Wednesday, August 31, 2011

'Nother Dunn Bros. Java Shop: Bikes Welcome.

Stopped at this shop today on Lake Street for a little Infinity Black.  Check it out, take a pic or two. Note the orange handlebar tape on the bike parked out front.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tonka Cycle + Ski: High Fives, Kudos to Jason.

My fave wrench in the 'Cities, Jason, is at work on my bike in my fave bike store.  I bought my Surly LHT at Tonka Cycle + Ski in Hopkins, and Jason has serviced it regularly. Here he checks shifting and chain, and sees if the new brake pads he's installed clear the rear rim.

Jason, Tonka, LHT: Good bike, good shop, great guy.  You can count on all three!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bringing Home the Melons, 2 for 5 bucks.

Bought two of the sweetest cantaloupe melons this afternoon from a local farm stand. I was a little skeptical about getting home safe and sound -- no easy way to pedal the Surly and keep in balance. We double-bagged the fruit, hung a melon over each brake hood, and I wobbled off to the west.  Made it, melons intact. No scrapes or bruises on my knees.  Just about to chow on some sweet fruit as we speak.  Bikes do good take-home-the-groceries work here in Minnie!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Coxie + Pie Chef, Parkway Pizza.

LOLA art-show today took us to the Longfellow neighborhood in search of Sharon Parker's handiwork.  She's an accomplished painter and illustrator (bought a watercolor of an exquisite organic sugar beet she'd just painted). Pina chose some clever handmade calendars -- too cool to try to describe here.

All that shopping and art-admiring made us famished! Before we could even say 10-inch pie with all the trimmings, Craig Cox had ordered up the special, and invited Pizza Chef (never got his name!) to join us at the table for a shot of what's left of our lunch.

Good to be with Sharon and Craig, happy to be supporting a terrific artist, and fun to meet the Pie-man, plus a a freind of Sharon's, before P and I headed up 42nd Ave. to see some more art.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Road Work, Housing Development on Hunter.

Main N-S Medina artery, Hunter Drive, is undergoing huge developmental upheaval. Residential housing project has already taken root, right behind the heavy-duty earth movers in the background of this pic.  Road will be resurfaced once the most disruptive work is in the can. And Hunter Lions Park?  So far, so good -- no change anticipated.  The ball fields are still in use, tennis courts busy as always. And a shiny, new sign from the Lions continues to bring in athletes, young and old.

10th Annual Lobster Boil, 1029 Bar, NE Mpls.

Biggest lobsters you've ever seen!

Yummy lobster roll - $12.00.

Or (and?) a full lobster dinner for $27.00.  Includes a 3-pounder, ear of corn, new potatoes, special spices, all boiled up together in a mesh bag, and served with loads of butter, cole slaw on the side, and an iced cold pint from the tap if that's your fancy.

I'm talking wildly good food.  Talkin' Minneapolis, not Kennybunkport, ME. It's the 10th Annual Lobster Fest at the 1029 Bar on Marshall just off Broadway.  And Pina and I had a great time feeding our inner child (s).

The waitresses wore tank tops with "Sexy Server" printed on the back.  The guys wore t's with rolled-up sleeves. The band was cranking in the party tent attached to the bar site; the atmosphere could not have been more festive.

This is a must-be, must-see event for landlubbers and seafarers alike.  Mark your calendars for next August and the 11th annual.  And check out the size of the crustaceans P + P are holding.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Holding Together the Stone Arch Bridge.

Ever wonder how the Stone Arch Bridge, spanning the Mighty Mississipp, and transporting generations of bikers, joggers, bladers and photographers east to west and back, stays in place? And why don't those iconic stone blocks tumble hundreds of feet into the water instead?

I think I have the answer, the nuts and bolts if you will.  You can see one of them here: a very old and rusty nut and bolt. Plus some glue it seems. When some Bunyanesque torquer applies enough purchase, and connects nuts and bolts on both sides of the span, the bridge is made secure.

Seems primative, but it works.

Monday, August 22, 2011

35-W Bridge Memorial Pays Tribute to Victims.

35-W Bridge collapse victims have been honored -- and today I pedaled by the understated new memorial overlooking the Missisippi River.  Names of the injured, like Mr. Flores, are engraved into granite blocks. A subtle stream of water falls gently over the blocks, highlighting the many names.

The deceased are honored by a series of translucent pillars. With the sun at my back the living are overshadowed by the dead.  Perhaps that's what the designers intended.

Gov. Dayton and Mayor Ryback opened the memorial with great respect and solemnity a couple of weeks ago.  In no time, and with heinous disrespect, integral parts of the memorial were vandalized.

Repair is underway. Vandals remain anonymous. Families of victims must have mixed feelings, at a minimum.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Horse Apples Right Here on my Street.

We live in horse country so we're not surprised when horse apples are deposited on the road.  Look what I saw today:  almost felt like sweeping up the mess!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lake Calhoun Junior Sailors, August 2011.

Over eleven-hundred kids are enrolled in sailing programs this summer on Lake Calhoun. The young'uns start off in "Opti's," as the kids call them. Center-board, gaff-rigged, molded fiberglass construction, and easy for a 9-year old to handle solo. Talked to the grandma of one of the junior skippers -- she reports that these Lake Calhouners compete all over the region: Lake Minnetonka, Cedar Lake, Lake Harriett, White Bear, down in Iowa, and as far away as Texas. Today is the last day of sailing for the season -- school starts soon. What a gorgeous sailing day these skippers are enjoying. Me and the grandma, too.

