Tuesday, December 02, 2014

It's Tuesday. People work on Tuesday.

I took a recovery day off work. After a four day weekend Monday seemed like plenty of effort.

So Tuesday I got on the bike and chased this guy around the city.


I made my way to Leaders Park.


I did a lap. I may have spent some time on my back.


I got stopped coming and going trying to get to the other side of the tracks.


Much of the trail looks like this.


I stopped at the falls.


On my way here I greeted my dad on his bike on Phillips Ave.


...for a Lumberjack.


I think I'm ready to face another day at work.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Announcing: Saturday Coffee Rides

Following the positive spirit that came with the Coffeeneuring Rides, we're going to keep the bikes rolling in the same manner. All year round.

Beginning Saturday December 27 we'll do one ride a month (except when we don't). The ride will be on the last Saturday of the month (except when it's not).

The first ride, December 27th, 9am, will depart from Kaladis at 26th & Minnesota Ave.
Here are the 6 things you can expect from the ride.

1. Meet the group at a coffee shop at 9am. Riding to the venue is preferred, perhaps even rewarded.

2. As a group, ride a 10-ish mile loop from the coffee shop.

3. If you can ride 12mph for an hour on the bike trail come ride with me - I won't leave you. If you can ride 20mph on the bike trial for an hour you might find this ride too mentally taxing.

4. Rule #2's distance is adjustable depending upon weather conditions. We'll aim for a 2 mile minimum loop.

5. The route will be primarily on-street miles. Street selection will lean toward low volume (except when it doesn't).

6. Enjoy coffee together at venue.

7. Disband.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring #2: Black Sheep

For the original Coffeeneuring idea visit the Chasing Mailboxes blog.

For my original Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring invite visit this post.

The next Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring ride is tomorrow (10/13) at 9am from Coffea Downtown.

The second next Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring ride is November 1 at 9am from Josiah's. I wonder if it will be winter by then.


--

This morning I pushed myself out of bed at 8am knowing that in 10 minutes rider Chris Parsley would be in my driveway for our 8:24 meet-up. Yes, that's right, Chris is as prompt a fellow as I am not. Sure enough at 8:26 I raised the garage door to find Chris on his 16th minute of waiting for me. I'm lucky he'll still ride with me.

He and I do a lot of teaching that lane control is an important part of safe urban riding. In the spirit of practicing what we preach we'd already agreed that our Sunday morning route to the Black Sheep meet-spot would be on 12th Street from Sertoma to Grange. Good times.

While enroute we did receive a honk, and the driver raised his coffee cup to us. A follow-up text revealed Pastor Dave, on his way to preaching in Emery, stopped off at Black Sheep in the spirit of Coffeeneuring.


By the time our 9:01 departure arrived we'd gathered a Michael, Chris, Chad, Brian, Tim, Jake, Troy, David, Darren, a Big Dummy, and an Oxford Comma. While waiting we observed a riding dude play chicken with a driver on 12th Street, and a young woman riding side saddle over the rear wheel of a young man's bike. I wish I had a photo of the latter. They were on the sidewalk, facing traffic, oblivious to the danger and she was having lots of fun.

The two highest lights of our loop included the on-street bicycling facilities around the shiny new events center and the length of the Main Avenue Road Diet.


Upon returning to Black Sheep we gathered our brewed hot beverages, our muffins and bagels and sat and chatted for a while. Somewhere in there riders Jake (two Jakes!) and Steve arrived on their own Coffeeneuring Adventure to join us.


Then we all departed Black Sheep. My departure group was four, then three, then two, then three, then two, then me.

See you tomorrow at Coffea - Downtown.

Here's my route today:

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Coffeeneuring Challenge #3 | Coffea Downtown | October 13

First off - I needed to alter the schedule for the coming weekend.

Sunday October 12 at 9am we're riding from Black Sheep Coffee. (clicky details)

Monday October 13 at 9am we're riding from Coffea Downtown.

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Coffea Downtown is at the intersection of Phillips and 10th Street.

