Sunday, July 17, 2011


Compare and contrast:

Minneapolis/St. Paul:

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:

Operation Crabbypants will commence until mid September...

God, I hate this fucking weather

Friday, July 01, 2011

New bike

I've scored a new Pugsley from Surly.

I've recently injured my back so I've been not able to ride it until today. My trip to work was uneventful, but enlightening, but my trip home was eye-opening. I typically ride city streets to work and back and this morning I did my typical morning commute at a pace that seems to be a fat-bike speed. Slow.

On the way home I decided to take a "short-cut," a way that is not ridden by anyone. I took the train tracks from 70th to where they end at 60th.

Pugsleys and train tracks are made for each other. Bumping on the tracks on fat bike tires is a treat that few will ever know and when the tracks are less close, the ability to ride on the rocks, weeds, crap and other surfaces without a second thought are a treat that few will ever know. I repeat myself because I believe it's true.

When was the last time you felt like you were five? I learned to ride a bike early and the freedom that gave me was, uh, heady. I know that bikes give a feeling of freedom, but that initial hit, that world opening, stunning, I can go anywhere feeling, has been repeated with the Pugsley. I have the ability to go places a middle-aged man probably shouldn't go.

That last bit is the important part. Sure, when you're 12, you can ride your bike where ever you'd like, but a 46 year old man isn't really expected to be there. You should be in a car and passing over this without looking a second thought.

This is freedom, the ability to explore, the chance to go where you're not expected to be. Our society allows 12 year olds to go there, but if you're older than that you are a bum and not really allowed to be there.

Really? I can't see my city?

Bikes give a mobility that even cops admire/hate/use. The ride along the train track showed me that people walk along the tracks, the garbage they leave, the desire to move and be where sidewalks are not places. I saw a mother and her child coming back from the store along the tracks probably for the same reason I was there; it went places that streets didn't.

The ability to ride on tracks, rocks, dirt and weeds is a treat that I figured the Pug was good for, but to actually do it, to hover past the neighborhoods and the traffic, to effortlessly rumble over tracks and rock was a near spiritual experience.

I felt the thrill of going places I wasn't allowed. To be where you needed permission to exist, to use the place that was there for only someone else.

I felt new, five, illegal.

It was exhilarating. Perhaps because of, or despite of the 95 degree heat the discovery made for an Independence Day. I've had my eyes opened on my first ride. Is it like this for others? Have your rides on fat bikes been as awakining as mine? Am I so doltish as to have missed the whole thing (initial answer from me: yes) Where have y'all taken your bikes? Where do I need to go?

I like the feeling of exploration. What do y'all get from your fat bikes?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Pride weekend, everyone!

The weather is with you!  Have a fabulous weekend!

Picture stolen from

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Traffic low down from a bird's eye view

New Yawk Citteh:

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

Keep it together people...

Hat tip to K-Lo for the video

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Happy Spring...

...but it's a dry heat.

Drink yer water, folks.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Hello all

I've been busy with gardening and getting the grounds ready for a summer that may or may not arrive. The weather here in the Nothern Midwest has been, uh, iffy, as of late. The winter wouldn't leave and the spring wouldn't show up but in fits and spurts. The fact that my radishes haven't shown up by now is proof enough to me that the weather is off. If you can't grow radishes, then you are not either able to grow anything or that the Fates are against you.

The radishes are starting to grow great greens, but no roots. I'm not sure if I've depleted the nutrients in the raised bed, but the broccoli rabe are doing okay now (the sun is a bit more reliable) and the spinach is starting to show also, I'm wondering about the quality of the radish seeds. I am going on about radishes simply because they are the simplest things in the world to grow: when the snow is away from your box, drop seeds in. They'll take frost, freezes, low quality soil, just about anything. That's why I'm curious why they haven't taken off.

I may need to look into the quality of the soil, but, again, radishes are ridiculously hearty and I've never had problems in the past. They look good, but there is no root. Radish greens are acutally pretty tasty, but they have a mouth feel that is fairly off-putting; there is a lot of small hooks on the back of the leaves that make them feel weird when you're chewing.  Chop them up and mix them with milder greens (they have a the peppery taste of the radish) and they can add a bit of punch to a salad or fried greens.

