Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Next! 12/26 PLUS: We're 1, Happy Birthday

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride will be the last Saturday of December. That makes it a very special post-Christmas Saturday, December 26 ride. We'll depart at 9am from Kaladis on Minnesota Ave. Please realize that because of its proximity to Christmas the venue may change – dependent upon their holiday schedule.

Here is a link to the general expectations of the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides. Faster riders may find the speed of this ride a bit mentally challenging. For the entirety of the Saturday Coffee Shop Ride posts follow this link.


November’s ride featured our second largest group of riders. Of course, with temperatures rising lots of people were outside enjoying themselves. One youngster was quite impressed with the spectacle of a group of riders outside his home, “WOW!” he exclaimed.

After being greeted by two or three groups of neighborhood people in close proximity it was observed by many of us that when we drive our cars hardly anybody ever waves. Even when we get together with our friends and drive our cars in groups, still nobody waves.

Go figure…

A look back at the history of the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides reveals I announced the first one on November 29, 2014. The first ride left from Kaladis on December 27. That makes us 1 year old.

Happy Birthday!

To remember the year below is the complete set of 12 official ride photos. Enjoy.

December - Kaladis - not pictured. I was new at this.

January - Starbucks (14th & Minnesota)

February - MB Haskett's but it was busy so we went...I don't remember.

March - Panera Bread

April -  Pappy's: The Original

May -  Manna Bakery

June -  Scooters

July - Falls Park Farmer's Market

August - Black Sheep Coffe

September -  Dunn Brothers Coffee

October -  Caribou Coffee (28th & Minnesota)

November - Coffea Downtown

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday November 14

First, the official photo from the October ride. You'd wish by now I'd figure out where there is too much sun behind the photo subject. Sigh.

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is already November 14. It's really early this month because the holidays are upon us and I have plans. It departs from Coffea Downtown which is at the intersection of 10th St and Phillips Ave. Feel free to plan your own post ride downtown visits to Duluth Trading Company and MacKenzie River Pizza. I may see you there!

We're heading east so that we can go west down the 18th Street hill. Through Riverdale and McKennan Parks. Some block zig-zagging, because I like to zig-zag blocks and back into downtown.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is 10.16 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.

Download the route by visiting this link. Otherwise, the route goes a lotta something like this:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The MinusCar Project / John Q Super Commuter Shirts Pre-Orders Now!

Pre-order a shiny new Dan King inspired, Brian Beilke drawn, The MinusCar Project produced shirt today! Dakota Lettering will be doing the screen printing. The shirt will be an Under Armour Locker-T in your choice of 7 colors. The print will be white. Your choice long or short sleeve - hint, order one of each and wear them throughout the year.

Your cost will be $25 for a shirt. In the highly unlikely event that the money received exceeds my cost to produce the excess dollars will be given to the Falls Area Bicyclists (FAB).

Across the chest will be happy smiling John Q Super Commuter. Original artwork by local cartoonist and rider and architect Brian Beilke.

On the back between the shoulder blades will be my The MinusCar Project logo and wording.

I cannot order shirts without money in my hands. I recommend paying with a check that we agree I won't cash until the shirt is in your hands.

Let's do this. Pre-order today!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cranksgiving 2015

Cranksgiving - the 2015 edition - is coming!

Cranksgiving is a food drive, on two wheels, with a bit of scavenger hunt tossed in. On November 21 depart Spoke-n-Sport at 1pm. Go to grocery stores and buy food. Return to Spoke-n-Sport with food in hand and off it goes to Feeding South Dakota.

Actually it's a race too, but who cares? The race works like this - get 1 item at as many grocery stores as you can. Return with food and receipts in the allotted time. Get points for each visited store. There are other ways to get additional points. Score a lot of points and maybe even win. Last year I won the race on a tandem with The Boy 17 who was 16 at the time. He won youth. It was quite fun chasing other riders around town and encountering them in surprise places.

One of my favorite Argus Leader photos of all time from last year's event.

Here we are with Santa Claus in the obligatory winners photo.

The official rules and what nots are on the Spoke-n-Sport website. Even pre-register there.

Check out Bike Sioux Falls too. There will be fresh content there that will be worth looking at just to see pictures of riders in turkey and pilgrim costumes.

