News for the ‘transportation’ Category

Hey Bike Tour – Day 3

flat tire

You never regret going on a bike ride.
This is what I told my wife when I got home from the post office and bank today in a light drizzle and a recent drop in temperature. And this is true about my recent bike tour as well.

My friend Richard called me today to check in on the recent tour and I realized that I had only blogged about the first two days. Assuming you all check my website daily I’m guessing you were quite certain and I had met an untimely end on a back road of Minnesota. It seems the only plausible explanation for why I hadn’t blogged day 3,4, and 5.
As it turns out I did not die but am very much alive. I just got kind of tired. I’ve now written up the last few days and will post them one day at a time complete with an insight/observation blog at the end. Here goes something.
DAY 3 – Winona – Acoustic Cafe
The ride from from Wabasha to Winona was short and beautiful. It would’ve been shorter had I not got another flat tire. Again it was on the rear wheel which is akin to taking everything out of the trunk of your car to get to the spare. Luckily I got it right next too a beautiful park. I think it was in Goodview. So I had a snack, laid down on a park bench for awhile, and patched it up. Onward to Winona. I got to the Acoustic Cafe mid afternoon and stashed my stuff in a corner. I took care of work stuff- wrote a set list, deposited a couple checks at the bank, and sent off a CD order that I had been carrying with me since St. Paul.  Then I headed over to Adventure Cycle & Ski and looked into some tire options. The folks there were great and I spent everything I had made in tips so far on a new tire (hard case, puncture resistant) and leg warmers. For some dumb reason I had only brought bike shorts and these nifty things covered the rest of my legs which I was very grateful for the next two days.
I ate a huge vegi burrito.
I played to a small crowd.
Patty, who I sold my lap steel to a couple of weeks ago in St. Paul, happened to be playing with Jack Klatt down the street, saw me, and waved. We talked. Small world.
I had a great time.
The guys working at Acoustic were super great. People came and went as is the norm for most coffee shop gigs, but everyone that came listened. The tips were good, I sold a few CD’s, and at the end of the night I got to stay with a friend’s parents who put my bike on their bike rack and took great care of me. I woke up to french toast and eggs. ’nuff said.


Posted: October 30th, 2013
Categories: bike, transportation
Comments: No Comments.

my new tour bus

Here it is.  My new tour bus.  It’s the xtracycle free radical kit. I tried it out last night for the inaugural ride to Augustana Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.  I had the honor of playing for an ELCA mission training event.  There were about 150 pastors from all over North America joining to learn how to better serve their communities with the gospel.  That’s a powerful thing.   And stinky ol’ me got to lead them in song.  In a decision based on simplicity and personal challenge I decided a few days ago to lead all the songs without any printed materials.  No hymnals, song sheets, powerpoints, tag boards etc…  And it worked wonderfully.  Of course in no small part to the fact that there were 150 worship leaders in the room.

I’m looking forward to putting more miles on this bike.  The round trip last night was just under 20 miles which was a nice test ride distance.  About 3 weeks ago I played at Edina Community Lutheran Church which was also about 20 miles round trip and I did that with my guitar and merch in a burley trailer.  Comparing the two rides I will say that traveling with an xtracycle is way easier for a couple of reasons.  Better handling.  Narrower load.  Both of these things are way important when cruising in the city.  Of course on family outings when handling and width aren’t an option there’s always what my kids refer to as the dinosaur train:

Lydia rides the tag-a-long, and elsa sits in the trailer/trunk with the groceries or whatever we’re hauling.  I think contraptions like this explain my excessive drive train wear.

Here’s the deal with riding bikes though.  It’s contagious and it only gets easier.  It doesn’t have to be intimidating or le tour-esque.  The xtracycle free radical kit is pricey, but I put it on a bike I got for free off craig’s list.  Not perfect, but it works.  (Actually the frame was free, the bar end shifter and seat I got from my friend Jim ‘century’ Welton and the handlebars that could accommodate bar end shifters are from Hiawatha Cyclery.  And while we’re giving mad props, I purchased the extension kit from Capital Deals in West St. Paul, where Alex and his wife are tops and the two mechanics are MK’s like me.  But much younger.  PS  when did i get old?)  (oh yeah, and the brake levers and rear cassette are from the greatest used parts store in St. Paul, Express Bike Shop)

Where was I?  Oh yes, bikes are great.  Living in the country’s most bikable city doesn’t hurt – I’m constantly amazed at how many trails are out there to navigate the cities and there are more bike lanes every day.  I also think that drivers are getting more bike friendly.  I’ve had way fewer rude interactions and way more thumbs up this summer.  So go ride your bike.  And if you want to check out my xtracycle come over and take it for a spin.  And if you buy the kit and need a hand I’ll help you put it together – it’s that great and I want that much for you to drive less and bike more.

And that’s the last blog for a few weeks.  I’m off to camp in ID.  I’ll drive to the airport fly in a jet plane take a two hour drive in a big old pickup and buy bigger shoes to fit my carbon footprint and help balance my big head.  All in moderation people, all in moderation.

Posted: July 30th, 2010
Categories: bike, music, transportation
Comments: No Comments.

Two Shall Become One

It is official.  We are now a one car/toaster family.

Posted: June 22nd, 2009
Categories: family, transportation, travel
Comments: No Comments.

attempted vehicular nate-slaughter

or –  I’m Sorry I Flipped You Off, But You Almost Took My Life

Dear Driver of a Red Saturn Vue who illegally passed me on Edgecumbe last night,

Last night when I had the right of way going down Edgecumbe past all the parked cars with my safety light flashing, you thought it was a good idea to pass me.  There was not room for you.  If I can reach out and slap your car you know you’re too close for comfort.  Especially my comfort.  And than you swerved in front of me and made a right hand turn causing me to brake and swerve.  You are a horrible driver.  That’s why I rang my little bell and flipped you off.  Sorry about that.  Not really.

 Dear Driver of a Red mid 90’s Jeep Cherokee exiting off south bound 35-E onto eastbound W. 7th this morning,

This morning I was running down the sidewalk along W. Seventh with a very visible white T-Shirt.  As I entered the intersection where you were making a right hand turn we made eye contact.  I was the guy with green light and the walk signal.  Remember that?  And then, 1/3 of the way through the intersection you gave me a little nod and made a right on red.  Remember that?  Remember how you and your impatient mass of metal took off right in front of the pedestrian in the cross walk?  Remember how I took off sprinting after you trying to catch your sorry ass at the next light? Did you see me?  Oh yes you did.  I’m sure of it because when I got within 20 feet of your SUV at the next intersection you went ahead and ran the red light to get away from me.  Wuss.  What did you think I was going to do?  Jump on your hood?  Well, in your defense, that’s exactly what I was planning.  Anyways, that’s why I flipped you off.  Sorry about that.  Not in the least.  But if it makes you feel like any less of an incompetent sack of poo, I did run a negative split thanks to the adrenaline rush of almost being hit by almost hitting the car back.

Posted: September 15th, 2008
Categories: bike, health, transportation
Comments: No Comments.

making room

The inevitable is coming.  Winter.  The coats will come out.  The gloves will go on.  My language will go south, my body will stay north.  The car will want to be in the garage.  And there is no room for it.  The bikes have taken over.  Obviously I like bikes better than cars.  But I hate scraping windshields even more than I love bikes.  What does all this mean?  Bikes for sale. 

I posted 3 bikes and a minivan on craig’s list the other night.  Within 20 minutes the first bike was sold.  He picked it up the next day.  Today the second bike sold.  The guy who bought it was driving a vegetable oil powered car.  What’s not to love?  I haven’t had any takers on the 3 wheeler and only one call on the minivan but we’ll see.

So the garage is two bikes closer to getting a car in it.  The car always wins. 

dang it.

Posted: August 15th, 2008
Categories: bike, transportation
Comments: No Comments.

john, deere

john houge

Here’s a shot of my daughter driving me around Moline IL two weekends ago.  She’s a pretty good driver all things considered.

Posted: July 1st, 2008
Categories: family, transportation, travel
Comments: No Comments.

i got high

bike 2
tall bike

Posted: May 2nd, 2008
Categories: bike, transportation
Comments: No Comments.

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