Monday, February 27, 2006

Nasty and nice

One very nasty road hog and one pleasant cyclist passed me this morning.

First the road hog. I was riding uphill on a quiet city street when a car zoomed by, very conspicuously gunning its engine. At the next stoplight, I pulled up behind and photographed his license plate. The driver jumped out and suggested that he should have photographed me riding outside the bike lane. Now, that striped bike lane along the street was full of the usual February loose sand and icy patches -- hardly a suitable surface for uphill riding -- and Minnesota law clearly treats bicycles as legitimate vehicles. I pointed out that I had a right to be in the street, and further that he did not have a right to threaten me with his car, and that he had to leave at least three feet of space when passing me. At that, this not very gentlemanly fellow said, "That means YOU have to keep three feet from ME, you f****** b****!" So here's the photo. If you see this guy, make sure you leave him plenty of room.

A friendlier guy, riding a bike toward downtown, passed me and commented "you really know winter's over when the recumbents come out." I told him I'd been riding all winter, including in the snow. He asked, "have you stayed up?" "Noooo," I replied, "have you?" He laughed and answered that he had gone down a couple times too.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Impractical vehicles


On Saturday (February 25, 2006), I went to Mondo Fest. It's about as far from a velomobiling event as you can get without leaving the human-powered world. Crowds of kids zipped around on unicycles, jugglers tossed hoops, rings, clubs, knives, and balls, sometimes while unicycling, and lasso-artists, people with hoops, and a wide variety of yo-yo experts filled four basketball courts and an indoor track. Last year, I rode a velomobile to this event, but a funeral in the morning left me with too little time for the long ride, so I drove there.

My favorite unicycle was this carousel horse. A slight offset in the attachment of the supports causes it to go up and down as the rider pedals. It was tricky to ride, but the kid in the green shirt was taking it around in circles. The link in this post is to some of the videos. film clips from Mondo Fest

Very tall unicycles, fat-tire unicycles, big wheels for touring, little tiny unicycles for kids who didn't look older than 5 -- there were a lot of crazy things. Even some bi-cycles and tri-cycles in which one wheel turned another below it - and sometimes one below that.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Velomobile Experiences

There are several velomobile (velomobiel, velomobil) blogs up already. I'm adding this one with a focus on the Cab-Bike, but with attention to other velomobiles and other human-powered vehicles and their infrastructure.