There is a national Cranksgiving website too. See which cities have Cranksgiving events...and see that we have one too!

Come. Ride. Gather food. Share. Enjoy. Give cranks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Response to Super Commissioner Dan King

This month, Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King began a My voice column by saying he had previously been “pretty ignorant about the details and inner workings of local government.” The balance of his column demonstrated that he has more work to do...

Read the rest of what I have to say in the Argus Leader - My voice: City’s policy changes make bike riding safer


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday October 24

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is October 24. It departs from the Minnesota Ave Caribou Coffee which is at the intersection of 28th St and Minnesota Ave. When you arrive, if you find the store absent, gone missing, or just plain closed proceed to the new store at 31st St and Minnesota Ave.

When you look at the route and you happen to see a flying insect looking Bart Simpson I suggest you immediately get help. I did. Recovery is quick.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is 9.6 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.

 Download the route by visiting this link. Otherwise, the route goes a lotta something like this:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ghost Bike

1. Drivers - look to the right when turning right.

2. Riders - stop riding on sidewalks, especially facing traffic.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Symbolic Soup for Safer Streets

Of the past 6 most traumatic car/bike crashes in memory, 2 involved intoxicated drivers. 4 involved right turning left looking drivers. 5 were sidewalk riders where drivers and politicians alike errantly insist is more safe. 

Come bring a symbolic soup can that says we demand safer streets!

Scheduled for Oct 10, 6:55 AM

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Calling All Good Eggs: Bring Soup Cans

"Hold a can of soup in one hand and a raw egg in the other. Smack them together and my point is made. Bikes and vehicles shouldn’t share confined space, period." - John Q Super-commissioner Dan King


Because many people we advocate for can barely afford their bicycle never mind an F350 landscaper rig. Everybody deserves to have an expectation of getting to work without being assured by elected representatives of death on public roads.

Because streets that are safe for people on foot and on bicycles are safe for all users.

Because brushing aside public safety is terrible public policy.

Because admitting ignorance about how government works doesn't mean things are done in secret. Rather it confirms the ignorance.


This Saturday October 10 morning from 7am to 9am I'm hanging out on Dakota Ave between 10th & 11th Streets, near the Argus Leader's loading dock. I'm inviting every sort of rider there is to come by and drop off a can of soup. The next Monday I'll deliver this soup to Feeding South Dakota.


Sharing this picture increases the likelihood of participation.


More On Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King

The newly minted Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King let his voice ring out today by writing an Argus Leader My Voices column. Sounds like he recently learned during the Urbanized Development Commission Meetings The City has a bike plan, approved by the City Council, signed by The Mayor and The City is actually implementing the plan.

He finds this alarming and wants everyone to know. I find this encouraging because no plan I've worked on has ever been implemented in such a way that anybody would notice the work as being part of a plan.

For reference:
-          Here’s his My Voice Column
-          Here’s the Sioux Falls Bike Plan
-          Here’s the Resolution Adopting the Sioux Falls Bike Plan - this one is so pretty I'm including it at the bottom of this post.
-          Here’s the MPO Bike Plan

Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King: “Just as large a worry is the stealthy manner, fully intended or not, with which they’re being planned and built.”

Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King: “As presented in our Urbanized Development Commission meetings, I can say for a fact there are plans to construct bike lanes all over town in the next few years, working them into reconstruction and expansion projects.”

Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King isn’t sure if bike lanes are created stealthy or in public meetings.

Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King: “Unfortunately, bicycle lanes are planned by a tiny group of elected officials and paid planners/consultants.”

Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King: “The City Council and a host of city and state planning staffers have signed off on bringing these to our streets…”

Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King isn’t sure if bike lanes are planned by a tiny group of people or a host of city and state staffers.

Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King: “I’ve raised my concerns, and probably a couple tempers voicing these thoughts in board meetings. I’ve hit a brick wall in doing anything about it myself.”

Lincoln County Commissioner Dan King doesn’t recognize he keeps running into a brick wall because he can’t find the exit after losing in the marketplace of ideas. In a democracy the majority wins. When you turn around and your colleagues aren’t following it means something.

