Sunday, September 27, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Next! 10/24

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride will not be the last Saturday of October. Rather it will be Saturday, October 24. We'll depart at 9am from the Minnesota Ave Caribou Coffee. I understand they are relocating from 28th Street to 31st Street. I'll be paying attention to that.

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. For the entirety of the Saturday Coffee Shop Ride posts follow this link.


It's pretty tough for me to name a more meaningful point to point ride from my home than the ride to Dunn Brothers Coffee. I live very far west in the city. Dunn Bros is very far east. It is very satisfying to ride there for a cup of coffee.

I arrived 10 minutes late. Thankfully the Saturday Coffee Shop Riders weathered the anxiety and were ready to roll upon my arrival. We made our way south to Harmodon Park and then north and west back for copious coffee consumption.

Here's the formal group shot.

Here's the group shot of a bunch of riders stopped at a stop sign.

Here's the dog that accompanied us.

Here's my 35 mile Saturday morning bike ride route.

See you in October!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

...It Was Enough!

I finished last but on the lead lap of the Masters race. My knowledge of the course helped with this...a win in the Beginner/Cat 5 race.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Here's What I Did To Make Myself Feel Ready To Cyclocross Race

After I mentioned I was going to toe my first start line this weekend Aaron asked me how he might get started in cyclocross (heretofore Cx) racing . I typed up some words, got some good feedback and blam, a blog post was born.


The proper answer to Aaron's question is: Queen City Cycling hosts practice sessions - or just plain practices, on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6pm at Elmwood Park. All Cx-urious people are welcome to come and be introduced to the sport. There is a course set up with barriers and everything and being shown the course is quite helpful.


Here is my introverted, socially awkward accounting of what I did to feel ready, which is to say, I'm not normally at Elmwood on Tuesday or Thursday nights.

Not withstanding the best season of riding I've probably ever had and some experience with MTB racing...

1. I purchased a Cx bike.

2. I took the GPS map of the Elmwood course to the park and tried to make my way around according to that - with marginal success. Nevertheless, riding around in any grass weaving around any trees is a very good place to start.

3. I let time pass - now the Elmwood course is more worn in and is easier to follow. Some parts remain ambiguous without a guide. I'm willing to show the course as I and my son have discerned it - I'll be your guide. The actual designers of the course can likely be found on Tuesday and/or Thursday nights.

4. I went around the course at Elmwood a few times on a few different days, sometimes with The Boy 17, generally stopping completely at each barrier before stepping over.

5. The Boy 17 passed me this GCN video about how to dismount - - and I watched it.

6. I watched the GCN video about how to remount - because you gotta get back on too.

7. I went back and forth across a marching band field with The Boy 17 for an hour dismounting and  remounting and lifting my bike. We sort of raced but mostly just tried to push each other a bit to keep speed.

8. I went to Elmwood Park and did 10 laps of competitor free race simulation, including proper (as best I could) navigation of the barriers. With this I have an hour baseline of lap times which I can try to improve upon. Some context - I think my selected race categories are 30 minute and 20 minute races.

9. I purchased a proper cycling kit - because everything needs to stay in place for all the remounts.

10. I bought a USA Cycling License and registered for the race.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Saturday Coffee Shop Ride: Saturday September 26

The next Saturday Coffee Shop Ride is September 26. It departs from Dunn Brothers Coffee, 5320 E Arrowhead Parkway. The route explores the multi-use path along ummm...what do they call it, SD 100, Powderhouse Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway...ugh, that north/south thoroughfare over that way. Harmodon Park and Rosa Parks Elementary are in there too.

Dunn Brothers is way out there so give yourself plenty of time if you're riding.

The ride leaves at 9am. The loop is 10.5 miles and is weather adjustable. Here 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 lotta something like this:

Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Ride With Harald Vik

Good morning. This is what Clint's driveway looks like at 9am Saturday morning. At this point in the day I have an inkling that I'd like to try for a Century, 100 miles on the day. It's been a long time since I've gone that far but this season has been a great season for me. I felt ready.

I also want to note this is the first time in a long time that I've worn a proper cycling jersey. This bit of information should be considered foreshadowing.

We departed for the 12 mile bike trail trip to downtown where we met up with Harald Vik. Harald is a 70 year old world traveler from Norway. When he goes places he travels by bicycle. A year ago Harald was departing Sioux Falls and was struck on Marion Road by a car. His list of injuries was long. His recovery, first at Sanford Hospital then back in Norway is long. Still going actually.

A year ago (August 22) I was quite mortified that this man who travels the world by bicycle managed to get run over in Sioux Falls. Remember that 5 weeks prior Natasha Adams was fatally struck by a right turning left looking driver and 4 weeks prior a teenage girl was dragged from sidewalk onto 41st after being struck by another right turning left looking driver.

My friend Val was also concerned. She set up a Gofundme effort, visited Harald and crew in the hospital, and remained connected with the group. Because of that, upon returning to the city they contacted her and invited her to ride. Additionally they were particularly interested in safe ways out of Sioux Falls.

I and good friend and Spoke-n-Sport owner Chad Pickard offered to take care of that part. Routes out of town were agreed upon. A continued route to Montrose was also agreed upon. A departure time and place was agreed upon. Support via Spoke-n-Sport was agreed upon.

