Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beliefnet: A Personality quiz about your religious and spiritual beliefs

I saw this on Tex's Luavull Cycling. It's the Beliefnet: A Personality quiz about your religious and spiritual beliefs.


The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our message boards.

1. Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (89%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (85%)
4. Seventh Day Adventist (85%)
5. Eastern Orthodox (82%)
6. Roman Catholic (82%)
7. Hinduism (79%)
8. Liberal Quakers (67%)
9. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (66%)
10. Unitarian Universalism (57%)
11. ...


I'm not too surprised about #1.

#2 & #3 are exactly how I self-describe.

#6 is appropriate because being #2 & #3 seems a little like purgatory.

I'm pretty disgusted with the amount of advertising on Beliefnet. I hope they're getting what they're paying for - which I think goes a lot way to why #1 is #1.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Letters: endangered bicyclist

You have been sent an online news article from mytzpyk as a courtesy of argusleader.com.

Article Title:
Letters: endangered bicyclist

To view the contents on www.argusleader.com, go to:

Letter to the editor - Sioux Falls Endangered Cyclist

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Road (1) Trip: The Boys

With The Wife working her occasional Sunday afternoon The Boys and I headed out for a little bit of urban cycling education. I attached the trail-a-bike to the tandem and we rolled out with the goal of surprising The Wife at work and begging for a ride home.

The Boys had strict instructions to follow closely behind me - which is funny - because I had attached the trail-a-bike to the tandem...oh, I already said that.

It ended up being a 10 mile ride mostly on the streets of our fine city. We made a couple stops to enjoy cold beverages. A highlight for us was a picnic table placed atop a picnic shelter in one of the parks. Kids these days.

On the way we talked about which red lights we stop for (all of them) and which red lights we ride through (the ones that don't change for bicycles). We talked about getting stopped by Officer Pottebaum and that we'd happily pay the fine and just as happily ask that he fix the traffic signals.

One particular teachable moment - The Boy 7 asked if he should get off and press the button. "NO! You must stay on the bike. If you don't the car behind you might run over you."...as the car behind us rolled by in the space I'd left for it to perform it's right turn.

Kinda funny that the expectation (Officer Pottebaum) is that cyclists will disembark their bike to push the button at these signals.

I caught myself in an incorrect answer to The Boy 7. He asked why that car behind us sped up and then slowed down. I explained that the driver was trying to turn right but couldn't because we were in the way. EHHH, wrong answer. The driver was trying to turn right but couldn't because we were here first.

We got an education in riding in a strait line - "we're on the white line, off it, on it, off it, where'd it go?"

It was indeed a beautiful MinusCar day for a dad and his The Boys.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

We described Earth Hour to The Boys at dinner this evening. Then we asked them if they wanted to participate. They did. We talked about what we might do. They were pretty comfortable with the idea of playing with flashlights for an hour. That left The Wife and I up to our own devices.

By 8:27 The Boy 7 was giving me the official countdown as I tried to finish up an e-mail on the computer. By 8:30 "shutting down" was on the screen and I squeezed into compliance.

A walk through the house revealed some nightlights on 8:35 timers that needed to be offed. Sometime early on I made my first real sacrifice in disconnecting the modem and wireless router...60 minutes, in the home, no wi-fi. Seriously!?! But there's seemingly important bike related e-mails flying back and forth tonight!

It didn't take long in the rapidly quieting house to discover there really wasn't a reason we shouldn't turn of the refrigerator for an hour. So we did.

Early on I considered the heat - but ruled it out as it's gas heat. But really, once that fridge is off there can be no denying the fan on the furnace is clearly run by electricity especially when it's the only non-human noise in the house. So off it goes too.

Here's the most radical thing!

Just like minimizing automobile use brings people together through more time in proximity and slower motion...the four of us gathered in the living room. It was after all where the two candles were.

Shadow puppets. Rolling over backwards. Flashlight sabers. Blindfolded stuffed animal selection. Oh yeah, occasionally The Wife cuddled me on the couch too!

Take away a persons eyes and their other senses develop to accommodate. Take away a family's distractions - other things rise up to fill the gaps.

It's Lent. Let something go. See what fills in the new space. Give something else a chance.

Happy Earth Hour. Easter is coming.

Coffee & Donut Ride

...with the big dummy.

Outside The Lines

Saturday morning is usually a very good morning to find these. I can't imagine a reason why.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Road (1) Trip

Dakota Bike Tours and the Rapid City Parks & Recreation Department hosted a League of American Bicyclists Road 1 course last weekend. I went.

Yes it’s true – I travelled 350 miles by automobile to learn how to ride a bicycle. Don’t be fooled - it’s a serious course. Usually taught as 3, 3 hour sessions – we enjoyed just shy of 9 hours of bike related discussion, hands on drills and instruction.

