Posts Tagged ‘bike’

I read the news today, oh boy

Delivering the news

Delivering the news


Image uploaded by JustaCoolCat

While out for a morning bike ride I stopped and talked to this fellow biker who was delivering the paper.

He was a bit shy about having his pic taken “I can get off the bike. You don’t want a picture with an ugly old man in it” he offered which I rebuffed with “I don’t think you’re ugly, at all.”

We had a little chat about about biking: bike commuting, adult trikes, winter biking, tires and tire width and tire pressure and optimal tires for different conditions; turns out he bike commuted to work for twenty years.

Now in retirement he’s delivering the paper.

Sympatico.

City of Minneapolis Needs Bicycle Count Volunteers on Sept 9

The city of Minneapolis is conducting its second annual bike and pedestrian count. [last year’s report (pdf)]

They need volunteers to click the counter button (or record a bunch of hashmarks on paper or however they do that) in 2-hour shifts, starting at midnight on Tuesday, 9/9. That’s Monday night/Tuesday morning. Counting will take place for all 24 hours of Tuesday and again from 4-6pm on Wednesday, 9/10, in multiple places around the city.

So open shifts will be:
12am-2am
2am-4am
4am-6am
etc.

Those interested in volunteering may contact Shaun Murphy at shaun.murphy@ci.minneapolis.mn.us or 612.275.5128. Please leave your e-mail address, phone number, a preferred day and time slot, and if desired, a neighborhood where you would like to volunteer. Since these counts are city-wide, we will do our best to place volunteers in convenient locations.

They’re looking for about 100 volunteers. Extra people are needed during the 4-6pm rush hours.

This is important because, while the state of biking in the Twin Cities is already pretty good, data like this helps make it better.

These important counts will begin to establish trend lines showing the impact of biking and walking on Minneapolis streets and trails. The counts will also measure the impact of several bike lane and path improvements…. 24-hour counts will help to establish new knowledge about non-motorized travel during the evening and nighttime hours.

The city is partnering with Transit for Livable Communities on this. TLC will also be conducting a count on these same days and is also in need of volunteers, according to the email I got from the city of Minneapolis, but I can’t find anything about it on their website.

P.S. Volunteers are also needed for the “Freewheelin’ & Bikes Belong” bike share program during the RNC. (pdf)

[Bicycling in Minneapolis]

Fringe Report: August 7, 2008

fringe2008.pngI will keep reminding you to go see the Jamal Lullabies until you can’t see it anymore. Friday at 10pm or Sunday at 1pm, at the Southern Theater.

Downtown Journal has some behind-the-Fringe-scenes stuff with folks from The Mistress Cycles, My Hovercraft is Full of Eels, Deviants, Mike Fotis, and the Fringe Sherpa program which I saw a description of in passing somewhere but didn’t hear or see much more about. Hey, Fringe, y’all might want to pimp this harder next year.

The Fringe’s myspace page is actually nice.

Fringe Famous has made its nominations and polls are open for the First Annual Fringies. Voting is open until Saturday night.

On to the reviews.

Mortem Capiendum by Four Humors Theater
I had high expectations for this one, having seen previous shows by this group. I don’t know if it was because I was tired or what, but I just didn’t enjoy it that much. It was cleverly written and well acted, I just didn’t like the story. There are better choices you could make for the last weekend.

Phi Alpha Gamma by Dan Bernitt
Just now as I typed out “Phi Alpha Gamma” did I realize what those letters spell out. I had seen exactly one review of this show and it was glowing, but I tried to consider the source because of course a gay guy is going to be more inclined to rate a gay-themed show very highly but then I decided that’s a bigger plus because it means the topic was handled well. It’s the story of a fraternity dealing with the reputation it earned when one of its members gay-bashed a guy and further consideration of this reputation when a brother comes out in a chapter meeting. Having seen a lot of one-woman shows, a one-man show was a nice change of pace. Dan Bernitt was great, very effectively portraying four different characters and the world of fraternities. Recommended!

The Cody Rivers Show Presents: Stick to Glue by The Cody Rivers Show
I stumbled upon the Cody Rivers Show at last year’s Fringe and was totally blown away, so I had high expectations and every one of them was met. They’re like a live action They Might Be Giants song. I felt smarter for having seen it. So clever and funny and WTF?! and never a dull moment. Seriously, not one part of this show was bad. Recommended!

Further miscellaneous observations…

Roundup

Lazy Lightning and commentors discuss replacing vs renovating the currently-condemned Meadow Lake Bridge which carried bikers across the Minnesota River between Bloomington and Burnsville.

Cam Gordon (Mpls 2nd Ward city council member) has the deets on this year’s National Night Out.

TC Biz Journal‘s 2008 Women In Business Honorees.

TC Biz Journal reports what downtown MNspeakers have known for weeks and that is that a SoupMan (of Seinfeld fame) is now open in the Minneapolis Skyway.

The great people of the Tale of Two Cities LiveJournal community discuss Minnesota’s representation in that CNNmoney list of Best Small Cities to Live. “[Y]ou’ll see most of what got Plymouth into the #1 spot isn’t even located in Plymouth.” MNspeakers discuss as well.

Mary Lahammer on Jesse’s non-announcement on Larry King Live. He did, in fact, talk to someone in the local media. Sort of.

MinnPost runs a University of Minnesota eNews report on a study confirming what people who use Facebook and Myspace already know, which is that kids learn technology skills and share/collaborate on creative efforts through social media. New news: the digital divide is perhaps not as big as we think it is. “The students participating in the University of Minnesota study were from families whose incomes were at or below the county median income (at or below $25,000) and were taking part in an after-school program, Admission Possible, aimed at improving college access for low-income youth.”

MnIndy: “Local immigration attorneys and advocates say Postville raid reflected ‘a complete lack of due process'”

NRP is sending a delegation to the 2008 Bank of the West Neighborhood Summit in Omaha. (Bank of the West is an actual bank.) “The Summit will be an opportunity to learn from residents of Des Moines, Omaha, Wichita and Kansas City what they are doing around key issues, share ideas, network, tour Omaha, and have fun!” 31 Minneapolitans attended last year. Apply to attend by August 1.

saintpaulitan visits the friendly neighborhood geodesic dome house.

vita.mn‘s guide to all the drag shows in Minneapolis and St Paul. That’s not very many, but then, how many drag shows do you need? Feel free to edit the list.

TC Biz Journal says, in the wake of the dented nose cone issue, MSP is some new runway status lights at some yet to be determined time between now and 2011. The $400 million tab is to be picked up by the FAA.

Bicycle Film Festival Comes to Minneapolis July 9-12

bicyclefilmfestival08.jpgThis seems much more organized than in years past, which is probably explained by the fact that, though this is the 8th year of BFF, it’s only the third year it’s played in Minneapolis.

So what the heck is a Bicycle Film Festival, anyway?

The Bicycle Film Festival celebrates the bicycle. We are into all styles of bikes and biking. If you can name it-Tall Bike Jousting, Track Bikes, BMX, Alleycats, Critical Mass, Bike Polo, Cycling to Recumbents- we’ve probably either ridden or screened it. What better way to celebrate these lifestyles than through art, film, music and performance? We bring together all aspects of bicycling together to advocate its ability to transport us in many ways. Ultimately the Fest is about having a good time.

Films will screen at eight different venues across Minneapolis, from Pi to First Avenue to the MacPhail Center. There is free valet bicycle parking at each one. You can buy a festival pass or tickets to individual shows. Complete details at bicyclefilmfestival.com.

(Biking from venue to venue is also good practice for Fringe.)

Three New-to-Me Local Sites: Biking, Boogie, and the Mississippi River

I stumbled across all of these in the last couple days and thought I’d share.

Ride Boldly! is a blog focusing on “bikes, bicycling, and road safety.” It’s good info in general but I what I really like about it is it specifically addresses MN bike statutes, general biking issues with a local spin (e.g., Bicycle Facilities Issues, Plan Now for Winter Cycling), and infrastructure issues as they apply to biking.

West Bank Boogie is a book by Cyn Collins that “celebrates 40 years of Minneapolis Minnesota’s West Bank music scene with profiles of more than 20 legendary musicians who influenced the soul of American music.” It’s a really cool website for a book (“for a book” is meant to be descriptive, not a qualifier). Great info about the book (it started as a series of articles in the Seward Profile), where to get it, and the profiled artists. Don’t let the fact that the foreword and also the first listed endorsement come from Garrison Keillor put you off.

