Monday, August 01, 2011


Something about riding on cobblestone that I don't miss.  Did they call "pot-holes" during these times or "missing-a-brick-hole?"

Lady in Blue!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Southern MN Dirt - ALMONZO 100

my first Century Race

This is the only real photo I took of my bike after 100 miles of grueling,cold-n-wet, gravel/mud riding.  I made it in the 12 hour cut-off: 11.01 hours to be exact. We had a few minor break downs like my crank flopping off at mile 50. It was back on after a quick water-bottle rinsing. My Raleigh Grand Prix pulled through. Just not sure I will ever get all the dirt off it!

I enjoyed watching the crushed limestone crusting up on my legs; it actually kept me warm.  I believe 388 riders started and only 150 finished within the 12 hours. At the check-in at mile 65, we heard of others shivering and figured the cold, wet weather was stopping people from finishing.  I rode with 4 others on tandems: Matt & Renee and John & Jen.   Still feeling some tingles in the tendons and not sure if this is a ride I would do again (in the rain that is).

Wanted to thank everyone that had a part in putting on this event especially the event coordinator - Chris Skogan.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why bike Cedar Ave?

I take this road quite a bit either north or south. It's traffic cycle is heavy going North in the morning and South in the evening commute. All those cars headed to work through a tiny street with parking on both sides through much of it. Not the fastest street for cars as the Speed Limit is 35 for cars (or at least last time I checked it was.)  On occasion, when I drive I see bikers on Cedar. Why bike Cedar Avenue?

There is Bloomington Avenue that is just West; a much smoother road with less traffic and generally slower cars moving down the way. Or East is 29th Avenue which is a bit rough with less cars. No one cares that you are a silly bike trying to compete for car space. The moustache handle bars are not going to make you immune to being crushed between a parked car and an oncoming vehicular ouchie.  Cars always win that fight. I hope you are wearing a helmet because you may need to check your head if you think Cedar Avenue is bike friendly. It is not a bike friendly street.

I think there is a good way to let others know that the direct route is usually not the safest route. That taking a curved approach by choosing a better commuter street would make all the difference in your sanity and personal safety.  Maybe a sign, like some I have seen in Oregon:"Bike lane is 2 blocks that Way" would be appropriate.  I would contribute to that signage. I see these signs on 40th street that cross Cedar. But 40th Street goes East-West. I want to go North and South and so I disregard the sign and head south on Cedar Avenue. Where's the sign for North and South folks?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

20 Million Bucks for Clean Air

I guess some scientist is looking into building a scrubbing machine where 100 million of them could scrub the world's air of carbon . Start-up cost $20 million. I'm sure it works. 

Or 20 million dollars worth of bikes. A cottage bike community. Engaged biking neighborhoods that support bike planning, trail development and bike safety.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Making Rainbows

Just a few things I liked about this design. 1. The battery powered drill that moves the arm. 2. The actuated spray mechanism with an over spray guard. 3. The bike trailer 4. The fact that he stays inside the rainbow during production 5. He's got the colors of the rainbow right!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Dark Ride Makes i t Alright


I was reading about 100 free bike lights Minneapolis was giving out to nite-riders tonight.
Must have missed them because no one greeted me during the night with a light set. Psst. Over here. I got some lights for you.. NOT.

That is really Ok. I like handouts. I like life. I like to been seen on the road so I bought my own lights: red tail light and a white LED headlight. Nothing too special about the set-up beyond the fact that I can bee seen. I may be missing some reflective tape and think some might be worth the investment. Life is worth being seen, being heard, and making it there alive!

Tonight was the Indian Summer ride that I have been waiting for all year. Space seemed to open up and the darkness was complete. Some cars failed to see me. Starting and stopping after seeing me slow down. Some cars will not stop. I know this and expect this. I don't push it. I want you to keep riding.

So Stay alert riders! I know you aren't going to fall asleep riding your bike. Love the night- get some lights!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hey _ Get out of the Road

I have heard this before from others that are in no way involved with the bike community or understand why bikers really need to rule the road. Someone who when they think about going shopping -or- out to the restaurant or mall, they know nothing about biking or thinking about another mode beyond the dinosaur. Bikers rule. They all`ways do. No doubt about that. But not everyone understands this.

When a bike rider is on the road, I slow down. I watch. I give them space. Not everyone does this though. Most people are questioning whether there is enough space on the street for a bike and a car. I think it is logical. Cars now are mostly composed of plastic and other light metals and still: Car is big & Bike is small. Cars will usually win the crash.

We need signs on busy streets where a complimentary and designated bike lane parallel's this busy street with a little something like, " 1 block Left - safe bike lane." I still drive a car. I see bikers on many streets where one block away is a safe biking street with designated bike lanes.

Biking is a privilege that I think I respect. I understand that some busy spaces demand a bit more from me. I choose my streets wisely while biking with the understanding that I am often the equivalent of an ant running on an popular asphalt running path. Squashable!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Into the Forest we must

Had some great rides this last Saturday down at Lebanon. A friend mentioned the Trek Demo was going to be present so we could test some bikes. We quickly found that there was a hussle to get the Full suspension CARBON Mt. bikes and we would have to wait for more to come back off the trail.

