Sunday, March 30, 2008

Policy and Innovation #1 - Segregated Cycling Facilities

This is the first sentence in the description of Segregated (separated) Cycling Facilities in Wikipedia:
"Segregated cycling facilities are roads, tracks, paths or marked lanes which are designated for the preferential or exclusive use of cyclists."

It seems like a decent description for an introduction to the topic. I am going to continue reading about this topic and will edit/re-post/addendum this thread as I learn more on the subject.

In the meantime, I found a You Tube clip on Portland High Tech bike signals. Take a look:

(picture courtesy of )

14.81 miles - Commute-western burb's extension ride - 3/30/08

14.81 miles

avg 15.9

max 33.7

cal 478.3



I took a weird ride through Hopkins and Minnetonka this morning before work b/c I had to deliver a book to the Ridgedale Library. The morning was great for a ride, but my body wasn't in the was warm (35 degrees) and a sunny...sometimes it sucks when you don't feel up to it, but...that's life!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

15.96 miles - extended Commute-Shady Oak/Traders 3/29/08

15.96 miles

avg 15.8

max 29.1

cal 489.9



FIRST ROBIN!!!! Nice chilly ride to work via Shady Oak Rd...nice but windy commute home via Trader Joe's....pleasant day...

Friday, March 28, 2008

12.41 miles - Commute - 3/28/08

12.41 miles

avg 16.2

max 27.7

cal 399.5


Trek Commuter

Nice day for a commute...the nighttime ride, although near 40 degrees, seemed extra chilly.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

205 total miles thus far in 2008 (on the road)

15.17 miles - Williston Quick Route - 3/27/08

15.17 miles

avg 16.1

max 31.7

cal 495.5



I cannot climb a friggin' hill!!! I need to work on my hill climbing. So I am going to start picking routes based on hills - few and far between, but I am convinced I can do it. The Williston Rd Quick Route is basically the same as the Shady Oak Quick Route, but extends the trip by a few miles and Williston Rd, between Excelsior Blvd and HW7 has a few big hills.

Also, a word to the wise....always keep the chain and cassette clean and lubed! I didn't have a chance to clean and lube the Poprad from yesterdays "Grande Rounds" ride and it was squeaking the whole trip. Very embarrassing, considering that squeaks are a pet peeve of mine and I always complain about other peoples' lack of bike care and maintenance. Luckily, I didn't bump into anyone I knew while I was riding....

Great day, with little to no headwinds, but cold in the mid 30's....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

11.59 miles - Commute - 3/25/08 (daily total - 36.87 miles)

11.59 miles

avg 15.9

mx 26.5

cal 372.9


Afterwork trip to Trader Joe's for some 3 buck chuck....wonderful night for a ride...!!!

25.28 miles - Lower Grand Rounds Route - 3/25/08

25.28 miles

avg 15.7

max 24.2

cal 760.06

The lower half of the Grands Rounds Scenic Byway ( ) is my route where the Midtown Greenway cuts the byway in half (basically). I take the SW Corridor out of my 'hood and go east where it turns into the Midtown Greenway after the Chain of Lakes. Follow the Greenway to the River Parkway, which strolls along the Mississippi River. Go south on the parkway for a coupe of miles and follow Grand Rounds around Lake Nokomis and then follow the Minnehaha Creek (Parkway) to Lake Hariet and then Lake Calhoun and back onto the SW Corridor west.

This is a great ride in the early morning when the trails are free of people. The big annoyance today was the dogs on long retractable leashes. It was a nice ride despite the wet and exttttrrreeemely cold feet....I need some cycling boots!!!

8.08 miles - Commute - 3/24/08

8.08 miles

avg 15.6

mx 28.1

cal 264.9


Commute to and from work on Trek Commuter....potholes = BAD!! Getting warmer out there, despite the snow...

Monday, March 24, 2008

"Policy's and Innovation"

Here is an article by John Pucher regarding what is it takes to propel your community into a biking friendly community....

Quote from the article:
The key policies and innovations used in Dutch, Danish, and German cities to promote safe and convenient cycling focus on:
- Extensive networks of separated cycling facilities
- Intersection modifications and priority traffic signals
- Traffic calming
- Traffic education and training
- Bike parking
- Co-ordination with public transport
- Traffic laws

I would like to research these bulletpoints more extensively. If you have any suggestions as where to start (other than Google), please let me know at .....and, thanks!!!

