Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bicycle Art IV (that means 4)

Image by my friend and cartoonist Andy Singer.

Altered Esthetics is hosting Bicycle Art IV on Friday night, June 5th, from 1900-2200.  You should go.

Moving on...

Otherwise, what's the deal with all the bullhorn handlebars around town?  Kid gets an old Schwinn and saws off the drops, instant cred yeah, but you ain't no Kevin Bacon - just remember that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I need your support, dammit

MS Ride 2009.  So I'm doing the MS ride again this year.  Last year I rode both north and south, calling it the MS-300, though I'm likely only doing the 150 this time around - I know, weak.

So here's the deal: click on the link and pledge some cash money.  This is the last time you'll hear me say it here, so do it now.

Unrelated, here's me adjusting the brakes on the steel Gary Fisher down in Missouri a coupla weeks ago.

So people sometimes ask me what life was like on a submarine for so many years.  Well, after seeing this movie last week, I finally can just tell them to watch it and find out for themselves; it captures the heat, the darkness, the suffocating claustrophobia, the hysteria of not knowing if we're ever going to again see the sun, and the ufo people that live under the north pole.  

Get on it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

bike to work tax benefits

Anybody have any luck getting their employer to kick the bicycle commuter tax provision in?  Short story is the rider gets up to $240 per year, so it would be a good way to cover the occasional tires, flat repairs, gloves, helmets, that sort of thing.

Here's the response when I asked reps from where I work:
The tax guys said that employees would exclude the reimbursements from their income, and the company could take a tax deduction.  Since a tax deduction is not the same as a tax credit, there would be an additional cost to the company to set up and administer the program, plus the reimbursements.

I interpret this as a way of them saying there's nothing in it for them, we're in a great recession, thanks for asking, don't bother us again.

Any other luck out there?  Does the employer have to do any paperwork, or can I just claim expenses in my taxes come next April?  Does anybody care?

Other than that, welcome back from the 3-day weekend.

Friday, May 22, 2009

thoughts for Friday

So there's a swine flu pandemic ongoing, so far 10 people have died in the US as a result, starting in April of this year. I'm eating lunch yesterday, a lady at the next table pulls out two bottles of disenfectant and goes to town cleaning up her hands as well as the area around her, prior to allowing her husband to set the food down.

In the year 2007, there were 37,248 deaths due to motor vehicles in the United States alone - that averages to a bit more than 102 people each and every day of the year; 1.91 of those are bicyclists - almost 2 per day, on average. A guy this morning ran a stop sign crossing in front of me, after making direct eye contact with me with his window open; he ultimately decided running the sign without slowing down was the best course of action - he was probably in a hurry, so it's okay.

Saw a squirrel fall out of a tree while walking the dog this morning - tree branch broke off under the weight of the furry, four-legged, frolicker. The squirrel was a bit frazzled, but went running away upon touchdown.

Hit St. Louis last weekend for Linden's wedding, happily came across the Country Inn Donut Drive-In while the borrowed GPS tried getting us to my favorite record store from east of the river: (note on maps and GPS's when a ferry river crossing is involved - call ahead and see if the damn thing isn't closed first, in my case I should have called both of them)

It was a bit smoky inside; it's a good thing not all of our freedoms have been taken away in each state, eh? This place has been there 46 years and has one of the best jelly donuts I've had to date.

Beer, donuts, music - classy.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dennis Dumm - rest in peace

It's very unfortunate that we must report another fallen cyclist.

After spending months painstakingly rebuilding his bicycle, Dennis Dumm rode it every day from his home in south Minneapolis to work on the other side of downtown.

Our thoughts go out to family and friends of Dennis.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Georgena Terry Despatch for sale

[update - sold]

47mm seat tube. Steel is real, double butted chromoly tubing, made in Japan during the period of 1986-88. Asking 350 USD, that's the equivalent of 1100 in today's dollar, so it's a giveaway. If you're of a shorter than average stature, this should be a serious contender for your next ride. Test rides welcome.

The components on this are solid, not like the ones you see mass produced today.
Double chainrings give this bike 12-speeds.

Also listed on Craigslist, check it out.