On Thursday we flooded Facebook. On Friday we reinforced the flooding on Facebook. A press release was issued. All of this led to scenes like this:

Harald being interviewed by KDLT. Harald is deaf and blind. He communicates using touch and signing through the three interpreters that travel with him.

There were also scenes like this - 10 intrepid riders accompanying Harald toward Montrose.

I think it's important to take pictures of bicycles being ridden well in urban settings. So I spend some time figuring out ways to get bicycles ridden well in urban settings. And then I take pictures like this. Here we are downtown on Phillips Ave during the escort portion of the ride.

We managed to find our way out of the city and onward to Crooks. Crooks is the only chance for a rest stop on our selected route to Montrose. So we stopped. And rested. And then...

...this person hard at work at the stop asked if Harald was indeed the person featured on the front page of the Argus Leader newspaper that was for sale right over there. He is the one.

On the Crooks departure I was able to grab the place next to Harald to get this picture. This is how a deaf and blind man travels the world on a bicycle.

Four hours later, what remained of our group was nearing Montrose. We had some expected, nay invited attrition along the way. This is Clint, Gene and Kirk. I'm taking the photo...

...and there's Chad and Leanna close at hand. Too close? I had asked them to approach for the photo. Doesn't Kirk's bicycling costume look nice and remarkably similar to the van graphics? Coincidence?

We arrived in Montrose in search of food. We found some burgers being vended at what turned out to be a rather large beer league softball tourney. As it turns out there are more popular ways to arrive at a beer league softball tourney than hungry, on bikes, in full bike regalia. I'll stop short of describing how one probably should dress and act to fit in at such a place.

I will say I talked my way out of a beer league bathroom stall while a bunch of beer soaked ball playing 30-something boys from Bridgewater asked me questions like "where d'ya get a fancy shirt like that?" It will be a long time before anything a Sioux Falls driver says to me through an open car window will come close to being bothersome or annoying compared to The Montrose Experience.

A Coors Light scored me some points - they were particularly interested in the technical legal nuances around ones ability to avoid DWI points while riding drunk. I spared them the details of Chads and my involvement with the legislature during the successful passage of the permissive bill while successfully retaining bicycles within the State's definition of vehicle.

One dude had seen Harald's story on the news the night before and appeared quite down with the idea of Harald.

Parts of this story may have been exaggerated - but my actual fear in the situation need not be underestimated. In the end all was fine and "you boys ain't from around here is ya" turned to casual it should have from the beginning.

We dined. We released Chad and Leanna from their support roles. Thank you Chad and Leanna for the support. We returned to Sioux Falls with a little stiffer wind, a little bit of rain and the same stop in Crooks. We made a quick stop at 8th and Railroad for closure. We agreed we could not comprehend why KDLT had not remained present to chronicle our triumphant return.

Clint and I then ventured the additional 12 miles toward home where we were dismayed to find we were five very long miles from reaching 100 miles on the day.  Here we are as we reached 100 miles. At this point we were very miserably happy to be done circling the block just one more time.

Finally, KDLT ran their story on the 10pm news and this was the featured photo on their website for this article. Chad, Harald and I. It was a good day.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Marathon! Help FAB Water Runners

FAB (Falls Area Bicyclists) is hosting a water stop at the Sioux Falls Marathon & Half Marathon. We welcome riders come, encourage the runners, and help dish water to thirsty people with miles to go before they rest.

The running happens September 13.  Our water stop is at the 4 mile mark in the parking lot of the Chamber of Commerce building at 8th & Phillips. The fastest marathoners will be through at about 6:45am and the slowest half-marathoners will come through around 8:30am.

Ride your bike for best access, the most fun, and because it makes the best sense.


That's the formal ask. Let's get personal. I strongly believe that a marathon is an important piece of any community. I am very glad that Sioux Falls has one. My family has marshalled a corner for four years running(!). This year we're upgrading to a water stop.

Water stops need more people so I asked FAB if they would tap(!) members to come and volunteer as well(!).

For all the events I go to as a rider that are made so much better because there are volunteers on hand supporting the event - this is one time I can give it back. In addition, with FAB being a presence at the marathon it might begin to register with runners that bicycling is more fun.

Yeah, I said it.

If you're reading this but not a FAB member, come out anyway. You're my friend so your presence is welcome.

Saturday, A Ride With Harald Vik. Remember Harald Vik?

One year ago Harald Vik, an inspirational blind, deaf, tandem rider from Norway, was in Sanford Hospital recovering from injuries he suffered on Marion Road after being stuck by a driver. He has returned to ride Sioux Falls again.

Saturday September 5 at 10am he will depart Sioux Falls from 8th & Railroad heading for Pierre. The MinusCar Project and Spoke-n-Sport invite riders to escort him on his way. We'll ride west on the 9th/10th Street sharrow to the Elmen Trailhead. We’ll go north from there to West Maple Street, Westport/Kiwanis Ave to 254th Street. Then we’ll turn left and go west, west, west, to Montrose, where we'll cheerfully wish Harald farewell. Then we’ll reverse and ride back to Sioux Falls.

Please come and ride with us! If you're not up for the whole trip turn around at any time. We'll formally stop just off the bike trail at West Maple Street to say some goodbyes and excuse those who'd like to end their escort. The full route to Montrose is 35 miles one-way. Harald sets the pace, probably 12 to 15 mph. Please plan accordingly.

Spoke-N-Sport will be along the route to provide mechanical and moral support.

Facebook Event is here:

View the full route on MapMyRide: