Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What's in it for me? What are you going to do?

Good questions, I'm glad you asked.
Why should you donat to me and team Fatty for the Lance Armstrong LIVESTRONG Challenge? What's in it for me?

Well, you get the satisfaction of
1: helping in the fight against cancer;
2: You also give me a gift of a chance for great prizes from Fatty as a raffle;
3: You get to see me suffer a little bit, since I doubt I'll get to go to Seattle, though, heck, I would try, I'll instead be planning a trip from Duluth to Grand Rapids via my own two legs, and two wheels. I'll plan a 100 mile route from my house in Duluth to my hometown of Grand Rapids sometime around June 21st, 2009, the same day as the Seattle Challenge. Heck, I've got to do something for this right?

http://seattle09.livestrong.org/bikingduluth

Here's something interesting! In one day, Fatty's team has gathered more donations then all the other teams combined! Over 9000$ in one day! Over 200 members already, and counting.
The goal is 1 MILLION! He can do it, you can help!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tis' always the season...

Hey all- I've started something new- (hum, imagine that...) I have been following a fellow bicyclists blog for some time now, and it's particularly touching. His wife has been fighting cancer for 5 years now, and lately it's been quite hard and his site is a reflection of what it's been like for him and his family- kids and wife.

Please take a few moments to read www.fatcyclist.com and after, if you wish, help me fight for his family and for everyone who's been affected (or, will be- that's the sad part) by cancer.

Fatty is an amazing person- if you took time out to read his site you'll understand what he's trying to accomplish.
He's set up a team in each of 4 cities which will be hosting events (races). Austin, Seattle, San Jose, and Philadelphia. I'm not planning on going, but I signed up for the Seattle event. But, those who make more then 1000$ get something special if you go. Anyhow, I've signed up as part of his team for the Lance Armstrong Challenge. I'm doing this because, should I ever end up in the situation like "Fatty" is in, I should hope that there are people like us, who are helping him, standing in line to help me (or anyone else I love and care for).

His goal is to raise over 1 million dollars. 1000 team members having 1000$ worth of donations. This would be a world record for the Lance Armstrong Foundation- and you could be part of it!

So, if you so choose, please help me help him and thousands of others, fight the battle against cancer.

You can donate online via my team member page at http://seattle09.livestrong.org/bikingduluth

Thanks!!!

J

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cyclite?


Have you seen these? Weird, I wonder if it's all it's cracked up to be?
(from )http://www.stridelite.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Continental Ski and Bike, how I love thee

I just wanted to again, let everyone know how cool Continental Ski and Bike is! I bought a smart wool balaclava mid last season and by the end of the season it had a nice size hole in the mouth area. I contacted smart wool and they had two options, talk to the store or send it in, provided it was not "normal wear and tear". I wrote back to them to explain that, I my opinion it was not normal to have that problem. They offered again to let me send it in, but by the time I read that email I had stopped at Continental last night and they gladly offered me a new one (and were also shocked at the hole).

So, if you're in the Duluth area and are looking for bike or ski equipment, service, or just knowledge, this is the place to go. They have, hands down, the most friendly, understanding, and knowledgeable staff in town.

It's nice to have such a great store. Stop by and see for yourself!

Continental Ski & Bike
(218) 728-4466
info@continentalski.com

Store Hours

Mon. - Friday 9am - 7pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm

great light found for a cheap skate like me

I wanted to let everyone know what I found. While I did find some really nice nice lights by hope, and other brands, I did find one that has a good amount of lumens (136) but more important, it was in my price range, cheap as can be. 26$ or so, I believe it was, for a nice CREE led light (helmet mountable quite easily) and 136 lumens, that's 3 times as many as my Serfas light and 1/2 the cost. I like that.

Granted, it may not last forever, doesn't have a blink, but that's not what I was looking for. I was all about lumens per $ and at over 5 lumens per dollar, I couldn't go wrong. Most every other bike light you'll find you'll get more like .8 lumens per dollar.

Again, it's at target and is labeled River Rock. There are a lot of discussions on battery and lighting boards out there if you search.

Also, I ordered my Princeton Tec Swerve tail light. I'll review that when it comes in, probably today or tomorrow!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tough time deciding on a light: help wanted

The dark comes quick now-a-days. The new time change this year caught me off guard. I've given up on my DIY light, the battery pack from my old drill didn't hold much of a charge and the design left me far from satisfied. Thus I've decided to buy a nice light. I'm happy with my Serfas 1 watt blinking light, and the cateye, both mostly for being seen, though, work in a pinch (a slow pinch). What I'm looking for is something to really light my path, probably helmet mounted but not required.
I'm leaning the Princeton Tec way but I want some input from people with nice setups. I'm wanting to stay sub 240$ or so. I know that gives a lot of room, but at that price there's a lot of variety and that's why I'm stuck.

I'll also be adding a Princeton Tec Swerve. Looks to be a great rear blinky.

On a similar side note, this Halloween I noticed a biker riding along a street about a block away from me, he had some CRAZY bright headlights (I believe 3, 2 on top and one directly under) and a really bring tail light. I wanted to ask him what they were but he was too far ahead for me to talk to him. Later, a few blocks away, he's coming at me again, this time on the same street so I call out "Sir- can I ask you about your headlights???" and as he came closer to me, not in any way realizing I was talking to him, I noticed it was not a "sir" rather a young kid on some kind of crazy bike. It had the really bright headlights and the tail light had a blinker (I'm not looking for anything like that). So, I was left confused, standing on the side of the road with my wife thinking I'm a nut case (probably what the kid thought too)...
I looked all over the net trying to find any similar lights or bike equipped with such lights but no such luck so I'm guessing this kid's got a really cool dad or mom and gave him the hook up. This all transpired in lakeside so if you know who this is and what kind of lights they were please pass on that info to me!

Friday, October 31, 2008

FOR SALE: Smith Knowleged Turbo Fan OTG Goggles

Hello! In an odd sort of way I have a new pair of goggles that I didn't realize I don't need (and by odd I don't mean anything illegal :o) ... ). They are brand new Smith Knowledge Turbo Fan OTG goggles (OTG = Over the glasses).
I'm selling them on ebay retail aroung 150$ starting bid 85$:
ebay link

Saturday, October 18, 2008

This is why I bike...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rest in peace my friend

We'll miss you Cody, your 16 years with us were many, but never enough.
1992 - 8/18/08

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

National Center for Bicycling and Walking to work with Duluth Aug 18th- you're invited

Relaying:

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota is paying for a consultant from the National Center for Bicycling and Walking to work with us (Duluth) for a full day on Monday, August 18th to work on making Duluth a more biking and walking friendly community.

This is an incredible opportunity for us to move our community from an automobile dependant culture to an active transportation culture. This would have positive implications for both our resident's health and the environment.

We would like to invite you to attend this important workshop.

The morning segment will focus on Duluth in general and the afternoon segment will focus on a specific area within Duluth that has a strong need in this area. I

t is possible to attend just one segment of the workshop.

