Runners vs Bikers: A Day at the Lake

Posted on Apr 07, 2014 under My Running, Random Thoughts, Safety | No Comment

Why is there so much tension between bikers and runners? As a member of both communities I understand a little of both sides.  Yesterday was a great example of why we often don’t get along.

A friend and I were going for a ride – I was towing the kids in the trailer and decided to do the lakes, Minnehaha Parkway to River Road, and Greenway loop.  It is a 20 mile loop that I’ve ridden quite a bit. As we crossed Lake Street at Dean Parkway we decided to stay on the Bike Trail (which goes clock-wise around Calhoun) instead of the road (which goes counter-clock-wise).  There was quite a bit of vehicle traffic and the bike path seemed safer.

BAD DECISION!

The road would have been a lot easier and ultimately safer.  We quickly ran into a ton of runners and walkers who were blocking the entire path. It took us 30 minutes to go the 4 miles from the top of Calhoun to the Minnehaha Parkway exit of Lake Harriet.  I can run that fast – in fact a runner was being a jerk and kept trying to pass us as we weaved through people.

I will say it isn’t 100% the runners/walkers fault as the “pedestrian” trail hasn’t been snow plowed.  But walking 3-4 abreast and not moving for oncoming cyclists is their fault.   The Park Board wisely only plows the bike paths in the winter.  I think this is an efficient use of resources and data probably supports that the number of pedestrians and riders during the winter month justifies only having the 4-6 foot wide path plowed.  Unfortunately, the pedestrian trail still has significant snow covering and has large sections that are impassable.  The Park Board could easily spend 2 hours and knock out all the snow covered areas by plowing it early on morning or overnight.

USE YOUR HEAD!

People walking and running with headphones couldn’t hear me calling “on your left” and were often walking in the center of the trail.  One guy with a hoodie on still never heard or acknowledged my presence until I was in front of him.  A few times a runner moved to pass a group of people without looking to make sure no one was coming on the left and we almost hit them.

I get that you want to chat with your friend, partner, etc. But bikes, especially ones with trailers take up quite a bit of space and should be given room to pass.  Zigging and Zagging between huge groups of people is tedious work and I’m sorry if you have to step into a puddle, but I don’t have a lot of choices.  I am pretty sure that I hit 3 people with the trailer.  I didn’t do it intentionally nor am I proud of it, but I can only do so much.

We caught up to a group of unicyclists who were doing an amazing job of navigating through the congestion without falling off.  We also caught up to a small family with a young girl (elementary age) who was skillfully navigating her bike through the people with the mom right behind her with a trail-behind attached. It wasn’t a pleasant experience for any of us.

We were trying to be careful, but for the most part the runners and walkers didn’t react to our presence until we forced them to move. We all need to compromise – maybe you can walk single file instead of 2-4 people wide in a group.  Also runners as you pass people in either direction make sure that you can see what is happening around you and look behind you.

We all need to work together until the snow melts off the pedestrian trail.  Or until the Park Board takes 2 hours and clears the remaining snow!

Sadly, this is currently exaggerated due to the snow, but it is a year round problem with runners using the bike path to avoid the congestion walkers create.  As a runner I appreciate the fact that you get a better workout on the bike path but as a biker it is quite annoying to have to dodge runners ( and sadly walkers) who are running on the bike path.  Many of these people are wearing headphones and are clueless to their surroundings.

I appreciate the people who walk/run against the flow of traffic so they can at least move out of the way.  I personally avoid running around the lakes and will now avoid biking them except for early in the morning!!

What are your thoughts?

March into April 30 Days

Posted on Apr 01, 2014 under 30Days | No Comment

March is ending on a warm note, with April starting with some snow!  It really is Spring, it is just taking some time to get here!

April is a great 30 Day Challenge – Ride my bike every day!! 30 Days of Biking is pretty simple – get on the bike every day of the month.  I set this challenge out knowing that I won’t actually succeed – as with past years I’ll be traveling with a group of 8th Graders overseas and won’t have access to a bike!  We are leaving sometime on the 28th so I’ll miss at least the last 2 days unless something sweet happens.  Last time I was in Spain I took some pictures of random bikes around the cities and almost got a group of guys interested in checking out their bike share program!

My 30 Day Challenge for March was:

Unsubscribe, de-friend, unfollow - Time for some spring cleaning.  Clean out your inbox or news feed by getting rid of some unwanted/unneeded clutter!

