Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30

From Thirty Days of Biking
Certainly we won't stop with 30.  The Minnesota Ironman bike ride is tomorrow, and it looks as if there might actually be nice weather for it.  This ride -- older than the Ironman triathlons -- is traditionally ridden on the last weekend in April, when anything's possible, weatherwise.  With Easter falling on the last Sunday in April, the ride ended up in May, and we are hoping that means less sleet than in some other years. 

The RANS Screamer tandem carried us from Salzburg to Hungary in May of 2001.  Since we got the linking delta trikes, the Screamer spends more time in the garage, but the Ironman is just the sort of ride it's good for -- not many starts and stops, generally good road surfaces, and no need to carry a lot of gear. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29

From Thirty Days of Biking
We rode this recumbent tandem from Salzburg to Hungary ten years ago, and we're planning to use it for the Minnesota Ironman ride on May 1.  I took it out for a quick test ride around Lake Harriet to make sure it was ready.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28

Slow ride looking for wildflowers.  The Dutchman's Breeches were in bloom along Lake Harriet.  I took just a short ride, looking for any within reach to photograph.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27

Elliott Royce, a volunteer in his 90's rides this "sociable" 2-person bike to bring cheer to sick kids at the clinic where I work.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26

From Thirty Days of Biking
I always try to smile more at the cars when it's raining, and especially when it's sleeting.  Today, someone noticed.  I came into Calhoun Cycle a couple hours later and and heard that they already knew I'd been riding, because one of the employees had seen me out there smiling in the rain.   

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25

Nice weather in the morning brought out the other cyclists.  There were two bikes besides mine in the enclosure at work.  That's two more than usual for the month.  Rain was threatening in the late afternoon, but it never arrived;  the lake reflected grey storm clouds as I stopped for another photo.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 24

From Thirty Days of Biking
We rode to my parents' house for Easter dinner.  After several days of cold, grey skies, sunny and warm weather brought out the crowds around the lakes. 
From Thirty Days of Biking

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 23

It feels as if it should be spring -- and I was out riding a new Dahon folder.  It's pink with flowers, apparently not the most popular color, since it was a 2008 model on close-out.  With a basket and a shopping pannier, it looks like a capable little grocery-getter. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22

Short wet ride on a new pink folding bike.
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 21

Big storm blowing up, but the bike rack is almost full at the grocery store. (Hey, Rainbow Foods, you really need a bigger bike rack by the store just south of the Midtown Greenway!)
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20 -- Two-thirds through

What a beautiful snow! It wasn't sticking to the pavement, but it dressed all the lawns and trees in white lace.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19

Despite a threatened snowstorm, the daffodils were looking perky for my afternoon ride.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18

Secure parking right next to the entrance at work, with protection from the weather, makes it easy to bike -- even on this 52-year-old Raleigh 3-speed.
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17

We biked to the co-op for a few things we needed.  Dale rode the Dahon folding bike.  I couldn't resist photographing it next to a patch of early spring tulips.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 16

As the overnight snow melted, we rode to the local garden center to buy some pansies.  It almost feels like spring.  The apple box strapped above the panniers easily held an entire flat of pansies, plus some extras, and we managed to fit in some cheese and frozen food from the co-op next door.

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15 - Evening Commute

The April 15 evening commute was dry where I was, and rainy all around the cities (blue on the weather map).  The wind made me feel as if I were in my highest gear, rather than the lowest.

April 15 - Halfway There

It's halfway through the Thirty Days of Biking, and we were welcomed this morning by a strong, cold east wind (that's a tailwind for my commute), and a frosty haze over the sunrise.  It really isn't all that hard to ride every day if that's what you try to do all year anyway.  What's hard -- and fun -- is finding something different to photograph every day for a month. 

From Thirty Days of Biking

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14

From Thirty Days of Biking

On a rainy day, a pair of waterproof panniers bring home the groceries.  The bike waits outside with a plastic bag over the seat.

From Thirty Days of Biking

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 13 - Rainy Day Strategies

When it looks like rain, the weather radar might just show a gap with enough room for a bike to slip through....

As it turned out, not a drop of rain fell during my morning and afternoon commutes. The big gap in the rainstorm was over me in the morning, and in the afternoon a large storm was visible to the south, but the weather radar showed that it wasn't moving in my direction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12 After Work

The nice spring weather makes it easy to take a long route home, meet up with my husband, and stop for groceries. The stores near the Greenway have convenient bike parking, but lately it's been hard to find a free spot; everyone's biking.
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April 12

Is it the rising temperatures or the rising fuel costs? Whatever the reason, my bike wasn't alone in the secure parking enclosure this morning.
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April 11 Afternoon Ride

Riding the scenic (and longer) route home from work, I met Tim Springer and his old dog, Romeo, on the Midtown Greenway. Tim is just finishing up a very productive term as director of the Greenway Coalition, during which this wonderful bike freeway went from a vision to a major route for pedestrians, skaters, and cyclists crossing the city.  The trike is the "Sensible Utility Vehicle" from Organic Engines, set up for carrying passengers.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11

No snow left -- green grass -- patches of sunshine. Must be spring!
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10

An overnight thundershower left the streets damp.  On this 10th day of the 30 Days of Biking, I rode to the co-op for some groceries and stopped to admire the spring flowers. 

