Sunday, June 21, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Next! 7/25

First. The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride will be Saturday July 25. We'll depart at 9am from the Falls Park Farmer's Market. This is near the intersection of 2nd Ave and Falls Park Drive. "What? When we're done with the ride we're going to eat lettuce?" No. Cherrybean Coffee is always there with the piping hot liquid. Skipping Stone Wood Fired Pizza makes their pizzas to order. Dakota Natural Beef always has burgers and brats on the grill.

Here is a link to the general expectations of the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides. Faster riders may find the speed of this ride a bit mentally challenging. If you want to see the entirety of the Saturday Coffee Shop Ride posts follow this link.


Unlike our truncated wintertime attempt at this loop the weather took care of it's business in the early morning hours. By the time we rolled from Scooters the last bits of moisture were evaporating from the roadway.

Scooter's presents some interesting challenges when it comes to access. Situated near a 40,000 vehicle per day intersection with roads that were created to offer drivers a false sense of safety and efficiency as they move their cars through at 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit, this area is not welcoming to riders or walkers. Thankfully The MinusCar Project's Rides have many of the most experienced urban riders in the city - setting examples and providing confidence.

We departed Scooters moving south on Western and quickly found the relative tranquility of Ralph Rogers Road. Ralph led us to a bit of travel on 69th, the four lane divided roadway. Finally south into the neighborhoods of grand back yards, creative unique siding, and more square feet than I need or imagine.

For this ride we accepted a mascot. After a brief tour of Harrisburg's Journey Elementary student drop-off area we stopped to quickly greet Hazel and mark the moment with a photo.

After riding much of the length of a road that is most excellent for biking South Tomar Road, and the fast sweeping downhill left turn that is Plum Creek Drive we made our way to the bike path at Tomar Park.

What I thought would be the final road challenge of the day, a short bit on 57th Street to Scooters proved to be a non-issue. Our group managed to find a gap big enough in traffic which allowed us to complete the section as one unit.

The parking lot proved to me to be the greatest challenge as we arrived and faced 25mph Escalades and drivers departing parking spots without seeing. Surprise!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday June 20

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride will be June 20. It will depart from Scooter's Coffeehouse in the Bridges on 57th shopping area. The route will take us through the southern part of the city. We'll visit Prairie Trail Park. A first attempt at this loop occurred in November during a pretty heavy snowfall. We cut the ride short.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is just over 11 miles and is as always weather adjustable. There are general expectations of the Saturday Coffee Shop Rides. Faster riders may find the slowish speed of this ride mentally taxing.

Download the route by visiting this link. Otherwise, the route goes a little something like this:

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

He Said Shalom

"Lonnie" rolled by and wished me "shalom" today.

I was walking on the bike trail. I do this during work breaks when my reminders remember to remind me that sitting at a computer all day is likely, in the next 40 years, to contribute to my death. I enjoyed immensely that a person would roll by me on the bike trail and wish me shalom. My thoughts were apparently loud enough for him to take an interest in me. He had stopped. I was catching up.

We chatted.

He told me of the love of God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He gets an "A" for noting the two most important commandments then stopping short of applying any behavior requirements to my salvation.

I'm Michael I said. I'm Lonnie - I know Gabriel, he said. We laughed.

I found myself overly anticipating the point in the conversation wherein I'd be invited to join a cult. He handed me The Church at the Gate's current "The Word for You Today" booklet. Not a cult. Huh.

Of all the conservative Christian pastors in town that serve in the state legislature, have been The Daily Show's Today's Moment of Zen, sat with me at a table and asked questions during my hour long safe biking pitch, assisted in getting 3' safe passing legislation passed and that have various other efforts that I'm generally sympathetic too (and others that I certainly am not) - the pastor of The Church at the Gate is one of them.

It might as well have been one of his members that found me on the bike trail and wished me shalom.

Monday, June 01, 2015

I-229 Corridor Study: If You Ask Me...Because They Did...They're Asking Everybody

Today are open houses 1 and 2 of 4 regarding the State's I-229 Corridor Study. From 5 to 7 they'll focus on the Minnesota Ave interchange. The open house is at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The convention center is the meat in the Arena/Event Center sandwich.

There is always an opportunity for written public commentary. If I were to comment, it would go a little something like this...

RE: I-229 Corridor Study - Minnesota Ave Interchange

As a volunteer on the American Heart Association Advocacy Committee I strongly encourage this I-229 corridor study consider all roadway users (motorized and not) equally as it seeks to improve the way people move in and around the corridor. Interstates within cities have repeatedly proven to be significant barriers to the free movement of people. This is as true in Sioux Falls as it is in cities all over the world.

The American Heart Association identifies living actively as an important factor in preventing heart disease and preserving heart health.  The possibility of active living is greatly enhanced by removing barriers to movement. Public roads and public spaces that are safe for the most vulnerable users are of primary importance.

I am particularly mindful of the southernmost portion of I-229 as it stands as a wall cutting the southern core of the city off from major pathways of desire: the river, the parks, the bike path. Directing these pathways of desire to traffic dense Western Ave, Minnesota Ave and Cliff Ave presents significant challenges to users. A person need only navigate these three interchanges a few times, counting the conflicts that present themselves before realizing these spaces were not meant for users who choose to power themselves.

Please rework the Minnesota Ave interchange seeking to give an equal level of safety to all roadway users, motorized and not. Use it then as a model throughout the city.

Thank you.
Michael Christensen
American Heart Association