This went super well.  I got ride of a lot of e-mail subscriptions – once you start it is easy to keep doing it!  Twitter was a little harder but every time I checked I looked for things I could get rid of and actually found quite a few random accounts I’d signed up for to enter a contest – like Amazon MP3 or Amazon Golden Box, Woot, Groupon.  I don’t really need their notifications in both my inbox and Twitter feed.  Facebook was the real challenge.  I think I did unfriend a few people, but I actually unliked several pages that weren’t really relevant and like Twitter were for contests and duplicates! RSS feeds wasn’t too hard, there are quite a few that I don’t read anymore or really ever!

I can’t really say that I’ve noticed a difference, but I’m sure less clutter is better!

For my other March goals:

  • I would like to continue doing core work every other day 16/31 days.
  • I would like to hit 50 miles running miles for the month.
  • I would like to ride my bike at least 10 times this month (hopefully some outside).

I completely forgot about the core work and didn’t really do anything. I did do some of my PT type exercises whenever my leg hurt.  I should at least do those daily!

March was actually the worst month of running this year!! Ooops… 31 miles.  Ugh.  Without a training plan and the inconsistency of our schedule it has been hard. Now that it is actually getting warmer I’ll be able to run with the kids on the weekend.  Plus I’ve been trying to ride more since I’m doing a 100 miler in a few weeks!

I did actually record 10 rides on my bike!! 3 of them were commuting and the weekend long ride! It felt great to be outside even if for some of my commute rides the trail had icy patches!!

50% isn’t terrible… right?

I’m going to recommit to the same extra goals – 50 miles running and core work every other day.  Since the monthly challenge is riding every day I’ll easily hit 10 rides!

First Outdoor Ride of the Season

Posted on Mar 31, 2014 under Bike | No Comment

Oh did it feel great to hope on the bike yesterday and get 23 miles in with friends.  We are all doing the Almanzo 100 together and it seems we are all a little behind in our training!! Yesterday’s 60 degree weather brought everyone outside and there were traffic jams along all of the trails we rode – especially downtown and in Uptown!

The trails were mostly dry with some wet areas, some standing puddles, and at least one spot which was almost all ice. There is still plenty of snow on the shaded side of the Greenway, under bridges, and other “dark” spots.  My Trek and I were happy to get a little muddy! Whenever we had to switch into single-file riding you’d get a little bit of spray – I had to wipe my classes off a few times!

It was hard to know what to wear.  60 degrees is a good temperature, but all the snow around can make the air feel colder.  In the end I wore a pair of bib shorts, booties over my shoes (which came in handier for the water than the cold), my long sleeve Icebreakrz 200, under my World Vision cycling jersey, padded gloves, under my running gloves, with my Hennepin Bridge cycle hat.  I think I was pretty well dressed – didn’t really get super sweaty and didn’t ever feel cold.  My knees did get a little chilly!

I forgot to mention that in the morning we rode our bikes to church and took Caleb for his first ride in the Chariot!

From 2014-03-31

Busy Greenway while Waiting:

From 2014-03-31

At the Cedar Lake – Kenilworth Intersection

From 2014-03-31
From 2014-03-31

My ride!

From 2014-03-31

My jersey with the mud trail!

From 2014-03-31

Events at Mill City Running in Northeast

Posted on Mar 17, 2014 under Equipment, Product Review, Race Review | No Comment

If you haven’t been to Mill City Running what are you waiting for?

The newest running store in Minneapolis has everything you need and is located in Northeast right across the Mississippi River from downtown.  They are super-engaged with social media and probably have one of the busiest calenders of any running store in the area.  But it isn’t just your normal group runs or chats with a podiatrist.

They have flap-jack Friday runs (the 6:30am start is too late in the morning for me), Roga (running and yoga) next one on March 22, and a chat about Crossfit for Runners on March 18.  They’ve also got plenty of group runs and group run challenges for all levels of runner!

My daughter and I popped in one afternoon to pick up a gift certificate and they have toys for your little one to play with while you are getting fitted for shoes!

I will be buying my next pair of shoes from them and I hope to be able to make it out to some of their events.

Sign Up for 30 Days of Biking #30daysofbiking

Posted on Mar 03, 2014 under 30Days, Bike, Cross-Training | No Comment

For the past few years I’ve signed up for the 30 Days of Biking Challenge.  It is a great way to kick-off spring and there have been some really cool stories through the years of people being inspired to ride and having their lives changed.  I missed the inaugural event due to Lyme disease, but have participated every year since.

In 2012, I was doing Project 365 – taking a picture each day – and dedicated April to taking a bike related picture each day!

Registration for this year’s event opened on March 1 and I was rider number 265 to sign up!

