Saturday, February 28, 2009

MinusCar Goes To Gym Class: Test Today

I'm mentioned my trips to the trainer. Today was session #10 - officially the end of our first arrangement. The best way to sell a second arrangement would be to show some results, no?

She tested me February 2. She tested me today.

1 mile run - 104 seconds faster. Lots of these seconds are gains in confidence. On 2/2 I didn't suppose I could run a mile and I was right. Today I set a goal and beat it by 28 seconds. There's something nicely liberating in being that much faster than the guy I started running away from a month ago.

There's a bunch of MinusCar principles being played out in the trips to the gym. Non-consumptive spending and relationship building are two. But my favorite principle - running is a form of transportation.

Wall sit - 34 seconds longer.

Push ups - 7 more.

Sit ups - boy this exercise sure has changed since my last gym class 30 years ago. 5 more.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Not Today I Have A Meeting

I couldn't ride to work today because I had a Bike To Work Day meeting after work. The snow returned too. It's tough to want to ride after so many days of no snow. Besides, yesterday I moved my car to get the grill out. Driving sure can be addicting.

We talked a lot about how to pay for bike to work pancakes this year. We thought maybe raffles would work for some of it. One of us has some Tour o'California swag to give to the cause. As far as I know there's no truth to the rumor that a Livestrong TT bike will be available.

On Tuesday some FAST folks met with the city parks department. A set of four hoops have been clearly defined. Next Wednesday we'll begin the running start toward the first.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is It Soup Yet?

As I walked to my noontime training session the ice cold contents of my water bottle emptied into my Timbuk2 Messenger Bag. Due to the advanced materials used in the manufacturing process of these beautiful bags - instead of draining directly out, the waterproofing technologies performed beautifully in maximizing the retention of the water; leading to the magnificent creation of something akin to exercise clothing soup.

No electronics were damaged in the process thanks to other equally fascinating Timbuk2 technologies outside the scope of this report.

As unpleasant as it was to climb in to 35-degree water soaked clothing, I enjoyed throughout my session the unexpected convenience of being able to hydrate directly from my clothes. Need a quick sip while performing the bench press? I simply turned my head to the side as I raised the weight and enjoyed a nice refreshing beverage.

This afternoon I will seek a patent for my new idea not only with hopes of selling it to Camelback by 3Q09 – but also to keep any MinusCar readers from profiting off my clearly brilliant idea.

Unless Fatty wants it. If The Fat Cyclist wants to develop the idea, he may.

But no one else.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Local Daily Says "Bicyclists Flock To Swap..."

This is Anthony. Anthony wants to build singletrack in Sioux Falls. I do too. Here's the link to The Local Daily's reporting on the Bike Swap. The photo is from the article. Anthony blogs as Chubby MoFo.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Update.

Normally sitting on the couch like this is inappropriate. When inappropriate sitting on the couch looks like this I'd rather take a picture than stop the behavior.

I got my shirt at the swap meet. It was plenty busy all day long. I think Snakebite can be found on the TV news this evening. He'll probably be in the print media tomorrow. That twice in two weeks for him.

20 more individuals identified themselves as willing trailbuilding vounteers with FAST.

FAB swapped too and found a couple handfuls of folks looking to do some riding.

The city had had good biking weekend - and it's only February.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What If You Throw A Party And Nobody Comes?

Today's FAST open house went fine. We were reasonably busy. My hope was that ten people would volunteer to build trail and a few more than twenty put their names down on paper.

This week we show what we've done to some decisioneers in the Park's Department. We've got a written proposal, a design, a chance at some (non stimulus) federal funds, and a list of folks interested enough to put their names on a piece of paper. How can they possibly say no?


Ah, it is that simple isn't it.

Next chance for a party that nobody comes to is tomorrow. Snakebite's Bike Swap. I've got very little at stake in this one but I'm definitely going. I want one of these:

How Many Miles From Guatemala?

I'm not sure what's harder - an hour in the hands of my trainer - or an hour in the mind of Eleutheros @ "How Many Miles From Babylon." Both exercise parts of me that won't otherwise be exercised.

