Thursday, April 16, 2009

So You're Going to Ride a Bicycle in Minneapolis

Here's a bit of advice for those thinking of riding their bicycles in the Minneapolis:

1 - Avoid major streets. I think the reason I see so many people riding down Hennepin and Lyndale is because that's how they get around in their car - you're on a bike now, think path of least resistance. For example, riding down Lyndale is not a good idea due to the abundance of automobile traffic, not to mention the construction has it down to one very narrow lane in each direction south of 31st St. Instead go east over to Garfield or west to Aldrich - smooth sailing with very few vehicles to deal with. There is a con to this; fewer people to see your new white deep-V's.

2 - The Midtown Assaultway (aka Greenway); forget riding on this thing anywhere east of Chicago Avenue unless you like getting rocks, bottles, cans, and other objects dropped and thrown on/at you, otherwise go up and use the city streets - yes, this is during daylight hours as well. Nighttime it's not a good idea to ride any parts of it, especially alone; you'll be better off dealing with the drunk drivers on the streets than the assaulters down in the dark. Oh, and when the cops ask you if the rock hit you, say yes, because they aren't going to press charges unless you say it did.

3 - Lose the attitude. You don't have to push this whole bullshit hatred cars have for bicycles any further, so go ahead and stop at that intersection.

4 - Get yourself a front and rear light. The Planet Bike SuperFlash is the best thing out there for a rear LED, especially considering its low price. Get something that flashes for the front too; I again recommend the SuperFlash 1W from Planet Bike. Avoid all Cateye products, as they're shit - poor design and engineering make for a poor light. Whatever you choose, don't leave it on your bike when you lock up, some asshole will steal it.

5 - Get a U-lock. Use it. Ask a bike shop person if you aren't sure how to use it properly - ie what to lock up and to where.

6 - Clothing. You don't have to be in "cycling specific clothing" to go ride your bike. Go out in your jeans or skirt; remember, path of least resistance. You should make sure to have the proper t-shirt on, however.

7 - Lastly, if you're looking to enjoy a beverage anywhere on the ride without getting any hassle, it helps if you utilize an unmarked cup verses a labeled can or bottle. Guns you're allowed to carry, beer not so much.

God bless.

4 comments:

zoey melf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zoey melf said...

I've ridden the greenway east of Chicago thousands of times and have not had any trouble. Don't avoid this section. On the contrary, keep it populated. There's strength in numbers.

DonkeyKick said...

The Midtown Greenway is superb and worthy of much praise from end to end. We have nothing to fear but fear itself. I support continuing to use both the gentrified and more-reasonable portions at any hour.

greasyspoon said...

Yeah, those Cateye lights are a rip. If I would have researched before buyting, I would be happy with my 40+ dollar light, instead I've been fighting with the light for 2 years, hooking it on with tape at one point, a piece of intertube another time and finally currently held upright by a hair tie. Such a shabby product design, it's a shame.