Date: Monday, August 18th
Time Segment 1: 8:00 a.m. to Noon
Time segment 2: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Duluth Area Family YMCA, 302 W. 1st Street, conference Room 2nd level

It is crucial that we have a diverse representation taking part in the process. If you think of someone who be interested that I may not have invited, please let me know. I look forward to hearing back from each of you!"

Mimi Stender Fit City Duluth
mimistender@hotmail.com
cell (218) 390-7533

Monday, July 21, 2008

Check out the story of this young lady! Liza Stoner Rides from MSP to Washington DC in support of electric vehicles

http://www.rideforrenewal.org/ride_for_renewal/Welcome.html

I wish more people were willing to take on efforts they care about personally, rather then just complaining all the time.
CONGRATULATIONS to Liza Stoner!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wanted: 1 1/8 steerer Suspension Fork

Yes, I'm slightly absent minded. I had read serveral places that if you measure the quill stem and it's 1 inch, you have a 1 1/8th steerer. Turns out that's true. Several people said though, that I had a 1 inch steerer. They lied.

So, the Rock Shox Judy XC that I just bought is for sale, yours for 40$ OBO. Seems to be in fine condition, never used (by me :) at least).

If you so happen to know of a nice suspension for for sale with a 1 1/8th steerer let me know. Threadless is ok, if threaded at least 6 1/2 or so steerer tube.

Cheers

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nick Hagadorn

If you haven't heard in the news, on July 11th, Nick Hagadorn, born in Duluth, from Shakopee, was hit while riding his bike by Randal Joseph Hennes, who had been drinking and driving. There's much to this story but sadly, the worst news is that Nick died do to the injuries of this man's actions.
To honor Nick I'll be attaching a red ribbon to my bike. Honestly, I don't know if red is the right color, but it's the color of MADD, mothers against drunk driving, which seemed appropriate.

I wanted to let the family know that his loss saddens many many people across the US, young and old. I'll be holding my family just a little tighter from now on.

My prayers and thought go out to your family Nick.

Please visit Nick's CaringBridge page.
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nickhagadorn

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"We Are All One" Bicycle Tour on Minnesota's North Shore

(From the "We Are All One" bike tour website http://www.weareallonebicycletour.com/)
Saturday, August 16 - Sunday, August 17, 2008 Along the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.












(Click here for their brochure)

DAY 1

Silver Bay, Beaver Bay & 3 State Parks

The first day of the Tour, we will join the 8th Annual North Shore Ride. There will be two ride options:

1. A 28 mile out and back route using the Gitchi-Gami State Trail through Gooseberry Falls (five waterfalls) and Split Rock Lighthouse State Parks.

2. A longer more challenging 55-mile route that includes the Gitchi-Gami State Trail route and an additional 27 miles on scenic county and state highways.

Our overnight stay will be in the City of Silver Bay.


DAY 2

Silver Bay, Two Harbors to Duluth

Day Two will also include two ride options:

1. A longer 70 mile route starting in Silver Bay, following the Superior National Forest Scenic Byway, then south to Two Harbors and west to Duluth.

2. A shorter, 25-mile route starting in Two Harbors and ending in Duluth.

What's wrong with people?

Ok, I don't post here very often anymore but I thought I'd get this one out there for a few reasons. First of all, to get you up to speed with what I'm talking about, I often read the Bike Portland blog / website and lately there's been a lot of "bike vs. car" articles and discussion. There's been a lot of this type of back and forth in the Duluth community lately too. Just a few weeks ago two boys were hit on Superior St. in two separate instances on the same day. I have not heard further but plan to contact the Duluth PD for more info. Regardless, the bike vs. car mentality is very destructive to the bike / pedestrian community.

Over the last two weeks I have personally seen four separate and very disturbing instances regarding reckless bicyclists. 1st. On my morning commute I often ride the lakewalk. On coming up to two sets of walkers, two oncoming, 1 going my same direction, I was waiting for them to pass each other as to not have to be between them all at the same time, as that was all the room there was at the time. While I was waiting the 5 seconds or so, some yahoo flys by me on the left with no notice at all, and has to squeeze between the two groups, and nearly clipping me at the same time. I decided to follow this person to see if he was indeed extremely reckless or just happened to make poor judgement at that point in time. As I was following him he continued to make passes without calling out left, or even slowing down or anything. I'm not saying everyone HAS to say left, or ring a bell, by no means am I going to say that, but what I do wish is that people would have the decency to pass with respect. A mile or so down the path he is flying along at probably 20 + mph and flys by a woman riding the same direction, with her very young son, say 6 or so, about 20 feet ahead of her. When she heard him coming behind her she quickly turned and yelled with a frantic tone to her voice either to her son to have him move way over or to the guy to tell him to slow down. I couldn't quite tell. That move really pissed me off. I quickly caught up to him and asked him to please be more careful around children. He said "what"- he couldn't hear me as he had headphones in- figures... I said to him again "no offence, but you should be more careful around kids, you can't predict their movements". Kids that young often have a less developed sense of balance and tend to swerve erratically. His response- "maybe I can just read them better then you can". Well buddy, you'll be reading them quite close when you run one down. I feel bad for all the peoples lives affected by others' reckless behavior.

Third, the same day, while riding home on Superior St. I was waiting to get onto superior st from a side road and was waiting for traffic to pass when I noticed a biker. I decided to let him pass too as he was right behind the traffic. After a while I caught up to him and we were both riding down one of the bigger hills which bottoms out at a stop light. As we neared it turned yellow, and I knew we all had time to stop but he decided to keep going and blow through the red, nearly hitting a car which had to slam on the brakes to not hit him. Maybe he didn't care if he gets hit or not, but I'm sure the driver of the car would feel pretty bad for injuring a bike rider- even though it wouldn't have been his or her fault.

Forth- today. I left work early and got onto superior st downtown, just west of lake. I notice a biker about a half block ahead of me and as I stop for the red (which was already red) he decided to keep going, again, causing a car to have to slam on their brakes. I yelled- Hey- that's what happens when you blow through reds. he said something to the effect of , why don't you wear knee pads and elbow pads too and some other comments I don't recall. I said, what ever buddy- and kept going. As I stopped at the red ahead he pulls up to me and said, you're right, I shouldn't have done that and commented Duluth needs bike lanes. I laughed with him and said I wasn't trying to be rude, but I'm sure that person didn't want to hit someone today, and being hit probably wasn't in your plans today either. He honestly seemed to recognize that he almost made a serious mistake. I hope he gets a helmet and stops for reds now.

My point of all of this? Two: first, you can't change an a-holes behavior, a-holes are just that, second, often people don't realize what they are doing really isn't that smart until it's too late. Too late is a serious thought. Cars hit bicyclists every day, some are ok, some die. It's too important to fight over who's got the right to do what and how bikers should ride. But when your actions affect another's well being, it's not just yourself your dealing with.

