Monday, December 28, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

MinusCar TV: Good Neighbor Edition

Sometime last February my TV stopped working. I may have missed a memo but whatever. There's plenty of good material on the intertubes.

This week I found myself in an e-mail conversation making the case that the effort I and others are putting into Falls Area Singletrack (FAST) satisfies James Howard Kunstler’s requirement that we make ourselves “useful to [our] neighbors and fellow citizens.”

A remarkable theme emerged for me over the next few days.

In his superb TED Talk Kunstler says, "Life in the mid 21st century is going to be about living locally. Be prepared to be good neighbors." It’s his final point. Watch the whole talk at the TED website.

Later in the week Krista Tippett talked with Bill McKibben on her Speaking of Faith program. He’s "founder of, a global climate campaign named after what scientists deem the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, 350 parts per million."

Krista says he’s written, "Research has shown that when we live on car-filled streets our number of close friends drops by half. We eat half the meals we used to with friends, family, neighbors...The big question for this century may turn out to be how fast we can relearn the skill of neighborliness."

Finally the Sanctuary For Independent Media has released this video of Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Gospel Choir. In “Beatitudes of Buylessness” he finishes off the song with “Blessed are you who disturb the customer. You just might be loving your neighbor.”

So Merry Christmas! I celebrated numerous times this week the birth of the man who got killed for saying crazy things like “The second greatest commandment in the bible is to love your neighbor as yourself.” What was true 2000 years ago is confirmed by many of my favorite people today.

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction & Mouth Run-On

This evening as I prepared my wardrobe for the ride home I found myself facing a zipper problem. The Fox Stormfront jacket that I celebrated in this blog post from January 2006 had developed a faulty zipper.

This was critical. I was desperate for time and facing the necessity of riding home in mid-teen temperatures with an unzipped jacket. Luckily a second zipper pull on the jacket saved me.

Now I'm looking with suspicion on my other single zipper pull jackets. I don't know if I'll be able to trust again.


I stood and spoke favorably to the City Council tonight about the Shape Sioux Falls 2035 Comprehensive Plan. There are verified reports that Mr. Bite did as well but he availed himself an earlier opportunity. I did not see him nor hear his words.

I find myself contemplating the replacement of TV with real tangible experiences – and I consider that I might be on to something. In front of me was the mayor whom I'd handed a LAB Bicycle Friendly Community award to a couple months ago. To my left was councilor Kenny Anderson whom I'd last seen (and mostly first seen) less than a week ago inside the Kenny Anderson Community Center. We were presenting the FAST/Leaders Park plan to some of his constituents.

I was highlighting some of my favorite bits of the plan and got to corridors. In an attempt to demonstrate the importance of planning corridors I suggested one need only watch a group of teenage girls try to walk from the Empire Mall to the Empire East Mall to realize corridors need attention.

I relinquished the podium. The next man to speak identified himself with his name, his address, and his high level position at the Empire Mall - "thank you very much” – which received a fair amount of laughter.

I stand by my statement.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Footprints In A Contest!

I've entered my popular and very special "Footprints" photo in the Alliance For Biking and Walking's People Powered Movment Photo Contest.

I wouldn't mind at all if readers visited the photo and gave it a vote or two.

Furthermore I wouldn't mind at all if you spread the word, event a little.

For my Footprints story read the post here.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Carbon Lite? Go Outside.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early and headed off to lead the regularly scheduled FAB Coffee & Donut Ride. I arrived at the rendevous to find four hearty souls waiting in the 26-degree temps.

A guest! We were pleased to have Tom from Minneapolis join us for the ride. It didn't take long to learn he volunteers for Transit for Livable Communities, one of my favorite organizations, and he knows some of my (heros?) favorite people.

We headed off to Dunn Brothers - and I managed 27 miles for the morning.

In the afternoon The Family headed to the Outdoor Campus. We explored the place for a few hours. I took some pictures of the wildlife along the way.

I failed to take a picture of the snake we found warming in the sun. Snakes. November. The Boy 7 and The Wife saw a deer - I didn't get a photo of that either.

I did get a tree sloth.

There was a kid who's not necessarily soft spoken but he still had a big stick .

We found these ducks.

This one appeared to be Alpha.

Finally, it was clear that we'd overstayed our welcome.

We wandered some more and found a bird named Woody...

