Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mid-century classic velo dreamboat was "ultimate kids gift."

The Huffy Radio Bike wasn’t manufactured for long which is strange considering these were the ultimate gifts for any kid. Between 1955 and '57 only around 8,500 bicycles were produced. Available in three color schemes: Flamboyant Red, white & black trim; Flamboyant Blue, white & black trim;  and Flamboyant Green with white & black trim. The 1955 model had a headlamp mounted on the front fender while the 1956 version was equipped with a front carrier. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Twin Cities Adaptive Cycling: Bringing Hope to Riders with Disabilities.

Volunteer Mary sports unique safety helmet: rear view mirror, communications gear, camera. At home base along the Greenway Mary is in constant touch with knowledgeable staff and velo clients. I watched as an elegant tandem recumbent -- one one of the 25 adaptive cycles available to individuals with disabilities -- pulled in to HQ. Passenger was an enthusiastic young woman who, though blind, rides at least once weekly, more if she has time.

Twin Cities Adaptive Cycling co-founder Caito, a South Minneapolis native, got her "adaptive" training in Berkeley, CA.  2018 is first full year of operations here in the Cities, and the boss reports growing interest in, and demand for, services of TCAC. The organization is a 501(c)(3), 

Secure equipment storage is available inside a former railroad boxcar, converted to meet needs of TCAC. The velo fleet comprises 25+ adaptive cycles, including hand cycles, recumbent foot trikes, tandems and therapeutic cycles. 

Beautiful custom made recumbent had just been donated to the non-profit, and I believe I witnessed its maiden voyage. Tandem "captain" Dale, who you can see on right side of the foto,  is long-time volunteer.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Real Art is where You Find it. And please check out what I found in NE Minneapolis last weekend.

One of my Texas artist friends took one look at the peeling paint, general condition of exterior, and the bricks and reported: "I'm a sucker for the bricks, especially.  The texture, colors, infinite possibilities of use and re-use."

As for your humble scribe here, I like vertical format more often than the horizontal. The rusted iron railings and stairs juxtaposed to (or is it, with?) the corrugated metal; a hint of peeling green paint; and, of course, the bricks.  Man, this is simply magic.  I'd like to wrap up this scene, lay it gently in the back of my KIA, take it home ... then do what with it?

Take a 180 from the peeling green paint, walk into an entirely new and magnificent art gallery. So new it doesn't have a name yet.  I saw some wild, fresh, provocative work - on the walls, on the floors, even hanging from the ceiling. In the foto above, the artist has his back to the camera.

Recognition: one day you see that you are the bait, the trap and the prey. 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

"Velo" Joe, just back from pedaling and photographing in Europe, thought the Poppy Blog would be a fine medium for his work.

Even the best lock in Spain could not keep vandals at bay. A bike in Barcelona is a shell of its former self. 

Mini Van, packed to overflowing with a family's bikes, heads to Morocco for a velo vacation. Cool foto, Joe. 

"Bicing" is the municipal bike share program in Barcelona.  You'd think that a rack of bikes like these, in a city like Barcelona, would be rented out or borrowed, in no time. 

This is NOT a ghost bike. It's a "point of purchase promotion" for a Parisian bakery. Baguettes in the basket were pulled from the oven only minutes before Joe came upon the bike, took this shot.  Can't you almost smell
the bread ??

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Long Lake town trail supports velosters with damned near a complete outdoor shop.

Giant Cypress propped on mechanic's work rack, all the tools you'd ever need tethered to concrete pad by indestructible steel cables. No one's stolen an Allen wrench yet.

It's easier to use these tied-down tools than it looks. 

Can't recall whether this is a tire iron or a bottom bracket tool. 

You know what this is, probably carry on your own bike. No further introduction required. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dean Phillips's "Conversation Cottage," aka Phillips for Congress HQ in Excelsior.

Minneapolis business leader Dean Phillips is running for election this fall to the U.S. Congress from District 33. Dean's HQ has been named  “Conversation Cottage,” and it sits right on the main drag in Excelsior. When I drove past the "Cottage" today I had to park my car and go inside to investigate. 

I'd met Dean once before, and the idea of a conversation with the candidate in the cottage was very appealing.

  The office was buzzing. Young volunteers on laptops doing research and outreach to voters. Grace and the finance department in the back. Then there was 'Jo,' recently retired from the office manager's position at a big insurance company, now the admin coordinator for the Phillips campaign.

