Friday, April 22, 2011

April Showers Bring (Bike Month is) May Flowers!

Once again, I've been neglecting the ol' girly blog.  My apologies.

Today (Tuesday) was amazing.  It's been a drizzly few days but it's been perfect for riding in...except when I got dumped on by a passing t-storm the other morning.  Ah, memories though, right?

So this morning I got up and decided to enjoy my day off.  And I did.  First of all (for some strange reason) I had the urge to run.  This may be symbolic, but we'll get to that later. Potentially.  Copper seemed up for it too so we left our front door not really knowing immediately where we were headed.  As my feet started pounding the pavement my swagger-step running buddy panted, pulling in front of me.  Then it hit me, "Run to Aksarben Village and head to Jones Bros."  Ok, that was pretty clear.  Off we ran dodging puddles and mud holes and being anxious but happy about the thunderstorm that seemed to be looming, inevitable at this point.

But the rain didn't seem to bother either of us.  Copper didn't do as good of a job avoiding puddles; rather, it seemed that she was aiming for them pouncing through nearly each one with an almost joyous step. But on we ran.  Jones Bros. was busy as usual but I got a word in with Bill, on of the Brothers, and of course put in a good word for cycling, despite the fact that I had run, not ridden there.  We chatted for a moment about making a 99 cent frozen yogurt parfait special for the month of May.  I told him he could promote it as his cyclist's special, seeing that May is National Bike Month and all.  So, starting in May, ride your bike to Jones Bros Cupcakes and get a $.99 tasty parfait! Pretty rad if you ask me! They've been offering a standing 15% off discount if you ride there with the Bicycle Friendly Destination program.  They have great bike parking and a covered patio, all located right off the Keystone Trail at Stinson Park.

Then we ran home taking my usual bicycle route after sitting outside watching it rain from the patio where we were the only ones who'd dream to sit out side in a mist. Beautiful day indeed.  (Notice how nice 63rd St. is, next time you're nearby. Bike lanes anyone?  I think they're in the works. Keep your eyes peeled.)

Upon our return I decided that I would indeed ride my bicycle and not drive to my Safe Cycling classroom workshop that I had to teach at Monroe Jr. High. You know, the whole 'practice what you preach' deal.  It was a brisk ride but not too damp to be comfortable and I made my way down 51st St. heading North starting at about Pine Street.  I love 51st as a North/South, Dundee/Benson connector.  There have been plenty of nights where I ride to a show at The Waiting Room  in Benson and then ride back through Dundee (probably for a beer somewhere) before continuing South towards Center where I live.  51st St. will do it for you!  And pleasantly at that!  I enjoyed it again on the ride home, but that's later...

The class went well but I just don't really feel like I do a good enough job to be teaching our youth.  Hats off to all of you teachers and mentors out there.  Thank you for doing what you do.  After answering the questions of middle schoolers about bicycling and safety, and reflectors, and "the meaning of a bike," and where to ride, and how to signal, and, and, and... for about an hour, I happily hopped back on my bike and pedaled off to Benson to check in on a few more Bicycle Friendly Destinations (BFD) while I was out and about.

I parked my bicycle to a skinny tree outside of Jane's Health Market and decided to talk some more about bicycles.  Jane herself was there and we chatted while she grilled my vegan tempeh rueben sandwich and found goodies for other customers.  She commented on my  GroveCraft hat and that's all it took for me to start talking about bicycles and how we were just in Minneapolis where I picked up this hat at Freewheel Midtown Bike Center and how I'm into bikes. Yaddah, yaddah.  Then I asked her if she knew anything about the BFD program and it didn't seem like she did.  Case in point: Janes' has been a BFD for a while now, decal on the front door and everything, providing a gracious 10% off anything in the store if you ride your bike there.  When I originally went in I spoke with Emily (Jane's daughter) who was amazing and really excited about the program but that was last fall and I hadn't really touched base since. I didn't do a good enough job encouraging Emily to please inform the rest of the staff about the new policy so today when I spoke about it with Jane, I mentioned the importance of making sure your staff knows the deal.  Hopefully I can slowly re-visit each establishment and see how it's going.  Thanks Jane!

Next stop, Jake's in Benson to check in on the latest iteration of their Bicycle Friendly Business-ness.  I walked through the front door off of Maple, right past their BFD decal and headed back to the small bar that opens earlier.  A friendly bar tender greeted me and we chatted about the new BFD initiative and how cool it is that Jake's is participating.  I have been emailing with Alex from there and he offered a $.50 discount if you ride up there before 7:00p.m.  Sweet!  Also, we're fixing to have a Handlebar Happy Hour there maybe in May.  Details will follow.  It's a great little place; check it out if you haven't.

Basically from there I headed home and took a super dumb short little clip of 51st St. headed South between Dodge and Leavenworth.  Nice route!!  I'll try to see if we can or already are getting bike lanes or sharrows on that stretch of the road.  Some day soon hopefully auto spell check will recognize the word sharrow without me telling it to shape up and add it to the dictionary.

Dang, can't upload that video for some reason!!  I'll try another random bike video...please hold.  Dang! The other file must be corrupted.  Here's a tiny stretch by my place.  Dang technology.  I'm just not with it enough to get it to post.  Hmmm...

video

3 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I'm excited to finally have made it to your Girl Commute blog! There's so many things I could comment on, but I guess I'll stick to three.
    1. Thank you. . . for teaching about bikes at the middle school. I teach middle school and love the kids. Even though they are sometimes squirrely or even seeming like they aren't listening, they really do care and want to know what you have to say. A middle school audience isn't for everyone, so thanks for braving it!
    2. I've just started biking in the last six months after a long hiatus since when I was a kid and doing those St. Jude bike-a-thons. Did you do those? Want to start one near Aksarben with me? :) Anyways, since I started in November, I've been mostly indoors on the trainer until two weeks ago when my amazing (and patient) brother took me 29 miles of adventuring from Elkhorn to Fremont. So, this past Tuesday which you mentioned in your blog, I tried riding the 12.4 mile route for the May 22nd Sprint Women's Triathlon. I wussed out at 10.5 and took a short cut because I couldn't take the rain and cold, so YOU are AWESOME for riding in that nasty weather and inspiring too!
    3. I love your dog. I love your dog. I love your dog. I am not a dogkidnapper, but if I were, I would probably think about your dog in my top 5 list of awesome dogs. Again, I am not a dogkidnapper, so no worries! :)
    Thank you for your blog. I'll be a regular reader for sure!
    Sincerely,
    Sarah

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  2. Wow Sarah! Thanks for the kind words; Copper thanks you too. I'm trying to get better about regular posting and knowing that some one is excited to read it is definitely an inspiration to keep up with it!
    If you ever need anything or have any questions, let me know!! So glad to hear you're back in the saddle. Keep it up and let me know how it goes.
    SJ

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  3. I really, really enjoyed this. The humor works brilliantly, and the animation is much better than I had imagined. The way you have “blended” (hehe) it all together makes this look like a solid, whole product, as good as any Pixar short. Probably better. But then again: That’s my opinion.
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