Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thatcher's new ride - before picture

A couple of days ago Thatcher, Liam and I drove to St. Paul to pick up Thatcher's new ride - Its a vintage kids road bike. We have researched it and found out that it is likely a 1977 (August) Youth Varsity. It has 24 inch wheels. Tonight Thatcher, Liam and I pulled all the, reflectors, cables and brake pads off. We are going to replace pads, cables/housing, bar tape, and tires and tubes. Then we will polish, lube and adjust it.

Thatcher wants to leave it the way it is. I offered to strip and repaint it, but he likes the "uniqueness" of it just the way it is. He's ecstatic!!!!

I will post pics as things progress with this bike....

14.43 miles - Cedar Lake quick route - 4/30/08

14.43 miles

avg 18.6

max 26.3

cal 523.8



Dropped a couple of Redbox movies off at Byerly's and headed over for a swurvy loop around Bass Lake. Then I went down the SW Corridor and headed over to Cedar Lake Trail and back by way of the Hutchinson Spur Trail. On my way back a young and pretty lady pulled out just behind me and followed me for about a mile and proceeded to pass me. We were obviously going in the same direction so I stayed behind her. I wanted to pass many times, but I thought it may be a bit sexist or pushy to pass her. She eventually slowed down intentionally so I could pass. I didn't want to freak her out, I was hoping I was being courteous by not passing. Its like when someone you don't know begins walking next to you at the same pace - you are forced to slow down or speed up - it feels awkward to keep the same pace. Did I brake some trail/biking etiquette? Should I have passed her and played a passing game?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

13.67 - Commute/errands - 4/29/08

13.67 miles

25.4 max

Greenpeace (partly w/ ride-a-long)

Take Liam to preschool, lock up the ride-a-long, then off to work, then back to pick up ride-a-long, then home....
Great nighttime ride....I only wish I had more time....

Monday, April 28, 2008

8.12 - Commute - 3/28/08

8.12 miles

avg 16.8

max 31.3

cal 290.4



Nice frills ride...

50.83 miles - Ironman - 4/27/08

50.83 miles

13.4 avg

34.6 max

cal 1556.0



Unfortunately, I didn't remember my camera to take pictures of the Ironman Bike Ride with Thatcher and myself. Thatcher rode with me for the first 12.5 miles and I did the rest on my own - which, turned out to be a crazy day.

I signed up for the 62 mile ride. Like I said, I did the first 12.5 with my son. Then my wife picked Thatcher and his bike up (pics to come later of him and his bike). I proceeded to go from that point on to Panama Ave, where I mistakenly took the wrong turn (yes, it was clearly marked as I found out later) and ended up about 10, or so, miles north of my route ( I saw signs for New Prague). So I decided, of course, to head back to the first rest stop at 28 miles in Lonsdale - my mile 50. Right as I pulled in the American Legion parking lot it started to drizzle. After my hot dog I went outside to icy, rainy, snowy mix. On my right was the direction out of the lot, on my left was a warm bus with a trailer for taking bikes back to start. I chose the bus. I am glad I did, because when I got back to Lakeville High School and rode my bike the 1/2 mile to my car I was shivering from the rainy cold. If I would have stayed on route I would have had 35 miles of icy cold rain and no rain gear in 35 degrees. I think I made a smart move.

It was an interesting experience. The highlight was having a great discussion with my son and spending some quality time with him on the first 12.5 miles....thanks Thatcher for making my day!!!!
PS: The pics are of my Poprad with my Bontrager road tires...looks great!!! Rides great too!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

12.72 miles - Commute Shady Oak Extension - 4/25/08

12.72 miles

avg 16.6

max 27.3

cal 437.4



Rainy nighttime commute home....took the long way along Shady Oak Rd to Excelsior Blvd. It was around 35 degrees and raining steadily. Not too cold though. The danger was the rain on my glasses being reflected by oncoming car lights and not being able to keep the proper path on the road and trying to avoid potholes....but I made it home fine. It was very enjoyable watching the rain splashing up in front of me and reflecting through the headlight. I love rain!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

