Tuesday, October 06, 2015

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.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Marathon! Help FAB Water Runners

FAB (Falls Area Bicyclists) is hosting a water stop at the Sioux Falls Marathon & Half Marathon. We welcome riders come, encourage the runners, and help dish water to thirsty people with miles to go before they rest.

The running happens September 13.  Our water stop is at the 4 mile mark in the parking lot of the Chamber of Commerce building at 8th & Phillips. The fastest marathoners will be through at about 6:45am and the slowest half-marathoners will come through around 8:30am.

Ride your bike for best access, the most fun, and because it makes the best sense.


That's the formal ask. Let's get personal. I strongly believe that a marathon is an important piece of any community. I am very glad that Sioux Falls has one. My family has marshalled a corner for four years running(!). This year we're upgrading to a water stop.

Water stops need more people so I asked FAB if they would tap(!) members to come and volunteer as well(!).

For all the events I go to as a rider that are made so much better because there are volunteers on hand supporting the event - this is one time I can give it back. In addition, with FAB being a presence at the marathon it might begin to register with runners that bicycling is more fun.

Yeah, I said it.

If you're reading this but not a FAB member, come out anyway. You're my friend so your presence is welcome.

Saturday, A Ride With Harald Vik. Remember Harald Vik?

One year ago Harald Vik, an inspirational blind, deaf, tandem rider from Norway, was in Sanford Hospital recovering from injuries he suffered on Marion Road after being stuck by a driver. He has returned to ride Sioux Falls again.

Saturday September 5 at 10am he will depart Sioux Falls from 8th & Railroad heading for Pierre. The MinusCar Project and Spoke-n-Sport invite riders to escort him on his way. We'll ride west on the 9th/10th Street sharrow to the Elmen Trailhead. We’ll go north from there to West Maple Street, Westport/Kiwanis Ave to 254th Street. Then we’ll turn left and go west, west, west, to Montrose, where we'll cheerfully wish Harald farewell. Then we’ll reverse and ride back to Sioux Falls.

Please come and ride with us! If you're not up for the whole trip turn around at any time. We'll formally stop just off the bike trail at West Maple Street to say some goodbyes and excuse those who'd like to end their escort. The full route to Montrose is 35 miles one-way. Harald sets the pace, probably 12 to 15 mph. Please plan accordingly.

Spoke-N-Sport will be along the route to provide mechanical and moral support.

Facebook Event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1493083380988943/

View the full route on MapMyRide: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/843458663/.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Next! 9/26

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride will be Saturday September 26. We'll depart at 9am from Dunn Brothers Coffee near the intersection of Arrowhead Parkway and Highline Ave. It's a long way out there so plan plenty of travel time.

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. If you want to see the entirety of the Saturday Coffee Shop Ride posts follow this link.


I had a blast today. Partly because riding bikes is fun. Partly because I spent from 8am to 2:30pm on my bike or on bike related activities. Partly because the Pugsley has come back into my bike riding favor.

Today began with a ride into the foggy sunrise with riding buddy Clint.

By the time we reached the starting place for the Saturday Coffee Shop Ride I could see the front of his back.

Clint and I departed Black Sheep Coffee on schedule and when I held up my phone for a bike riding selfie I discovered we were being followed! Gasp. So I took a picture of them in case they were up to no good.

I decided on the way to the ride to alter our route so that we could see this giant pin cushion.

This watertower is soon going to be painted. Part of the external structure is for scaffolding as seen demonstrated in the photo. Not demonstrated and on the ground is a giant cover that will be pulled up to conceal the tower while it's being painted. I assume this protects neighboring homes from turning blue however I HOPE that they'll secretly paint something revolutionary.

Back in the good old days this water tower had a pentagram and RUSH painted on it. There was also an ostensibly abandoned garage nearby where I assumed satanic rituals took place. I've grown up a lot since then.

I suppose it's just as likely to be turned into a giant statue of T Denny Sanford.

Along the way I was able to line up the riders for a group photo. Isn't that a fine looking bunch? I think so!

