home and two bus stops I led and 6,000 mile rider Big Brother took the rear. My job was to demonstrate lane positioning, and the timings for scanning, signaling and turning.

Big Brother's job was to verify proper imitation. At the end Big Brother offered his comments which were amazing for me to hear because he gets it, including: "Do those hand signals like you mean it. Do them sharper than dad does because that's what gets the attention of drivers."

Plus I got to demonstrate tire changing.

Happy Father's Day!

Impeding Traffic?

I don't know for sure but I suspect most people, when they think of riding bikes in the city imagine following a car down the street, with an impatient driver behind wishing the rider off the road, and another turning driver ready run over the rider at the slightest mis-cue.

The reality for me is when I'm smart about route selection, the roads around me look more like this...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dear Police Chief...

On April 21 KELOLAND News published this piece about bicycling safely. On May 30 I sent the following letter with 10 signatures to the Police Chief and received a response less than 12 hours later. Wow.


Dear Sioux Falls Police Chief Burns:

We recently observed Officer Draeger in a bicycling safety news article on KELOLAND TV say some things that concern us as Sioux Falls bicyclists.

Officer Draeger’s first statement, “Even if you're in the right of way on a bicycle, you're going to lose if you tangle with a car” is not helpful. People who bicycle know all too well that injury and death are frequently probable when crashing into a car. What riders and drivers of other vehicles aren’t clear on is that law enforcement will give riders the same protection under the law as drivers of other vehicles whether they are involved in a crash or not.

Because our four most recent bicycle fatalities involve two drivers ticketed for failure to exercise due care and two intoxicated drivers we propose police adopt a more mature view of today’s modern multi-modal roadway. Use statements similar to, “a rider that operates according to the law will receive the greatest protection while riding or crashing because they are being predictable, visible and within the legal requirements.”

Officer Draeger’s second statement, "Ride as far to the right as you can” is better stated in city ordinance 72.002 and can be reduced to soundbites: “ride in the right-hand lane” and “as far to the right as allows safe operation.”

Officer Draeger’s third statement “Remember if you're riding on the sidewalk, you have to stop your bicycle before you cross the street” was fine. While most bicycle riders would be surprised to learn they must stop even if the pedestrian signal is in their so many riders roll through intersections on the sidewalk without stopping, or even looking, it’s amazing.

Thank you for your considerations:

Assorted Sioux Falls Bicycle Riders
(signatures available in attached PDF document)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not Everyone Is Mean...

1. She passed me as we both performed a left turn. Passing in an intersection is expressly forbidden in law. Passing while both turning left is a move some NASCAR drivers struggle with.

2. When I said "if you wait until after we turn we'll both be more safe." She ever so nicely said she was sorry and she wasn't sure what to do.

Just wait half a block and pass me when it's straight...and I thanked her for being so nice.

It felt like progress.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bike to Work Week Day 2 - Lessons in Scanning

Today's ride to work reminded me of two very important safe riding rules:

#1 - always communicate to drivers your intentions by signaling your turns. Even when you think you're alone on the road. I got lazy this morning and didn't.

#2 - always always always scan before moving laterally in the roadway. Even when you think you're alone on the road. I did scan left before I turned left and discovered I was being questionably but legally overtaken - well maybe they were speeding, but everybody does there. It was simple enough for me to hold my line and not turn into the car but I wasted most of my margin for error by failing to comply with rule #1.

No, three. Three important safe riding rules:

#3 - the habits you practice matter. Moving left on the bike trail to overtake a pedestrian? Scan left. Turning left from a left turn only lane with two lanes of oncoming traffic? Scan left. Moving right on the bike trail after overtaking a pedestrian? Scan right. The habit is the thing that can save your life when you're lazy.

Happy bike to work week!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday May 28

I've been a bit delinquent on posting and publicising the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides. Amazingly attendance remains strong. In fact last week at Caribou/Einstein a friend I hadn't seen in a very long time surprised me and rode with us. The temperature was low and the precipitation was high.

Here we are, two weeks away from the May Saturday Coffee Shop Ride. A couple months ago Flyboy Donuts met us outside as we rode by and they handed us dozens and dozens and dozens of donut holes.

Nothing gets my attention like donuts so this month: Saturday May 28, our venue is Flyboy Donuts.

The plan is to go west over the Tallgrass Bridge, north through the mall and Meadows. We'll note the proximity of the new grocery store to the bike trail. Have I mention there's a grocery store right on the bike trail now? Then south through a neighborhood and back for coffee and donuts at Flyboy Donuts.

Maple bacon donuts. Specifically. Seriously. Maple. Bacon. Donuts. Donuts with maple. And bacon. Bacon.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is 11.3 miles and is weather adjustable. Here are general expectations of the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides. Faster riders may find the slowish speed of this ride mentally taxing.

Here is the planned route - subject to change.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Driver Mindset on the Bike Trail?

I’ve learned of an early March bike trail pedestrian/bike crash resulting in unconsciousness and broken bones for the pedestrian. I hate it when the driver mindset of “push forward though all risks” visits the trail.