So far, this has been an easy Minnesota April for biking -- not too cold, and not too wet.  The longer days make the morning and evening commutes more pleasant. 

Cyclists are popping up all over Minneapolis.  The "roadies" were out this morning in their team gear, and bike racks at the grocery stores have been full.  

Perhaps some of the crowds were inspired by the "30 Days of Biking" challenge, but many of the riders appear to be just enjoying a Minnesota spring.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

April 9

Out for a Saturday ride on the Midtown Greenway, we encountered this Bakfiets at Freewheel Bike Center. We enjoyed a Mocha and cookie, supporting a local 30 Days of Biking sponsor. Then on to our morning errands.  We rode the two long-wheelbase recumbent bikes to the University to pick up a forgotten bit of work, then to a Chinese grocery store just off the Hiawatha bike path.  From home to the U, it's a 10-mile ride, almost all on traffic-free bikeways.  All along the way, there are bike shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores with ample bike parking. 

April 8
I'm not sure where the April 8 post went, but I did commute to work -- as usual.

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

April 7

How would you pick someone up from the notorious Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, where bikes are forbidden to ride? Fortunately, the light rail connection links to the Minnehaha Creek bike path. I rode a pair of Anuras over to meet Dale as he flew home from New York. My Droid showed me (via FlightAware) which of the planes that I saw landing was his, and Google Latitude confirmed it when he turned on his phone and his avatar showed up on the map. (I have a terrible weakness for consumer electronics on bikes.)  We arrived at the light rail station almost simultaneously. There was room in the trailer, so we stopped for groceries on the ride home. The cars spent another day in the driveway as we enjoyed the first spring day with temperatures over 60 degrees and crocuses in bloom next to warm foundations. 

There is another way to bike to the MSP airport.  Of the two terminals, Terminal 2 has bike access, and the light rail connection between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 serves as a free shuttle that allows bikes.  It's less convenient and less pleasant than the connection at the Minnehaha Creek, so we generally go for the scenic route.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

April 6

Just one stoplight on my commuting route.  I got there before seven, when pushing the button gets a quick response.  During rush hour the wait for a green light is interminable.  I've biked in the Netherlands and Denmark, where separate traffic signals for cyclists offer a "green wave" timed to bike speeds, or use detectors to change the light as the cyclist approaches.  This light is triggered by a loop detector that doesn't register for bikes at all;  you either wait for it to sense a car, or you push the button.

I enjoyed a quiet and beautiful ride home at sunset, under a crescent moon. 

From Thirty Days of Biking

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

April 5

Biking Instead. There are no windows to frost up on the bike
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Monday, April 04, 2011

April 4

Snow and a gusty headwind greeted me on the second commuting day of April. Warmer weekend temperatures had shrunk the snowbanks and cleared the last ice from the streets.

The northwest wind that blew sleet into my eyes in the morning gave me a nice boost on the way home.  I hardly needed to pedal. Riding on a two-wheeler allows me to ride around the potholes that are growing large enough to swallow a small car. 

From Thirty Days of Biking

Sunday, April 03, 2011

April 3 evening ride

So much of our riding is for commuting or errands that it seemed odd to be out for just a little ride in the evening on April 3.  Without the "30 Days of Biking" challenge, we might not have set out for a ride under grey skies on a day when the snowbanks haven't completely melted away.  I rode the Anura trike with the 20" wheels and the studded tires, and Dale rode one of the other Anuras.  Like so many bike rides, this one had a little surprise:  the mergansers had found a small open patch of water on Lake Harriet and were doing their spring dances.  I've seen hawks on most of my recent rides, and this morning, I enjoyed watching an albino squirrel in a nearby park.  Seeing a white squirrel on a bike ride always feels lucky to me -- as if it might bring favorable weather for riding this month.
From Thirty Days of Biking

April 3

From Blogger Pictures

On the third day of "30 Days of Biking," I rode to the ATM to make a deposit.  The bike is a "CarryMe" from Pacific Cycles.  It handles remarkably like a normal bike, but it folds small enough to take along on a plane or carry into an office. 

Saturday, April 02, 2011

April 2

We cycled out to do some shopping today on the second day of the "30 Days of Biking" 2011 challenge. The salesclerk wondered how we would get our 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of purchases home, and it did turn out to be a tight fit. We had to strap one bag of oranges to the back of a seat. Ice on the north-facing ramp from the parking lot would have stopped most bikes, but four-wheel drive on the Anura trike tandem got us through.
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Friday, April 01, 2011

Bike Every Day - 30 Days of Biking

There's a challenge to bike every day in April and tweet about it. I don't tweet, but I do bike, so here goes!

We were expecting freezing rain today, but the temperature stayed just a bit warmer. Mallard duck pairs were quacking happily from the rooftops. Chickadees were singing. A light drizzle barely moistened my hair and glasses.

Rainshield pants and jacket kept my clothes dry. (It breathes better than any other rain gear I've tried.)

Not a bad day to start a 30-day cycling challenge.

The bike is a long-wheelbase recumbent by Terry Osell (a Minneapolis builder).  Since I bought it in 1996, it's been modified with a new seat, new handlebars, and a new drivetrain with an 8-speed Shimano hub. 

From Blogger Pictures

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