I can honestly see why people hate bicyclists. I said that I hate them after that other day and I still stand behind the thought that I hate those who have no respect for the lives of others. I really hope people realize we're not all so reckless.

Thanks for letting me rant.

Here's a recent link to Bike Portland http://bikeportland.org/2008/07/15/words-of-wisdom-from-the-guy-on-the-windshield/ and their main site which has about 4 links you should read. http://bikeportland.org/

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Correction--- Found: 1 inch threaded suspension fork

I found the fork of my dreams, just kidding, but I hope it fits, being installed tomorrow to find out! It's a Judy... Should work nicely for all I need it for.

I'm looking to make my 96 Gary Fisher solid frame into a front suspension bike. I can't seem to find a 1 inch threaded suspension fork. If you have one or know of someone who might have one please send them my way!
Thanks for making my single track experience more enjoyable...
Jeff

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Upcoming Events: Velo Duluth Split Rock Tour- July 19th

Duluth bicycling club, Velo Duluth, will be hosting the 2008 Split Rock Tour Saturday, July 19th 2008. This ride will have distances of 15, 40, 60, and 100 miles and all are out and back along the beautiful Lake Superior Shore. 100% of your entry fee will be donated to Courage Duluth and Union Gospel Mission. There is a pdf of the brochure here and for more information visit the Velo Duluth website @ www.veloduluth.com.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bike to work day events


Morning Event – 7am to 9am - will include refreshments, free bike safety inspections, demonstration on how to use the bike racks on the DTA buses and other various bike-related info.
DTA – free rides on buses for bicyclists that day.
YMCA – free use of Y facilities (showers & bike storage) for bicyclists that day.
Group Bike Ride – bike leaders will lead a wagon train of bicyclists to the morning commuter event. (we still need to identify group leaders, with the idea to have the group leaders begin around 6:30am in various locations in the region and head to the Minnesota Power Plaza, picking up other bicyclists along the way.
Areas to begin:
1. Lakeside/Lester Park
2. Duluth Heights
3. West Duluth
4. Superior
5. Other locations

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bike Swap and FREE KIDS HELMETS AT CONTINENTAL SKI and BIKE

Ladies and Gentlemen, get your new (used) bike this weekend and get your kids a free helmet. I've heard they're free for 15 and under, but don't quote me as I'm not a source for their news.
If you do get your kid a new helmet, make sure you have one too. Nothing makes getting a kid to wear his / her helmet harder then when the parent does not wear one!

Lots to see and do this weekend at Continental, check them out!


http://continentalski.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=19&Itemid=26

Friday, April 11, 2008

Blizzard

From this:



To this:



And my new bike sits waiting...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Check out the new Twin Ports Cyclery website!

Twin Ports Cyclery has a new website. Please check it out!

http://www.twinportscyclery.com

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Critical mass turnout- but a success? I don't think so.

I was going to attend Friday's Critical Mass but wasn't able to because my bike is in the shop. Today, however, I came across a post on PDD with a recap and much back-and-forth commenting from the Duluth public.
Here's my two cents...
I know what a critical mass is supposed to do. Gain awareness for cyclist by shear force in numbers. I was going to go because I think it's a noble cause, bringing attention to Duluth about the fact that cyclists are here and we sometimes do not get the respect we should on the roads. I had envisioned a group of people (70+ showed up, I was thinking less then 10 would this early in the season) riding down superior st. taking up one whole lane, riding legally, just forming a massive line of people. However, reading the post online stated otherwise. From the sounds of it, the intent was to, according to "Zoyx", "piss people off, in order to garner attention, and perhaps change the overall social behavior."
Well, I bet you got your wish Zoyx. I'm sure a lot of people were pissed off and you got their attention, and next time they see a cyclist, I bet you that you are the first thing that will come to their mind. It's no wonder why motorists hate us, sorry, but it's an attitude like yours that pushes back any advance between car and bike co-existence.

On a more positive note, I read that some will be running a critical manners ride. I'm ALL for that and will help if need me, just let me know.

To the cars that had to deal with this- an "I'm sorry" from those of us that don't feel the same as those like Zoyx.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Velo Duluth 2008 Split Rock Tour- July 19th

From Velo Duluth's blog:

Date for 2008 Split Rock Tour has been set.

Saturday, July 19, 2008
Join us for a bicycle tour along the beautiful shore of Lake Superior, starting and ending in Duluth, MN. This will be a family oriented ride with rest stops and distances for riders of all abilities.Check back for further details or email us at: splitrocktour@yahoo.com

Thursday, March 13, 2008

An unlikely century bike?

Good evening everyone! I'm looking for some insight here as I've run up against a wall of sorts.

The predicament: I am going to do my first century (the Minnesota Ironman, April 27th) and I only have one bike, a 1996 Gary Fisher Marlin. A solid frame mountain bike, heavy and not really "suited" for riding 100 miles on. The other problem, I'm stingy and quite indecisive.

I've spent the better part of two days thinking about what I can do to my bike to make it more "distance friendly". To date, the most miles at one time was Duluth to Two Harbors and back, right around 50 miles. It was no problem but another 50 on top of that could be a different story.

So far I've looked into the following:

If I were to get all this, I may as well buy a new bike. I'm trying to figure what I need (if anything) what will and won't work with my bike (headset, handlebars, grip shifts, etc...) and what makes no sense.

So far I'm thinking of just getting the Areobars and for sure, the tires. Can anyone lend any advice on my situation?

If you're not aware, I've been biking all year so I'm pretty confident I can make it, but I want some more hand positions and a way to deal with a strong headwind.

Please lend me some advice!

Jeff

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Calendar of Minnesota Biking Events

Corrected- I rode 15.6 miles, not 12, wanted 20 but due to the weather I stopped short.
Good evening everyone! I thought I would try to develop a calendar of biking events that will show the dates and have links to the various biking events across Minnesota this year. I'm not quite sure where this will be on the page, or what it will look like, but that's what I'll be working on this evening while sitting here in the hotel room.
I decided to start this because in just a few days, like 40 some, I'll be doing my first century, the Minnesota Ironman in Lakeville Sunday, April 27th, 2008. today I rode about 16 miles, a nice ride but it was 36 and raining. When I got back it dropped a degree and turned into a heavy wet snow. Hopefully it will be nice tomorrow.
Look forward to a nice calendar. Check it out and if you don't see something listed that you know about, please let me know.

UPDATE- Looks like you can put the google calendar into blogger pretty easily. I've added a bunch of events, but let me know if you know of any missing events and I'll put them in!
P.S. You can put the event into your Google calendar by click on the event.
I hope you like the calendar!
Jeff

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cyclists bombs New York City Military Recruting Station

I'm sure you've all heard by now, but...
From http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i0PhHx1tA8nmOF-W7REHh1VxyU-gD8V88QJO0

"NYC Struck Again by Mystery Bomber

NEW YORK (AP) — For the third time in as many years, someone riding a bike and armed with a small explosive has struck in Manhattan, this time in the highest-profile location by far: a landmark military recruitment station in the heart of Times Square."

