Thursday, October 2, 2008


Teem Drive has been sporting a sharrows lane (south side of the street, in the parking lane, serving east bound bikers) most of the summer. However, earlier this week the city painted another set of sharrows in the middle of the westbound traffic lane, not the parking lane. I am not quite sure what the new sharrows are intended to point out but it looks like Teem Drive is the most bike friendly street in town!

Monday, August 25, 2008


The bag of goodies from the MS 150 included a 20% off coupon from Spoke-n-Sport for any "bike accessory". The coupon in my bag was used on the purchase of a Garmin Edge 705 with heart rate and cadence units. Garmin has always had a wonderful product line and to that you can add the Edge 705.
Its a total no brainer to setup. The on-bike info includes at least 3 screens of onscreen data, from mapping to elevation graphs to raw cadence, HR, speed, distance, etc.. After a ride, you can connect it to your computer and upload the data to Garmin/Motion Based. This allows you to see your route and the data recorded by the unit, overlayed on anything from a street map, topo map, google map or even replay your ride via 3D Google Earth. The uploaded files are saved and reviewable from any computer allowing you to see your rides in-depth. For instance. according to the 705, the hill heading up toward the bridge and the switchbacks north of Falls Park on the bike path, consists mostly of 5-6% grades but has a small, short (a few yards) section near the top which the 705 records right at a 7% grade. How the TdF riders can do 10% grades for endless miles and hours is now more amazing to me. You can use the data from the unit to see exactly what your HR, cadence, speed, heading, elevation, grade, split time, etc. is at any given point. If you are thinking of incorporating GPS into your biking, you cannot go wrong with this product.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday and Sunday were "ride around the loop" days. We have great facilities for biking here in Sioux Falls and on Tuesday at 11:30am, there is a ribbon cutting for the new Legacy Park/Skunk Creek/Dunham Park addition to the bike path. For someone partial to bridges, its nice that the city added 3 or 4 more! In addition, I saw a report on one of the local TV stations that there would be 11 more miles of east side bike path construction begining soon. On Saturday, I took a few pictures of the LeMond at some of my favorite bridges on the loop.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

212 Gut Check-in

Sporadic reports from the Gut Check have been trickling into my inbox.

Report 1 received Friday @ 11:38pm CST: Pete Hansen reported to his wife Sarah that he had been riding since 4pm CST and had covered about 130 miles. He told Sarah he plans to bike straight through. Sarah says she cannot say CRAZY enough times.

Report 2 received Saturday @ 10:28am CST: Pete called Sarah to report he had 300 miles down. 114 to go, hoping to be done in about 8 more hours (6:30pm CST).


Makes my pathetic little 25 mile loop around the path this morning look like chicken feed.

to be continued.....

Report 3 received Saturday @ 9:30 Pete finished at 6:08pm CST, 26 hours and change. Unreal!

Final times are posted here. These guys were hauling the freakin' mail!! Congrats to all the participants and especially the finishers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Spicer is Nicer

Jennifer, Kate and I went to Green Lake this weekend. Green Lake is a beautiful lake near Willmar, Minnesota, about 180 miles NE of Sioux Falls. The small town of Spicer is right on the lake. When I was a kid, my parents would take our family (7 kids) and some of our friends to Green Lake every August for a week long vacation. Mostly we water-skied and swam for a week. We used to stay at a "resort" (think tiny cabins with running water) called Indian Beach. My folks taught me to ski on Green Lake. I remember my mother and I being in the water as she explained the finer points of getting your feet in the bindings without drowning. Getting set, making sure your knees are bent, your weight over your behind, and her telling me to yell "hit it" when all was ready. She would not let me quit, I knew better than to ask. It took a few "hit-its" but eventually the stars aligned and upon popping up on top of the water I am certain permagrin set in. This photo is taken at what used to be the Indian Beach Resort lagoon where the vacationers could store their boats while staying. There used to be an arched walk bridge over the entrance to the pictured "lagoon". The resort is gone, the Ellweine's pop machine is gone, Bunny-Land is gone, the arched walk bridge is gone, but the entrance to the lagoon is still there, as evidenced in the above photo.
The Green Lake area is a bicyclists paradise, wide roads with bike lanes on both sides most places. There is also a bike path running the full distance from Willmar to Paynesville. I made two laps around the lake on Saturday and the road was packed with 1910-1920 vintage cars including Stanley Steamers, Buicks, Fords and others, all traveling at cycling speed. Spent a few minutes passing the peloton of vintage autos noting the irony of their wooden spoked wheels compared to my steel spoked wheels, then I set out on my breakaway, dropped 'em all (25 miles). On Sunday, a triathlon was being held in the area. The cycling portion was just underway as they were heading out to the east I was approaching the start finish line heading west on the other side of the road. Riding through the crowd at the start/finish line, I heard some guy yell to me "DUDE, you're going the wrong way", then he muttered to someone else "dude, that guy is going the wrong way". Pretty funny stuff. Soon enough, I located the bike trail, hopped on it and pedaled from Spicer to New London in hopes of picking up some baked goods but the New London bakery was closed. Pedaled around New London abit, hopped back on the bike path, headed north out of New London, up to Kandiyohi County Road 2 (Regal turn-off) and back to the cabin east of Spicer (26 miles). Managed a total of 51 miles riding over the two days.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Check out the Gut Check

212 Gut Check is next weekend. If you are not familiar with the Gut Check, it is a 412 mile race from Wyoming to Minnesota via Highway 212 in northern South Dakota. This blog and this site are dedicated to it. It looks to be an epic ride for a good cause and someday I would love to participate. I know one of the solo riders and was told that while we were riding from Sioux Falls to Vermillion on Saturday, he did a training ride from Sioux Falls to Sioux City......and back. Please pass the chamois butt'r®!!!!

On a less painful note, I had a swell commute today. I am feeling pretty confident that this month I will set a personal record for monthly mileage. Monthly mileage thus far:

Mar 149.10
Apr 268.88
May 369.39
Jun 441.10
Jul 508.85
Aug 208.01 and counting....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Old News is New News

Let's backtrack a bit. I quit a pack-a-day smoking habit on February 5th, 2008. Feeling pretty good about my condition and looking for some easy, enjoyable exercise, I started cycling in March and have since put on 1929 miles while taking off 31 pounds. Commuting to work by bike, 15.8 - 20.2 miles per day makes up a good portion of those miles and saves about $6 per day in fuel costs. Through today, the log shows 45 commutes, saving $270 in fuel. I have acquired 3 bikes at a cost of $1595, so its going to take a lot more commuting to make up the difference. Erik at Prairie Cycles was nice enough to hook me up with this steel framed "touring" bike, a 2008 Jamis Aurora, a butter smooth riding bike which is used for daily commuting and in the aforementioned MS 150. In addition, the stable includes an aluminium 2007 LeMond Reno, used mostly for weekend fitness rides, and a steel framed, no suspension, mid 90's, Scott Sandoa which will be used on wet, winter commutes.

Monday, August 4, 2008

First post, post first century

Kate and Jennifer sent me off on my first "century" ride. The Northern Plains Chapter of the National MS Society hosted the 2008 "Pedal the Plains" annual charity ride from Sioux Falls, to Ellis, to Lennox, to Beresford, to Vermillion, to Maskell, Nebraska and back to Vermillion on day one. Day two consisted of Vermillion, to Beresford, to Lennox, to Ellis and back to Sioux Falls.
The bike computer indicated 100.11 miles on day one, 76.32 miles on day two. Two day total of 176.43, average speed of 13.83mph. Kate and Jennifer made their way to Vermillion for the arrival of the peloton, which was more like 100 echelons than a peloton. Surprise was pleasant upon noting a higher average than planned. We were able to raise $985 for the MS Society in the process. Way to go friends and family!!!!!
During this ride, yours truly observed that a rider will never "catch up to" or "get passed by" riders traveling the same speed, but will only pass and be passed by others not traveling the same speed. Conclusion: You have to ride at a pace you don't want to ride, in order to find others riding the pace you do want to ride. How's that for cycleogy?