8.33 miles - Commute - 3/24/08

8.33 miles

avg 14.1

max 32.5

cal 274.2


Commute to and from work on the Trek Commuter. I added a new CroMoto quill stem today with a 90 degree angle and 110mm in length. The old stem was 75 degree bend and 85mm long. A much improvement in that the vintage road bike geometry is odd in that the top tube is shorter and the rear wheel sits back farther and the stem offset is short. So the vintage frame requires some finagling to get correct....I will post some photos of the transformation of my Vintage Trek frame into a superb fair weather commuter soon!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

12.81 miles - Easter Grocery Getaway - 3/23/08

12.81 miles

avg spd 15.3

max 22.5

cal 360.8

0.50.04 min

I took my Poprad on a trip to Whole Foods to get a few Easter dinner things....extended it a bit around lake Calhoun. Cold day...some snow on trail here and there...a little ice...around 35 degrees. Its a bit over 3 miles to Whole Foods in Calhoun Village. The SW Corridor Trail takes me right there. No roads, just a few crossovers.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Trek Soho Single Speed????

After yesterday's morning commute through the snow and afternoon commute back home through the salty slush, I have been thinking hard about thinking ahead and getting for next winter's commuting. I plan to commute through the easy task.
After my salty ride home yesterday on my Lemond Poprad, I had to clean the salty mess off my was incredible how nasty and corrosive the salt is. In the five hours from the time I parked the bike to cleaning it, it had already started rusting the chain and rear cassette. I couldn't believe it may look like the purchase of a new winter single speed.
Any other suggestions????

Friday, March 21, 2008

8 miles - Commute - 3/20/08

8 miles commute through the snow on my Poprad. Snow very stingy on the face in the morning due to the wetness of the snow... great fun!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

12.31 miles - Commute - Shady Oak Route

12.31 miles

avg 15.5

mx 30.8

cal 381.7

0.47.29 min

Trek Commuter

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

29.27 miles - 101 to Cedar Lake Route

29.27 miles

max 31.8


SW Corridor west to Excelsior Blvd west to HWY101 north to Minnetonka Blvd east to Virginia Ave to Hutchinson Spur Trail east to Cedar Lake south to Kenilwood Trail connects back to SW Corridor west back to the South Oak Hill Neighborhood.

Warm ride in the mid 40's today. I made the mistake of taking a segment of the unpaved SW Corridor past Shady Oak Lake - it was muddy, icy and messy. I got all mucked up and feet got really cold. I tried the cut plastic bag trick, but the water seeped down into my shoes anyway. I had to stop at Dunn Bros in Minnetonka Mills to warm my feet and have a tea.

The Poprad will get a thorough cleaning and lube was squeaking by the end of the ride....overall a nice ride with the exception of cold toes. I may look into swapping out the tires on my Poprad, but I am going to think on it a bit more....I am going to need to swap out to street tires for the Ironman Ride on April 27....looking for suggestions????

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

SKS Race Blade Road Bike Fender Set

I got these fenders from a friend and am sold. I have them on my Trek Commuter and put them to the test. They are lightweight, extremely easy to install and remove, are adjustable and provide just enough coverage.

They retail for around $45.oo

PS: You can undo the rubber straps and zip-tie them to your bike if you want semi-permenant fenders.

1/18/08 - Commute - 13.86 miles - Shady Oak Loop

13.86 miles

max 29.8

Rode the Trek Commuter the long way home for an extra few miles. I went west from Penn Cycle on Cedar Lake Road to Ridgedale Dr and then onto Minnetonka Blvd, then left onto Shady Oak road and then another left onto Excelsior Blvd ad the left onto Louisiana and then home. The "Shady Oak Loop."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Homemade Chain Guide for My 1x9 Trek Vintage Frame Commuter

On the Hokey Meter this might score a 9 out of 10 - 10 being the hokiest, but I am sure that my contraption will work as intended. I have the same issue on both of my commuter bikes , which are set up the same way...1x9 and 1x 7 ... by taking the two smaller chain rings off of the cranks.

Who needs all those gears in Minnesota anyway .......there's no hills.

Both bikes have the same issue - the chains pop off of the chain ring. For my Marin mountain bike conversion commuter I have a guide that retails for about 13 dollars. It guides the inner side of the chain what happens is that the chain then pops off of the outside?