Dean was there.  I reminded him we'd met at an event earlier this year. When you meet Dean you'll be impressed with how he connects with you. He has a firm handshake. Dean looks you right in the eye when you talk to him.  And he engages and listens!

I bought a Dean for Congress t-shirt (suggested donation $25.00) and intend to wear it proudly as I'm out riding my bike. There's an opportunity to do some volunteer work on the campaign, and I'll follow up, find out if and how I can be useful.

As for the thirsty doggy water bowl on front steps of the Cottage: one more fun idea that sets apart this man's run for office. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Back-back of the house at Bellecour

5-star gourmet restaurant, watering hole and coffee/pastry bar in Wayzata -- Bellecour -- pumps out trash in proportion to the number of customers lined up outside this new 'it' spot waiting for a table.  I much prefer being inside Bellecour (where I'd bet Pina and I go 4 times a week for iced lattes, cappuccinos and short bread cookies), where the service is personal and very professional, and the java as tasty as you can find around here. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Intrepid Travelers Nancy and Joe filed this Velo Venture report from aboard the "Cielo de Sol" en-route from Genoa to Barcelona.

So, we met this great guy on the bluff above Saturnia, a hot spring bath spot near Pitigliano.  The SURLY Troll name caught my eye.  We fell into a friendly chat.  He is from the Basque country, San Sebastian.  An ardent cyclist if there ever was one.  He rattled off the countries in which he has ridden:  All over Europe... Morocco, Turkey, New Zealand, Japan, China... his Surly frame broke there.  The company gave his a new frame, gratis..  Cheerful, friendly, and looking for a place to pitch his tent, as it was starting to rain.  Bare to the bone, slim and trim.  He stated in well trimmed English, that he had ridden 15,000 km last year and 12,000 the year before.  Had to love this guy.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Mini electric delivery vehicles get pizza to hungry Italians before the pies get cold.

Bro Joe writes that he saw this little cutie out front of a pizza parlor near the university in Sienna, Italy. The cord hanging from the car's snout id's the vehicle as a plug-in electric.  The diamond-shaped "badge" on the front suggests the manufacturer is Renault. Old and narrow streets in continental Europe were made for Lilliputian delivery cars like this one. How cool would it be if here in the States mini-electrics began to deliver orders for Jimmy Johns, Domino Pizza, Panera and other leading fast food chains.  Write your favorite CEO for action!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Too much fun for the Reilly's in Mystic, CT.

A very clever watering hole in Mystic, CT pays tribute to a significant portion of their customer base. Velosters Dan and Liz, thirsty after pedaling along the CT coastline, pop in for a cold one, then another, then ..... Well, the barkeep suggests the Reilly's left their bikes chained up out-front and Ubered home, not daring to take their wobbly chances in rush hour traffic. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Portuguese Frozen Yogurt Entreprenuers attract Eager Customers with charming, '60's era VW "Kombi" Vans, sell Tons of Yogurt while they're at it.

 One of my best, peripatetic friends, James T and his wife Carolyn from Colorado, saw a photo of the hot dog truck on PVV. They were reminded to send this pic and story, and hoped we'd post it.

James and Carolyn just got back from an Iberian biking and hiking adventure, reporting that all over Lisbon, Portugal, one sees  these cute, chopped, 1960s-era VW Vans serving frozen yogurt.

"Upon closer inspection," James observes, "I believe the hippie era vans are made new in this style, but remain eye-catching all the same. Easily trailered behind a small truck or car. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Uncle Frankie's Custom Made '69 Dodge Frank-Mo-Beel.

This hot dog food truck sits out-front of Uncle Frank's restaurant in Golden Valley. Just the other day my friend Jim and I were doing virtual carbon dating, and imagined the rig was from the 1940's, and "grew up" in Los Angeles.   Uncle Frank himself said the vintage was 1969 Dodge "Chinook," and had been an RV before the conversion. Summer's almost here and I'm going to keep my eye out for this sweet machine here in the Twin Cities.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Road closed ahead. Long Lake overflows banks. No thru traffic.

When you look deep into the background of this shot you might see barricades and flashing lights, all designed to keep you safe, and your car off East Long Lake Road. Every Spring the lake overflows its banks, washing out a portion of the two-laner.  In an especially snow-heavy winter like the one we are finally getting over, the water is deeper, and the road itself is in terrible shape. Of course so many highways and bi ways in the Twin Cities are basket cases; our little scenic route is likely way down on the priority list.

Monday, April 2, 2018

What's been going on around here lately. How 'bout in your world?