But that’s not the point.

Anecdotal Point #1 – I sat in a room with 10-ish people who were generally considered “seasoned” cyclists. To many (all?) of them the instructor led discussion contrasting the difference between the myth of “as far to the right as possible” and the reality of “as far to the right as practicable” was at best not something they’d previously given much thought to.

Anecdotal Point #2 – one of my classmates described almost being struck by an automobile coming out of an alley. She was riding on the sidewalk. The instructor led discussion identifying proper lane position on the roadway as the safest place to be in that situation was – instructional.

Anecdotal Point #3 – the road test is tough. We did a group ride navigating the busiest roadways in Rapid City. Each roller leads the group through four turns. The group stops and the instructor offers constructive criticism of the leader’s performance. There’s something unique about watching a man’s bicycling being critiqued.
Side note – which weighs more, a pound of lead or a pound of cotton? Contrary to popular belief a 30,000 vehicle per day road is a 30,000 vehicle per day road anywhere in the nation. It’s true – I looked it up.
The instructor was LAB Cycling Instructor Eric Bunch. He began by teaching these courses through a bike & pedestrian organization in Missouri. Recently he moved to Denver and volunteers hours to BikeDenver. His blog post about his visit to South Dakota is here.

I’ll be clear – I greatly admire the work Eric does.

The director of Dakota Bike Tours and the Director of Rapid City Parks are fellow conspirators in the fledgling South Dakota Bicycle Coalition.


As far as driving across the state – I didn’t go as a single occupant. The Family accompanied me.

While I sat in class they enjoyed such educational opportunities as throwing-up in the Keystone Taffy Shop garbage can. Crazy Horse Memorial was the highlight - which The Boy 11 was muchly excited for after reading about it in school last year.

We returned home Sunday by first viewing some of the beautiful Black Hills Needles. Sometimes I look at a rock formation and can totally see some object, more often than not it’s a face.

“…it would be something like the spirit college youths display in risking life, limb and official punishment in order to plant their class emblem in a higher or more unexpected place than it has ever been carried before…we look tolerantly on their scrambling, knowing that they will learn in time to differentiate between physical altitude and real accomplishment.”

We traversed the Badlands as well. I enjoyed a much greater appreciation of the geography than I have in previous visits. I was able to snap this photo while there.

The travesty of which is in the ease it was acquired. It really makes me wonder how many of Brandenburg’s photos are actually taken from the open window of an automobile.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Today I led a few on edition 031409 of the FAB Coffee/Donut Ride. We enjoyed the trip to Black Sheep Coffee via South Cliff Ave and Downtown.

The dude working the counter at Black Sheep was a bit of a rider himself. His urban fixie gets premium parking inside as part of the eclectic display area. He figured we were a bit overdressed for the beautiful day, but wanted us to know that he rides all the time.

I figured I was a bit under dressed for the time and distance we traveled and that he should at least wear enough clothes to cover that piece on his backside that's covered in dirt from his ride. Especially if he's going to be serving me food.

A dog sat at the next table - so things are a bit different there than other restaurant-type establishments. To be fair the dog was wearing a sweater. He thinks he's people.

Dude also suggested we all sell our cars and transport by bike only. I assured him I could hear what he was saying. The Dad (Coffee/Donut ride #1 for him) played his ace - having sold his car four years ago.

I read Chubby Mofo's blog this morning and remembered that the St Patrick's Day Parade is today. That event had so far eluded my radar. I'm there. Sounds like The Boy 11 will be adorning the little bike. I'm a little jealous - that's the high price of parenthood.

Snakebite says his attendance will be a gametime decision.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Outside The Lines


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bike Racks As Art

Recently our local govment issued an invitation for art-like bicycle racks that could be placed throughout the area. Not only to offer places to park bicycles but to draw further attention to the existence of racks and bicycles. My understanding is the response was underwhelming.

Bottom line - even though someone in the community invited David Byrne to submit his racks - art racks are anything but imminent.

At a recent meeting of bicyclists David Byrne's New York City racks were discussed. Not everyone in attendance knew of them. Here, thanks to the Bicycle Diaries attention to the matter - is a NYC tour of the David Byrne Racks.

Too bad they didn't ride their bikes from rack to rack.

A Rackumentary

The MinusWashingMachine Project

In the MinusCar household we've made a habit of collecting water previously wasted while we warm up the shower water in a five gallon bucket which gets emptied into the washing machine.

In this man's household he's modified a washing machine to operate by pedaling a bicycle on a trainer. He's completed 114 loads since July 2007. He's not messing around.