From Coffea Downtown we'll head east to tour what I think of the two neighborhood bridges in Sioux Falls. The 12th & 18th Street bridges span I-229 and connect east Sioux Falls with the city core WITHOUT the need to access a brigde that handles 30,000 vehicles a day.

These two bridges demonstrate how a city can remain connected to itself while still having the high speed interstate through it's center. Experience them and realize they are two of a kind built in an era with different values.

We'll also leave downtown via my favorite way in and out of downtown, the Beadle Greenway. Throw in a visit to McKennan Park as well.

The idea of the Coffeeneuring Challenge comes from the Chasing Mailboxes blog. See: The Fourth Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge.

My invitation to participate in the challenge with me is here: The Coffeeneuring Challenge

The ride from Coffea Downtown is 9.8 miles. To make your Challenge more challenging I encourage riding to the ride.

Here's is a link to a draft version of the route: Coffeeneuring #3 | Coffea Downtown:
Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring #1: Dunn Bros

For the original Coffeeneuring idea visit the Chasing Mailboxes blog.

For my original Sioux Falls Coffeeneuring invite visit this post.

--

This morning I awoke motivated by the possibility of leading Sioux Falls' first Coffeeneuring ride.

The Boy 16 accompanied me as we departed at 8am ready for the hour long ride-to-the-ride. We shaved minutes by enjoying the lightish Sunday morning traffic for a bit on west 12th Street and later the moderate Sunday traffic for a stretch on east 6th Street.

Upon arrival, with 8 minutes to spare, I purchased a water and discovered a friend at the drive up window. I bought his beverage and decided this Coffeeneuring thing would be allright. (Hi Duane!)

Back in the parking lot two trusty urban riders had gathered - relieving me of the always nagging question, "what happens if you throw a party and nobody comes?"

We headed south around the Dawley Farms strip mall. Further south we went on the SD 100 sidepath. We're not thrilled about the sidepath experience but I think it's important to ride built facilities on occasion to remember why they don't always work.

Besides, you have to ride this path to experience the long pedestrian tunnel under SD100 into Harmodon Park. 

This spot is where I first heard the comment, I've never seen that before. My favorite thing about route selection. Taking people places in the city they've not been.



We played in the streets parallel to Sycamore for awhile and ultimately arrived at Rosa Parks Elementary. 

There is a nice asphalt path through a cornfield connecting the school to a neighborhood. The obvious question is, why didn't they do this for McGovern Middle School? I don't know the answer, but I do know this school has one.

From here we went mostly straight back to the meet spot with a short bit on Arrowhead Parkway.



At Dunn Brothers Coffee we sat around the fireplace and enjoyed warm beverages and roaming conversation. We also discovered our fifth participant. He'd arrived late and missed the loop portion of the day. We were happy he waited for us at the shop - and his long ride there qualified him as a Coffeeneur.



We departed as a group for the ride-from-the-ride and dudes peeled off along the way eventually leaving me and The Boy 16 on our own. The wind was picking up by the time we got home. As I type this I'm happy to be home not riding in it.

Next week: (note schedule switch)

Sunday Oct 12 Black Sheep
Monday Oct 13 Coffea - Downtown

To ride the loop meet at 9. Give a notification anytime before 9 and we'll wait for you.

Here's our route:


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Coffeeneuring Challenge #2 | Black Sheep | October 12

(note: I changed the date to October 12.) The third ride of the Coffeeneuring Challenge is coming up.

Ride #2 departs at 9am Sunday morning October 12 from Black Sheep Coffee.

Black Sheep Coffee is near the intersection of Grange Ave and 12th Street.

From Black Sheep Coffee we'll go south and west, then north and west, then north, then east, then south, then west and then, and finally, north. Got it? The sights we'll see will not be limted to: a neighborly way to the Premier Center, the painted bicycles on Russell and West Aves, and the full experience of The Main Avenue Road Diet.

