Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No Impact Man Writes What I've Been Thinking

Today I engaged in an e-mail conversation with one of the local usual suspects. I was writing about local "green" efforts. If I had to guess I'd say the Sioux Falls Green Project has the most financial potential - the most resources to have the most impact.

Beginning with the give away of reusable plastic drinking bottles at an SFGP event. Continuing with my SFGP tagged Novak recycling container that rewards me with points for recycling. If I recycle enough I can acquire coupons wherein I spend $100 and get "rewarded" with $10 off. I have to earn my rewards by consuming 90%.

I'm frustrated.

Tonight I caught up with some blog reading and found No Impact Man putting words to my frustrations:

"Everyone was frenetically networking and Blackberrying and iPhoning [at a green business conference] just as they would at any business conference. Everyone was tired. Increased revenue--at least for many--seemed to be the measure of success."

He also wrote this:

"So-called 'green business' probably is not going to offer people the satisfaction and meaning we all crave. Keeping the live-to-work paradigm while manufacturing everything with 'sustainable' materials is not going to give us time to spend with the people we love for example. It's a good thing, but it's not going to offer real human satisfaction."

Yes. It's not.

His full post is here.

Well That Was Adventurous

I limped to work today. Did three miles on a flat rear tire. I chose that over potential late arrival for my 9am meeting. It started as a slow leak but by the time I found some free air the tube was like swiss cheese. Lunch plans now include a trip to the LBS. Haven't been there for awhile. I'm thinking I might have to replace the tire. Hopefully the rim survived.

Monday, June 29, 2009


The most unecessary sign in the city is, after 4 months, now useless.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hi Ho...Beemer?

Remember when people got around on horseback? I don't either.

My brother-in-law is a bit of a cowboy. My nephew is a lot of a cowboy - a recent Equine Science graduate he's in Montana somewhere that you can't get to from here.

We visited the place he goes to be a cowboy today. That's Lefty up there, and that's Beemer down there looking up to the task, right?

I've got lots of experience sharing trails with horses. It was super cool to be on one.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If You Don't Make Plans...

...to make a better bicycling environment in your city, there will never be plans to make a better bicycling environment in your city.

Metro Area Bicycle Plan Open House

Monday, June 22 @ 5:00pm to 6:30pm @ Washington High School Commons Area

A quote from the press release: "The MPO plan provides recommendations for bicycle facilities and methods to improve safety and the bicyclist’s experience throughout the metro area including rural bicycle routes and bicycle trail connections."

This is the first ever plan to cover our metropolitan area. It provides plans for the area encompassing Sioux Falls and the five nearest cities/towns.

I read the plan. I didn't see The MinusCar Project on the acknowledgements page but I know quite a few people on the list pretty well. One of them very well.

Come see the plan. Offer some additional advice. Make it a little bit better.

If you make your city more bicycle friendly your city will be more bicycle friendly.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Bike/Bus Explosion

It disgusts me when headlines are misleading.

Just a week ago I was lamenting the full rack of bikes on the front of a bus I recently attempted to board.

While I celebrate the usage of the rack I occasionally depend upon being able to board the bus. Well, seemingly right on cue bus bike rack usage statistics appeared in my Inbox this week.

The statistics say I'd better get used to it. This graph shows the four years Sioux Falls Transit has offered the ability to carry bikes from January thru May.

The raw data:

2006 - 1018 trips.
2007 - 1867 trips.
2008 - 1258 trips.
2009 - 2439 trips.

Could it be, perhaps it's true, the more bikeable the city becomes the more bikeable the city will be?


Monday, June 08, 2009

It Was Bound To Happen...II

I just didn't feel like it...

I procrastinated...

I waited 'till I'd be too late for work to bike...

I found one completely dead battery in the car.

I rode - and was a happier person for it.

I jumped the car tonight and tripled its miles for the week in hopes of it starting next time I need it.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Ray Of Light

A digitally captured image of what my bike looks like when it's anticipating a ride.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It Was Bound To Happen...

This morning I faced a particularly interesting day. Today would be my first opportunity to pick up The Boys from the venue that contains their daily summer experience. Essentially today would define the routine for how to pickup without a car.

I presented some options the night before and we agreed that we'd catch the bus and get home that way, this time. So far they weren't interesting in a bike related solution.

The plan...

1. ride bike to venue. What if I can't get away from work on time? I left work with time to spare.

2. catch same bus I normally catch from work but much earlier in the route. What if we can't get to the stop on time? We made the stop with 15 minutes to spare.

3. that bus I usually catch is chronically late. What if we don't make the transfer to the second bus? Upon boarding I said we need this next bus. We'll be fine the driver said. What he meant was he really likes to have an excuse to drive fast!

What if!?! What if!?!

Our bus was late. Our driver made a valiant and successful attempt to hold our transfer.

I never considered that both spaces on the bus bike rack might be in use? They were.

On some level I'm supposed to think this is a good problem to have. I remember this as if it were May 23, 2005, "this city has taken a progressive step. For the first time ever, busses will be equipped with bike carriers on the front of the bus. This is one of many inspirations for this summer experiment, and realistically makes the experiment possible at all."

The answer to the question what if? $16 for a taxi. That's a big difference from the $1 we had already paid for the ride home. Next time I'll push harder for the driver to let me board with the bike.

Now I have another reason to sympathize with individuals who have no other alternative than to ride the bus.


I forgot to mention the herb garden we obtained a few weeks ago. My understanding is we snip some flavor from this and it just keeps growing and making more flavor throughout the year.

There are seven 'erbs 'ere. I can't find the list though. Sorry.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Anticipating A Miracle


The perennials have departed their slumber. Columbine & Bleeding Hearts - a meaningful combination.

The original backyard venue. Now with manure. Beans, squash, onions, lima beans and the official flower of The Boy 11, sunflowers. Hiding, for now.

Last year's addition. The place where The Boys could dig to their hearts content is now the place where I'll eat small tomatoes to my heart's content.

This year's addition. It used to hold a round sandbox, now will hold a ring of zinnias (the official flower of The Boy 8) around a bunch of lupine.

Eco-terrorism. 10 silver maples. By mid-summer they'll either be left with 10 neighbors by an irresistible 7 year old or placed on prominent display free for the taking. I'm still waiting on legal so I can weigh the consequences of responsibility for conspiring with a minor to release 10 silver maples into the wild. Wangari - these are for you.

The less a food item travels the better it tastes. I shop my backyard now.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Five Of Twelve

Through May...

2008 miles: 659 bike, 851 car
2009 miles: 899 bike, 736 car

2008 gas fill-ups: 4
2009 gas fill-ups: 3

I met somebody in the lobby today. She said, "I rode to work today." I said, "I did too." She was hoping I'd be more encouraging. I should be more encouraging.

Commute By Bike