And my favorite part of the piece...
"The commissioner cited other possible clues: A new bike discovered at about 7 a.m. in a Dumpster just a few blocks from the blast, and the sighting of a man spotted on a bike near the scene moments before the explosion.

The man caught the attention of a witness because he was riding slowly, wearing a backpack and a hooded jacket, Kelly said. The witness, who was buying a newspaper at the time, said because of the hood, the rider's face "was pretty much covered.""

Ohh man- I'm going to need to find a clear balaclava :) I don't ride slow though so I think I'm ok :o)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Classic motorist vs. cyclist conversation (Legalities of issues commuters face daily)

A recent post on Perfect Duluth Day managed to strike up quite the conversation. If you're a bike commuter I'm willing to bet you've had the conversation, you know, the one about you having equal rights and them saying, yea, but...

I thought about this conversation quite a bit tonight, and paid extra attention to notice the vehicles around me and also the drivers in the vehicles. One thing stood out at me on the ride home tonight. A LOT of people still don't use their headlights during the day, or even at dusk (I left work at 5:30).

Dear people driving cars in Duluth, PLEASE, take the half second to turn your lights on. Most cars will even do it for you automatically if you move the switch just one time. It will help other motorist see you and it will help you see me. Also, it's probably in violation of the law...

https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin/getpub.php?pubtype=STAT_CHAP_SEC&year=2006&section=169.48
169.48 VEHICLE LIGHTING.


Subdivision 1. Lights to be displayed. (a) Every vehicle upon a highway within this state:(1) at any time from sunset to sunrise;(2) at any time when it is raining, snowing, sleeting, or hailing; and(3) at any other time when visibility is impaired by weather, smoke, fog or other conditions or there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of 500 feet ahead;shall display lighted headlamps, lighted taillamps, and illuminating devices, as hereinafter, respectively, required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles and law enforcement vehicles, as hereinafter stated. In addition to the other requirements of this paragraph, every school bus transporting children upon a highway within this state, at any time from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset, shall display lighted headlamps, lighted taillamps, and illuminating devices as required by this paragraph, except that the operator shall use the lowermost distribution of light specified in section 169.60 unless conditions warrant otherwise. (b) When requirement is hereinafter declared as to the distance from which certain lamps and devices shall render objects visible or within which such lamps or devices shall be visible, these provisions shall apply during the time stated in this section upon a straight level unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different time or condition is expressly stated and unless otherwise specified the location of lamps and devices shall refer to the center of such lamps or devices. Parking lamps shall not be used in lieu of headlamps to satisfy the requirements of this section. Subd. 2. Certain violations; negligence. Notwithstanding section 169.96, a violation of subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (2), is not negligence per se or prima facie evidence of negligence.



While you're at it, clear off your windows too- goofballs...
https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin/getpub.php?pubtype=STAT_CHAP_SEC&year=2006&section=169.71

(3) any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, sidewings, or side or rear windows of the vehicle, other than a certificate or other paper required to be so displayed by law or authorized by the state director of the Division of Emergency Management or the commissioner of public safety.


More pet peeves being a commuter.
I see cars pass on the right on London Road DAILY. If I see a car taking a left ahead of me I look back and make sure no one is going to run me down.

From http://hometownsource.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3750&Itemid=77

Q: Dear Trooper,My husband and I have a cabin on the west side of Mille Lacs lake in Garrison. One day I had my neices up for some swimming and when we were done we waited on the side of the road, which is Hwy 169, for the cars to pass. The drivers of 4 cars were courteous enough to stop to let us cross. As we began to cross a 5th car decided to pass the 4 stopped cars on the shoulder side of the road. We would have been killed if I hadn't jumped back and knocked the girls back down the hill toward the lake. On a seperate occasion, in the same area, I saw a car in front of me do that same maneuver to a police car in front of him, that was slowing to make a left turn. I thought it was illegal to pass on the shoulder. I pulled up to the patrol car in the gas station to ask the officer about it and he ignored me and kept walking. Is this procedure of passing legal and if not is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening in front of my vacation home. Thank you for your time and input.
Angie,Mora, MN

Angie, I am sorry for your experiences. Yes, passing on the right is NOT legal in Minnesota, unless there is a lane provided for that purpose, or if you are on a multi-lane roadway. Passing by using the shoulder (whether paved or unpaved) or turn lanes is NOT legal. We do write tickets for it, it is a moving vioilation that goes on your record and your insurance may go up if cited for it. I don't know why the officer "ignored" you and walked away, except that it's possible he could not hear you, or was on a mission of sorts, but he should have acknowledged you. Most violations like that have to be observed by police for us to enforce the law on them (there are some exceptions). As far as what you can do about it? Nothing. We don't have control over other drivers or their vehicles. We can only control ourselves and how we respond to others. If you are a pedestrian and it happens and you get a license plate, call the police and ask them to investigate for possible charges if you want, but you will have to testify if they charge and it goes to court. Prosecutors have to agree to charge in those cases too, and they will need a written statement from you as well. Thanks for writing, and good luck.
Sgt. Curt S. MowersPublic Information OfficeMN State Patrol

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bicycle Lights

If you're a commuter or you like to ride trails (or both) and you find yourself out at night you know you need to have a good, reliable light system for your bike. Lights can be categorized in two lump categories, those that are for you to see, and those that are for you to be seen. There are plenty of lights out there that allow motorists to see you better; most now are led and have flashing modes to make it easier to catch the attention of the wary motorist.

I've got four lights on my bike, a really nice tail light from Planet Bike, the Super Flash, a Serfas 1 watt led headlight with a blinking mode, the HL-1, a Cateye non-blinking headlight, the HL-EL520, and a homemade diy 50 watt halogen headlight.

You may think that 3 headlights are overkill, but I usually only have one or two on at a time. The Serfas is my main light, the Cateye is backup and the 50 watt diy is for when the going gets tough. Well, yesterday my rear light batteries died so I used my Serfas's to replace them and then I found out my diy was not working for some reason. After all that I decided it's time for a real powerful solution for a primary headlight that would work on or off road. The trouble is I can't decide which one I want as they can get quite pricey quite quickly.

Introducing MTBR, the mountain bike product reviews. Every year they do a light review and I looked to the 2008 review for help choosing a new headlight. After looking through the reviews I think I'll get the NiteRider MiNewt.X2. The price fits my range and it's got a great review. Thanks MTBR for helping take the guesswork out of buying a light!

Ride Safe!
Biking Duluth

Monday, March 3, 2008

Site Update

Hello everyone. You may notice I've changed my blog a little bit tonight. I've added a section called Bicycling Links and changed the tag under the title to "Resources for bicycle commuters and other alternative methods of transportation in Duluth and beyond."
I did this for a few reasons: 1 because it's nearly spring and I think I've conquered the winter commute and would consider myself "seasoned" per se', and 2 because I have found myself becoming more and more involved with my community. I volunteer for a lot of stuff and given more time in a day, would probably volunteer even more. I decided I would like to try to use my blog more as a resource for others who may be where I was a little less then a year ago. If I can do it, I think anyone can and I want to make sure they are able to find the information they need.
I'm going to keep blogging in a general sense but am going to make a new, more personal, blog which will not focus solely on bicycle related topics. I think that I will enjoy that a bit more also as I said earlier, I'm starting to have a viewpoint on other subjects that I would like to develop more also. I haven't created a new blog yet, but when I do, I'll post it in case anyone cares to read it.
I'll be compiling more data, links, and information for the Duluth biking community so when someone searches for biking in Duluth, and find my site, they will have a wealth of information related to biking in Duluth (hence the name).
I hope you will continue to read this site, and my new site and I will continue to enjoy reading everyone else's blogs and sites also!
Thanks!
Jeff

Short update

Friday:
Had a doctors appointment for a physical, drove the van. Had to stop at the post office, noticed the yellow light was on showing we had a low tire on the back passenger side. I looked back and it was flat as a pancake. Luckily it was snowing and cold so I was able to have a lot of fun changing it in the slop. Drove to the dealer as I thought I had a warranty on the tires (which I did, but expired at 12,000 miles). They said it couldn't be repaired due to the 1 inch long slice of metal sticking in it. I was quoted 110 for a new tire (my thought was- my bike tire doesn't cost that much, and it came with metal in it- a new found love of bikes and hate of cars - repair costs). I called around and decided to go to sears where you can buy road hazzard warranty for 10% cost of tire which I like to buy. When I got there, they too thought it couldn't be repaired but said they would try if I would like- heck ya, try try try... So a few minutes later they said they could repair it. Turns out someone mistook my car tire for the door of their house and tried to open it with a key. Silly person...
18 dollars and one hour later I was rolling! (more ammo on why I should get to spend money on my bike once in a while too- car needs an oil change too $$$)

Saturday:
Thought I'd take the family out for a fun dinner somewhere. In Duluth, there's not many places where you can have a fun dinner so I came up with pizza and bowling. We went to the Incline Station here in Duluth and bowled two games. I let my 16 month old roll my first frame- she got an 8! I was pretty cute. Anyhow, second game, 10th frame, I've only had one open frame, got a 9. I roll an 8 and go for the spare, split second before I pick it up the lane shut off. I was mad. I was having the best game in quite some time and they shut off my lane with 1 ball left. I talked to them and they turned it back on and scored the spare since she actually seen me get it. Next and last ball, strike! Ended up with a 180. I was pretty happy.

Sunday:
Took my oldest girl (8) to the movie with my mom. Seen Spiderwick Chronicles- it was pretty good considering it was a kids film. A little scary for some I would guess but she did well. Upon exiting the theater noticed it was raining and the roads and sidewalks were glare ice. Was happy I had studded tires on the bike but that didn't help for the car or the feet.

Today:
Expecting the sidewalks to be quite slick for most of my commute- waiting for spring!!! Need to find a trail bike, looking for something full suspension, used or really crazy good deal on something new- upper limits probably 600$ Got anything to sell?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Are you kidding me?

To quote adam's post on PerfectDuluthDay-

"Let me get this straight: we can get $40 million from the MN legislature for a F'ing hockey rink, but we can't get $13 million to stop putting poop in the lake?"



I'm glad we've got a bunch of smart people running our state. They decided we can get money for the DECC but not for the overflowing sewage problems... Insane... I hope that it doesn't happen...

Looks nice...





(Sorry, not bike related but very Duluth related)

And that's why Monster sponsors downhill / freeride, not road biking...

There I was, 2 pm Wednesday afternoon, sitting at my desk trying hard to continue to work debugging a difficult problem when it hit me. I needed some caffeine. My co-worker loves Caribou Coffee's Tea so we walked over to canal park. Typically I'd get my fix there too, a Turtle Mocha- ohh those are good... But today was different- I wanted more, the Turtle Mocha was too small for me today and I didn't feel in the mood for something hot. What did I decide on? My other caffeine fix- Monster L0-Carb Energy drinks. These are the best energy drink I've ever had- hands down. The first attempt at scoring some failed, the ICO connected to the DQ was a no-go luckily there's another store right next door. Bingo- Monster L0-Carb XXL 23.75 ounces of caffeinated goodness (I would have got the BFC if the had them).

Within about 30 minutes of cracking that open I was doing great! The clouds opened and the sun was shining, angels were playing harps overhead- it was great (ok, a little over-exaggerating there).

Easily by 4 pm the drink was consumed. I figured I had 1 and a half hours to drink a lot of water to try to clean out my system in preparation for the ride home. Not that it's far, but being amped up on caffeine and then riding home by bike can cause problems. By the time I reached my door I could hardly stand and my hands were shaking, it was all I could to do to get my boots and jacket off and find some milk and a yogurt and a banana.

Needless to say, you don't see Monster sponsoring many endurance type sports, sorry, riding a bike down a hill does not count. I love Monster and I would love if they made a drink for endurance type sports but for now, I'll keep its use limited to keeping me awake on long Sunday drives :)

This was another funny post about Monster... http://www.theimpulsivebuy.com/wordpress/2005/09/21/monster-energy-xxl/

Image from http://www.bevnet.com/

P.S. they "may" sponsor such events, but not to my knowledge...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My next shoes

These are sweet! I've gotta get me some...

The company called Simple makes the ecoS shoe (shown above) where the sidewalls are recycled bike tires and the bottoms recycled car tires. Sweet! From their site:

The men's ecoS contains no animal byproducts or even regular animal products. This shoe is vegan friendly and veggie friendly.
Hemp uppers
Yes, the sidewall of the ecoS is made from a recycled bike tire
Organic cotton linings
Recycled PET (that’s recycled plastic bottles) laces
PET pedbeds
Yes, that outsole used to be a car tire
100% post consumer paper pulp foot forms


Friday, February 22, 2008

Ugghhh

It's been a long, long week, or so it sure seemed. I only rode a few times this week, late nights at the office and meetings up with my wife to run errands let me leave the bike at work overnight. Today I took the car to work, had to bring it to the repair shop for some warranty work. Even if I had wanted to ride today I couldn't have as bike is only mostly together right now. On my Wednesday or Thursday ride in (don't recall what day) the temps were about 9 below zero and I felt like my bike was really working against me that morning, I barely broke 11 mph, even on the slight downhills. I felt like I was pushing sludge in the rear wheel and sure enough, I was.

My bike had been quite overdue for a cleaning for a while, but what put it over the top was when I ran out of tri-flow spray lube and went to the store to not find any and, instead, bought Justice Brothers Chain Lube. This stuff is like tar practically- not suited for cold weather use by any means. My back end was so coated with black oily dirty grungy slime that I had to clean it. I took most of the rear apart and gave it a good cleaning with engine degreaser- worked pretty well. In putting everything back together though, I had an slight problem. my cable for my rear derailleur got all messed up and frayed so I decided I'll get some new cables and see how that works out. I'll have to find time to finish working on it this weekend though (which is going to be quite busy already) otherwise I won't have a way to get to work Monday.