...and a tree that could hold everybody up.

Finally it was getting late... we headed home.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wandering around the city. Left the car behind a while ago. Haircuts, Caribou (we got in trouble for beverages on the bus - a risk I knowingly took), couldn't quite grasp the 10th & Phillips demonstration as we passed on the bus. They were gone when we were able to make our way back. I assume PETA. Finally the Visual Arts Center - Scott Ehrisman's got a piece it kinda like - and Roller Dollz photos too.

Good times exploring.

Monday, November 23, 2009

091123 Transportation Donut

Some weeks it just all comes together...

A bit of a big week in MinusCarLandia. There a few pots on the stove. I'm almost to busy too drive - and that's reflected in the donut!

My favorite meeting this last week was the CAC of the MPO at SECOG. There was lots of discussion about what it means to have received the Bicycle Friendly Community award. Lots of people are pretty happy about it. I didn't hear a bit of cynicism. When traffic engineers are happy about bikes, I'm happy about bikes.

At that meeting an engineer explained how it was that for many years traffic engineers have gnashed their teeth and asked the question - what would happen if the sensitivity of vehicle sensors was increased to detect bikes. Would it mess up traffic?

Our fresh young engineer turned all that upside down by going out and increasing the sensitivity of some of the vehicle sensors.

That story brought a lot of laughter into the room. If you can't laugh at yourselves who can you laugh at, eh?


The other big things are the No Impact Man movie and the Falls Area Singletrack project. There's probably a post or two about those nearby.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Playing In The Dirt

After more than a year The Falls Area Singletrack (FAST) project at Leaders Park is just about out of the incubator. The City's Parks Board approved our proposal and agreed to let it go to the neighborhood for public input.

The Parks Department has a website for the project as well.

Yesterday FAST held an informational meeting for interested people. I had my usual "what if you throw a party and nobody comes?" anxiety and the bike community showed up with five times my minimum expectation.

That Snakebitten fellow and I worked the agenda. There was plenty of participation by attendees and I feel like we're ready to respond to most any question we might get.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Impact Man: The Movie Part III - It's Happening

There I was, minding my own business and this poster arrived.

It's a free movie! About The No Impact Man.

Please come.

If you're Facebook inclined the event page is here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No Impact Man: The Movie Part II

The other day on the way to work I stopped off for a warm cup of joe. That's not the only Joe I found, the director of The Sioux Falls Green Project was in there.

We chatted. I'm all like, "MinusCar Project."

He's all like "Sioux Falls Green Project."

I'm all like "No Impact Project (the movie)."

He's all like, "hmmmm..."

(parts of this post may be fictionalized for a poor attempt at enhanced drama. can you feel it? the drama?)

(i totally want to be clear, Joe doesn't at all sound like this when he talks. i on the other hand, as far as you know, do.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

091116 Transportation Donut

The ratio of bike to single occupant vehicle looks good. The multi-occupant miles are very high due to a trip to Mitchell for a meeting about the South Dakota Bicycle Coalition.

The high cost of state level advocacy, darn. The meeting was good though. We know what we're doing for the next 9-ish months.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Impact Man: The Movie

I noticed the No Impact Man movie is out and about. I was thinking the other day how nice it would be if it showed in Sioux Falls. Colin Beavan has been blogging his journey for a long time and often puts words down that resonate VERY well with me.

What's not to like - it's the No Impact Project. No Impact Project, MinusCar Project - like peanut butter and chocolate, no?

So I was just thinking how nice it would be if it showed in Sioux Falls.

Here's the trailer. Watch it. Even it's good.

Yeah, I like the No Impact Man and the No Impact Project.

Monday, November 09, 2009

091109 Transportation Donut

First, The Dad celebrated 4,000 bike miles this week.

It was a pretty good week. I’m particularly happy with the walking part. The Boy 11 says I didn’t walk much. I said if I walked enough to match the other sections I’d still be walking.

I’m a little surprised that it’s been so long since I’ve posted. I’m a little busy right now with actual projects with actual people.

I’ve had conversations with a health department in Lincoln, NE, a health department in South Dakota, and the Community Education program in Sioux Falls. All of these were about my involvment in the LAB Bike Ed curriculum.

I attended our Planning Commission meeting and spoke favorably about the Shape Sioux Falls 2035 Comprehensive Plan. Their approval was a necessary stop as it makes it’s way to the City Council.

The Falls Area Singletrack project took a very significant step forward this week.

I'm transitioning from my 3-year stint as treasurer of FAB to FAB Webdude.

The MinusCar Project has a something in development too.

Plenty of potential for stories to come.

Monday, November 02, 2009

091102 Transportation Donut

I started out the week strong but faltered in the end. Less rain in the forecast will help with motivation - which I need right now. This is the best time of year for riding...and night riding just got a lot more convenient.

Let's go!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

091025 Transportation Donut

This one covers from 10/12 to 10/25. Not exactly a time period to hand on the fridge for inspiration.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

50/50 Chance Of Cyclocross!

Reposted from the Falls Area Single Track (FAST) blog.

Sioux Falls' first ever cyclocross event occurred Saturday morning. 19 riders were available enough and game enough to come out and enjoy the opportunity to ride in 0.4 mile circles with others.

What you don't see there is 40ft of climbing. Yeah, that's right, I said 40.

Cyclocross is known for its special flavors. We’re all pretty new at this so there were no men or women in skirts, no bonfires at the top of the climb, and no bacon hand-ups.

There was also no trouble with the neighbors, parks officials, or police.

...and we secured a lost dog too. Oh yes, we’re that good.

Here is some of the special sauce at our event.


First, Snakebite. Who one day thought, hey, let's do cyclocross and suddenly there were people riding around in circles. He has a way of doing that.

Jason Harms showed up early and said he was there to help - and he was - and he did.

Adam rode his bike through town with a 10 pound sledge in one hand after the hammer we were using to place barriers malfunctioned.


One racer tied a cowbell to his handlebar because, especially at cyclocross, there is no such thing as too much cowbell.


Before the race we took a moment to observe THE MONOLITH. It’s an electrical utility.


Antknee filled the role of the guy with no hair and a beard that goes to 11.


It’s important to have an Irish Guy in a Team Ireland kit.

That’s Kathy on the left from the Sioux City contingent. Tammy One-Speed chased her around the course all day. How about a special shout out for Madeline the youngest (12) participant! YES!!!!!!!!!


No, this is not Team Ireland carrying his brand spanking new Surly 1x1 Anniversary Edition with Large Marge rims and even larger tires because he didn’t want it to get dirty. The most striking feature of cyclocross is the torturous placement of barriers on the course. That’s a barrier he’s stepping over.

*photo Chad Pickard


Thankfully we didn’t need his professional skills (no last rites?) on the course. It’s always nice to have a minister on hand. Any chance we’ll make tomorrow’s sermon Rev?

*photo Chad Pickard


At the end it’s good to have a lot of cold, sweaty, drained people being held up by their bikes. The Muscle was a long way out in fourth, clawed his way back to 2nd and finally landed in 3rd after succumbing to Kyle’s tactics.


At least one team photo, it’s winner of the B event Peter on the right. 2nd place in the A event Kyle is second from left.


I’m ever so pleased that heretofore unknown to us, 15-year-old Zack from Crooks, SD rode away from everybody and won the A event. The enthusiasm of his family was warmth.


See Saturday's article in The Local Daily.

See Sunday's article in The Local Daily.

The Local Daily's photo gallery of the event is here.

See The Hooterville Mayor's photo/video montage on his blog.

The Press Conference

Awright, enough about being all bike friendly an stuff.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

LAB Bicycle Friendly Community? Here's Why...

According to Bill Nespar, director of the Bicycle Friendly American Program reviewers [of our application] were particularly impressed with:

1. Efforts to educate young people in every school to give them the skills and confidence to ride.

2. One of the best urban bicycle path systems in the country and recent on-street improvements to the network.

3. The new bicycle master plan and investment to connect the overall cycling network.

3. Encouragement efforts such as consistent club rides, annual bike to work day, and events like the Tour de Kota and the downtown criteriums.

4. Dedicated advocates including those at the Falls Area Bicycle Club are a huge part of the successes in Sioux Falls.

5. The growing bike culture in Sioux Falls; it’s clear from your application and from local reviews that Sioux Falls is becoming a great place for bicycling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We're A Bicycle Friendly Community. Now.

Snakebite has the proof. I see that "crazy MinusCar Guy" got himself into some of the photos.

It is a great day to be a bicyclist in Sioux Falls. Congratulations Sioux Falls!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sioux Falls, The Bicycle Friendly Community

The League of American Bicyclists has awarded Sioux Falls a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.

See The League's press release.

See The Mayor unveil the signs tomorrow at 12:15pm at Cherapa Place.

Be there to tell The Mayor, and City Council, and Division Heads just how happy you'll be to attain the silver level by 2013, when The City has to reapply for the award.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Mayor's Press Conference

The Mayor of The City will be hosting a bike related press conference Wednesday, 12:15 @ Cherapa Place. If you've ever ridden a bike before you should get on it and ride to this press conference.

Seriously, I think you should. Especially if you read The MinusCar Project and nod your head in agreement more often than you shake your head in disappointment.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Counting Bikes On Busses

At the recent City bike committee meeting The Planner offered the monthy counts of bicycles on busses. Looks like it may have been a pretty good idea to finally do that...

From Sept/2005 through Aug/2006: 2676
From Sept/2006 through Aug/2007: 4635
From Sept/2007 through Aug/2008: 4475 (oops, a drop!)
From Sept/2008 through Aug/2009: 6719

Looks to me like freedom begins with a B for a lot of people.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

1st Winter Ride

Friday night I pulled the snow bike off it's hook, loosened up the rusted front derailleur cable and made sure the wheels go 'round. They did so I was ready to roll in the morning for the first winter FAB Coffee/Donut ride.

Saturday morning I pulled myself off my hook, loosened up the knees and made sure the feet go 'round. They did so I looked outside at the light snow accumulation. I was mildly disappointed the find no accumulation on the pavement.

The snow bike was not necessary.

At the rendezvous I discovered a handful of amply dressed individuals on bicycles.

It was 25 degrees.

We rode. Destination #1 was Legacy Park via the John Thune funded MUP.

Apparently blue was the color of choice for the morning. I wore standard MinusCar black.

Destination #2 was the roundabout at North University Center which might as well be in Fargo for as far as we travelled north into the north wind.

We looked with suspicion and curiosity upon the heavily barricaded plant somewhere out there near 60th & Marion Road.

Destination #3 was biscuits and gravy at Michelle’s. Mmmmmmm…

Destination #4 was Daylight Donuts – because we’d seen coffee but hadn’t seen any donuts on the ride.

20 miles later the ride returned to the rendezvous.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I retrieved The MinusCar from the mechanic today. I thought an oil change (dirty), transmission fluid (dirty), by-pass hose (coolant leak), water pump (coolant leak), rear wheel cylinder (leaky brakes), fuel filter (it’s time) might take at least an additional day. Unfortunately I missed out on today’s truly beautiful weather by driving home.

The man on the phone, upone learning I wanted it all fixed asked, “you’re gonna drive it for a while yet?”


I received a very important e-mail yesterday. A few years ago I took one of the best pictues I think I've ever taken and attached it to one of the best posts I think I’ve ever written. The post was a birthday wish to a then 60 year-old woman in Sacramento.

Kristin has retired. She still doesn’t own a car. After being hit by one she used an electric cart to be mobile. Six months later she healed enough from the broken leg to start riding again.

She keeps her multi-occupant auto miles to around 5 a month by utilizing the bike, bus, and light rail to get around.

The bikes! YES! Somebody’s grandmother has two junker bikes that she selects from when she doesn’t want to leave her good bike parked outside places. Mostly the bikes are given to her by people dispossessing them. She has enough to “provide for visitors who are now resigned that coming to California to Grandma’s house means cycling everywhere.”

Thank you Kristin for repaying inspiration with inspiration!


When I picked up the car tonight the man on the phone, who has been my auto mechanic for 20 years, and was in fact not on the phone since I was on site – how weird would it be if he was talking to me through the phone – asked me if I’m still riding and limiting my car use. You bet!

He is too. He said, “You forget how peaceful the world is until you get out of that machine.”

I just might have the coolest auto-mechanic ever.

Monday, October 05, 2009

091004 Transportation Donut Plus Stats

That's a good looking donut!

As I gathered numbers for the donut I noticed I've driven my car less this quarter than any other quarter of The MinusCar Project. The daily posting provides good motivation.

Today I filled my car up for the sixth time this year. It had been 81 days since my previous fill.