Here is my confirmation:

201430daysofbikingsignup

And my “pledge card”!

201430daysofbikingpledgecard

 

Of course I’m dedicating my riding and running this year to raising money for clean water projects in the Congo.  Your support of any amount is greatly appreciated!

February into March Challenge Update

Posted on Mar 01, 2014 under 30Days | No Comment

February didn’t go quite as I had planned.  I started out pretty good, but quickly realized that I couldn’t do the 7 minute workout each day without getting injured.  So I revised the plan to do either the 7 minute workout or the Lolo Jones workout each day.   I did corework on at least 20 of the 28 days in February, I tried to keep accurate records but didn’t always remember t0.  I totally forgot once, remembered while laying in bed at least once, and then got sick last weekend…  Now I just need to kick myself back into it and continue doing core work!

Overall, February has been a long month.  One of the coldest and snowiest years on record for the Twin Cities has meant many cold runs and hard to pull yourself out of bed mornings.  And lots of shoveling snow.  March is traditionally the snowiest month, so that should be interesting!  I think we’ve had 3 days above freezing in 2014 and something like 40 days that have been sub-zero at some point during the day. We’ve also had an unprecedented 6 days with no school.  Ugh!  We have done our best to embrace winter, Art Shanties, Ice Caves, and snowshoeing, but all the super-cold has meant that it has been hard to get the kids out to enjoy the cold weather!

February numbers:

5 trainer rides – I had hoped for 8.

Ran 33 miles – I had hoped for 50.

Here’s hoping March will be a better month.  With changes in our schedule, I was hoping to be able to start biking to work – but it looks like there will be snow and ice on the roads for the foreseeable future.  I still have my old steel road bike and I might try to get it ready for winter biking.

March 30 Day Challenge

My 30 Day Challenge for March is:

Unsubscribe, de-friend, unfollow - Time for some spring cleaning.  Clean out your inbox or news feed by getting rid of some unwanted/unneeded clutter!

This can be done all at once or each day. I think I’m going to focus on one area each week and get rid of 7 things.  So today I’ll unsubscribe from 7 e-mail newsletters, next week 7 Twitter Followers, then 7 Facebook friends, then 7 RSS feeds.  Then I’ll just find 3 more things to get rid of!  When I did this before I found that once you start it is hard to stop!  I think the hardest challenge will be the RSS feeds, but that will potentially have the most time saving focus for me!

Other goals:

  • I would like to continue doing core work every other day 16/31 days.
  • I would like to hit 50 miles running miles for the month.
  • I would like to ride my bike at least 10 times this month (hopefully some outside).

How did you do on your February goals? What do you have planned for March?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Running on an Ice Road

Posted on Feb 24, 2014 under 4 Mile, Winter | No Comment

This past weekend we visited the Apostle Island Ice Caves and spend the night on Madeline Island.  Yes the Ice Caves are stunning and I’d recommend checking them out if you can sneak away before the ice melts!

Normally there is a ferry that runs between Bayfield, WI and La Pointe, WI which the town on Madeline Island.  However during the winter there is an approximately 2 mile road that gets plowed between the two towns.  This is a fairly wide road and gets closed due to high wind and snow as the crews work to plow it out.  When we left Saturday morning both the Ice Caves and Ice Road were closed, fortunately they were both open and ready for us when we got to them!

I was hoping to run on the Ice Road, but the place we were staying was a little too far and I didn’t have enough time for a longer run.  I do recommend that if you are looking for a place to stay on Madeline Island that you check out Paul on AirBnB.com


Every year there is a big race across the Ice Road.  The race is a 4.2 mile out and back on the Ice Road.  The 20th Annual Run on Water will be held March 2, 2014 and by all appearances looks like a fun event.

From their website:

The 20th annual “Run on Water” is a family fun event open to people of all ages and skill levels. Participants can choose to run, walk, ski, snowshoe, bike, skate or even skijor the 4.2-mile course on the famous “ice road” across frozen Lake Superior from Bayfield to Madeline Island and back.  The race will start on the Bayfield side.  Participants must go around a stake on the Madeline Island side about 2.1 miles away, then return to the start.  Participants can choose their own course to turn the stake – on the ice road, off the ice road, straight or curving.  All entrants will be started and timed together.  Awards will be given to the top runners in age/gender group categories, and the fastest finishers in non-running modes.

One of these years we’ll go up for the Bayfield Winter Festival and I’ll get a run across the Ice Road. The festival looks to be a lot of winter crazy fun.  Have you ever been to the Festival or run across the Ice Road? Or any ice races?

Enhanced by Zemanta
SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline