Archive for Life

David Byrne’s Bike Racks

Former Talking Heads front-man, and Alt customer, is making bike racks for NYC

I lost both the elm trees in my boulevard this fall.

A lot of people have been encouraging me to call the park system to get on the waiting list for replacement trees.

I’d rather do something like this.

Granted, there isn’t many occasions for multiple bikes, that aren’t my own, to be parked in  front of my house.

Yet…..

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5th Annual Bike/Walk To Work Day- May 14th

A message from the City of Minneapolis’ Bike Walk Ambassadors:

It’s Time for the 5th Annual Bike Walk to Work Day & We Need You!

The 5th Annual Bike Walk to Work (or School) Day Celebration is Thursday, May 14th. Bike Walk Week is May 10th-16th. Last Year over 2,500 people pledged to bike, walk, or extend a trip with transit without using a car! Bike Walk Week is all about celebrating bicycling and walking. You can also win great stuff.

This year we want to have 5,000 people who pledge to get around greener, healthier, happier, and cheaper. Here is how you can help:

1. Register yourself for Bike Walk Week. REGISTER NOW

2. Get someone you know to register. There are lots of ways you can help others to replace at least one car trip. Check out the Spread the Word website for more information.

3. Visit a Celebration Location on Bike Walk to Work (or School) Day on Thursday, May 14th. For a list of locations and deals click here.

4. Volunteer for Bike Walk to Work Day events. For details about how you can support Bike Walk Week click here. You can also directly contact Jacqueline Scott-Hopkins or call 612.333.3410.

Of course for some of us, nearly EVERYDAY is Bike To Work Day

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Direct Hit

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Mid-March Madness

With several days left in this month of March, 2009, I’ve got two full days of Cycling Home Tours under my belt, and two more scheduled before the week is over.

I packed up the winter bike (Electra Street Rod 7) on Monday and broke out the skinny tires on the cyclo-cross bike, and man, did that feel good!

Business at The Hub Bike Co-op has been gangbusters as well. Our bike sales for this winter were up 46% from last year!

Today I sat down with one of my product reps who handles a great many of the parts and accessories that I purchase for the shop. Today we we’re looking at clothing for next fall/winter season.

He had a new line with him, Showers Pass, quality rain and cold weather gear.

Nice stuff.

After he was done, I inquired about testing some samples.

I wound up shelling out for their new Portland Jacket.

Fully waterproof, comfortable as all-get-out, and just enough grey tweed style to make the retro-grouch in me very, very happy.

I rode it all afternoon and evening while showing houses, and it is surprisingly warm. It was a chilly night, and the cold air never got past the new hotness.

Dig it.

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Winter Cycling In Minneapolis

It was a big weekend in the world of Winter Cycling here in Minneapolis.

This year’s City of Lakes Loppet incorporated an ice cycling event.

For those  “underground” folk, there was the 12th annual running of The Stupor Bowl.

And for the arty types there was more ice racing out at The Art Shanties on Medicine Lake.

So what, you may ask, was I doing last weekend?

Showing houses.

I was only a little bummed to be missing all the fun.

Trust me. I’m very pleased to have plenty of Real Estate to do on the weekends at the end of January.

Keep it coming.

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I Heart Yehuda Moon

by Rick Smith

The daily strip, currently available only online, chronicles life in a independent bike shop.

You can support and subscribe HERE.

The main character, Yehuda, rides all year, wears wool everyday, and takes sometimes dodgy actions in the name of bicycle advocacy.

It’s something of a mixture of The Hub and Flanders Bros.

Personally, I’m hooked. It’s like looking in the mirror, especially as I rock my winter mask.

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Fighting Car Culture – Colleges Give Free Bikes To Frosh

This came up in The New York Times:

Published: October 19, 2008

BIDDEFORD, Me. — When Kylie Galliani started at the University of New England in August, she was given a key to her dorm, a class schedule and something more unusual: a $480 bicycle.

“I was like, ‘A free bike, no catch?’ ” Ms. Galliani, 17, a freshman from Fort Bragg, Calif., asked. “It’s really an ideal way to get around the campus.”

University administrators and students nationwide are increasingly feeling that way too.

The University of New England and Ripon College in Wisconsin are giving free bikes to freshmen who promise to leave their cars at home. Other colleges are setting up free bike sharing or rental programs, and some universities are partnering with bike shops to offer discounts on purchases.

The goal, college and university officials said, is to ease critical shortages of parking and to change the car culture that clogs campus roadways and erodes the community feel that comes with walking or biking around campus.

“We’re seeing an explosion in bike activity,” said Julian Dautremont-Smith, associate director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, a nonprofit association of colleges and universities. “It seems like every week we hear about a new bike sharing or bike rental program.”

Read The Full Article HERE.

This kind of thing is an excellent way to help break the mindset that you NEED a car.

There are two problem I could see coming up with this type of program.

1. Theft: Always a big issue on a college campus (particularity here at the U of M). The article states that students are also given locks, but some extra measure would need to be taken to have the bikes in a secure area overnight.

2. Service: Bikes aren’t toys. Like any vehicle they require a sense of responsibility, and maintaining the equipment is a big part of that. The schools would need to enter into a relationship with a local shop who agrees to provide routine maintanence to the bikes for an annual fee.

I would imagine that the schools get the bikes directly through a manufacturer which means that the local shop is loosing out on bike sales (not good), but if they were contracted by the school to provide maintenance, that would be a way for the local shop to support the program and not get burned on the loss of sales. Shops would also benefit on building a relationship with the student for other bike related needs.

There would need to be a clear guidelines on what the school will pay for with regard to the maintenance, and what they won’t (new chains annually, new rubber when needed), so that student don’t go dirt jumping and expect the school to pay for new wheels when they trash them (let’s face, it 17 and 18 year-olds are generally irresponsible and foolish), but as long as students agree to be generally responsible for the upkeep and security of the bike, I think this is a great new step.

If a student gets trough four years at school sans car, I’d be willing to be, they would carry that habit into their work-a-day livlihood.

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