"This is the freeman’s bailout plan. Make sure that in your own Nanotopia, your own circle of endeavor, that some real, tangible good or service useful to the folk has been produced by your efforts and by your encumbering the Earth."

That's the punchline - just because the joke is true doesn't make it funny.

I could point to my new adventures in bread making. I could point to my anticipation of my upcoming third season of attempted gardening. Both remind me that I'm a far different person than I was four years ago. But I can't tell for sure that these pass the test.

I gota run. I have a FAST Open House to get to. I'm joined with a small group of people trying to build singletrack within the city - arguably a tangible good or service useful to the folk within my circle of endeavor.

Friday, February 20, 2009


The last time The Family made the short trip north to the in-laws we counted the X-Marks-The-Spot (where someone died) signs along I-29. Does it really average 1 a mile between here and Dell Rapids?

I understand The State has unusually high numbers of sleepy drivers. This is causing The State to become very interested in roadside rumble (WAKE UP!) strips. No doubt coming soon to the highway you used to like to ride on.


The other day I sat in a room full of cyclists and made an attempt to start a conversation around the idea that there seems (are) to be officials within city government that are uncomfortable with pedestrian and bicycle use of the local roads.

I suppose it's fair enough that these officials hold these views but I'd really like to know what these same people have attempted to do to, you know, at least say, to reduce the risk.

This vid brings my mind to the time I was introduced to the frontside of a barely moving pickup - something I very rarely think about. I was young enough to simply bounce off and continue on my way. Back when a 10 year old kid could almost walk a mile or two for a 45 rpm single at Lewis Southgate without getting hit. Probably "Another One Bites The Dust" that time.

The apparently blind driver was as lucky as I was.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Have U Seen This Bike?

I saw this bike in the wild last summer. A couple weeks ago I spotted it patiently waiting for its owner outside my local grocer. I think the brand is Vertical. Couple the add-on basket and shiny fenders, with the upgraded seat and handlebars, this dual-sprung cycle is a real beauty.

Very nice.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kill Your...



I was a source of great curiosity at Starbucks this morning. Two separate individuals asked me a few questions about riding. One had apparently quite recently purchased a two wheel something new, perhaps over the long weekend.

Reportedly she's not crazy enough to ride "in this." By that she meant close to 40 degrees with < 7 mph wind. In the middle of February - a very rare day indeed. The guy before her certainly knew how beautiful February has been.

As I left with grande-non-fat-chai in hand and chocolate-covered-graham in pocket she begged me to tell her I don't ride whilst drinking. I failed to ask her if she drinks her's while she operates a 4,000lb machine at speeds two to three times my own.

I've got to get more practice at these impromptu conversations.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The MinusCar Duathlon

Holiday! Woot woot.

Conference call for the heretofore stagnant South Dakota Bicycle Coalition occurred today. Sounds like enough people are engaged to move forward. Could be good. I hear rumor of a LAB Road I course being taught in Rapid City this spring. Honey - do you think it's about time to show The Boys Mt. Rushmore?

The duathlon:

Ride to meet trainer.

Succumb to trainer's desire to strip me of what pride I had left after last session.

Ride home with spaghetti like arms and legs.

2 hours.

More Bikes In The News

Did you see SnakeBoy in The Local Daily? Tomorrow I'll be forwarding the article to my HR person and the other person I work with who rides their bike to work regulary.

Pedal and save - Workers catch a break under new federal measure

Don't miss the first comment - another individual ditching the car.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bridges Of Minnehaha County

Looking at the first photo from today's bicycle adventure reminds me I read something else interesting from the internet local television news. But first the photo...

A piece of bridge disengaged and fell to the ground leaving a six to eight inch gap between bridge walkway and sidewalk. If somebody steps there in the dark it could be very bad news.

Yes. I'll feel really bad about that. I opted to alert the city through their internet complaint/comment tracking system. I opted to not call the police. Hopefully I don't live to regret my choice.