The idea of the Coffeeneuring Challenge comes from the Chasing Mailboxes blog. See: The Fourth Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge.

My invitation to participate in the challenge with me is here: The Coffeeneuring Challenge

The ride from Black Sheep is 9.8 miles. To make your Challenge more challenging I encourage riding to the ride.

Here's is a link to a tested version of the route: Coffeeneuring #2 | Black Sheep

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Coffeeneuring Challenge #1 | Dunn Brothers | October 5

The first ride of the Coffeeneuring Challenge will be upon us shortly.

Ride #1 departs at 9am Sunday morning October 5 from Dunn Brothers Coffee.

Dunn Brothers Coffee is near the intersection of Arrowhead Parkway and Powder House Road.

From Dunn Brothers Coffee we'll head south to tour the Sidepath that's been built on the east side of what is commonly known as SD 100. At Harmodon Park we'll tunnel under SD 100, point ourselves north and find our way to the Rosa Parks Elementary School Bike Path in a Cornfield via Bahnson Ave.

The idea of the Coffeeneuring Challenge comes from the Chasing Mailboxes blog. See: The Fourth Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge.

My invitation to participate in the challenge with me is here: The Coffeeneuring Challenge

The ride from Dunn Brothers is 10.5 miles. To make your Challenge more challenging I encourage riding to the ride.

Here's is a link to a draft version of the route: Coffeeneuring #1 | Dunn Bros



Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRide

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Coffeeneuring Challenge

My friend Clint clued me in to The Fourth Annual Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge.

I like it. I want it. If there's a group of 4-ish that would like to join me for the challenge I welcome it.

The basic idea of the challenge is to ride to 7 coffee shops between October 4 and November 16. Read the rules if you're serious about the real challenge which, I am.

Here's my plan:

1. Meet the group at a coffee shop at 9am - riding to the venue is preferred - perhaps even rewarded.
2. As a group, ride from the coffee shop a 10-ish mile loop that includes an interesting destination.
3. Rule #2 is adjustable based on weather considerations. The official challenge rule requires a 2 mile ride.
4. Rule #2 is primarily on-road miles. Road selection will lean toward low volume roads. But...Scooters.
5. Enjoy coffee at venue.
6. Disband.

Here's my schedule:

October 5 - Dunn Bros - east
October 12 - Black Sheep - mid-town
October 13 - Coffea - downtown
November 1 - Josiah's - downtown
November 2 - Shalom Ethiopian Coffee House - mid-town
November 8 - Coffea - west
November 11 - make up day
November 15 - Scooters - south
November 16 - make up day

"Why are you setting the schedule?" - because it's my party.
"What if I can't make all the rides?" - if you can make most of them, I welcome you.
"What if I think I ride slow?" - if you can go 12 miles in 60 minutes on the bike trail. Come, ride with me. I won't leave you.
"How can I join the fun?" - Say so.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Big Guys in Big Trucks

I had a most excellent exchange with a big guy in a big truck during tonight’s ride. I was stopped at a red light in the left portion of the straight lane. I do this to allow drivers the right on red.

Big Guy in Big Truck pulls up and stops on my right. In situations like this I generally look left to avoid open window commentary.

"Nice night for a ride," said the amicable fellow. I readily agreed because it indeed was.

"Man these lights are long." I thanked him by noting that I was glad that he was there to activate the light. They don’t usually change for my bike.

"That’s bullshit," said the empathetic fellow. I readily agreed because it indeed is.

My spidey sense began to tingle so I asked him, “you turning or going straight?” I enjoyed a moment of terror as I realized the implications of asking a big guy in a big truck such a loaded question.

"Straight. I know you are too. But I’m pretty sure I’ll beat you off the line." I suggested he might be surprised, which ensured he WOULD beat me. Which is good because we avoided the conflict that inevitably would occur if he hadn’t.

I failed to give him the hour lecture about laws and predictably and safety. But we both left happy. I like being happy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sioux Falls Bicycling - Growth, But Who's Paying Attention?