505 miles total (approximate) - 185 commuting miles (approximate)

12.64 miles - Cedar Lake Quick Route - 4/24/08

12.64 miles

avg 17.1

max 22.1

cal 404.7



Rain, rain, go away...steady rain for the whole ride...I only had time (like usual) for a "quick route." But it was a great ride....riding in warm rain is the best....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

13.44 miles - Errands Running - 4/23/08

13.44 miles

max 25.0

Greenpeace and Ride-a-long

I ran errands to the store, pick up Liam from school and take Thatcher to yoga....a pleasant way to run errands on my very smooth and comfy bike Greenpeace....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

8.94 miles - Commute - 4/22/08

8.94 miles

avg 16.0

max 25.0

cal 288.7



Monday, April 21, 2008

31.51 miles - Greenway, Downtown, U of M, Cedar Lake, Lake Calhoun ride - 4/21/08

31.51 miles

avg 16.2

max 36.4

cal 984.3



Title says it all about the ride...I was a little freaked out when the Minneapolis Police came flying down the trail between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles without a warning...the squad car was probably doing about 50 mph....very stupid and very dangerous. I didn't know the car was coming until it was about 10 feet behind me.

Otherwise I am confident of having a fun ride at the Ironman next Sunday....

It was a beautiful day!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

16.08 miles - Commute wiith Cedar Lake Extension - 4/20/08

Note To Self: Get different handlebars for Trek Commuter.

16.08 miles

avg 16.6

max 30.4

cal 513.2


Trek Commuter

Nice ride this morning...stopped at the Harvest Moon for a cup of Joe. Went back down the SW Corridor to the Kenwood Trail and took that to the Cedar Lake Trail all the way to Virginia and onto Cedar Lake Rd and to Penn Cycle. Return home was straight home...

I felt kinda like I need an alteration to the Trek Commuter. I have a titanium straight bar on there now and I may look at the bars on the Trek Soho as an option. My hands get really numb for lack of proper position along with maybe a better grip.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Edition to the Bike Family - Sears 3 Speed

SOLD IT ON 5/2/08
I don't really know why. A young lady had been looking at a bike from me previously - a 1963 Schwinn Typhoon. She called back asking if I had anything else. I showed her this one. She liked it. I gave her a good price and she bought it...I miss it already...but I picked up an early black Schwinn Racer single we'll see how that goes...

These pictures are right off the car rack when I brought it home. There is something that draws me to these bikes, and I am not sure of what that might be.

I am thinking it might be the graphics and overall English 3 speed look. It would be cool to try and figure out what the graphics mean.

I'm not sure of the age, but I think I may just keep her for awhile. I paid 35 bucks from the original owner who lives across from the Armatage Park in South Minneapolis. He said it is mechanically sound, so a good cleaning and once-over might do the trick. I will probably outfit her with some new tread and black cable housing...

Here is a picture of my Sears fixie with similar graphics, but the symbol on the top tube is different...

12.69 miles - Commute Shady Oak Extension - 4/19/08

12.69 miles

avg 16.7

max 31.5

cal 422.7



Rain smelled like fish this morning...wanted to get up and go for a pre-work ride, but overslept...

Friday, April 18, 2008

7.81 miles - Commute - 4/18/08

7.81 miles

avg 16.0

max 29.8

cal 256.3



Standard commute...rainy going, dry coming home...

Big Dummy??

Next year I am going to be in the market for a new bike....and I am thinking UTILITY. The Surly Big Dummy seems to be the obvious choice. However, I see that Kona has a utility bike called the Ute.

The Kona Ute has 700c wheels that are more acceptable for touring (unless you are this guy: but he is another story) and it also accepts panniers. I also like the idea of a 3-case-of-beer carrier!!! Hmmm, can it handle a keg???

The Big Dummy is a collaborative effort between ExtraCycle and Surly Bikes, so it accepts the trimmings of an ExtraCycle ( ). The Big Dummy is only sold as a frame set, so you have to build the bike around the frame, which can get expensive, unless you have a bike laying around that you can move components from.

