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Thursday, May 29, 2008

surrounded by greatness

Stopped by the CRC last night. Here are the awesome people I saw and talked to while there:
a good short visit with some good friends.

Also saw the cover of the new Momentum magazine - that's one bike shop I won't soon be visiting.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crofutin'

So the Crofut wine ride will be taking place at 1pm this Saturday. I'll be leaving a group of yous from the CRC at 10h30, which will give us an hour to relax in Chaska before the ride officially starts. Like last year, donations for the MS-150 are appreciated but not mandatory.

Thanks to Get Your Gear, the Crofut Family Winery, and Dolce Vita for all they do on this spectabulous event.

Riding from the CRC will give you about 85 miles total for the day with about 47 of those miles being on the crushed gravel SW LRT trails - they are fast and easy to ride, I do it on my fixie all the time so you'll be just fine.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday ride on the outskirts of hell

Went on a nice casual ride yesterday with my friends Christof and Marlin. Christof is in town from Oberhausen, Germany and brought along his Birdy:
Christof's Birdy

Marlin of course was pugging alongside on his Purple Pugsley:
Marlin's Pugsley

The weather looked ominous, so Marlin and I broke off to try to beat the storm - it was furiously windy riding west on the Greenway as we managed to avoid any rain, but came across lots of debris torn off of the abandoned buildings.
storm over Minneapolis

but I used too

Riding east down Minnehaha parkway on a simply lovely Sunday afternoon with Christof and Marlin - a gentleman riding towards us is wearing a black t-shirt. The t-shirt has gold letters arranged in the following manner:
I'm not fucking stupid.
But I used too.
Genius.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

bicycles are simple, let's keep 'em that way

I think the Minneapolis city planners are looking into one of these near the new Twins stadium:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Petrol, Genitalia, Inner Buttocks, and Anus

Petrol in the EU is about €1.47 per liter, which is the equivalent of $8.74 per gallon. You sure as hell don't hear people bitch about it here as much as they are in the States. And it's not like there are no cars here, they're all over the damn place. You wanna drive, you gotsta pay, yo.

No dreams of moving to Italy, a place I'm now visiting for the first time. Reminds me to much of Mexico - not that I don't love Mexico, because I do, but Belgium calls much too loudly to me to return to as a home. Don't worry, I've planted the seed for that to happen.

I'm a gonna have to get S&S couplers installed on the Steamrolleur for my next visit - I simply feel naked without it and there are just too many who haven't been graced by the presence and purity of my virgin white saddle, but please don't touch - and yes I'm talking about the saddle here folks.

So you find yourself in a place with a funny looking urinal but you just can't put your finger on it? OK you silly foreigner, read this and a few of your questions will be answered. Hell, I simply enjoyed reading the first sentence:
A bidet is a low-mounted plumbing fixture or type of sink intended for washing the genitalia, inner buttocks, and anus. Originally a French word, in English bidet is pronounced /bɪˈdeɪ/ (US) or /ˈbiːdeɪ/ (UK).
Come on, "genitalia, inner buttocks, and anus" in one sentence? - you haven't had this much fun in a week, at least, and all in one blog entry!

Ostiglia

Greetings from Ostiglia.

Out in the countryside of Italy, quite a few bikes, not as many as I would like - general conditions are bicyclists riding down very narrow and winding roads with no shoulder and cars passing by mere inches away at reckless speeds. The cyclists don't seem to mind, though.

So far the best thing about Italy is the espresso - damn good and plentiful, and did I mention there's lots of it?

Arrivederci.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Göteborg Entry

Where you see trains, you usually see lots of bikes - no different here at the Central Station.

The Göteborg Central Station is a terminal station opened in 1858. Around the back side there are lots of trains and bicycles parked for the night:

Train, bikes, my hotel

It's about time I park myself for the night.

Göteborg

Greetings from Göteborg.

Got about 3 hours sleep last night, but why sleep when traveling? Train strike in Belgium this morning, so get a taxi to the airport especially early - dreadfully early, in fact.

