26 February 2010

Good Stuff from City of Lakes Urbanism

My friend "Jacobean" over at City of Lakes Urbanism, wrote this great post on Minneapolis' upcoming bicycle boulevards. I've known about these for a good long time, and I couldn't be more excited!

12 February 2010


Well, it's winter here in Minnesota. *GASP* It won't let up for another 2.5 months, but I'm OK with that. I've lived here long enough to not get my hopes up for a snow free March/April. That said, I find that St. Patrick's Day is often the first day I pull my bicycle out of the garage for my first ride of the year.

Our fine friends on the East Coast have certainly gotten the worst of this winter's weather. In Minnesota we have seen the greatest snowfall since I was a kid, and I have to admit, I kind of love it. (Disclaimer: even with all we've gotten, we certainly haven't had to deal with the mess that's shut down the East, and for that I am thankful.)

I myself am not a winter cyclist, though I am a winter walker! When the winter snowstorms hit, walking is often the more convenient way for me to get around. I love plodding through the neighborhood after a fresh snowfall. Provided that people actually clear their sidewalks (AHEM, it is an enforceable city ordinance in the lovely Minneapolis).

I'm no stranger to falling ass over tea kettle a few times during the winter, but this time around, I have had to be much more careful. Especially since as of yesterday I'm sitting here 26 weeks pregnant. While I usually slip and fall in slow motion, I would rather not hurt myself or the pierogi growing within. Actually, it's not even the falling I'm so much worried about at this point as I am not being able to get up again on my own. *visualizing Bambi learning to walk*

After hearing about slip sliding around a friend of mine suggested "Yaktrax." I adore them! They're like snow chains for my feet! Certainly not fashionable, as I'm not into "overgearing" myself, but man alive have these puppies saved me from a fall multiple times already this winter. However, they do fit on a variety of my shoes: snowboots, tall black boots, even my Dansko mary janes.

Moving on from pedestrian crashes and onto bicycle.

A surprisingly large number of people cycle through the entire winter here. I'm impressed and admire each and every one of them. I have been told by many that you just expect to bite it about once per season. My boss bikes approximately 350 days/year and he's since gotten his annual fall out of the way.

Crashes with other people, bikes, and vehicles are another thing. An acquaintance's friend had a collision with a car the other day, breaking his collar bone, and his leg. My first question was," is he OK?!" My second question is always, "Did they report it?" By report I don't mean taking legal action, unless it is warranted, but I urge ANYONE who EVER gets into a crash with anyone for any reason to report it. Reporting these incidents is important, as the data collected can help inform improvements to the built environment or outreach efforts that are either geographically focused or widespread.

I'll hop off my soapbox now, and waddle off on my merry way.

Mackenzie & pierogi-in-the-oven