Gentlemen:

When we met I made a claim that more people ride bicycles for transportation than ride public transportation. Knowing how much effort you have put into public transportation of late, I asked for a little more consideration for bicycling.

Councilor, as an MPO Urbanized Development Commission member you're familiar with the 2014 Sioux Falls Metropolitan Area LRTP Market Research Study.

Attached are two graphs from that study. Graph_1 shows 12% (compared to 2% for public transportation) of the surveyed "normally use [a bicycle] to get to/from work, school or other frequently traveled destinations." Graph_2 shows transportation modes to destinations from 1999 to 2014. Bicycling has increased from 3% to 12%. Public transportation has decreased from 4% to 2%.

I have supported my claim and suggest again that more dollars and time be provided to improve bicycling transportation.

Thank you.





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

McGovern Middle School - No Sidewalks

Sioux Falls' freshly minted middle school opened this week. With no sidewalks.

Let me say that again. No sidewalks.

And the comments from the principal are priceless.

"...in the meantime we're trying to problem solve and trying to figure out how to best bus 100% of our student population."

"Principal Emanuel wants all students to be safe and if anyone is walking to school, wants to find out why. We would definitely want to work with the family find out what's going on, did the child miss the bus? Just what's going on," she said"

I have a few thoughts about what's going on.

Here's a link to KDLT's article on the matter.

City Council 140805: Scott says...

After a fatal car/bike crash and some other car/bike & car/pedestrian crashes some in the bicycle riding community approached the city council about creating safer conditions on the roadway for everyone. Scott stepped up to the podium and said he's a traffic engineer & a rider and likes the things we're all saying...


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Play In the Street With Me!

Come out and play in the street with me this weekend! Thursday 6p to 9p, Friday 6p to 9p and Saturday 5p to 9p we're running through the entire League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 course.


Best of all, it's FREE thanks to our host Spoke-n-Sport.


Classroom sessions, two sets of parking lot practice, an evaluated in the city ride to put it all into practice and a test.


Come join us. Make a move toward being a confident rider of bicycles. Ride visibly, predictable, courteously and safely.


Contact Chris ((605) 275-2453 |chris@spoke-n-sport.com) to get on the the list of attendees. Tell him The MinusCar Project sent you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

City Council 140805: Marilyn says...

After a fatal car/bike crash and some other car/bike & car/pedestrian crashes some in the bicycle riding community approached the city council about creating safer conditions on the roadway for everyone. Marilyn stepped up to the podium and said words...watch!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

City Council 140805 Part 3: Katie says...

After a fatal car/bike crash and some other car/bike & car/pedestrian crashes some in the bicycle riding community approached the city council about creating safer conditions on the roadway for everyone. A woman named Katie stepped up to the podium and made an argument for...watch!



Saturday, August 09, 2014

City Council 140805 Part 2: Chris says...

After a fatal car/bike crash and some other car/bike & car/pedestrian crashes some in the bicycle riding community approached the city council about creating safer conditions on the roadway for everyone. Chris Parsley stepped up to the podium and made a case for a bicycle dedicated bicycle planner. Watch...



Friday, August 08, 2014

City Council 140805 Part 1: An Atheist Invocation...

After a fatal car/bike crash and some other car/bike & car/pedestrian crashes some in the bicycle riding community approached the city council about creating safer conditions on the roadway for everyone. The council meeting was historic in that, for the first time in most people's memory, a freethinking person gave the invocation.


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

City Council: Public Input: 8/5/14

I claimed my 5 (or six) minutes of public input before the city council meeting tonight to give a message or two. The text I presented from is here...

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Council. Mayor.  I’m Michael Christensen and I need help with bicycling in Sioux Falls. I have two messages for you tonight.

Message:

On street riding, if done predictably, visibly, safely and courteously is far safer than sidewalk riding. Sidewalk riding can be safe if the rider rides at pedestrian speeds so that it’s easier to meet the legal requirements to stop at all intersections and yield to all traffic in the intersection. At pedestrian speeds it’s also easier for the rider to acknowledge the reality that at every intersection and every driveway there could be cars coming from up to four directions with drivers that are looking on the road for cars not on the sidewalks.