I've got the original '96 grip shifts on the bike, the rear is a 7 speed and it's hard to find 7 speed parts. I would like to upgrade but don't have extra right now and the 7 suited me just fine. Now I have to figure out how to re-wire my grip shift with the new cable.

I also plan to bring my bike to the car wash to give it a good cleaning to get the chemicals off (I know about high pressure water so don't bother :o) ...)
Should be like new come Monday morning!

Have a good weekend everyone!
Jeff

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Sunday Ride

Had a really good ride today. I went out with my neighbor Tone who bikejors quite regularly with his dog. We went out on the snowmobile trails from Lester Park and ended up somewhere near Lismore Road, about 10 miles + away. On the way back when we got onto 7 Bridges Road again, we headed up skyline to hawks ridge and took a fun little single track down to glenwood. All told it was about 21+ miles and 2 hours 20 minutes of ride time. I felt a little bad for holding him back, he did get some help from his dog but he's generally a much better rider so I don't feel too bad :)

Last time I took the trails it was quite hard packed and icy, perfect conditions for a non-pugsley to be out riding but today, having temps of 40 1/2 above and a lot of snowmobile traffic, the snow was very soft and even letting out a lot of air didn't help much with my 1.9 inch tires. If I want to ride the trails more I'll need wider tires for sure. I'll stick to picking my days on the trails better and staying a road rider for a while yet. (need new bikes, one's just not enough :) ... )

Jeff

Friday, February 15, 2008

Burrrr

I'm home again for a few days, probably more travel again next week. I'll try to find bike time again but need a more bike friendly vehicle next time. I did ride home from the airport today and dang, it was cold. I wish I would have had my shell pants and another bulkier layer on top because my torso was literally red from being so cold. I decided it was best to forgo the trip down 7 bridges road because Glenwood is much faster :) also my main 50 watt battery was not doing so well due to the cold. Would like to find a li-ion battery for that but for now, it will do as I have two led lights that work well.

So, near 13 miles today in some really cold temps, probably the most uncomfortable ride I've had yet, by far. But it was still nice. Tomorrow they are expecting 32 or so above so I'll try to get out on the trails again.

Stay warm tonight!
Jeff

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stuck

Reporting in from Pequot Lakes again. Here's what's new...

Wednesday:
I had to pick up a rental car and the timing wasn't too perfect for having a nice ride from my wife up the hill to the airport just about 8 miles away. I looked up the directions on Google and also used the Duluth trail maps to try to find the best route up the hill to Rice Lake road. I had my route planned but, of course (short term memory is non-existent) I forgot them in my office. So, I winged it. Ended up riding pretty much straight up the whole hill up 7th ave east. Not too fun mind you. The whole trip was pretty much up hill 820 feet up to be exact. That took me an hour which was pretty good considering. The people at the airport car rental place thought it was pretty cool but I was just hoping I would be able to get my bike into the car. A ford Taurus doesn't afford much room in the trunk, had to drop the back seats but it fit.

Thursday:
So, that brings me to today. I wanted to go for a ride around the lakes here rather then sit in the hotel room blogging, but here I am. I forgot my boots and my only shoes are my dress shoes so, I'm bummed out, no ride today.

Friday:
Tomorrow I plan to get home at a decent time, say, between 4 and 5 and then swing by the house to get my boots and drop off my laptop, then ride the bike home from the airport. The nice part about that is that what goes up (me) gets to go down. The ride home should be super fast and I'll swing up to 7 Bridges for another downhill run.


I had a lot of computer time tonight, found out there's quite a few more Duluth blogs then I first thought, most are politically based so I don't care for those so plaa whatever. I also wanted to find a new template for my blog but there aren't really and ones I liked so I'll have to design one for myself.

I've been looking for a new bike too. Decided I'm going to keep my current bike for my commuter and look for a nice trail bike. Want full suspension but granted, that will cost a bit, but would be willing to take a hardtail for sure. Looking for a nice deal, perhaps a discounted last year’s model or a used bike.

So, I had my first ride up the hill and around the top, always stayed lakeside (well, woodland isn't really over the top, just on the way up there). I think I would be more inclined to take on the hill from time to time if I need to go up town.

Oh yea, happy Valentines Day to my wife! (Sorry I'm not at home) (She doesn't read my blog anyhow...)

Night!
Jeff

Monday, February 11, 2008

The view from the top

If you've never been to Duluth you are really missing out. I am reminded of the awe inspiring beauty of this city each time I come home from the south heading north into the city on I35. You crest the hill and are presented with a wide open shot of the whole lake and river side of the city. It really is amazing and makes me love this living here, even though most of the time it's quite nice, unlike today, -20 some odd degrees this morning. Anyhow, this Saturday it was one of the nicer days, 18 above and cloudy which helped keep the warmth around. Saturday I decided today was the day I was going to go ride 7 Bridges Road. I've never been down the road on bike and never been on the road in the winter. I wasn't sure if one could pass the whole length or if any bridges were out completely for repair (they are old stone bridges and some if not all have been repaired, not sure the progress). Anyhow, I figured I would ride up the 3 or so miles, and then back down. If you don't know, 7 bridges road leads from the edge of the lake straight up to what's called Hawks Ridge because of the path migrating hawks take directly over this area every year. I don't know the elevation gain, a few hundred feet probably. Anyhow, I planned on taking an hour, 45 min up and 15 down. I left @ 9:45 and got to the top 45 min later and stayed to have a small snack and take a few pictures. I then headed down.
The trail is on a road that is closed in the winter and used for cross country skiers and snowmobiles and there was one other bike track but mostly people walking about with their dogs. The ride up was pretty calm, average speed probably around 6-8 mph. Once I headed down though, the fun began. I had speeds of over 25, close to 30 on snow pack, sliding around near 90 degree corners, back wheel out 90 degrees, steering with the front and sliding with the inside foot. It was intense. The amount of "out of control" feeling was really scary at times, the front wheel would grab a rut and I would feel like I was going to loose it.
Overall, it was super fun and I intend to ride that more and more as the temps cooperate. I also chatted with quite a few people on the trail wondering what in the world I was doing out there on a bike. Anyhow, here are a few pictures from Hawks Ridge.

Peace!
Jeff






(Click for larger image)

Friday, February 1, 2008

3 Feet

I just ran across this cool little bike safety campaign from Seattle, "3 Feet". I wish Duluth did more simple stuff like this. (We're working on it though as part of DATA)


Thursday, January 31, 2008

We're havin' a heat wave... A tropical heat wave...

Isn't that how the song goes? Anyhow, with the strange temps as of late I thought my commute home was going to be balmy when I checked the temps and it said 7 above. When I got ready to leave work I said, eh, I'll just use one layer under my jacket today. Well, a few words of wisdom, 7 degrees is not balmy :)

Yesterday I took in my first meeting the Duluth Area Trails Alliance. I group trying to help add and enhance the trail systems in Duluth. They also formed a sub group that is going to help address the issues regarding alternative transportation. It looks like this group (DATA) is going to be doing some great things, keep an eye out here!

Yesterday I had an accident. I turned down 4th ave w from 1st st and my front tire slid out from under me on the super cold and slick paver stones which make up downtown streets. I managed to do quite a graceful 1 legged dismount and run off as my bike continued straight and I went left. I was ok but I broke my two lights. One was just a bulb and the other was the clamp. Serfas kindly is sending me another clamp, thanks! I'll have to find myself a new bulb which will give me a chance to make some improvements to my DIY light.

Also yesterday because I was going to be riding my bike to the Chester Creek Cafe, I wanted to buy a lock (yes, not much bike thievery when it's -12 below, but still, rather safe then sorry). So I went to Continental Ski and Bike to buy one but they didn't have anything strong enough for what I was looking for so, they nice guys that they are, they offered me a loner... but they were gone so Brett from the shop lent me his personal lock. That's how great this place is. Thanks man! I returned it today, hope you find it safe!

On my way home after the meeting I headed out at about 8:15. After fiddling with the lock and putting on cold wet gloves my hands got the coldest ever. I stopped mid ride to put on a backup pair but had problems with the thumb of the liner going where it was supposed to so I ended up with thumbs in the mitt part, not recommended but it kept my thumb from freezing. I would not have wanted to have to have been out much longer in that situation. The cold up here is no laughing matter, when something goes wrong it can get much much worse simply because of the cold.

So, wish you the best Doug, I'm sure you'll do great in the Arrowhead 135!
Later!
Jeff

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Will Power

I'm writing right now, sitting here in all my riding gear. Luckily my computer is in my basement which is quite cold so I'm doing ok. I'm waiting for my balaclava to dry. I went to put it on and it was still soaked from yesterday. As I was sitting here I realized it really takes a lot of will power to wake up, watch tv and see pretty much every school in Northern Minnesota closed, for the second day in a row, and think, well, I'm still going to ride in today. My wife is staying home so that even means I could drive if I wanted to.
I must say this; if you're riding to work in any condition below freezing, give yourself a pat on the back. If you're riding in freezing rain and glare ice roadways, another pat. If you're riding in below 0 another pat, below -20 (today) another and if you're riding in the Arrowhead 135, 5 more!!!

I haven't written lately but I have been wanting to. I wanted to let you all know about the crazy weather we've had here. Monday we had temps 20+ in the morning and freezing rain and 34 deg. on the way home. I must say how well my Kombi gloves worked in the rain, 100% dry, thanks gore-tex. Also, as I was about 1 mile from home I looked down and realized I didn't have any rain pants on, just my toko pants. I was amazed that my legs were totally dry, sure, the pants were wet but none came to the inside! Awesome!

So, with the fun temps, highs and lows, the rain, ice and bone chilling cold, I must say it's been an interesting week already.

Stay warm!
Jeff

GOOD LUCK Monday Doug!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Update on Pequot Lakes...

Hello everyone!
Greetings from Pequot Lakes, MN again. Another 3 day trip here for work. I like working here, but not so much living in the hotel room.

I wanted to let you all know some facts and figures about Pequot Lakes. So here it is.

Pequot Lakes, MN
2000 Population: 947 (no, no digits missing there, that's nine hundred forty seven people)
2005
Located in Crow Wing County right in the lakes country of Minnesota's heartland. Some of the most expensive real estate in the state is only a few miles away.

According to the city website there's a fire board meeting on the 30'th and you can visit the historical society museum for 1 dollar- open saturday only.

I can't find much interesting in for city type stuff it's just toooo small. But that's not why people come here. This is...

"There is something for every age and interest throughout the entire year. Cast a fishing line afloat from one of our 465 lakes. Rent recreational equipment so you can enjoy the water or trails. Join in a local neighborhood festival or event. Play more than 520 holes of golf on dozens of wonderful courses. Enjoy a colorful hike along the Paul Bunyan Trail—a 100-mile paved trail winding through lakes, rivers and forests. Glide through the winter’s powdery snow on a snowmobile or cross-country skis. Attend a theatrical or musical event. Enjoy food and drink atop a patio, overlooking the lake. Even rainy days bring plenty of options."

I'll be much happier here this spring and summer!
Hope you are happy where ever you are!
Jeff

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What's wrong with me?

I get that question a lot lately, riding in the cold we've had the last few days gets a person a lot of attention. As I enter the building at work I get all kinds of funny comments, all good. As I'm riding up the elevator with helmet and bag and other stuff in hand I get the "you ride bike in this?" and today a DTA bus driver opened his window at the stop light to have a chat with me. It's kind of fun to get that attention. I'm sure tomorrow will be no different. Ahh, tomorrow, when the "cold" is supposed to come. I just looked at the temps and they're about what they were today so no biggie (actually, about -2 or so), however, if I were going for a ride Saturday morning I'm sure I'd be adding another layer as the low is going to be around -15 without windchill. Burrr :)

Here's another meaning to my blog title today...
As I got home this evening I felt very weak, even to the point of being shaky. I've been trying to eat better but I think the fruit and veggies and low-fat lunches I eat haven't been giving me enough gas for my ride home. I don't know if that's all it is or if it could be something else. I'm not tired by any means, not breathing hard or anything like that, just weak feeling like I've got no more energy. Maybe a snickers before I head out the door? :) I have been loosing weight though, which is something I've been wanting to do, I'm @ 182 now, about 13 less then when I started riding and I haven't done anything drastic (unless you count rinding 12 miles a day in sub-freezing temps drastic). I hope to get to 175 or so and I'd be quite pleased with that.

Sorry for not having more posts and pics lately. My wife started classes again this week so I've been quite busy with work and house stuff and haven't had much time on the computer. I am also missing my other camera I take sometimes so I don't have to haul our more expensive one around with me so when I find that I'll probably take more (plus it's freakin cold out and I don't want to be standin around snapin pictures).

Well, it's almost 10 pm, time for the news then bed... Night all.
Jeff

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hello again!

Welcome back! I trust everyone had a good weekend? I did! I was back on the bike today for a quite chilly ride in today. I took a few days off to let my knees get back to normal- today they felt fine. In other news, my wife started another semister of classes today so it's going to be hectic like crazy around here for who knows how long. I'm glad I get a solid hour a day to myself to mellow out or I think I'd blow up!

I recieved a late x-mas present saturday, a new cateye headlight from nashbar. I appreciate the gift but I just bought one on my own and can't return that one now that so I'll be looking for something to snatch up from nashbar- we'll see what tempts me over the next few days. Too bad it wasn't a 1000$ head light or I'd have a new bike... Ha.. I'm dreamin there hu!
Anyhow, have a good week!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Response to Jerome's "Imagery" post :)

Jerome from "Jerome's bikes and other stuff" blog had a nice post Saturday with Timbaland's "Apologize" video. I had to post this video in response :)
Enjoy

Peace!
Jeff

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A great tip!