Shhh - it's the ride of silence - tonight

It's the MPLS chapter of the Ride of Silence, tonight at 1900, starting at Cars-R-Coffins at 34th and Lyndale - the shop closes at that time, so get there early if you need to grab something to go.

From the site:
We will be meeting at the Cars R Coffins at 3346 Lyndale Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55408 and then riding east via the Greenway bike trail. When we hit the uptown bus station we will take to the streets and ride. I have not contacted police about this. If anyone is willing to help me I have never organized an event like this so would MUCH appreciate any help I can get.
Also, The Ride of Silence is to mourn those cyclists killed or injured by motorists, to raise awareness (among motorists, police, and city officials) of cyclists on the road, to have motorists know we only want to share the roads, and to show that cyclists are not going away. It's an important statement, so this is a call to all riders to help us make a great showing. It's a chance to let our neighbors know who we are and gain their respect. Take the time to raise consciousness and make a difference.

Also lights and helmets are required...and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
The route doesn't seem to make any sense, but what the hell.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Andy Singer's bike ride extravaganza

Dear Everyone I know in the Twin Cities,

I am helping to organize a little bike ride this Friday (the 15th) after work. We'll meet up at Mississippi River Blvd and Summit Avenue in Saint Paul (near Saint Thomas University) at 5pm ...and bike downtown (via Highland park, over the river on I-35 bridge and down the water street bike path). We'll stop at Cossetta's or Great Waters (in Downtown) for a snack/beer and then head back up to Summit avenue, ending at Billy's on Grand for more food and drink. The entire ride is about 11 miles and there's only one major, but short uphill climb (at the end)!

If it's pouring rain, the raindate is the following day (Saturday the 16th), at 3pm, with the same meetup spot.

Meet other cyclists! See new parts of the city! learn about cycle advocacy opportunities!



it's been years in the making, but it's coming to MPLS.

see you there.

useful and entertaining

So I'm sipping a coffee this morning at Butter, where I decide to pick up the latest issue of the Southwest Journal.  Who's on the cover but our own Gene, accompanied with Fred and Shaun riding down Hennepin; it's a question and answer from these three on the future of bicycling in the city.  Somewhere in there Gene veers off into a tangent discussing how we need to license bicycles and their riders - not sure what chemical he's on during this interview, but I can't say I'm a fan of re-instating a mandatory bicycle license, for one it gave the cops a legal reason to confiscate your bike while you're on it - a tactic used in several critical mass rides (a gathering in which I do not endorse) a few years ago.  No, I don't think we need to give the cops any more reason to eff with us when they're having a pissy day - see Christine's story here (bottom letter) about her husband getting violently tackled off his bike while riding down Nicollet mall.

So it's bike to work week - how time flies, seems like just a year ago.

Okay, so what happened Monday night?  Rode the new steel Gary Fisher (pics at a later date) to see the The Kills/Horrors at First Avenue.  I wasn't around long before FacePlant hands me a beer for my second hand, moments before the Miller High Life girls show up, swag in tow!  Have I gone to heaven?  Yes, quite likely.  So after I finish my non High Life products, they buy me a couple of 16-ouncers, shortly before I score a sweet hat and a 12-pack beer coozie - all without having to redeem any of my hard earned points, which I'm still collecting by the way.  Note to self: wear more eyeliner on the next visit to First Avenue.

Sunday is the Pigs Eye Punisher, with ride organizer Brauer Power.  I'll be out of town for this, the Almonzo 100, and the Pepin tour - dang it to heck.