The MinusCar Project has it's own Facebook page. Get mostly short mostly daily updates there and follow MinusCar approved events & meetings - or see the same updates on this page in the right column.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

“This Gift To You Is Also A Gift To The Earth”

“That's what money is, stored energy. Now energy follows belief. The economy is based, I believe, not on scientific laws as much, but on peoples' beliefs…”

A few weeks ago as I wandered through the Green-ival a man stopped me and handed me a $20 gift card to the Empire Mall. He explained that a portion of the value of the card will be donated to a tree growing charity. I pushed for clarity. You’re giving me this simply because I’m wandering around the Green-ival?

Yes. Go. Enjoy your day. So I went. I enjoyed my day.

The man had given me 20 stored energy units. If I used these units to make a purchase the stored energy would be released. Energy to extract raw materials. Energy to produce goods. Energy to transport the goods.

Almost all carbon based energy, which releases carbon-dioxide and contributes to the changing climate. I assume this was a relevant consideration, beings I was at the Green-ival.

For every 20.0 units of energy I burn they’ll give 0.7 units to the “green” enterprise. Rocket science is no pre-requisite to observe this as a very lopsided equation.

“What is a good life? The answer to that drives an economy or other such questions or thoughts or beliefs. I believe that I'm alone and therefore I have to have something to be with me, to take care of me. I'm not safe. My whole life is about getting safe, so I spend money or don't spend money based on these kinds of beliefs…”

Energy and the economy. Economy and energy. Inextricably linked.

What if the economy wasn’t the most important thing? Would I really need to use so much energy?

This is good news! The book that guy read from is one of the bestselling books of all time!

The italicized text in this post is lifted from and episode of Krista Tippett’s Speaking of Faith public radio program titled “Repossessing Virtue.” It is Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen.

The YouTube video is pastor Francis Chan.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

090929 - Sustainable?

Today's Transport -
Walk: 1.6
Bike: 10.1


Dear The Mom,

I just want to let you know I'm going to stop posting everyday. I'm going to switch to two or three times a week. I've done quantity. I want to see if I can achieve quality. Aw, who'm I kidding - I just want less quantity.

I just want to let you know because I don't want you to think I've been run over - or worse.


The MinusCar Project

Monday, September 28, 2009

090928 – I Cheat

Today’s Transport –
Walk: 1.1
Bike: 5.9
Multi-occupant: 0.5
Single-occupant: 4.3

This morning was the coldest day yet and the wind was blowing a ridiculous amount. I knew two things.

1. The wind would be at my back in the morning.

2. The MinusCar had been sitting in my employers lot since Friday and it was high time to bring it home, AGAINST THE WIND, at the end of the day.

I did.


I forgot the transportation donut yesterday: 9/21 to 9/27

Sunday, September 27, 2009

090927 - Meeting? Really?

Today's Transport
Walk: 4.0
Multi-occupant: 84.8

Travelled to the lake today to assist with dock removal. Remarkably no waves overtopped the waders. Yes!


State Rep Jerstad has reported she's coming to town tomorrow to address the city council. She's invited other cyclists to sit in.

There is no regularly scheduled city council meeting tomorrow. Hmmm...

The Local Daily reports State Rep Jerstad will submit legislation of a 3ft passing law for cyclists this January. They report she's meeting with the Sioux Falls Metro bike committee tomorrow to discuss. I haven't heard of this committee but I'm pretty sure I'm on it.

There is no regularly scheduled committee meeting tomorrow.

I wonder who will meet and where. I'll be sorry to miss.


Update: Rep Jerstad indicates she'll attend the Oct 12 council meeting.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

090926 - Auction, Or Not

Today's Transport -
Walk: 2.9
Bike: 15.6
Multi-occupant: 12.2

The MinusCar is still littering The Cityscape. Hope it's doing ok.


Woke up this morning with designs to meek CycleSD at the police confiscated materials auction. Figuring there'd be plenty of bikes we hoped to get our hands on a few of the best in the pile. From there we'd hope to distribute them to places or people in need of bikes.

But there were no bikes.

I'm guessing they'd already distributed them to places or people in need of bikes.

So I joined the FAB Coffee/Donut ride - already in progress. B & G @ Michelle's and another cup 'o joe at Black Sheep: The Coffee Shop-n-the-Hood.

It was a good morning.


2.9 miles of walking or as I prefer to call it - getting to know The Wife.

