Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Plain Green Day #1 : Steve Clark

Steve Clark awoke this morning in Pipestone, MN thinking he had three hours remaining of his ride to Sioux Falls from St. Paul, MN. He opened the door and a 35mph headwind greeted him.

8 hours later he arrived in Sioux Falls. At some point his maps had blown away so he relied on directions from friendly folks along the way.

He was travelling light - can you really carry a backpack or pull a trailer on a carbon fibre Cervelo? For $3 he purchased pants, shoes and a collared shirt from a thrift store. He'll return them on his way out of town. That bit of information pushed my envelope.

He explained the various ways he lives sustainably - and the various things he's learned while doing it. He pushed the audience's envelope a bit with talk of composting human waste, which is fun.


Steve Clark returns to Sioux Falls May 14 & 15 to be part of the South Dakota Bicycle Coalition's Traffic Skills 101 course. If you read this blog and are local you should probably be in the course. If you read this blog and don't want to pay to take the course let me know.

More information will appear at soon.


I'm looking forward to tomorrow! Mitchell Joachim speaks. His TED profile says, "Homes can and should be truly organic. Different from the kind of organic houses Frank Lloyd Wright had in mind, and actually edible. And while I'm at it; cars should be soft. We designed these ideas and more… Of course they are not brand new concepts, but its now more possible and relevant than ever."

Mitchell Joachim - another world class talent in Sioux Falls. Tonight I listened while he and Steve Clark talked about David Byrne.


I'm just happy to be here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Boy 8 Says, "Wear your helmet."

The Boy 8 fullfilled his assignment "to inspire" by doing this "don't thump your melon" demonstration. The rainy day brought the demo inside to the carpet which proved enough to alter the demonstration.

It didn't matter much. Way to go The Boy 8!

...the video requires a four(4) minute nineteen(19) second attention span.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Plain Green '10

The MinusCar Project is pleased to be listed at a friend of the Plain Green Conference. Right there on the same list as Xcel Energy, Sioux Falls Seminary and SAM - that's Sioux Area Metro to you!

It's next week and I'm going because...

1. Transforming Highway Commercial Strips into Mixed-Use Corridors - imagine a less crappy 41st Street.

2. Designing a Home-Scale Food Forest - because I want to be a more effective gardener with a more effective garden.

3. Protecting Open Space Networks through Conservation Design - I only THINK I know what this means - and I THINK I'll like it.

4. Opening Keynote: Twelve Terrific Tools to Help Us Save the Planet and Set Us Free - because when I asked him if he'd come to Plain Green he said yes!

5. Global Warming: What Can Old Ice from Antarctica Tell Us - why should I listen to characterizations of scientists doing climate change work when I can listen to a character actually doing climate change work?

6. Urban Agriculture as a Tool for Community Change - what if our community gardens went to eleven.

7. Environmental Stewardship and the World’s Poor - from the Evangelical Environmental Network - it's those church-people those other church-people warned you about - so sign me up.

All that and I didn't even mention the world class main day keynote speakers Cameron Sinclair and Mitchell Joachim.

"...a few things at the grocery store..."

It happend again. It's happened a couple times in the past weeks.

"I need a few things from the grocery store" means "hey, will you go for a bike ride?"

Sometimes it's even at night.

Got two cantaloupes last night. The Boy 8 needs to do a persuasive presentation. We're hoping to demonstrate helmet wearing by dropping a melon and watching it smash on the floor.

Monday, April 19, 2010

0419 Transportation Donut

Times fun when you're having flies...and I'm a bit behind in my donut quota. Here's the catch-up. From 3/29 thru 4/18.

Sunday! We Boyses headed into downtown with The Wife to do some necessary Sunday tasks related to her job. She rode her bike, I pulled The Boys on the trail-a-bike equipped tandem.

The Boy 8 sits at the back, he's engine #3. The Boy 12 is in the middle, he's engine #2 and The Communicator. I'm engine #1. The Communicator is an important job. He's the conduit for communication between engine #1 and engine #3...because sometimes The Boy 8 cares not to answer questions like, "Hey The Boy 8, are you still attached?"

Maybe he's a little off-put because I call him The Boy 8. Maybe I don't actually call him that.

On the way back we stopped off at the B&G Milky Way for some much needed lunch and some ice cream themed treats. I'm pretty sure the best way to enjoy ice cream themed treats is to ride a bike to fetch them and eat them whilst sitting in grass.

Maybe that's just me.

The Wife set the pace and it was a nice pace. She cheated a little bit though because we ended up racing the last couple blocks home, much to the delight of my passengers.

If she's doing that she's leaving too much in the tank. ;-)

I also think this trip was a darn fine way to spend four hours on a Sunday afternoon.

Maybe that's just me.

In other news I'm 2/3 done leading a group through the LAB Traffic Skills 101 course. First time. Good time.

I see on the SDBC website I have a TS101 gig in Spearfish next month.

Yes indeed - this is the time where the activist gets involved at the state level and finds himself driving all over. I look forward to having a couple more certified folks in the state so I can stay closer to home.

I have no doubt I'll enjoy Spearfish...and I'll be taking the mountain bike. Maybe a preview of some Dakota Five-O course at least.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Confusion The Checker

I accompanied The Boy 8 to school this morning. I love that. He's a confident kid and it shows in his riding. Very nice.

Then I stopped off at the grocer to pick up some items. I suppose it was a bit confusing for the woman as we talked about riding and the rain that seemed to stop just for me.

I suppose it was the 8 cans (2 spicy) of V8, the three bananas and the 8 frozen dinners I purchased that seemed a little incongruous to her.

It's ok ma'am, I have a very long bike.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dear Xtra, Thanks For Yesterday

Left side - work clothes, exercise clothes
Right side - work shoes
Messenger bag - laptop, power converter

I made good use of the Xtra Cycle today. I love it! It definitely has more stability over the BOB Trailer. The bags are more versatile. The paper work slid nicely into the pocket and kept just as nicely. Having ridden a Big Dummy I also appreciate that the bike fit is exactly the same as it was before adding the kit to the back. I don't mess around too much with bike fit.

I carried the laptop on my back knowing the ride there has most of the natural shock absorption my brain has.

20 miles today. Some of it pretty windy. Some of it included mashed potato pizza at Monk's. Some of it included night riding. Yes, The Wife let me stay out late with it.

I think this is the beginning of a long meaningful relationship.

You'd Better Reconize

What do April, Sioux Falls, the Twin Cities, bicycling and the Plain Green Conference have in common? Read onward.

Today our local daily is reporting that Bicycling Magazine has selected my happy little city as the 31st Bike Friendly City in America. This being the first time Bicycling Magazine has recognized Sioux Falls.

That’s some pretty nice recognition, especially following the recognition a few months ago from the League of American Bicyclists.

Our friends up north in Minneapolis are celebrating their #1 placing on Bicycling Magazine’s list. First! - a northern city like ours with 9 months of winter.

This month the Twin Cities Metro Magazine recognized Bike Walk Twin Cities as one of their best bicycling advocacy organizations. In fact, on the magazine’s list of 8 “bike-friendly projects you need to know about” 6 are being funded by Bike Walk Twin Cities.

Here’s the link…in April, opening the Plain Green Conference is Steve Clark. He’s the Bicycling and Walking Program Manager, in charge of Bike Walk Twin Cities.

He’s the #1 guy at the #1 bicycling advocacy organization in the #1 bike friendly city in America.

Not bad!

I wonder which of the Sioux Falls bike advocates will be at the conference?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Size Matters

This winter a man with a broken foot brought me a box. This week The Owner made something of it.