November 19th is the next UDC meeting. I can’t wait to come and see Dan King make transportation policy sausage. I hear at the beginning of the meetings there are 3 minutes available for any member of the public to speak…

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Next! 10/24

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride will not be the last Saturday of October. Rather it will be Saturday, October 24. We'll depart at 9am from the Minnesota Ave Caribou Coffee. I understand they are relocating from 28th Street to 31st Street. I'll be paying attention to that.

Here is a link to the general expectations of the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides. Faster riders may find the speed of this ride a bit mentally challenging. For the entirety of the Saturday Coffee Shop Ride posts follow this link.


It's pretty tough for me to name a more meaningful point to point ride from my home than the ride to Dunn Brothers Coffee. I live very far west in the city. Dunn Bros is very far east. It is very satisfying to ride there for a cup of coffee.

I arrived 10 minutes late. Thankfully the Saturday Coffee Shop Riders weathered the anxiety and were ready to roll upon my arrival. We made our way south to Harmodon Park and then north and west back for copious coffee consumption.

Here's the formal group shot.

Here's the group shot of a bunch of riders stopped at a stop sign.

Here's the dog that accompanied us.

Here's my 35 mile Saturday morning bike ride route.

See you in October!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

...It Was Enough!

I finished last but on the lead lap of the Masters race. My knowledge of the course helped with this...a win in the Beginner/Cat 5 race.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Here's What I Did To Make Myself Feel Ready To Cyclocross Race

After I mentioned I was going to toe my first start line this weekend Aaron asked me how he might get started in cyclocross (heretofore Cx) racing . I typed up some words, got some good feedback and blam, a blog post was born.


The proper answer to Aaron's question is: Queen City Cycling hosts practice sessions - or just plain practices, on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6pm at Elmwood Park. All Cx-urious people are welcome to come and be introduced to the sport. There is a course set up with barriers and everything and being shown the course is quite helpful.


Here is my introverted, socially awkward accounting of what I did to feel ready, which is to say, I'm not normally at Elmwood on Tuesday or Thursday nights.

Not withstanding the best season of riding I've probably ever had and some experience with MTB racing...

1. I purchased a Cx bike.

2. I took the GPS map of the Elmwood course to the park and tried to make my way around according to that - with marginal success. Nevertheless, riding around in any grass weaving around any trees is a very good place to start.

3. I let time pass - now the Elmwood course is more worn in and is easier to follow. Some parts remain ambiguous without a guide. I'm willing to show the course as I and my son have discerned it - I'll be your guide. The actual designers of the course can likely be found on Tuesday and/or Thursday nights.

4. I went around the course at Elmwood a few times on a few different days, sometimes with The Boy 17, generally stopping completely at each barrier before stepping over.

5. The Boy 17 passed me this GCN video about how to dismount - https://youtu.be/qdRyXQN90Kc - and I watched it.

6. I watched the GCN video about how to remount - because you gotta get back on too.

7. I went back and forth across a marching band field with The Boy 17 for an hour dismounting and  remounting and lifting my bike. We sort of raced but mostly just tried to push each other a bit to keep speed.

8. I went to Elmwood Park and did 10 laps of competitor free race simulation, including proper (as best I could) navigation of the barriers. With this I have an hour baseline of lap times which I can try to improve upon. Some context - I think my selected race categories are 30 minute and 20 minute races.

9. I purchased a proper cycling kit - because everything needs to stay in place for all the remounts.

10. I bought a USA Cycling License and registered for the race.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday September 26

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is September 26. It departs from Dunn Brothers Coffee, 5320 E Arrowhead Parkway. The route explores the multi-use path along ummm...what do they call it, SD 100, Powderhouse Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway...ugh, that north/south thoroughfare over that way. Harmodon Park and Rosa Parks Elementary are in there too.

Dunn Brothers is way out there so give yourself plenty of time if you're riding.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is 10.5 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.

Download the route by visiting this link. Otherwise, the route goes a lotta something like this:

Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Ride With Harald Vik

Good morning. This is what Clint's driveway looks like at 9am Saturday morning. At this point in the day I have an inkling that I'd like to try for a Century, 100 miles on the day. It's been a long time since I've gone that far but this season has been a great season for me. I felt ready.

I also want to note this is the first time in a long time that I've worn a proper cycling jersey. This bit of information should be considered foreshadowing.

