Monday, December 7, 2009

Master Plan and Girls, Grrls, Gurls

Good evening, Minneapolis!  The snow is a-comin’!  A-COMIN’!!!  My winter bike project has not progressed as quickly as it could have (I’ve taken off the front wheel), but a few days in the slop won’t kill my regular bike, Sir Fixalot (left).

This late fall, Sir Fixalot may be what my esteemed colleague OMGMRJ (right) calls a mullet bike, as it has a skinny tire with a sorta deep rim up front, and a fatty tire in back.  Or maybe it is a badonkadonk bike.  At any rate, I gotta carry two pumps and two kinds of tubes since the front is Presta and the rear is Schrader.  This symbolizes my bike’s indecision between the racey fast fixie crowd and the chill slow cruiser crowd.  Being a hybrid bike, it can never quite decide where to fit in.  In fact, currently, only the right pedal has a toe cage on it, but that’s because I destroy them like no tomorrow, and I don’t really want to replace the left one when the bike will soon be in hibernation.

What is NOT is hibernation is Minneapolis bicycle advocacy issues.  Which is why I’m happy to announce the formation of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.  What IS in hibernation is the Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan, which needs to be read over, chewed on, digested, and metabolized into something beneficial to cyclists of all stripes in Minneapolis.  I’ll try and keep you posted.

Another hawt topic in Minneapolis bike internet circles is women (aka grrls or gurls) and bikes.  Historically, typical women’s fashion can interfere with the use of a bicycle as a form of transportation.  This currently includes skirts (it’s not “accepatable” to just let them fly in the wind), high heels, non-helmet hair (or hair tied up), and cleavage (you get a little more with drop bars); at one time in history, it also included hoop skirts and corsets.  Most of all, the image of what is feminine (not to be confused the reality of being female) does not gibe with the image of a bicycle commuter: sweaty, self-reliant, daring.  Having a disproportionate responsibility for child rearing in a often hostile commuting environment doesn’t help, either.  The best way to get Jane Q. Public to start biking would be to have Oprah start biking and talk about it on her show.  Oprah, if you are reading this, and I know you are, make it so.

Of course, soon, we will not be able to tell male from female cyclists, as all body shape will be bundled under layers of clothing and gear and obscured with yards of billowing snow.  Bicycle androgeny… looking forward to it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The White Stuff and the Salt Stuff

Hello Minneapolis (and those interwebbing from without Minneapolis).  It has been a while since I parked my bike in the blogosphere.  Apparently, they like me doing productive work at my job, and whining about cars doesn’t make the grade.

That is not to say that I have not have all of you, my billions of readers, in mind.  I think about biking a lot.  I think about things I might put in this blog (should I ever bother to make a posting) and how you might respond to it.  Will they laugh?  Will they cry?  Will they grab torches and pitchforks and storm city hall?  There just aren’t enough old-timey mob riots ITTET.

Hey, there’s snow on the ground!  Minneapolis has been tardy for seasons as of late, not starting summer until you forgot it was summer and not starting fall until mid-November.  Winter for me began yesterday when the wind chill was in the teens and there was at least a small dusting of the white stuff [cocaine joke].  My sources (left) report that St. Louis Park is already salting.  While some may scoff and say that 1 mm of snow and 0 mm of ice does not need salt, it appears that St. Louis Park is merely attempting to be proactive.  Plus, think of the salt and salt accessory jobs that are being created.

Tomorrow, a group of local cyclists are meeting at the West Bank Social Center at 11am to finalize the formation of a Minneapolis-specific bicycle (and tricycle, and unicycle, and … …) advocacy group.  Nothing can be more fun than committee (or is it spelled “commmmitttteeeeee”?) meetings and policy formation.  It’s kind of like what I do on the internet, but in-person, and I can’t do it while getting paid at work.  If you are at all interested in helping form this organization, you are welcome to come and share your ideas.  The WBSC is on top of the Nomad in West Bank.

Alright, that’s enough wordage after a 6-week hiatus.  Thanks for all the kind praise and well wishes, and perhaps someday you can say you read this “way back in 2009.”