After 10 miles we returned to Black Sheep Coffee where I ordered a cup of coffee and drew the interest of a giraffe, tiger and a dalmatian. The tiger had bloody paws and teeth which I thought would maybe cause the nearby and rather pristine lion to take exception. Nevertheless the giraffe, being tall enough to actually reach the coffee was my only real source of concern.

Upon our second departure of Black Sheep Coffee there remained a smaller group of rather stalwart pursuers. Turns out they got wind of the possibility of tacos.

Our next order of business was to pre-ride the route for the September 17th Taco Ride. We arrived at Sertoma Park and in short order were on our wandering, mis-directed, round-about way to the Louise Ave Puerta Vallarta. Where we indeed enjoyed lunch.

Seriously, the Taco Ride. September 17th. From Sertoma Park. 6pm departure. 8 mile tour of the city then a taco bar at the Louise Ave Puerta Vallarta. If I'm reading the Facebook event page correctly I believe it says there are rumors that the taco bar is compliments of the Taco Ride. Keep that quiet though. If word gets out we might have 100 riders. Everybody knows 100 RIDERS WOULD BE...


We closed the Taco Ride loop back at Sertoma Park before heading off on the long way home. Clint and I ended a very satisfying day with 40 FAT miles.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday August 29

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride will be August 29. It will depart from Black Sheep Coffee, 1007 W 11th St. The route will explore the 10th St sharrow, the best way to access the events center by bike, the Russell/West bike lanes and the Main Street road diet.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is 10 miles and is as always weather adjustable. There 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 little something like this:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Taco Ride: A Ride for Tacos

The first, the premiere, the initial, the beginning of what could be a beautiful thing. A Taco Ride. It's a ride with the end point being a place where tacos are consumed. Good tacos, made by people who care about the sort of impression they give when they serve tacos. Tacos served in a way that respects and expresses the important history of tacos. Tacos from people whose very livelihood depends upon serving excellent tacos.

Any questions?

On August 20 at 6:30pm a bunch of people from a bunch of different rider groups including The MinusCar Project will meet at Riverdale Park. The ride will take an hour to find its way to Nikki's Burrito Express for...tacos.

Need I say it again. Ok. Tacos.

There's lots of good buzz about this ride. We're expecting a very strong rider showing. I think the people who like The MinusCar Project will like this ride.

Taco Ride. August 20. 6:30pm.

Please come.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Car Free BNA: Day 3

I got up early to ride the other, in-city direction on the Music City Bikeway. Construction, way-finding problems and time restraints made the ride not wholly satisfactory. But it counted.

After a 20 minute walk I settled in for 5 hours of performances by 18 acts. Highlights for me were the Ronnie Cole Trio, Ronny Cox and Blue Jupiter.

Ronny Cox is a good example of what I like about our artists. Remember Beverly Hills Cop, Total Recall, Deliverance? Well he can sing and write songs too. Community concert associations give people like this places to perform and entertain. Venues and audiences.

Here is a photo of the All-American Boys Chorus.

After another 20 minute walk I arrived at First Tennessee Park for Nashville Sounds/Iowa Cubs baseball. I fullfilled my BBQ goal here as well with some ballpark brisket.

And...both Iowa and Chicago CUBS WIN!

I grabbed a Nashville B-cycle outside the park and rode it (night ride!) the 2 miles back to my lodging. This route I providentially practiced on the morning's ride. Upon arrival I observed Eric Church remained in residency at the Ascend Amplitheater.

My lodging. Not a nighttime photo. The smokestack makes me wonder what's in the basement.

Friday, July 31, 2015

CarFreeBNA: Day 2

Today's fun started out eastward on the Music City Bikeway with Nashville B-cycle. How could I not stop on the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge and take an obligatory B-cycle skyline picture?

From the other side of the bridge the Cumberland River and the building wherein I'm staying.

The Music City Bikeway is 26-ish miles long from start to finish. Downtown is roughly the half-way point. Going east it follows the Cumberland River out of town until it follows the Stone River. Not coincidentally it switches to the Stone River in what is called the Two Rivers area.