Princeton Grad, Koga Dutch Cruiser.

My Orono pal Jim Hillegass and I get together for coffee regularly. We talk about work, kids, bikes, politics, economy, travel -- all the good stuff.  Much to my great delight Jim, P '67, shows up this morning at Harvest Moon on his Koga "Alliance"-- an authentic Dutch-style cruiser that folks in Holland and throughout the Euro Zone ride everywhere on a daily basis.

Koga Miyata is a top-notch, world class manufacturer.  I'd seen a few long-wheelbase, touring versions of Jim's bike, but never this model.   The features are stunning:  hydraulic shock connected to the down-tube, and visible in the foto. Front fork shocks.  Built in generator that powers a head- and tail light. A complex but totally logical gear shift system that I'm at a loss to explain. Plastic shields that cover the spokes on the rear wheel -- and keep European ladies' skirts from entanglement and road dirt.

And on and on the features go.

Jim let me take a turn around the parking lot.  Loved the ride -- most comfortable velo I've ever ridden.  Made me ache to have one of these babies of my own -- think I'll take a tour of Craig's List this weekend and see what I can find.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Minnesota Equine Gothic?

How idyllic does this look?  Old fashion horse and wagon ride with admiring passengers and a skilled set of hands on the reins.  Those Shires are magnificent, and the grace and touch with which Lisa drives them is unparalleled.  What a sight!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Uncle Joe, Ford Tractor, Chillicothe, 1954.

Pretty good snowfall in my hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio, winter of 1954. Uncle Joe was on the tractor, and on his way to the garage to pull out the car of his dad, Dr. Hoyt, who was needed at Chillicothe Hospital.  If the driveway managed to get plowed, my grandfather surely got to the O.R. in time to deliver Mrs. Smith's second baby!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Posin' Paige and the Pohlads.

Inside the uber-cool Target Field complex there's an elegant and respectful bronze statue of Carl Pohlad and his wife.  Our friend Paige strikes a pose, hoping that a little luck rubs off on the unfortunate Twins.

Hangin' with Kirby Puckett.

John invited me to join Paige, Liam and him at the Twins game last night against the Boston Red Sox.  Even before all the action, noise, peanuts, flashing lights, brats, foul tips, and oohs and aahs, the boys got a chance to honor the late, great and inimitable Kirby Puckett.

Paige took the fellows-foto and wondered aloud if the 4-3 loss to Boston might have been a different ball game if Kirby were still in the Twins line up? 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Linden Hills Independent Java Beanery.

Old-time coffee roaster, loose tea merchant in exclusive Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis. Fun and funky store window, and remarkably complete bean inventory make this a must-shop destination for any coffee and tea habitue.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Old VW Hippie Road Tripper.

VW - Wolfsburg made this sweet ride in the days before the Westphalia option was ever dreamed of.  Classic camper, 4-banger, no pop-top, clean outside and in, just waiting for some lucky owner to head west on U.S. 12 all the way to the Coast.  For now, though, this dreamboat is parked off 44th, in the Linden Hills section of Minneapolis.  Too bad there wasn't a FOR SALE sign in that jalousie window?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Terman Tractor 'Fest.

Seth... Found this one in a pile of last year's paintings. Saw the machine on a large front yard in Lyons, Colorado (about 12 miles north of Boulder) parked but still being used. Best of the summer... James

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oldest Tractor in Minnesota?

Nancy I were exploring the backroads of Minnetrista last weekend and came upon this relic. Iron wheels date the tractor to pre-pneumatic-tire vintage. You can just imagine homesteading in the great plains of central Minnesota.

The rust hasn't killed the beast -- yet.  No badge could be seen on the radiator, so one can only guess at the manufacturer, plant, and model year.  You need to look beyond the rusty finish and visualize a shiny red or green paint job, with complementing trim -- a tractor any farmer would be proud to drive.

The mercury was pushing 90-degrees when Poppina and I viewed the machinery.  If the picture looks hot, well, it was hot out there.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New "Citizen" Folding Bike!

A guy on a Dahon whom I met this morning in front of Calhoun Cycle told me I wouldn't realize how much I'd need a "foldy" until I got one and put it to work.  We'll see about that ...

In the meantime, let me introduce you to my new "Citizen Tokyo" foldy which I bought on Craig's List.  It's adorable -- if not a little snug, the fit.

16" tires make for swell pedaling by guys about 5' 5" riding in major metro areas.  But out here in the 'burbs a 6-plus footer (who's added a few avoirdupois) looks a little silly, don't you think?

Nancy and I plan to fold this baby up, stuff it inside its custom zippered bag, and put it in the back of the KIA.  That way, long road trip or short, we'll have (little) wheels once we put the big wheels in Park.

In case you're wondering:  I paid $50 for the bike.  It's brand new.  Former owner won it in a raffle at a health food store.  When I got it home the rear tire had a flat and the left crank fell off. $13.43 later at Gear West in Long Lake, my "Tokyo" is ready for action.

Stay tuned for more.