10 miles - Ride-a-long with Liam - 4/17/08

10 miles

Ride-a-long Rig/Greenpeace

A day for cruising with my boy Liam. First we went to Aquila Primary Center to do our Picture Person Art presentation and then we went to The Depot, which had no seating due to a private we decided to hit the Harvest Moon Coffeehouse (see my other blog: for details), where Liam had a grilled cheese and I had the luscious Reuben sandwich and a coffee. I then pulled Liam to school....on the way I noticed that my chain was very close to breakage...made it home and decided to get a new chain...

I also hit my record for last year by weighing in at 208.0 pounds, and it is only mid-April...hopefully I can get to my goal of 195.0 lbs by my birthday - September 23rd!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

11.57 miles - Sprint down Excelsior - 4/16/08

11.57 miles

avg 17.3

max 33.4

cal 442.1



Extreme westerly headwinds going down Minnetonka Blvd...however, the few mile sprint going east on Excelsior was freakin' awesome!!! The wind was blowing at my back and I maintained a speed from 28 to 33mph for miles because I hit every light....

Typical day when you have less than 45 minutes to get a ride in...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

11.09 miles - Commute - 3/15/08

11.09 miles

avg 15.6

max 28.7

cal 352.5



Freakin' crazy headwinds today...but overall nice and warm. It was a little chilly when I was pulling Liam around this morning....

15.86 miles - Ride-a-long pull - 3/14, 3/15/08

15.86 miles

max 25.8

Greenpeace w/ ride-a-long

Two days of puling the ride-a-long with Liam. Yesterday we went to The Depot and today we rode down to Dunn Bros on Hennepin Ave and then around Lake Calhoun...a good time....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Crazy Intersection at Excelsior Blvd and SW Corridor in Hopkins

Note: it doesn't show it on the map, but the SW Corridor Bike Trail runs parallel to the Soo Line train tracks.

As you may be able to see through the photo and map this intersection is on a very busy boulevard that has a railroad track running through it, a bike trail crossing, and a major on/off ramp to a major metro traffic artery.

This intersection, with HW169, Excelsior Blvd, the railway and the bike trail all conglomerate at one point.

Not only is it dangerous for an adult rider to be able to maneuver through the traffic and trust the traffic, but my kids are forced to ride parallel to the railroad tracks, while oncoming traffic is less than five feet from them.

What happens when one of my kids strays into oncoming traffic, or his wheel gets stuck in one of the rail ruts and he flies off his bike and into traffic???

This intersection is only going to get worse when Cargill the infamous corporate genetics/eugenicists open up their mega office building across the street. The traffic is going to get worse and the danger to bikers, commuters and pedestrians will only get worse. It needs addressed!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

22.18 miles - Commute/Williston/394 frontage rd - 3/9/08

22.18 miles

avg 15.8

max 38.3

cal 713.7



I decided to take Excelsior to Williston Road to the 494 frontage "path" to McGinty to Minnetonka Mills across the dirt Minnetonka Loop to Cedar Lake Rd to the shop. Pretty good ride but tired for some reason.

When I got to work I was informed, and thus shocked, that Lemond is being dissolved immediately from Trek due to advertising disputes I am told (hope to blog with link shorty on the subject).

I decided to take the 394 frontage road was a nice night, but the evil snow is coming back tomorrow to torture us again!!!!! This winter never ends.......

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

10.94 miles - Commute/Target Stop - 3/8/08

10.94 miles
avg 15.8
max 28.7
cal 350.8
Chilly day going to work had to stop at Target on the way home....not a whole lot to tell...

Monday, April 7, 2008

29.40 miles - Downtown MPLS/Lower Grande Rounds - 4/7/08

29.40 miles

avg 16.2

max 28.1

cal 929.6



It was in the mid-30's today. I decided to ride into Downtown MPLS via SW Corridor/Kenwood Trail/Cedar Lake Trail so that I could research a commuter route for my wife LeeAnn. The Cedar Lake Trail ends abruptly Downtown near the Target Center. I decided to take any-ol'-street and ended up near the Convention Center. Strangely enough, there are center lane bike lane that end suddenly leaving you wondering where to go and there are bike lanes located very inconveniently between parked cars and traffic (watch those car doors). Downtown Minneapolis is NOT very bike friendly. Luckily, from my personal experience, Downtown MPLS is not very congested or else we would have a sick scenario on our hands, but from my experiences it is not a bike friendly or bike structured city center. I was not successful at finding a good route for my wife.

