Monthly Archives: April 2014

How’s Your Water? Share Some.

Go get a cup of water.  No seriously.  That took you less than a minute right?

Is your water clear or brown? Maybe your pipes are older and it isn’t crystal clear, but it isn’t brown right?

Did you get your water out of a river? Or dig in mud to get it? Probably not, you probably turned a knob and out it came – cold or hot ready to drink.

Did you let it run for a few minutes so that it would be the correct temperature?

We are so fortunate to live in a place where we can simply turn a handle or push a button and get enough water at the proper temperature. it is so simple we don’t even think about it – unless there is a disruption.

This is not the case for people around the world.  Each morning women and children across the world walk miles to collect dirty water that will make them sick.   For $50 we can provide access to clean water for a person for the rest of their life!

This year I’m riding the Almanzo 100 bike race and doing the Minneapolis Half Marathon to raise awareness about clean water access and hopefully raising $2,000 that will help provide clean water access to 40 people!!!  Watch this video to learn more and donate today to help change someone’s life!

 

Help me change 40 lives this year!! 

 

Runners vs Bikers: A Day at the Lake

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

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!