090925 – Rain; Date Night

Today’s Transport –
Walk: .8
Multi-occupant: 37.7
Single-occupant: 7.7


A rainy morning and additional rain related parental duties pushed me into The MinusCar today. Oops. I just realized it remains parked in my employer’s parking lot. In a way, it's litter.


The Wife and I headed to Worthing, SD and full-on enjoyed the Olde Towne Dinner Theatre’s production of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged). When John Boe wasn’t reminding me of Jack Black I couldn’t help but think of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.



Techincally this next item belongs on tomororw's post but hey, it's not tomorrow until I've experienced significant sleep. And I haven't.

The Local Daily had published an article "South Dakotans cut back on sharing the ride to work." Apparently census data has revealed that the number of South Dakotans driving alone to work has defied a national trend; it has increased.

This part of the article is my favorite:

"If Sioux Falls workers began car pools, it would be a positive development, Michael Christensen said. He prefers biking to driving and operates the MinusCar Project blog at

'Car-pooling is great because it gets you around other people," he said. "That's a good community-building thing.'"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

090924 – I Get Wet

Today’s Transport –
Walk: 1.6
Bike: 17.0

It was sprinkling when I left today. It was raining by the time I arrived at work. As is customary, I got wet. Remarkably, later, I dried. Cool!


I had a conversation with a guy today. He was curious about my perspective on census data that indicates a general drop in folks driving to work alone but a slight rise in South Dakota. I asked about North Dakota, Montana and Idaho apparently showing a decrease, although not as sharp as the general trend.

I offered some theories but quickly turned the conversation to bicycles. I mentioned the three people I know that parked their cars and began riding to work. I mentioned the 50-ish folks that have been participating in Snakebite’s Bike To Work Challenge since mid-May.

Then I mentioned the social aspects of carpooling. That surprised him. It sounded like it was a new concept for him. I love it when that happens. I should have talked of the beauty of those few perfect moments alone with The Wife as I car pool with her. Maybe even the social reinforcements of a car full of sweaty middle aged men talking about what Glenn Beck did on their TV the previous night.


I can call them sweaty middle aged men, I am one.

Anyway, we’ll see how the conversation plays when it’s in the paper.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

090923 – Bike Trail (And Another) Counts

Today’s Transport –
Bike: 16.6

The rain tried to scare me today. I said no. On my way to the MPO-CAC it spit on me. I said no. I won.


The Boy 11 had an in class assignment today. Something about pretending to be an insurance investigator identifying fault in a car/bike collision. I pressed him for details.

The details of the collision include the old standby explanation from the auto driver saying “He came out of nowhere.” Just once I’d like to hear of a driver that says, “He came out over there.”

I encouraged The Boy to look at the details again to be sure he’s not siding with the cyclists simply because many of his favorite people are one. Then we drew pictures of intersections and talked about lane positioning. Then I drew pictures of a recent close encounter with a truck.


The City has reported their occasional counts of bike trail usage. The report indicates a sharp increase in usage. In 2009, for the first time, weekday usage was more frequent than weekend usage. I rose up from my creamed chicken and shouted, “THAT’S BIKE COMMUTERS.”

Well, it might not be. A better breakdown of data is necessary. But it IS more butts on bikes on weekdays.

Rollerblade usage sees a sharp decline. :-)

Helmet usage percentage increases every year they report it:
1998: 25%
1999: 26%
2000: 31%
2005: 33%
2009: 40%


Speaking of numbers: 2,861 people have run the red light at the camera controlled intersection in 2009, that’s 357 a month, 11 a day. In August, the highest month so far in 2009, 16 ran it each day.

Then there’s this nugget from The City’s website: “During a recent observational study of a high-traffic intersection in Sioux Falls at peak traffic hours, 17 drivers ran red lights in a 1-hour period. That is 1 driver every 4 minutes violating traffic laws and endangering occupants of other vehicles and pedestrians.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

090922 - The MinusCar Still Runs

Today's Transport -
Single-occupant: 28

I drove today. I attended the Corridors & Facilities chapters of the Shape Sioux Falls 2035 Comprehensive Plan. The meeting occurred at University Center. I'm pretty sure that's just a bit shy of the North Dakota border. Almost as far north as Sioux Printing.

I drove today.