I suspect many riders don’t take into consideration the physics of human reaction time when riding around pedestrians.

First the pedestrian must identify the bell or call-out “on your left” is directed at them, they have to identify the correct response and they have to implement the response. Is that a 9 second process if everything works perfectly?

A 20mph rider travels 261 feet in 9 seconds. That’s 87 yards people. I bet most pedestrians cannot identify a bell or call-out directed at them from 87 yards.

The ONLY safe response to this information is to slow down for slower trail users. I’ve said before, if you’re not matching the speed of the people you’re passing on the trail and especially complimenting the bikes ridden by children you’re not thinking enough about the future of riding in the city.

My high school math teacher will tell you a bike trail crash could end your riding career. It did his.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Things To Do & People To See

I found myself with a few appointments evenly spread throughout the day. With this schedule even pretending to work would be futile. So I took the day off to ride my bike and travel to meetings. I like taking pictures so I took some along the way to document the day. 

To tell the story of being about town without a car.

I departed home at 9:30-ish and returned home at 5-ish. I expected temperatures in the high 40s. The real temperatures were in the upper 30s. With temps this low the 20mph windchill was a factor.  I was very pleased to have made a last minute decision to wear a jacket. Without it I would not have been able to complete the day.

My favorite bike route from home to downtown is the south portion of the bike trail. It's not the quickest but it's the most fun. This is a 45 minute trip and it got me there in time for some coffee and some planning.

The route.

The coffee. I take a lot of pictures of helmets with coffee.

I wandered over to my favorite place to park bikes. Coincidentally nearby is my favorite place to change costumes.

Bike parking - when everybody rides we'll fight about things like lack of parking.

Biker casual.

Business casual.

I walked a bit until I discovered Julie Prairie's Photography Studio. I was part of a photo shoot for Live on Stage: Sioux Falls Concerts Association. I think I'm going to be on the cover of BizNow MagazineHere's a picture of Julie Prairie - yes, that is her real name - taking a picture of me. Her studio is above Fresh Produce in the Gourley Building. If you'd like a signed 8x10 glossy of me I have a limited number available.

From there I did more walking and seemingly randomly took a picture of this Main Ave sharrow marking. Boy I'd rather ride in 10 feet of traffic lane than 4 feet of door-zone bike lane.

Shortly after that I visited the Visual Arts Center in the Washington Pavilion. I really wanted to see the exhibition of photographs taken by the Argus Leader journalists. I very much like photojournalism and I was not disappointed. I half expected and was half surprised to find bicycling was included in the exhibit. Specifically two photos from the tragic ride of Harald Vik. There was a short looping video feature too wherein the photographers said nice things about their work.

From here it was errand running time. The bank, my parent's house, my Sanford Profile coach and lunch at Jimmy Johns. With flags flying half staff the huge flag at Maximum Promotions seemed especially close. The picture doesn't do it justice but it's a bike and a flag so I'm including it. Is it still half for Scalia our is it now for Nancy? I can't keep up. At what point will we just full-time fly them at half?

#16 - Club Lulu. Unwich. If I skip the bread can I have a cookie the size of a plate later?

was pleased to happen upon Kirk on The Troll en route. Always good to see him - and other riders - out and about riding. I was not quick enough to get a picture.

After the errand running it was time to land back downtown at Coffea. I had read an article by seemingly the newest bike advocate in town. I wanted to meet him. So I ordered up a cup of coffee and a cookie the size of a plate and sat across from Zach DeBoer for shy of a couple hours.

This is an ambitious young man who lives and loves the fabric of urban living. I learned that last year he, for one weekend, converted northbound north Main Ave from parallel to diagonal parking and gained 60 parking spots. He did this with duct tape and official permission. He is also the creator of the Art Maze event that my family enjoyed.

The cookie. I may have eaten it.

Zach. Zach seems to do his work through his art gallery Exposure.

Speaking of hands, if you need one there's is one pinned to a tree downtown. High five!

The final item on the day's agenda was mid-term middle school conferences. I had intended to circumvent the city via the north bike trail - to complete the loop - but with time restricted I opted for a more direct route. Time was so restricted I landed on the 45mph Madison Ave under the interstate. Sometimes you gotta do what you must. I arrived with 15 minutes to spare. I was not able to ride 45mph - because of the headwind.

Here's an almost empty bike rack.

Here's the errand running portion of my day. In the end I rode 28 miles. Really, there's no need to be too concerned about that cookie. Right coach?

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday March 26

Ride bikes. Drink coffee. We're riding from Scooter's near the 57th St & Western Ave intersection on March 26 this month. We'll tour some of the southern part of the city and also see the shiny new bike path spur under 57th Street.

It's gonna be great! It'll probably snow.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is 10.3 miles and is weather adjustable. Here are general expectations of the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides. Faster riders may find the slowish speed of this ride mentally taxing.

Here is the planned route - subject to change.