We departed for the 12 mile bike trail trip to downtown where we met up with Harald Vik. Harald is a 70 year old world traveler from Norway. When he goes places he travels by bicycle. A year ago Harald was departing Sioux Falls and was struck on Marion Road by a car. His list of injuries was long. His recovery, first at Sanford Hospital then back in Norway is long. Still going actually.

A year ago (August 22) I was quite mortified that this man who travels the world by bicycle managed to get run over in Sioux Falls. Remember that 5 weeks prior Natasha Adams was fatally struck by a right turning left looking driver and 4 weeks prior a teenage girl was dragged from sidewalk onto 41st after being struck by another right turning left looking driver.

My friend Val was also concerned. She set up a Gofundme effort, visited Harald and crew in the hospital, and remained connected with the group. Because of that, upon returning to the city they contacted her and invited her to ride. Additionally they were particularly interested in safe ways out of Sioux Falls.

I and good friend and Spoke-n-Sport owner Chad Pickard offered to take care of that part. Routes out of town were agreed upon. A continued route to Montrose was also agreed upon. A departure time and place was agreed upon. Support via Spoke-n-Sport was agreed upon.

On Thursday we flooded Facebook. On Friday we reinforced the flooding on Facebook. A press release was issued. All of this led to scenes like this:

Harald being interviewed by KDLT. Harald is deaf and blind. He communicates using touch and signing through the three interpreters that travel with him.

There were also scenes like this - 10 intrepid riders accompanying Harald toward Montrose.

I think it's important to take pictures of bicycles being ridden well in urban settings. So I spend some time figuring out ways to get bicycles ridden well in urban settings. And then I take pictures like this. Here we are downtown on Phillips Ave during the escort portion of the ride.

We managed to find our way out of the city and onward to Crooks. Crooks is the only chance for a rest stop on our selected route to Montrose. So we stopped. And rested. And then...

...this person hard at work at the stop asked if Harald was indeed the person featured on the front page of the Argus Leader newspaper that was for sale right over there. He is the one.

On the Crooks departure I was able to grab the place next to Harald to get this picture. This is how a deaf and blind man travels the world on a bicycle.

Four hours later, what remained of our group was nearing Montrose. We had some expected, nay invited attrition along the way. This is Clint, Gene and Kirk. I'm taking the photo...

...and there's Chad and Leanna close at hand. Too close? I had asked them to approach for the photo. Doesn't Kirk's bicycling costume look nice and remarkably similar to the van graphics? Coincidence?

We arrived in Montrose in search of food. We found some burgers being vended at what turned out to be a rather large beer league softball tourney. As it turns out there are more popular ways to arrive at a beer league softball tourney than hungry, on bikes, in full bike regalia. I'll stop short of describing how one probably should dress and act to fit in at such a place.

I will say this...today I talked my way out of a beer league bathroom stall while a bunch of beer soaked ball playing 30-something boys from Bridgewater asked me questions like "where d'ya get a fancy shirt like that?" It will be a long time before anything a Sioux Falls driver says to me through an open car window will come close to being bothersome or annoying compared to The Montrose Experience.

A Coors Light scored me some points - they were particularly interested in the technical legal nuances around ones ability to avoid DWI points while riding drunk. I spared them the details of Chads and my involvement with the legislature during the successful passage of the permissive bill while successfully retaining bicycles within the State's definition of vehicle.

One dude had seen Harald's story on the news the night before and appeared quite down with the idea of Harald.

Parts of this story may have been exaggerated - but my actual fear in the situation need not be underestimated. In the end all was fine and "you boys ain't from around here is ya" turned to casual indifference...as it should have from the beginning.

We dined. We released Chad and Leanna from their support roles. Thank you Chad and Leanna for the support. We returned to Sioux Falls with a little stiffer wind, a little bit of rain and the same stop in Crooks. We made a quick stop at 8th and Railroad for closure. We agreed we could not comprehend why KDLT had not remained present to chronicle our triumphant return.

Clint and I then ventured the additional 12 miles toward home where we were dismayed to find we were five very long miles from reaching 100 miles on the day.  Here we are as we reached 100 miles. At this point we were very miserably happy to be done circling the block just one more time.

Finally, KDLT ran their story on the 10pm news and this was the featured photo on their website for this article. Chad, Harald and I. It was a good day.