The Corridors chapter calls for "complete streets." It's not clear from the document what that means. My written comments will point out, "Complete Streets" has meaning.

Wouldn't it be cool if some (all?) of the facilities the city builds in the next 25 years are LEED certified? Sustainability IS one of the 3 main goals of this document.

I learned new State buildings already require certification. I learned separately that's problematic for The State. I'm happy to agree this stuff isn't easy, after all...

I drove today.

Mr. Bite however did not drive. Alas, he doesn't own a car.


I did not attend the free showing of Food, Inc downtown tonight. Judging from hits to the blog from The Googler there was some interest. That's good. I like the idea of films like this being available in the city.

Maybe they'll give me a cut of the gate for being their web presence.

Whoever THEY are.

Monday, September 21, 2009

090921 - Brrr...

Today's Transport -
Bike: 16.25

At lunchtime I started out walking but turned back because it was cold, windy and rainy. I was underdressed.

Today was one of those rare days when the temperature drops as the day goes on. That can really catch out an outdoor transportation person. In January if the temp did that it could be plain dangerous.

Today it was just a tad uncomfortably cold as I headed into the wind most of the way home. If this was March I'd have worn tights and a jacket instead of shorts and a t-shirt.

Now is the time to begin to check expected temp at 5pm as I prepare the day's clothing. Can't get away with dressing for 8am assuming it's enough.

I'll probably take a spare jacket back to work this week too.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

090920 - Upcomings

Today's Transport -
Walk: 3

This week. Big week.

1. Tuesday Shape Sioux Falls chapter on Corridors. Current language in the document says new roads shall support multiple modes of travel. Existing roads should be retrofitted. Complete Streets is in the document but curiously not capitalized. I think it should be. I’d better go to the meeting.

2. Wednesday the Citizen’s Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization will approve (or not) the first ever Metropolitan Planning Organization Bicycle Plan.

3. Thursday the Technical Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization will approve (or not) the first ever Metropolitan Planning Organization Bicycle Plan.

4. Thursday the Urbanized Development Commission of the Metropolitan Planning Organization will approve (or not) the first ever Metropolitan Planning Organization Bicycle Plan. This is the one that turns the plan into policy.

Planning doesn’t make things happen, but when there’s a plan, things happen.


The Transportation Donut 9/14 to 9/20:

090920 – Feeling Lucky? 13 Things.

Today’s Transport –
Bike: 41.7
Multi-occupant: 6.9


I’m going to try to make this short and quick.

1. Arrive late at Falls Park to help Spoke-n-Sport setup bike valet service at the Green-ival.

2. Breakfast with The Owner – which partially, coincidentally, coincided with breakfast with Snakebite and the Missus. Perfect time to get caught up on the chapter meetings for the Shape Sioux Falls 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

3. Return to Green-ival to volunteer as water boy. Spent precious little energy delivering water and cookies mainly to volunteer parking attendants. They were grateful, which was everything this volunteer needed. I did hear the words “You’re the one on the cute little bike!” Ummmm...if you’re the one with the cute little compost pile.

4. I observed a lengthy cell phone conversation between two people unknowingly standing less than 20 feet apart. Funny. Everytime a train went by they couldn’t hear each other.

5. The Family showed up. They Boys wore their MinusCar t-shirts. Sometimes I think I might be living a dream.

6. I rode the long way home. Discovered some cars parked partially on the bike trail watching soccer. Half of them drove away after they realized I was taking pictures.

7.’s where the heart is…and dinner too.

8. Off to a meeting. Crash! Most bicycle crashes are preventable. This one was too. I had decided I’d put my lights on at the bridge. Fell of approaching the bridge because I didn’t have my lights on.

9. Meeting #1 of the newly freshly inspired Sioux Falls Bicycle Collective. I was a bit of a party crasher. I probably talked too much. I probably sound like I know a lot about what’s going on. Darn. I’ll try to do better next time. I like being around people inspired to encourage cycling.

10. Off to Monks to add some more miles and to see who’s there. That Bald and Surly fellow was holding up the rail. He let me help.

11. Rode part way home with that same Bald and Surly fellow. Saw a mink. Parted ways. Saw a skunk. Night rides are thrilling.

12. "Honey, pick up ½ gallon of soymilk on your way home." "You mean ride my bike more? Ok."’s where the heart is...and the bed too.