If I do you'll read about it here.

To the news. When I read this article - "Chunk of concrete falls from bridge" I learned that a chunk of concrete had fallen from an entirely different bridge. That our bridges appear to be falling apart is not what I'm highlighting.

This exchange is:

Occasional bike rider - "It [the concrete] was laying out in the middle there so I think most of the people that were riding would probably see it but you know people ride at night so yeah, it could be dangerous."

Director of Public Words responds - "I think I'd probably stop and move it out of the way you know. Probably get it out of the way and take back off."

Mind The Gap

My Driver Is Better Than Yours

Local telly seems to be a bit behind in their press release reading. Yesterday KSFY did their own report on The City attaining the coveted level of a million ridership.

Local rider former Twin Cities resident Tiffany had this to say:
"I think they're more friendly than in Minnesota. I had a lot of issues in Minnesota."
I'm pretty sure she's talking about the St Paul drivers.

A full read of the short article seems to indicate she thinks our bus service is pretty good except:
"It doesn't run very often, there's not enough bus stops, it's not very convenient," said Welch.
I'm not making this up.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Interview That Wasn't

I spent part of the day not contacting a reporter for The Local Daily looking for information on the bicycle commuter it an act or a tax? I never made the reportage connection but I'm pretty sure Mr Bite did.

That's a good thing. I think his company is already participating in the new opportunity. My plan if the article works is to pass it on our my HR person and the other fair weather commuter that works where I do.

It will be good to see bicycles in the news yet again - hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another Sign Of Victory...

Alert and thoughtful MinusCar reader Tim pointed me to this - "Record number of riders uses Sioux Falls Transit" - article from yesterday's Local Daily. I hope the writers had at least a nice long conversation over the grammatical correctness of the headline.

Seems local transit ridership was up 7.65% compared to 2007. Over the lifetime of The MinusCar Project ridership has increased 26.56%. That's strange, I did not realize my share of rides made that big of difference.

"Ridership" reached 1,000,000 presumably for the first time ever. They awarded the 1,000,000th rider with free rides for a year and maybe a cake. The 1,000,000th rider's name?

Verlyn Beerman. I'm not making this up.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Wife alerted me to the presense of a SWAT team on my normal route home. I took the road less traveled. I was greatly rewarded.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


She made me run a mile. Why would I want to run a mile? That's why I have a bike.

The bike was due back today but as he was putting the rear wheel back in place he found some cracking around the nipples. I'm not sure salve is quite the right thing so it's going to be a few more days. No prob. I'll probably ride something lighter tomorrow.

Saturday I got to ride the road single. That was niiiiice.

Today, I rode the bus. I was the the one who knew Sacramento was the capitol of California. I think there should be one person on every bus that knows that. I still had to pay for my ride.

I've hit on a few good podcasts recently:

The best new subscription has been the 92nd Street Y. I get mine through iTunes. There was a surprisingly (to me) earnest Richard Dreyfuss, political dualists need not apply. The "Omnivore's Dilemma" author Michael Pollan talked food. Ani Difranco did "Self Evident" as a poem not song.

For individual podcasts, I listened to James Howard Kunstler's "Kunstlercast - Credit Crisis" more than once and Ron Heifetz's "Leadership, Adaptability, Thriving" at Duke University came through iTunes U and was very interesting.

Funny thing about podcasts. I found myself with an audio feed of ABC's broadcast of the Inauguration. I listened as this was my primary source for all things January 20. I had to rediscover commercials. Wow, yuck.

Only six more weeks of winter I guess.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

FAST Open House

The Falls Area Singletrack project is coming out of the closet on 2/21. Meet them at the Caille Branch Library. Eat and be refreshed, view a trail building DVD and put your name down on paper to indicate some level of interest if not commitment.

Vist the Falls Area Singletrack website.

Snakebite T

Have you seen? Have you heard?

These shirts, only available at the 2/22 Snakebite's Bike Swap.

In a word - brilliant.

The fine print? "Snakebite Productions"

In two words - doubly brilliant.