I like this:
I don't want much

but would settle for a Kronan:
Kronan

My buddy Christof sent me this bicycle link, minding me not to look at the pricing - I did not look.

The sky was lit until 2230 or so.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Crofut Wine Ride, Part Deux (or is it Deuce?)

Crofut Wine Ride, May 31st

[my brother wrote this part, except for the edited section]

It's time for the second annual Wine Ride! Last year's ride was such a success we simply have to do it again. (edit - the winery wasn't even open last year due to permit issues - this year it is, so it's sort of the first Crofut wine ride, but just deal with it.)

This year's ride will feature a wine tasting at Crofut Family Winery in Jordan and a post-ride BBQ and wine tasting at Dolce Vita Wine Shop in Chaska. Total riding distance will be about 40 miles.

The ride will be free, but donations for the MS150 are welcome.

Check back here for more information and updates. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures from last year's ride.

[I wrote the remaining]

The ride will start at Get Your Gear out in Chaska. I'll be leading a group from the CRC in South Minneapolis, which will add about 50 miles to the ride, roundtrip, so about 90 miles if you leave with me, which you should. Bring lights if you ride with me.

What time? Hell I really don't know yet. Maybe leave at 0930 or 1000. [edit - the ride starts in Chaska at 1 in the pm - I'll be leaving the CRC at 10h30, which will give us 1-hour to relax upon arrival.]

Last time there was swag handed out to the finishers, so you've got that going for you...

Leuven Town Hall

Bicycle Lined Street
more about it here - if you care, which you probably don't.

Leuven

Greetings from Leuven. Staying close to this place. Saw this dude in a late night walk. Quite a lot of bicycles, lots of segregated bike lanes - the way it should be. So far only drank about six different Belgian beers, but come on, I haven't even adjusted to the time yet. It's always best when the local beer is free flowing, ridiculously inexpensive, and oh yeah, on the company dime.

[edit - I'm sitting in a meeting trying to keep a straight face after seeing this - almost NSFW and might give you nightmares.]

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Almonzo day

I had a really lousy day - so far.

Drive to Rochester Thursday evening, sit parked in traffic for 30 minutes outside Coates on Highway 52 due to a very nasty auto accident - I don't mind waiting, it just sucks these things happen. Arrive in Rochester, takes a while to find the first house, doesn't look great, go to 2nd house but stop to eat first, my car dies coming off the ramp. No start. Shit. Probably a dead fuel pump. It's 10:30pm. We eat at Applebee's and eat super crappy frozen dinner food while being wildly entertained by the various conversations of other clientele. Come back to the car, still no start. Since I have to catch an international flight for work on Sat evening (yeah, I was pushing it without having a broken car,) I decide that I need to get the car fixed and get my ass back to Mpls to make sure and catch the flight - my boss said if I missed the flight due to the race that I'd better be dead. I see the fellow racers off on Sat morning and am a bit pissed I am not one of them and at the same time am 2nd guessing why I drove a car 1.5 hours to ride my bike for 8, but let's not get into that right now.

I get a ride to my car. Call a garage - they're open. Call a tow truck, he comes 20 minutes later. I sit at the garage for an hour before they tell me the news, and it doesn't get much worse - broken timing belt, have to take most of the engine apart, possibly replace the valves. I sit for 30 minutes on the curb weighing my options. There is a car rental place next door. I tell the guy to do it, go get a compact car, throw my shit into said car and kick it to north to Mpls. The car will be ready next week sometime. The car will be going on Craigslist in the next 90 days.

Anybody want to drive me down to Rochester next Saturday morning?

Photos possible in the next few days, but there are no guarantees in life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

long bike derby

here's a video I shot at the long bike ride the other day. not too exciting - I'll do better next time.

video

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

and please don't call me Shirley

Ross from Xtracycle was in town - what else to do but to have a cargo-bike ride? 'twas a good time, says a bunch of us. I rode B-Rose's Big Dummy, broke his chain, but had 'er fixed in no time - no time at all. The turnout was impressive; 10 Big Dummy's, 6-8 xtracycles and a homemade longbike.

