Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Hennepin/1st Avenue Epic Tour

Hello, you are now reading my first post in what promisses to be several millions more. I am a Minneapolis bicycle commuter who spends too much time on the internet. I also like to see my opinions in writing (or typing) so I am creating this blog to waste other peoples' time. And maybe I'll actually learn how to use Blogger in the process, instead of linking all of the photos.

It's a crisp autumn morning in another year that has barely seen an autumn. It's 37 degrees or so, but that 37 feels much warmer when it is dry and sunny out. Beautiful biking weather, fer sher. If you are heading out, you may want to cause yourself some minor frustration and travel the Hennepin and 1st Avenue bike lanes.

The large print does not exist as seen in plan photos, and neither does the enforcement - yet. Riding them in their current state is basicallt riding a big fat lane. The problem being, the car traffic can't agree on which side of the lane is best for them. I find myself splitting the lane on left or right side depending on the traffic. Also, the lane constricts every other block, making the lane splitting dangerous and difficult.

As for 1st Avenue, take a look at some shots from my friend and colleague omgmrj:
Not being able to stomach these injustices without being super annoying ourselves, we decided to "tour" the two roads. Our route was roughly this.

Anywho, we rode around a few times, 4 strong. There was a collision between one of us and a cameraman who stepped into the bike lane and just expected us to veer around him. The cyclist (I forget his name) went back and exchanged some words, the tone of which I did not hear.

There were sporadically cars parked in the 1st Ave SW-bound bike lane, as is the norm, as the first person parking in the parking lane has to literally park in the middle of the road. Many drivers just don't have the heart to do this, so they pull up to the curb, as they would any other road in Minneapolis, blocking the bike lane (which exists as two solid white strips and a few bike images) If one person blocks the lane, all the rest will follow. If they park in the parking lane, all will park in the parking lane.

What we need is this. But that sort of treatment is reserved for Edina commuters.

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