Thursday, January 28, 2016

HB 1073 - Get Off the Road - fails

True story. HB 1073 failed to make it out of the transportation committee meeting today. After opposing testimony from a representative who helped with an amendment to make it more moderate, and opposing testimony from the Departments of Transportation, Public Safety & Tourism even the primary sponsor/chair of the committee voted to scrap the bill.

Hear the audio from the meeting here - - it's a bit lively.

Among the highest of lights is the Secretary of Tourism saying interest in bicycle tourism is at an all time high and he echoed someone he heard say all bicyclists do is quietly roll through the state and leave behind a trail of money.

FAB President Chris Parsley does an excellent job of teaching lane control in 4 minutes or less. People who hear will think they're listening to testimony but what he's really doing is teaching. Go ahead listen in, maybe learn something.

There was one shaky resident of the Black Hills who opposed the bill. Boy I appreciate that. In that position I AM that.

There was Rep Krischman making an awkward joke about being in the wrong room - it's not his committee - and then saying "it's been 8 beers since..." - he meant "years."

The discussion about what a Class 2 Misdemeanor is was oh so disappointingly wrong and incorrect.

Rep Bolin got way out of line when questioning Rep Deutsch. OUT OF ORDER!

Rep Rasmussen did all but move her non-existant reflective clothing bill. It's coming! Be ready!

Rep Schoenbeck got really disappointed with the DOT.  Really disappointed with the state of rider/driver relations on the roadways. Then pretty much everybody agreed that something needs to be done, just this bill isn't that right something.

DANGER! When legislators think something ought to be done.

Tabled to the 41st day of the legislative session. Like you do in South Dakota, because if a bill is sitting on the table and nobody is around to take it off the table - is there really even a bill?

Here's an article from the local Argus Leader about what transpired today. Yes, that's Chris Parsley and I in there.

My friend Jessica and I were on the Dakota Rural Action "Voices" podcast after the vote today. The podcast hasn't been released yet. I can't wait to hear what I said. Jessica, of course has nothing to worry about because she's great. I do know that as my opposition to the idea of a reflective clothing bill was coming out of my mouth I was happy about the words - but maybe I wasn't listening closely enough. The podcast page is here.

I immediately sent messages to three legislators and the DOT offering that I know people who are willing and ready to assist with citizen input into future legislation and policy. All we need is an invitation to participate - which should be easy given that we live in a democracy. Don't find hope in any of these words - it's not that easy. Maybe if the 5 people who read this blog sent the same messages...

I'm hosting another Bicycling in the Legislature call next Tuesday. The Facebook event is here. The call information is on this blog post.  The phone number and meeting IDs are the same, the date and time is 2/2 at 12:15pm.

Bike it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Resist HB 1073! Do It Today!

Sometimes it's fun to try to come up with ways to look at something that maybe is different enough to get the representative to read to the end...for what it's worth, here's what I sent.
Dear Rep X:
Tomorrow you will be presented with HB1073 - the "get bicycles off the road" bill.

I understand there are concerns in the western part of the state over tight windy roads and the safety of riding bicycles on them. As a bicycle rider and road safety advocate I address unsafe conditions through my local transportation authority. Usually that's my local traffic engineer but sometimes it's the State DOT.

I think the State DOT is up to the challenge. I understand they thought better of allowing 80mph on I-90 through the hills last year after your body helped champion the 80mph speed limit bill. Their reasoned response was to keep limits the same in that area – because speed kills.

Let's keep local control local - please do not pass HB 1073. We do not need this to be the standard across the state. The DOT has tools to address road safety yet still respect the interests of all road users and a road uses.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 SD Legislature: HB1073 - Get Off the Road

We're already knee deep into the 2016 Legislative Session. HB 1073 is in the hopper and making the rounds across the nation - oh, Momentum Magazine ran a story - it's making the rounds across the continent.

I haven't posted anything to the blog. I must be tired.

By this time next year there could be a lot of people in reflective clothing, standing on the roadside with bikes, 15' flags in the air trying to remember a time when riding bikes in South Dakota was fun, safe and healthy.