This is one for the why-the-hell-not file:
just because

There's supposed to be a cargo-bike derby video here, but it doesn't seem to want to work. I'll get around to fixing it later...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday rain ride

Bumped into Tom today - rode with him back to Chaska in the rain. Rode 50-60 miles in the increasingly heavier precipitation - soaking wet the last 20 miles or so. Here is about the half-way point where we stopped for a beer and cigar while watching the high waters of the Minnesota river pass us by:
Rain Break

Thursday, May 8, 2008

One of these days I'm going to lose

The morning commute is a great way to start any work day. With the exception of having to cross interstate 494, my commute takes me mainly through residential streets - in fact on most mornings I see only a few automobiles (in motion that is, they are littered all over city streets while in park mode.)

Running into a fellow rider and chatting is one of the common perks of bike commuting. This morning I ran into Nick, who was on his way to Surly world headquarters on his lilac travelers check. We chatted for 8 or so blocks before turning off on our separate routes - you certainly don't have the chance for this social behavior stuck inside a car.

So I'm having a nice morning ride as I cross over I-494. Coming up on W 79th Street I hear 'honking honking honking' right behind and to the left of me - no, this does not intimidate me and I'm not moving over, not to mention you've got 3 southbound lanes to get around me. I glance over and see the first three of the six letters on the front license plate before the black Ford Bronco pulls closer to me, I'm now turning onto the shoulder for self defense as this black monster jerkily swerves even closer to my person, the young black female driver rolls down the passenger window and screams (at the top of her lungs) at me in an unintelligible fashion. I did manage to hear the word "stupid" come out of her mouth somewhere in the middle of one of her outbreaks. I smile and duly note the "SBJ 093" printed on the Minnesota license plate before calling the local police to report her dangerous driving style. Nothing ever happens unless someone is hit or dies, and then only if the offending vehicle stops or there was another witness - usually not the case.

Other than that, I'm having a completely normal and calm day at work, full of positive energy from the 10-mile (16 km) ride in.

When I do get hit though, and eventually it will happen, it's going to be ugly. Someone make sure to burn my remains, and I certainly don't want to be embalmed - that's just downright disgusting.

Monday, May 5, 2008

May Day photo post

Here are the photos I posted from my May Day experience.

I really dig Patrick Starr's style - he's the owner of The Wienery on the west bank, go give him a visit:
The Starr Family

And if you see this guy around, just remember he's trouble and a menace to society - what with all the trouble with the law and all:
Nate and his citation

Stolen Bike Recovered

My friend Erika just found her stolen S.A.S.S. - she was getting ready to walk into the front door of the property and evidence warehouse and it was on the back of the truck driving into the gate - score!

If your bike is stolen, make sure to report it, then call the City’s Property & Evidence Warehouse (673-5665) frequently - 3 of my friends in the last 9 or so months have recovered their bicycles but only with daily phone calls or visits - don't wait for them to call you because it probably won't happen.

God bless our freedom!

May Day, gorgeous Sunday, Bloomingon avenue, Powderhorn park, thousands of people, lots of bicycles, live music, the company of good friends and neighbors, stiltwalkers, fresh lemonade, deep fried cheese curds, keg of Fat Tire at Mark's house, birthday cake for Sylvia Fleck, followed up by citations for loitering and drinking in public (yes we were standing on the sidewalk in front of a friends house drinking beer - aghast, I know - somehow this individual wasn't awarded a ticket.) Photos in the next posting as soon as I wittle through them.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Some Rules are Meant to be Broken

What to say today? I went riding in the rain last night - sort of caught out in a thunderstorm, but it sure was pretty as the lightning reflected across the lake. What to have for lunch? Our work cafeteria is great if you're into the whole fried "meat lovers" entree, which I'm not. I usually don't get too excited about Friday's, but this time I'm ready to get the heck out of here - it's been a long week.

Here, look at Chloe's shoes and socks:

Striped Socks and Converse

I never did like riding in Converse, but I like it when others do.

***

edit and P.S. - I'm riding the MS-300 in June - just thought I'd remind you how to spend your stimulus check-gift from W. You certainly better not spend it on gas!