Replace them BEFORE they get to this point...

Sorry my poor back rim :o(
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sore knees

I'm not sure what's going on, but last week my right knee was pretty sore and now, today and yesterday, my left knee is hurting. I felt this way a ways back when I first went to clipless, but I don't have anything keeping my feel locked on anymore. I think I just need to take some Advil or something and maybe take it easy this weekend.

I've been feeling quite well other than that though. I've ridden every day so far but Saturday and have put on extra miles each day- running around taking pictures. I'm going to try to venture to the top of Skyline tomorrow if it's not snowing, then head down 7 Bridges road for more pics. Not sure what it's like up there but I would guess I'll be fine without the extra fat tires some people have :D

The other day I mentioned maybe making a day of riding, but I don't have a clue where I would like to ride. It has to be roads because two of us (maybe 3 or 4) don't have pugsleys so it would need to be a mostly road ride. If anyone has any ideas let me know please.

Well, that's about all for now!
P.S. I've been posting more pics on the 12 hour page but will put some here again soon.
Peace!

Monday, January 7, 2008

I see the light light light light light light light

I got a new headlight today and it has blinky blinky blinky mode. It's a Serfas HL1. It worked nicely but I must say, the mounting clip leaved a lot to be desired. It was quite a pain to get the light onto and off from it's "quick release" slider. After about an hour of fiddling with the light with Bryn from Continental Ski and Bike and a second light from the rack, we were finally able to get reasonable performance from the mount.


(Image from Serfas website)



www.serfas.com: HL1 Headlight

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Photography

OK, I know this isn't really bike related but too bad- it's my blog so plbttttt :oP

If you didn't already know, I like art, more specifically photography. I try to take good pictures and admit, I don't always succeed but trying is half the fun. As I sit here tonight I'm thinking about things and while looking at my "site of the day" site (Conscientious) I happened across an interesting quote, "Someone once told me that if I wanted to be a photographer I should always have a camera with me. I decided to follow that advice. " (from Ben Roberts Photography.com)

I think I am going to really try to focus a bit more on taking pictures. A few years ago I gave out calendars I had made for Christmas presents to friends and family- they were fantastic. However, when I went to make them this year I found very few new pictures. I have a few ideas in mind and hope to be able to get them online here in the next few weeks. So expect bike and photography posts in the future (I, as well as many others, have also been updating the 12 hours in Photography page, so check there often).

Peace!
Jeff

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ride mapping

I think this would be super cool to do. I will need to get a gps for my bike now :)
Anyhow, I think I'll check out some of these mapped rides in the Duluth area. Check your town for mapped rides too.

http://www.mapmyride.com/find-ride/united-states/mn/duluth

Turns out you don't need gps for this site. Some I've seen let you upload from a gps device. This one lets you add points to a map and uses google maps as a built-in interface.
Jeff

Friday, January 4, 2008

The icy shores of Lake Superior

The weather here right next to the big lake is quite odd. You travel a few miles in any direction and you'll have vastly different temps and conditions. Today was supposed to be a warm day- which it was comparatively speaking but that really doesn't mean much.
On my way in I noticed how the lake was starting to ice over. I figured on my way home I would not see any ice because of the warm temps but on the contrary, the ice had been pushed to shore by the westward winds. A very thin- hardly noticeable layer had formed all the way to the shore. It's funny, the things you miss in everyday life because we're too busy doing this and that and going here and there. I stopped on the lakewalk on the way home and just relaxed for 10 seconds and I could hear the waves, ever so small, coming to shore crackling the ice above. I was peaceful in a way... Then I tore out of there and pushed hard for home because we had to go out to eat and drop off the kid and the in-laws and go to the store and..... That's enough peace for one day :o)

Jeff

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jill can't have all the fun...

If you read the Blog "Up in Alaska" http://articglass.blogspot.com you'll know that Jill seems to be having a grand ol' time trompin' around the amazing landscapes of Alaska for hours on end...


http://images.gadmin.ch/10807/images/SonneBiker.JPG

Well, I don't think she should be the only one having that kind of fun. I vote we (and by we I mean me and who ever else is crazy enough to come along) spend the day riding around Minnesota somewhere (Do we have glaciers anywhere? No? I didn't think so...) I say we pick a day some upcoming weekend and spend a whole bunch of hours on our bikes. Who's with me??? (HELLO? Anyone there???...)
(Would have to be non-pugsley accessible)

Jeff

The Duluth Triangle..... (beware... ohhhh)

New years day bike ride on the Duluth Triangle (people get lost in there...)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Finally, some pictures! (and other info)

Hello again! I'm just here to post some pictures. First, from the Velo Duluth New Years Day Ride. There were about 15 I believe I counted, I think 2 had mechanical problems because I didn't seem them after we left. It was a fun ride, about 10 miles according to Google earth. I plotted our course and then my course after with Doug to park point and back, made a nice "Duluth Triangle" I'll post a shot of that tomorrow- kind of funny. The first 10 seemed a lot faster- perhaps because we were with a larger group? Either way- here we are!

(I'm behind the camera :(, Doug and Boz and both there, can you find them?)

A note about my gear- Boz's post reminded me to check on some things.
Mainly, my new gloves. I was given two pair of gloves for x-mas, nothing too "special" other then they were gifts. I returned them because- well, they wouldn't have cut it for biking. I went to Dunham's sports (not top rated stuff, but hey- if it works, more power to you!). I found a pair by Kombi, they are gore-tex and seemed quite comfortable. Well, performance wise- AWESOME! I used to always get cold hands and fingers but not in these. I highly recommend (29$ and full fingers). The -20 windchill had no effect. It's these here- (Image from Kombi Website-1/2/08)
Also, I got some new boots. I searched high and low in Duluth for some insulated hiking style boots (200 gram thinsulate, waterproof). Most what I found was either over 125$ or didn't have my size. I also needed to find boots for my 1 year old, which don't exists in Duluth either. I checked wal-mart and found some really cheap (price) boots for myself. I don't have the brand off-hand, but they are 200gram thinsulate and waterproof. I've tried other boots and options but my feet were toasty as can be in these things- lightweight, comfortable, CHEAP! Just my style.
(Cheap- read last post- new baby on way- cheap = perfect)

A few shots of Christmas lights in Duluth




Here I am as I got home this evening- I wonder if I scare people dressed up like this...

Anyhow- enjoy the new year!


2008 Starts off with a BANG

Happy 2008 everyone! Here's a short post to tell what's happened so far in 2008.

Jan 1 2008- Velo Duluth Annual bike ride, 10 miles temps, 7 f -8 w/ wind chill, then another 10 miles after that.
Jan 2 2008- 4 below on ride to work, -15 w/ wind chill
Jan 2 2008- call from my wife- she's pregnant!!! We're having another baby! (thoughts of "how can I be even more of a cheapskate" run through my head). I guess I'll have to bike everywhere now :) Heck- bikes for the whole family!

OK, more later! PEACE!
Jeff