Into the Forest we must

We had our gear on and took off on the trail. About 4 minutes into it we hear these two guys on nice Trek's coming up to pass us. Saying things like:
  • These bikes are so light.
  • Oh you just wait till the hill.
  • They track so well.
  • The seat is always right under you.
  • I feel Nothing

I feel nothing

This usually means that you are not getting enough feedback from the bike on the trail because you are maybe an inexperienced rider and you have no idea what you are getting into. We hear a few more comments from them. I keep repeating, "I feel Nothing." Trek geeks are out of site.

About 3 minutes later we notice the same Trek geeks letting us pass. We got past them right at the top of a hill and headed to the first real down-hill section. I was flying on the loose leafs, a few steps -- little air. Then, I hear those nice new Trek demo bikes right behind us and going very fast. I don't look back. I hear chain on frame. Lots of chain-frame-shake from the bikes behind me.

I stop at the next pass and comment about these 2 guysl. 1st they pass us. Then they are right on our backs. Then they fly off the trail on these crazy expensive and light Treks. We did not see them crash but we figured it was going to happen. Continuing down the single track....

Not to far down the trail, a small group of us got to talking. I asked if they saw the Trek geeks. "Oh yah," he says. One of them(I can only imagine which one) dislocated his shoulder. His shoulder was completely tweaked.

And then we all started on own stories about cracking helmets, breaking bones, tweaking fingers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nice bike rides

Jenn Barnett

This morning felt like a tropical island. Hard, fast, rain. Dripping gutters and birds chirping. I was imagining geckos on my walls. I'm just so happy about summer. Seriously. Living's EASY.

Biking and floating on a lake and biking and floating onto the couch. Dreaming. Their is little better than this lake water feeling on the skin over some bike sweat over some more lake water. Lake water is fresh this early in the season. And then sucking clean air while swimming and biking. I feel hydrated, exercised and washed in a lake feed by rivers that come from rain water. And I can breath easy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Street Decisions: Unchanging Red Light. Thank you Gov. Tim Pawlenty!

Random iPhone foto from Ali in NYC

We should have run that light. It was red for way too long. I stopped. I looked both ways -- twice! Proceeded cautiously through the light and kept on my merry way. Pedaling. Blue and red lights behind me. Ugh.

"Officer, I sware I looked both ways before I ran that light back there. I Sware!"

Officer- "Yes, I saw you. Here's a ticket. Tell it to the judge."

I understand that bikes may clog the right hand turn lane for cars behind me and I actually make a point to get out of the way. If I look both ways and see no cars coming --either way-- I look again for extra caution and usually run the RED,YELLOW or Green. The car behind me moved. I moved cautiously on my way.

Last thought:

In spring-time we have dry streets but gravel -or- even sand is just as nasty as black ice.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Frontera Tacos

Friday and Saturday nights this Taco stand on wheels can be found near Snelling and University in St. Paul. Minneapolis does not have mobile vending. We all need to start asking Why. I caught up with Border Tacos this week right after the lunch rush and ordered a veggie borrito. It was presented nice and tasted great. The tortilla was even toasted! It had way too much lettuce.

This is how I am ask for it next time: un burrito con frijoles y queso. A veggie burrito should be a bean & cheese burrito. No rice. No Lettuce. No stinking fancy cilanto or mushrooms. Just beans & cheese. I just hope they don't use American Cheese.

Monday, April 05, 2010


save it for a rainy day

Seriously --my eyes itch and my nose runs. The Spring transition is so hard on my sinuses.

The rain barrel is fully charged. My house plants dig the rain water. I am curious if it is the PH of rain water or the lack of processing? Could it be that it is full of the minerals of the sky. Maybe the rain is acidic?I live in the middle of the city so it should be full of car toxins and industrial juice. Whatever it is, I know my plants dig it way more than faucet juice.

The windows open and offer relief to stuffyness.

I was at the check out counter this weekend and I sneezed. No big. Except it was 20 sneezes. I felt like I was watching a 8mm movie. Everyone sort of cleared out around me as I dug into my shirt with my face. My eyes watered and I was not hearing all that well.

"Can I see your ID?"

I didn't say anything until he handed it back to me. I wanted to say, "You make me sneeze." He would have know that.

What I am really excited about is being able to keep my eyes off the road obstacles i.e. ice, black ice, snow balls, slush, black snow, etc. I can look up ahead, say "Hi" to all the freaks on bikes.

Video: 2 bike 1 lock

It may be dumb but this happens all the time.
Before you lock them up together - are you are going to stay together?

This should be Part II of a previous post but it's more like Part Cool.
I love math!

watch vid

-Tim Lillis

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Anti Silver Surfer

This might be a useful tool while fighting the Silver Surfer this summer. The riding has been warm, really warm. The ice is mostly if not totally gone.

I like the real gravel slides, the dust grinds and finger touch of the pavement, a flick or slight scrape to remind you who you are, how far you have come.