My friend Dan, an inventive amateur photographer, as well as successful industrial designer, sent this pic from a recent road trip through the heartland.  Check the St. Louis Arch across the Mississippi, contrasted with signs, lots of complementary vertical lines and images.  Rock on, Dan!

This one is a hoot.  Our dear friend owns a couple of exquisite chocolate Labs. The pups play an integral role in the branding of the Tangletown store, Foundry Home Goods. The younger lab, "Turnip" by name, celebrated her first birthday last week.  A new dress, decorated cake, and admiring friends and customers piled into the store, made this doggy b'day an experience to remember. My wife took this pic - perfecto

Once upon a time there was the Panama Canal Zone.  And in the Zone lived Americans, mostly, including me and my family. I was a junior officer in the U.S. Air Force then, and my car -- a 1967 Volvo 122S wagon -- traveled from the States with me to my duty station in the Zone. When I rotated back home the car came with me. But the plate was removed when I registered the Volvo in New York state, where we lived next.  

Very cool retail wall art adorns the side of a commercial building on Hennepin Avenue at Calhoun Square, in Uptown Minneapolis.  The work is signed in white, but I was mesmerized by the climber, and can't remember the artist's name. 

Right next to the climber a model for Sephora caught my attention, and it's not hard to see why.  Just look at her smile, the wink in her right eye, plus unique dress.  Oh, then there's the hair-do ... rather, the no-hair-do.  Gutsy and memorable.  If my foto had been any better you'd be able to see the freckles on the model's face.  Gorgeous. 

The Minnesota winter moon sets in the west, much too early last week.  I turned on the kitchen light when I came down stairs to start the morning coffee.   I sort of like this shot and hope you appreciate it as well.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Cross-Country, two-wheel saga of "Honda Harry."

Take a minute to get to know Honda Harry.   He's a pretty interesting guy, with improbable adventures under his belt. Here's Harry, tall in the saddle, Rocky Mountains behind him, about ready to slip on the motorcycle helmet, and begin a balls-out road trip to Southern California.  Our boy is a motorcycle icon:  impeccable balance, sharp eye for road kill, sixth and maybe seventh senses on full alert for sleepy 18-wheelers. He's been from Tucson to Tucumcari. Harry knows all the spots to slow down, watch for cops, get a big New York cut steak, grab a java to go.   Let's follow Honda Harry on his Race to the Coast.

Two gorgeous Truck-stop Cuties somewhere in western Arizona.  They know all about Harry and his Honda.  They want to meet this "Shiny Side-up" biker.  The gals understand that Harry travels light, on a tight budget, never staying in one place too long.  Still the ladies want to be remembered. They have a five spot or so, and hope our man will, maybe, stick around for a bowl of pho. If "no to pho," then the cash can go for gas, and  Harry will continue his journey. 

Harry gets to meet all kinds of interesting people en-route.  Miss Freewheel with body art extraordinaire here hoped to persuade Harry to get some tatts for travel, but without success. 

Ah, home sweet home.  You may find it hard to believe that an airstream can be tugged along by Harry's Honda ....

Harry rides by the motto: Keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up.  Once in a while some gravel, sand, ice or snow gets in the way, and results in a boo-boo like this.

This is Harry working underneath a 1949 PLYMOUTH.  Harry couldn't get it running,  he got the Honda.  And he got to the Coast with nary an incident.  That's the Honda Harry saga, and maybe we'll have add'l. adventures as time goes by.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Foundry Home Goods Open for Biz in Exciting New Home

Fans of the old store in North Loop will love the abundant space, contemporary home decor items, and welcoming atmosphere of the just-moved-in Foundry Home Goods at w. 48th and Grand in Tangletown.

Stainless industrial tables up front display unique specialty items like pencils and pens from Japan, scissors and sharpeners from Germany, and a what-to-do guidebook of the 'Cities, published right here in Minneapolis.

Customers checking out with Home Goods staffer Erin are from Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  

Ample display and selling space allows larger design and decor items, sure to appeal to trend-setting clients. 

Foundry Home Goods owner and CEO, Anna Hillegass, poses outside the new venue, accompanied by "helpers" Ruby and Turnip.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sonoran Desert Skat. No, shit.

In combing the desert floor recently in search of a cow's skull, I came across these little turds instead. They could be deer skat, or rabbit; tasting one dropping would have confirmed the source.  You'll be happy to hear, I think, that the source remains a mystery, as I was disinclined to venture a taste-test.