Very early on I found myself on Davidson Street with a shiny brand new protected bike lane. This road leads to LP Field - home of the NFL Titans. The east bound lanes are being converted from right to left to an 8'-10' bike lane, 2'-3' buffer w/ bollards, 10' for parking and 10' for driving. It wouldn't surprise me if the bike lane will be two-way, but I saw no markings indicating that.

I know the rest of the details because there were signs that even drivers might be able to understand.

Freedom of expression!

Much of the trip featured multi-use path with heavy tree cover. At 95-degrees the shady parts were quite welcome.

This rather substantial bridge crosses the Cumberland River.

Apparently the 2007 Mayor of Nashville's vision and leadership were key factors in the bridge's creation. I think a marker like this would look great on a bridge crossing I-229 in south Sioux Falls.

14-miles later I and my 40lb 3 speed B-cycle found the J. Percy Priest Dam. That water looked positively glorious to me. After refraining from jumping in I turned around and headed back from whence I came.

Did Nashville mention they were a League of American Bicyclist's Bicycle Friendly Community? In 2012 they received the bronze designation. Sioux Falls got bronze a few years ahead of Nashville. From what I'm seeing Nashville will advance to gold or better more quickly.

Because of a steep drop to the river and proximity to residences one section of the Stone River Greenway is boardwalk built out over the river. That's a nice interesting feature.

The Cumberland River.

A cycletrack! This is incorporated into the sidewalk outside the Ascend Amphitheater. I didn't look at it too critically but I suspect the transitions at the beginning and end into traffic are problematic.

At night the cycletrack is separated from pedestrians with purple lighting every 20'. I tried hard to show that feature with this photo.

After the bike ride I walked the 3 mile round trip from my lodging to the Polk Auditorium in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center where the showcase began. On the way I stopped off at Jack's BBQ for ribs - no photos, sorry. Picture a plate of ribs.

Here's a picture from the back row of tonight's single showcase. The Next Generation Leahy's are a family of very talented instrumentalists, singers and tap dancers. Very nice! I'm a sucker for tap dancing four-year-old kids.

Eric Church was performing outdoors tonight. After I put the chaos and noise of Broadway behind me the second half of my walk was accompanied by his live music. A very nice ending, really.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

CarFreeBNA: Day 1

I'm off to Nashville!

For the past 3 years I've been presiding over Live On Stage: Sioux Falls Concerts Association. Every year this group promotes five concerts at the Washington Pavilion. Every year this group goes to Nashville to see a showcase of talent from which we pick our five concerts.

So I'm in Nashville.

I flew here - which is really bad from a The MinusCar Project perspective. I suppose it's something like the equivalent of driving 100 Hummers the same distance. Or maybe more. It's the downside of doing interesting things. Similar to my time with the South Dakota Bicycle Coalition - I don't have much of a stomach for driving to encourage bicycling.

Nevertheless, I'm in Tennessee. I expect much music, biking, BBQ and baseball. We'll see how it goes.

From airport to lodging I opted for the $1.70 MTA trip to downtown. I assume other options are $30. Maybe a hotel shuttle option is free, but I'm not in a position to take advantage of that.

As I rode the bus I became complacent. Apparently I've gotten accustomed to my The Boy 13 navigating public transportation because I completely failed to pay attention to getting off my bus at Music City Center. That's HIS job and he's not here. Maybe I need a refresher course!

I rode back around on the route and arranged a new meeting spot outside The Country Music Hall of Fame where my host picked me up and drove me to his condo. I'm staying in an Airbnb, which is a new experience for me. He was confused that I was on a bus but at the airport. I explained my car-free thing and he noted Nashville is made for cars but trying to do better. Yeah, aren't we all.

I have his place all to myself. It's the downtown living experience without the recurring cost. I can see LP Field - home of the Titans from my window. It's Nashville so there are gold and platinum albums on the wall.

I saved last night's dinner for Nashville and found the Hermitage Cafe right around the corner. Breakfast for 10pm supper! Reminded me of the old Hamburger Shop in Sioux Falls. It's Nashville so it's been featured in a country music video.

Enough! Off to begin Part 2.