One solution is to use a chain guide and a bash guard, however, consider the other option - using a derailleur to guide the chain. Or you could take a cable housing guide, attach some strong metal and bend it creatively into a homemade chain guide. Observe the video and pics and tell me what you think.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

3/14/08 Commute - 11 miles

- 11 miles exactly

- avg speed 15.9

- max speed 26.6 mph

- cal 349.3

-(odo 591.6)

Rode the Bullit, which was weighted down to the max. First ride across the Ottawa Ave pedestrian/bike bridge. I was creeped out thinking about the guy who died by falling off the bridge while in construction...anyway, it is a great addition to the city. The problem is that we need more, and not just in the elitist sections of town.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Minneapolis Ranks 2nd in Bike Commuting (as of 2007)

This may be old news, but it is encouraging...

Minneapolis Ranks High Among Bicycle Commuters, Public Transit and Walking

Published January 16, 2007 by MyFox Twin Cities

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneapolis is full of green commuters, according to new U.S. Census numbers. The city is a national leader in the percentage of people who walk, bike and take public transit to work.

Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, Minneapolis ranks second to Portland, Ore. with 2.5 percent of commuters getting to work by bike -- a slight increase from 2005. The national average for bicycle commuters in the U.S. is only 0.4 percent.

The number of people walking to work increased from 5.8 percent in 2005 to 7.1 percent in 2006. Minneapolis holds the No. 8 ranking of walking cities in the country and ranked eleventh in the nation for rate of people taking public transit to work. In 2006, 13.2 percent of people reported they took transit to work, which is an increase over the 12.5 percent rate from 2005.
Minneapolis city leaders hope to maintain the city’s status as a bikeable and walkable city by expanding the number of new bikeways and walking trails each year. The city says more than two dozen new projects are in the works that will provide new trails, lanes and other improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.

The Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Project has recently awarded $7 million in federal money for bicycling and walking projects in Minneapolis and other Twin Cities communities. Only four cities in the country were selected to receive the grant money, and with these funds, Minneapolis plans to increase the miles of bikeways in the city and eventually double the amount of bicycle riding in the city.

Image attribution:

3/13/08 - 10 miles - Quick route - West Loop

The second outdoor ride of the season (I ride 45 minutes to an hour indoors nearly every day at the Ridgedale YMCA). I took the quick West Loop - west on the SW Corridor into Hopkins, then swing north on the Hutchinson Spur trail, which turns east to Cedar Lake in Minneapolis and back onto the SW Corridor and home.

The day was a great day for riding, at around 45 degrees with a stiff and steady westerly wind. The trail is in good condition, except for a few shady spots where ice literally covers the trail. Behind Novartis nearing the Cedar Lake trail (which is where I saw 7 deer on the first ride of the season) the trail was literally covered with a couple inches of slick ice. A fellow bikers was out with his ice breaker. I wish him well, but it is only going to freeze over again at night. The thought counts.

The other trail issue is the deep runoff water. About six or sever times I had to unclip and lift my legs so that the water didn't splash up my legs - the water was two to three inches deep in spots and went for 10 to 20 feet. I am going to pick up a set of fenders at work tomorrow....

Fun ride but way to quick...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Disastrous Crank Pull Costs Only Pastrami Burger

I don't know what possessed the makers of that crank set to install the most over engineered and stupid crank on a bike and actually replace XT cranks that came standard equip on my Kona....either was ugly, but it came off with special thanks to Penn Cycle's own Doug the Magician Master Mechanic (DMMM or D3M or Dm3)....and all it will cost me is an overpriced pastrami burger from Crossroads Delicatessin (where you can get the overpriced jingoesque "Freedom Fries") - DMMM's soft spot.

The shell and threads came out remarkably unscathed considering there were cutting (with actual sparks), drilling and hammering involved.

Next step is to install the used 4 bolt LX cranks from craigslist and a fresh bottom bracket (size, yet to be determined). I installed a Bontrager Select saddle (not big deal, but the price was right). I picked up a set of Chunky Fuel ESI grips and I am going to install my Continental Supersonic 1.9 foldable tires - fast, good for singletrack.

The other creepy setback was the broken skewer, which is not just any old skewer, but an "axel skewer" that only Ritchey and a few expensive brands carry. Not a real setback, I'll just use a Deore front wheel off another of my mountain bikes....

After these additions...the Mano Mano will be ready to roll...