I decided to take Nicolette Ave out of Downtown and back towards the Uptown area so I could get on the Midtown Greenway and head east to the River and get on the lower half of Grande Rounds, which took me and my cold feet back home via the Minnehaha Parkway, Lake Hariet, Lake Calhoun and the SW Corridor.

Truly the highlight of my trip was the hawk (I believe a Cooper's Hawk) that swooped down in front of me and flew next to me for ten to 15 feet before perching on a fence behind Northland Products on the SW Corridor...what a beautiful bird!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

20.28 miles - Commute/Williston Extension/Ottowa Ped Bridge Ext - 4/6/08

20.28 miles

avg 15.8

max 35.4

cal 656.0



Rainy, rainy day! Slept in because the weather people said it was going to rain all morning...woke up dry and decided to go for an extra commute ride on Williston and also went up along US494 on the windy and fast side trail. Started to rain on Willistion and pour when I was coming down McGinty I stopped at Dunn Bros in Minnetonka Mills for an apple fritter and a coffee. It was really pouring and chilly when I left the coffee shop. I was drenched and took a shower at work.

The ride home in the rain was awesome....the rain was warm, so I took Minnetonka Blvd to the Ottawa Ped Bridge over HW7 and took the SW Corridor home. I LOVE the rain!!! I put a seat post rear fender on the Poprad (that Doug gave me) and it worked great. I also put the Zefel quick fender on my down tube, which doesn't work so hot. The water runs off the fender and into my shoes...maybe I'll try another front fender was a short, but fun ride in the wet Minnesota spring!

4.84 miles - 1/2 Commute - 4/5/08

4.84 miles

avg 15.2

max 23.5

cal 151.7


Trek Commuter

Got picked up at work by my wife to eat at the Lone Spur and go to the Science Museum with the kids....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

12.74 miles - Commute/Shady Oak Extension - 4/4/08

12.74 miles

avg 16.0

max 29.2

cal 414.9



Rode with the kids in the afternoon....commuted to work and took the long way home...nice warm day and caught by a couple of nasty potholes on Excelsior....glad I had the Poprad!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

First 2008 Ride With the Boys!!! - 04/04/08

What a great day for a ride to the Depot Coffeehouse in Hopkins with Liam and Thatcher. The temp was close to 50 degrees and it was sunny - as you can see in the pics.

Liam started off better than he ended last year. He was a bit frustrated at first, but I successfully showed him how to stop and start properly. He is a speed freak once he gets going!!! He loves to blast down the trail!!! That is Liam way ahead in the top picture.

We played Tony Hawke on the PlayStation for a half-hour at the Depot and then headed home....I will be blogging later about the horrific intersection on Excelsior near the Depot...

Thatcher and I went rode down to Calhoun Village for lunch at Punch Pizza after Liam went to his buddies house. It was great hanging with Thatcher...he was really curious how the shifters work and figured out that if you reach down and pull the cable on the top tube the derailleur will shift without using the kid!!! I love his busyness and curiosity!!! We had a good time. His endorphins must have been at an all-time high because he was about 10 times more energetic than usual for the rest of the day. He also kept saying things like, "I wish I could do this all day every day!"

What a great day with my boys!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

12.84 miles - Commute/Shady Oak Extension - 4/2/08

12.84 miles

avg 15.6

max 31.8

cal 416.1



A truck honked at me for no particular reason and startled me on Louisiana Ave. Also, on my way to work a couple of punks yelled out the window at me. The first guy I gave the finger to and the punks I gave the thumbs up. I think I may take the high road from now on with these ignorant acts, because just like bullies they want to get a rise out of the cyclist. If we rise above them, maybe it will take the thrill out of it....we shall see!!!