Because there's plenty of people engaged - and in the end far more will be typed on keyboards about this than done about this, I'm taking a different tack this year.

Weekly connection, getting people from across the state on the phone, sharing information, giving encouragement, hopefully directing some action.

Feel free to join in the fun. Meeting #1 is January 26 at 12:15 Central.

1. Please join my meeting, Jan 26, 2016 at 12:15 PM CST.

2. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) - a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.

Dial +1 (224) 501-3412

Access Code: 115-870-357
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting

Meeting ID: 115-870-357

Online Meetings Made Easy®

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Left Looking, Right Turning, Attention Getting

If a person (me) were to stand on a busy street corner wearing a sign that would bring attention to the need to look right when turning right, what should that sign say?

Turning right? Look right.
Turning right? Look right too.
Look left, look RIGHT, look left again.
Look both ways. Always.
Look BOTH ways.
You should look right too.

Any suggestions? I'm looking for just the right thing and I still haven't

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Survivor Story: Knocked Over By A Left Looking Right Turning Driver

If somebody will design for me a very nice sandwich board sign that asks "Why do you only look left when you turn right?" and loans me a funky costume, I'll get it in the news.


Yesterday The Dad, standing on the corner waiting to walk his bike across the Minnesota Ave & I-229 intersection, was knocked over by a right turning left looking driver.

Lesson 1: even knowing the hazards isn't full protection from drivers who don't look.

Lesson 2: make the report on the scene. Failure to do this could result in very messy living room carpet. And MAKE THE REPORT because THEY need to know it happened.

Lesson 3: if you get run over and you are related to or friendly with me you will be assigned to write a report.


Accident, Eastbound exit ramp of I229 at S Minnesota Ave

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

When I ride my bicycle I am at risk.  It doesn’t matter that I know it’s a dangerous intersection, and I’ve been there hundreds of times.  It doesn’t matter that I know how to get through that intersection.  It really matters that I don’t know everything, and I am at risk.  (I’ll add parenthetically here that my planning paid off and I am not hurt.)

Today, at 4:20 PM, 6 miles into my bicycle ride I got to my intersection.  The first car exiting the interstate looked left and turned right (across my intended path).  I stopped as required by Sioux Falls’ law, but this driver was intent.  I got off my bicycle because pedestrians have more rights that a bicyclist.  stood there saying to the driver repeatedly, “It’s my turn; it’s my turn.”  The driver made the turn, and it scared the bejesus out of her when she saw that I was there and she drove where she never looked.

The rule is that the second driver learns from the first driver.  Today that changed.  I stood there saying repeatedly to the second car, “It’s my turn; it’s my turn.”  The driver made the turn, and this time she turned sharply into the nearest lane.  Seeing me scared the bejesus out of her, too!  I couldn’t get my bicycle out of the way fast enough.  She rolled over my front tire pushing the bike down and, domino like, pushed me down.  I went flat on my back into the snow bank.  I knew my left knee hurt, and it got a minor abrasion. 

Must have been the third car that witnessed the event.  Her first words to the driver were “you ran over his tire pretty good.”  I say, “Thank you, ma’am”, and I got her card.  My bicycle is fine, the wheel is true.

My new rule is that in all the planning and anticipation of dangers, include calling the police and making a report.  The city needs to know that these things happen.  

If you’re still reading, don’t miss this advice.  Go ahead and call the police right there.  I made a late report.  Fire and ambulance came with sirens and lights.  They’ve got their protocols, you know.  Ten of them filed into my house like there was an emergency!  As I write this, Nora has not yet seen the carpet; not-to-fear, I know how to call 911.


The police report is #16-1162.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday January 30

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is January 30. It departs from the Minnesota Ave & 13th St Starbucks which is at the intersection of (can you believe it?) 13th St and Minnesota Ave.

Here is December's hearty & hardy group.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is 9.5 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.

Here is the route and a way to download it:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday December 26

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is December 26. It departs from the Minnesota Ave Kaladis which is at the intersection of 26th St and Minnesota Ave.

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 looks like this:

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!