My Electric Fetus story.  So Melissa and I walk into the Electric Fetus on Saturday, I check my bag at the front counter, give a hello to the frequent counter guy, who recognizes me.  I walk into the store and the alarm goes off, you know the one that tells them I'm stealing patchoulli and CD's from their store - but the alarm goes off on the way into the store.  The front clerk says it's okay, and I remind him it happened to me once before - they had waved me in saying that it happened sometimes.  But this time another man comes around the corner donning shorts and shaved ankles.  He tells me this is a problem and we need to fix it, it will only take a few minutes, probably some new clothing I just purchased - not likely, as I scan down at the thrift store outfit I'm modeling.  So he wants me to take out my wallet, that's the likely cause - I do so and reluctantly walk back through the security gate, setting off the alarm again.  The guy starts talking about what else we can do, though I'm not really listening - do you want me to take off all my clothes?  I know I must be living in a pre-9/11 world, but I don't like to be treated like a thief when I haven't even walked into your store yet.  Am I supposed to put up my arms and have this guy pat me down, John Ashcroft-homeland security style?  There are other record stores in town and I tell this guy my business could be used elsewhere.  Off I went to Treehouse, where I put my bag behind the counter and sorted through the records, where I was treated as a law abiding citizen.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

frame sale - 54cm Surly Cross Check

Update: SOLD.

For sale: my Surly 54cm Cross Check frame, fork, and headset.

It's used and has a few scratches, but if you're one worried about scratches then just stop right now.

This frame took me through good times in fine weather,
Riding home from work, Duisburg

and more good times in other fine weather:
My Commute Home

I even took it with me to the EU for nine happy weeks a few years back; here we are in Köln:
Mark with his Surly before the Kölner Dom

This bike was rigged up with gears, single-speed, and fixed through various times while I had it; it runs like a champ. Bought new during the fall of 2005 during a height of impossible frame delivery from Surly - some bullshit story at the time about not enough forks in inventory.

I love it, but have a Handsome to deal with - can't keep 'em both.

But it now. It's 250 USD cash money and comes with a pair of fresh wool socks. Oh snap!

While you're pondering that, I've got a new site for you to check out - here's my favorite so far (some pics are NSFW, if that applies to you.)

Handsome Cycles Unveiling

Handsome Cycles. Friday night, 08 May 2009. Get on it.

Invite Rev.1
Originally uploaded by handsomecycles

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mississippi Crossing Ho!

Word on the street is the Washington Avenue bridge is once again open to bicycles!  Get out there and do it without getting a ticket whydontcha?

Also, who wants to sell me their Nexus 8-speed internal red-band hub?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Steven M. Johnson

I like art and I like inventions. Steven M. Johnson is an artist and former urban planner who invents ways to get us out of common problems. I think I'm in the market for a book of his, if available.
A great article on the artist here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

go with God

Originally uploaded by scottshowen

Spring has sprung

Linden is soon about to officially lose his bachelor status - enjoy it while you can sir, though I see you are.
The Friday night Stevil show ended up as usual; bike shop employees splayed all over the joint.

Moving on to Saturday night - I'm jealous of Kmac's new house in the north - anybody want to buy an upside-down mortgage from me so I can move up there?
...though I'd prefer my house not come with tree monkeys. Here's Gene not catching a beer. The way Stevil ended up, well, it wasn't me - I was downstairs and heard about it after the fact. I didn't catch the post photos, but a pre-sharpie tattoo image can be seen here.
My only regret of the weekend was not showing up earlier in the day; I missed the races at the neighbors house:

Thanks to Scott for posting this, and thanks for driving up from Lincoln for the 3-day.

Who wins the douchebag of the night award? This guy, holding his dick while peeing on my neighbors car in front of my house at 0230. Don't yell at me, you're the one waking up the neighborhood - go around to the side yard; piss quietly and I'll leave you alone. Oh and thanks for the suggestion, I will blog about it. Asshole.

And your asshole friends too. Go back to your fancy neighborhood in your fancy car - there's a Famous Dave's out there too.

Rode around Sunday with Melissa, Kristin, and Rich. Here's Melissa gliding through the park.
Melissa on the Motobecane

Didn't quite make it to the parade, but Rich was front and center for the float running over the woman accident - she was carried off in an ambulance, hope she recovers.

I built up my Handsome Devil this weekend.
The Devil frame, by Handsome

I've got a black, 54-cm Surly Cross-Check frame for sale, comes with fork and headset; talk to me.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's May!

Get ready for the flowers, April's behind us, afterall.

Tonight at One on One, Steve Smith's doing one of them fancy art showings we've all heard so much about. Get on it.

May day parade on Sunday - get on it.