Friday, September 18, 2009

090918 - Posting Conservatively

Today's Transport -
Bike: 11.4

Have a good weekend! Ride your bike somewhere.
Ride for breasts,
ride for the environment,
ride to walk for autism,
ride and camp too, but I can't find that site.

...or just ride.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

090917 – A Guy Named Thune

Today’s Transport –
Walk: 1.5
Bike: 11.5


Yesterday the United States Senate dealt with two transportation related amendments of interest to bicyclists.

The two amendments were introduced by Oklahoma Senator Coburn; both were attempts to severely cripple the existence of the Transportation Enhancements portion of the Transportation Bill. Transportation Enhancements are the 10% portion of the Transportation Bill that help support and fund public transport, bicycle and walking related improvements. Senator Coburn figures that the 10% needs to go to road projects.

Coburn withdrew one amendment. The second went to vote and was rejected 59 to 39.

The photos in this post are of my neighbor and South Dakota Senator John Thune. He was in town in April 2008 to celebrate the groundbreaking of a small section of paved multi-use trail in The City that he helped fund. He’s clearly enjoying the accolades being heaped upon him for helping extend our beautiful MUP.

Yesterday Senator John Thune voted for the failed Coburn amendment.

Thanks John.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

090916 - Food, Inc.

Today's Transport -
Walk: 1.1
Bike: 14.8


It was another pulling the trailer type of day. I'm not sure it was completely necessary for the box of cereal I picked up at the natural food grocery store. But for what it’s worth the box came home in pristine shape. Not damaged from needing to get along with work & workout clothes in the messenger bag.

I mention the natural foods grocery store because it was there I learned that the documentary Food, Inc. will be showing in Sioux Falls. FREE!

September 22,
Downtown Holiday Inn.

This movie holds a completely uncoveted MinusCar stamp of approval.

I might even go.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

090915 – One Less Gator

Today’s Transport –
Walk: 1.5
Bike: 15.4


I’m at a city-wide festival. I’m walking around enjoying vendor booths and fried food. There it is, poking its way through the crowd a motor vehicle threatening my shins and toes. No doubt it’s on an important mission to deliver duct tape or pencils to a vendor somewhere with the 100 yard radius.

This coming weekend The City is hosting its first ever Green-ival. It’s a festival with vendors who ostensibly care about sustainability and related issues. They say the vendor response is much greater than expected. That’s exciting.

The MinusCar Project has volunteered its gator. I think I’ve got the colors close to right. I'll be the motor.

Monday, September 14, 2009

090914 – Potluck

Today’s Transport –
Bike: 15.2


There was a potluck in the I.T. room today. I volunteered to bring spaghetti and meatballs. It put me in new territory for having too much going on to bike to work. But I figured it out.

I loaded up the warm crock-pot with the goods...

Put the goods in a tub surrounded by towels...

And put the tub on the BOB...

Today for the first time ever I saw a raccoon on my way to work. I don’t THINK it was because I was carrying food.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

090913 - Seriously. Nothing.

I didn't transport today.

I did listen again to Ron Heifetz speaking at Duke on "Leadership, Adaptability, Thriving" from iTunesU. Seriously. Excellent.


The Transport Donut for 9/7 to 9/13

090912 – Coffee & Donuts & Bikes, Oh My

As I rolled out this morning I began thinking we might rename today’s FAB Coffee & Donut ride the Pea Soup Ride.

Arrived at the rendezvous site and found a couple of the usual suspects and one Russell The Muscle ready for his first Coffee/Donut venture.

As ride leader I was prepared to explore the northwest roundabout but that was trumped by the words “I know where there’s a bike trail through a bean field.” Off we went in search of the mythical bean field.

As a 30 year resident good CD rides are marked by the number of neighborhoods we ride through that I’ve never seen before. We picked our way through the area east of Cherry Rock Park and found ourselves eventually at the brand new Rosa Parks Elementary. The pedestrian underpass there is beautiful and a pleasing statement for consideration of alternative transportation.

The trail in the bean field is too.

The Wild Woopie Bakery was the ultimate destination and on the way there I got pinched by a garbage truck. Lesson…don’t get pinched. Had I been controlling my lane instead of cowering on the right both I and the driver would have been more comfortable.

“Don’t compromise your safety for the convenience of another.”


Today’s Transport –
Bike: 28.3
Multi-occupant: 7.6