Friends of the Riverfront is “a group of concerned citizens and park users… working to conserve, protect, and enhance the resources of the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park.” It sounds like a noble and worthy mission, though they currently appear to be entirely focused on fighting against the proposed De La Salle football stadium on Nicollet Island and I kind of wonder if that’s why they came into being in the first place. So if you want to know more about that hot topic (without the crazy Phyllis Kahn stories), check it out.

Roundup

Bike 2 Benefits, a Metro Transit Program

While I was working on yesterday’s roundup, I came across Metro Transit’s Bike2Benefits program.

Since I live four miles from where I work, I decided that it would probably not be nearly as bad as I imagined to commute to work on my bike. I did that for the first time today and it didn’t suck! So I was all proud of myself, but then I noticed that there are prizes involved in Bike2Benefits, so I went ahead and signed up for that.

Choose any eight-week period before Dec. 31 to start commuting by bicycle. Track your trips and mileage at this website. When you complete the program, you will automatically be entered in our year-end prize drawing. You’ll also receive a Twin Cities Bike Map (while supplies last). Once your eight weeks are over, continue tracking your commutes and you’ll be eligible for even more incentives!

Bike2Benefits is open to anyone 18 or older who lives and works in these counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington. There is no fee to participate.

Here’s how it works:

Roundup

Bike/Walk Related:

  • R.T. Rybak wins the Great Commuter Challenge on his bike, beating out the Ramsey County Commissioner who walked/took public transit and Roadguy who drove a car. I did not bike to work today for Bike Walk to Work Day, but I give my potential bike commute a dry run on Monday evening and may do it yet this week, since Bike Walk to Work Day is just one part of Bike Walk to Work Week.
  • Minneapolis and St Paul mayors unveil community bike program. The program is called “Freewheelin” and is sponsored by insurance company Humana. “Solar-powered kiosks will be stationed throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul during the [Republican National] convention, which will be Sept. 1-4. People will be able to take bikes from these kiosks, travel anywhere and drop them off when they’re done. The only requirements will be online registration and a credit card number — not to be charged, but to hold people accountable when bikes are damaged or go missing.” 70 bikes will be left behind to continue the program after the convention and the program may expand for the following spring. IMO, going into the winter is not the best time to fire up the program, but at least it’s there.
  • Cycling in the city. vita.mn on bike culture in the TC. (via east-lake)
  • Bike2Benefits is a Metro Transit program somewhat similar to the commuter challenge (but focusing on biking, obviously). (via twin_cities)

The Rest:

Roundup

  • twin_cities: ISO grassy metro parks for a guinea pig festival! “The grass has to be chemical free as dozens of hungry guinea pigs will be snacking on and simultaneously fertilizing it.” OMG SO KYOOT!
  • MPR: College of St. Catherine to become a university. “The new name hasn’t been determined, but will include ‘St. Catherine’s’ and ‘university.'”
  • Minneapolis Issues Forum: Do Idaho’s bike safety statutes make more sense?
  • MinnPost: How we’re doing so far. Joel Kramer reports in on the first six months of MinnPost. “MinnPost.com has more than 100,000 absolute monthly unique visitors, as measured by Google Analytics. This makes us the most-visited local-news website in Minnesota that is not driving traffic to itself from a legacy medium, like TV, radio or print.”
  • Minnesota Monitor: Congress studies wrong city for RNC disaster preparedness. “The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found that Minneapolis’ Hennepin County Medical Center did not have sufficient capacity to handle a terrorist attack. The committee completely overlooked St. Paul’s Regions Hospital, which would be the first responder in the unlikely event of a terrorist attack on the RNC.”
  • Southwest Journal: Neighborhood organizations are adjusting their fundraising strategies in preparation for the loss of NRP funding. They mention Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association; Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc.; and East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association.
  • City of Minneapolis: Sustainability Initiatives
  • City of St Paul: Sustainable Saint Paul
  • The Deets: Ed looks at recent reports on the link between local food environments (i.e., stores/restaurants in your neighborhood) and obesity and diabetes. Ed’s theory: “The distance you drive to buy groceries effects how you shop.”
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