Monday, October 27, 2008


After I saw ice this morning I saw The Dad on his bike riding to work. I got to chat with him.

I left work a tad early and headed north on the MUP for 30 minutes into a 12mph wind. Figuring at least 10mph bike speed the wind chill calculator says it felt something like 30 degrees. That's good practice for the coming months. Test the clothing now before it really means something.

For example, on the Coffee/Doughnut ride I discovered the arms out front position of my road bike makes my new -20 degree jacket ride up in the back. Crucial information to avoid some lower back frost bite later in the season.

I also wanted to see if the reconstruction was complete on that section of trail. For a couple months the MUP was being detoured through the fairgrounds. Now it's not. The trail is open. I bet the fairground director is getting all sorts of e-mails thanking him for opening the grounds for this detour.

While I was that way I gave myself a little short tour of Elmen Park Trailhead. Funds for this park were provided by the Elmen family. I believe the patriarch held a certain affinity for the MUP. There will be bike related ammenities at this park - already you can see an uncommon number of things to lean one's bike against.

There are two structures like this...

Some restrooms...

And a Daktronics sign...

That's right. A Daktronics sign. One can only imagine the weath of information that can be communicated by this thing. Hopefully it will say "please don't block the trail while you stand and read this very important message as it scrolls."

See that asphalt? That's the new stuff. Isn't it nice? You'd hate to have a big park grand opening, complete with a shiny new Daktronics sign flashing "grand opening" without redoing the really really bad asphalt that was there a couple months ago, wouldn't you?

I Saw Ice... Real ice. On the way to work. As far as I could tell it wasn't black.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

B & G Not C & D

This morning it was my turn to lead the FAB Coffee Doughnut ride. I didn’t know what to expect for attendance after I noticed the FAB Something For Everyone ride was merging then later splitting from my ride.

Complicating the estimated attendance factorizationing was four straight days of cloudy cold ret wainy weather. The TWC hourly forecast predicted an end to the rain by 3am and some actual sun for the morning. When you go to bed and it’s raining how could you possibly maintain your motivation wake up and recreationally ride a little bit?

As leader – I didn’t have much choice. I awoke bright and early (it was dark) and headed off to the meetup as the first rays of light were peeking above the horizon. The roads were still wet (possibly supersaturated) but the rain was gone.

Temperature: 35 degrees.

I was the first one there, and I waited patiently to see if I would be the only one attending. Within 5 minutes three others had joined me. I guess the roadies stayed home to watch Tour dFrance DVD’s from their rollers because there were no SFE riders there.

As the sun proper began to peek over the horizon we headed downtown to Michelle’s for some famous biscuits and gravy. By that I mean we went north for some then east a lot then south a bit then east a little more then north a whole bunch then west for some then a short bit north a short bit west and finally a short bit north again.

The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the wind was reasonable my feet were quite cold (conditioning for winter) and ready for some sweet sticky gravy.

We chatted. DW caught me up on the latest regional bike planning. Apparently the nearby communities really want bike trail connectivity to Sioux Falls. Apparently the idea of actually connecting to Sioux Falls by existing roadways was a new concept for some folks. That makes it a successful meeting in my book.

Roadlegs put out a challenge for me to map the ride. You got it RL!

It's raining again.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm Falling


Last year I acquired a single speed road bike after deciding I wanted to participate in City Billy's Schnoctoberrfest. I'm sure there will be some recaps posted soon as the participants wake up.

I didn't go! Life is a series of choices, eh?

While The Boy 6 finished up his soccer season with The Grandma, the rest of The Family experienced a new non-consumptive activity - well except for the drive there. Life is a series of choices, eh?

We went here...

While Split Rock Creek bubbled happily nearby...

Our guide showed us what to do...

And we did...


And again...

I love fall...

Climbing at Palisades State Park.

Guide service from Sylvan Rocks.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Staying Inside The Lines

As a kindergartener The Boy 10 may have had some difficulty coloring inside the lines. Watch your toes when waiting to cross this intersection.

I hope he never gets this bad.

Save a mailbox, ride a bike.

The lines are much more fun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Save A Cup

Tired of losing your coffee off the top of your car?

Save a cup, ride a bike...

...and have more time for things like this.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The 3.5 Day Weekend That Was

My weekend started Thursday when my boss advised us, if we have vacation use it now because we probably won’t get to use it in December.

Can I have tomorrow off?

Thursday evening I briefly attended The City’s Railway Relocation Project Open House. It seems to me that if there’s a chance of abandonment of some city railways a bicycle type person might want to be in the right place at the right time to suggest a use for those abandoned tracks; or at least show interest. There isn’t a chance – at least not in this project; as far as you know.