City government must stop believing that sidewalk riding is safer than on-street riding. Any discomfort with this message, due to driver inconvenience, driver or rider incompetence, or anything else, is a fear you must resolve for yourselves. I pledge to you, I am here to help. But it must be resolved.

Message:

This city experiences a fatal car/bike crash roughly every three years. I'm sure every time this happens the question is raised, “what is the city doing to improve safety for bicycling?” Currently the response has been to defer the question to Sam the Planner. To be sure Sam is great and the information he provides about safe riding is solid. But Sam has done his job. This is the current bike plan. Seven years ago Sam wrote it and you approved it. You'll approve another later this year. It's time to open the plan...oh, here's my name -- I sit in a lot of transportation planning meetings. I’ve helped with a lot of plans. It's time to stop planning and start implementing.

I propose my city government do the hard work so that the question, “what is the city doing to improve bicycling safety?” can be answered like this…

We are educated.

• We have key traffic engineers, police officers, and planners that have been through training and understand what visible, predictable, safe and courteous riding looks like.
• We understand the predictable, repeatable and avoidable physical hazards of sidewalk riding and the legal hazard as well.
• This knowledge is reflected in the information we provide the public, the facilities we build on the streets, and the traffic and roadway plans we develop.

We educate.

• Together our police, planning, traffic engineering, health and parks department provide
  o three free opportunities each season through three different community centers
  o for adults to learn how to ride safely on the streets and on the sidewalks. *******
  o We have similar age appropriate classes for children.
• Also, we've produced a series of PSAs that we refresh annually and release each Bike Month showing our expectations for safe, law abiding riding, and safe law abiding driving.

We enforce.

• Each year since the previous fatality we’ve issued
• more tickets to drivers for crosswalk, sidewalk, stop sign, and texting violations and
• more tickets to riders for crosswalk, stop sign, and wrong way riding violations.
• This has contributed to less car/bike and car/pedestrian collisions.

We provide a safe and functioning on-street riding environment.

• All of our on street bicycle facilities (sharrows and bike lanes) take into consideration the very real danger of encouraging on-street riders to ride to the right of potentially right turning vehicles.
• We're three years into a 5 year program to convert all actuated traffic signals to a new technology that allow bicycles to be detected. When the program is complete, riders on low volume neighborhood roads can expect to be able to safely cross higher volume higher speed roads without exhibiting unpredictable (red light running) behavior to drivers.
• We make it clear through signage and other ways that predictable, visible, safe and courteous riders are welcome on our roadways.

Our Mayor is engaged.

• Our mayor understands that the pursuit of happiness has a lot to do with mobility, therefore…
• Once a month our mayor rides to work so that he better understands the roadway experiences of citizens that day after day use bicycles for transportation.
• Once a month our mayor walks to work 1.5 miles on Minnesota Ave so that he better understands the roadway experiences of citizens that day after day walk for transportation.

Finally, our money is where the growth is...

• We recognize that the 2014 Long Range Transportation Plan Market Research Survey shows a citywide increase from 1999 of 400% for bicycling and 500% for walking. Therefore, spending has risen accordingly for bicycling and walking related transportation needs: street, traffic engineering, planning, etc.

Thank you for your 5 minutes. I invite council to engage me further on these matters at any later date.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sioux Falls 2014 Police Reported Car/Bicycle Crash Data

3/11 - probably a sidewalk rider, riding with traffic.

4/15 - sidewalk rider, riding against traffic.

4/21 - sidewalk rider, riding against traffic.

4/26 - sidewalk rider, riding with traffic.

5/5 - young sidewalk rider, riding against traffic, driver backing into driveway.

5/25 - sidewalk rider, riding against traffic.

5/27 - sidewalk rider, riding against traffic.

5/28 - sidewalk rider, riding against traffic, transitioning to riding against traffic on street.