Friday I actually worked half a day because really, why in the world would I want to display to my employer that my presence at work isn’t necessary?

Friday afternoon I joined with The Owner and a couple city types. We modeled for a camera on road bicycle facility use for some PSA’s that should be coming out yet this fall.

Friday evening I celebrated the 125th anniversary of the University of Sioux Falls. I attended the banquet which proved to be more desirous of 1960’s graduates than 1990’s graduates. Post banquet I celebrated my 20th year friendship with The TransitLibrarian. We spent 4 hours at Monk’s House of Ale Repute. Beautiful times.

Saturday was the FAB Annual Meeting. We rode south of town to the Country Apple Orchard which gave me a great idea for the upcoming bicycle planning process of the Southeastern Council of Governments. How about designated bicycle ways out of town and connecting the towns represented in the council? Even if it simply means adding six more inches to the right of the white line!

FAB board elections occurred. I’ll be treasurer for another year – which is my final year of that due to term limits. The Club replaced four members which beats the pants of the seven replaced last year. This should put FAB in a little better position for year three.

Sunday – some family time.

Monday I used my LBS 2008 reward money to purchase the Blackburn System x8 bike lighting system. Here’s hoping new lights will chase away my frustration with my current lighting systems.

Today I finished reading “Jesus Wants To Save Christians: A Manifesto For The Church In Exile.”

I searched for “Jesus For President: Politics For Ordinary Radicals” and “The Wordy Shipmates” on eReader. I found “Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us).” So I’m reading that now.

Remember my theory that the automobile is actually a time machine? It’s right there in the Prologue:
“Traffic is an in between time in which we are more likely to think about where we are going than where we are at the moment. Time and Space are skewed in traffic…”
and by way of introduction:
“That ‘surrealistic’ side of traffic will be the focus of this book. I began my research with the intention of stopping to take a look around at an environment that has become so familiar we no longer see it; I wanted to slow down for a moment and think about what’s going on out there as we drive, walk, cycle, or find some other way to get around.”

Friday, October 10, 2008

Still In Exile

Eleutheros the blogger at How Many Miles From Babylon doesn't post often. When he does he almost always knocks me out of the park - and almost always makes me sad because I can't get there from here. But I can see it.

He writes about economics today:
"It takes only the vision to see that tokens are not real in the way, say, blackberry jam is to realize that at some time the world is not going to be willing for us to eat all its food, use all its fuel, take all its manufactured goods, and give nothing in return besides standing beside the pump and insisting someone put a motor on it."
Hello Babylon, I never left.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Who Does This Guy Think He Is?

On Governor Palin and her debate:

"My strongest impression through watching was a mishmash of contradictory poses struck with what I thought was a breathtakingly cynical indifference to their radical incoherence and to me it captured kind of perfectly - it was like her performance was the apotheosis of the incoherence of republican thinking in 2008."

I listen to the weekly podcast of the KCRW - Left, Right and Center radio program. This quote is from the moderator Matt Miller - ostensibly off the top of his head. I think he fancies himself a bit of an elitist.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

RNC v Biking, Walking and Dog Sledding

Thanks StankerTanker.

In Tandem

When we awoke this morning The Boys were absent. I guess that makes sense having left them with a grandparent after soccer for the evening. The Boy 6 scored a goal by the way.

So we jumped on the tandem.

We visited the I-29 pedestrian bridge. The Wife, for the first time, didn’t like my driving. As we descended the tight curly Q ramp she was wishing for brakes. Adjacent to that are some newly painted sharrows on the west bound lane of Teem Drive. The east bound lane has had a poorly maintained fully painted bike lane since the construction of the bridge. The road no longer suggests riding bicycles on the wrong side of the two-way road.

We rode through the Japanese Gardens to find a previously elusive letterbox. Our first attempt at finding it a month ago was thwarted by some teens quite happily enjoying the seclusion of the area. It was clear they were just as intent to wait us out as we were them. The won last time, we found it this time.

We then toured the relatively new Veteran’s Memorial Park. There are a variety of memorials there including some dramatic readings of ways veteran’s earned their medals of honor. It’s a nice park for remembering that sort of thing...and they left room for growth.

From there we ventured into downtown and enjoyed newly painted southbound sharrows on Main Ave, then enjoyed the south side of the MUP. Stops at Starbucks and Walgreens, introducing The Wife to my wet weather Louise Ave avoidance techniques, finally after 23 miles she was happy to be finished with her longest bike ride ever.

Have a nice rainy day…or three.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lambchop and Liberal Libertarians

Lambchop Rides posted this YouTube Video. There are gas shortages in Atlanta. It's so serious...well, you might remember my previous post.


And then there's this...