Regardless, the sunflowers are up, tomatoes have been planted and are doing well and the peas and lettuce are starting to show up also, so the garden is doing well. There are berries on the blueberry bushes and the new apple trees seem to have buds. I'll take what I can get with the crazy weather we've been having...

Mrs. Yam has a new job Downtown that a perk of subsidised bus fare, so the transportation costs have improved: instead of driving 25 miles one way to work the $50 a month bus tab is quite a bit cheaper the $40 week in gas to Woodbury. Mrs is a city girl and the avoidence of deepest, darkest suburban life is a great plus in her world.

I'm still riding to work, but I'm not riding as much otherwise becuase of getting the gardens ready (I've acutally increased my cylinder index by purchasing a tiller) and adding rain barrels to the downspouts of the house to catch run-off. I am planning to build a couple of raised bed gardens in the driveway to catch rain and the all day sun, but the Mrs wants me push that off to next year. Instead, I've added a couple of oak half barrels and we've moved some sun-loving plants into them. We'll see how this goes.

I've sold the Rivendell Bleriot and Fafnir is loving it, so I'm happy. I'm looking to get a Pugsly from Surly as the next two-wheeled vehicle. If I get it this summer, there are a couple of ATV trails in Northern Minnesota that I'll attempt to ride. This seems that this would be a good test of my endurance (of which I have none) and the weirdness of surface that fat tired bikes are good for.

VelociPete has put up a vote for when to meet for beers (my vote:Now!) and the winning votes as of now are for June 9. I'll assume that is the date and we'll see you then. If you're not from here, lemme know and I'll hoist a pint for you in your absence, just as long as there are not enough of you to make me re-enact the fateful loss and recovery of the DumVee last summer...

Joboo, I may have some spare time and if I score a fatbike, I'm coming up yer way -- we may need to talk about a ride around yer part of the world.

Ride yer bike and dig up yer grass. We'll talk later.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A fat boy wanders into the woods and gets hungry

I've finally updated the food blog. Stop by if you want a pesto recipe using weeds...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Biking and Gardening in Minnesota

Your humble narrator apologizes for the lack of updates. Last Tuesday was nearly 90 degrees. The Monday the week before, it was snowing as I rode in to work. Currently it's 50 and raining. I'm trying to start my garden and I'm not really successful.

Anyone have any answers why it's so hard? I really can't imagine any...

I live here and I love it, but I'm not always sure why. Perhaps we're the hippest state in the Union:

A: I have that shirt -- had it for years

B: plus the Minnesota Opera -- the bestest little Opera house in the world

C: 13+ years me and Mrs have been shopping. Their first album was still their best one

D: nice selection, but no 'Mats, no dice. Best band that ever lived.

I: old news, don't care. Didn't care when PDX ruled, won't care when they win next year. I'm still riding my damn bike. So should you. Why are you waiting for $6 gas?

J: nope. So was Fargo. Much better movie. Neither describes us accurately. Come and find out for yourself.

In short, I'm too old for the Hipster Dufii redux in my hometown and I'm not sorry. I'm just sitting on my front porch yellin' "Git offa my yard"

If'n yer in town, stop on by and we'll have a cold one and shoo the youngun's offa the grass...

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Fafnir on Minneapolis Bike Love has claimed me ol' beauty of a bike. A good person who will love her and ride her, I'm happy to see her go to a good home.

Monday, April 25, 2011

For Sale

Bikes come and go and to get too attached to an object is to lose a bit of one's self. Or so I'm telling myself. I am putting the Bleriot up for sale to a good home.

It's 58cm with 650B wheels, so it's good for those with shorter legs. I'm 5'9" - 5'10" with said short legs and it fits like a dream. Deore LX derailleurs, Sugino crank, Tektro brakes.  Nitto Noodle handlebars (48 cm) with shellaced cloth tape.  She's a beauty, that's for sure, but there are places where the paint has been chipped.  Overall a fine bike in great condition.  No rack, pedals or saddle with this.  Comment with contact info if you're interested.

Why?  I've got bikes that do the jobs this did and I just need to make space.  I'm bound and determined to get me a Pugsly but the Mrs says I gotta make room for it before I do.  The Long Haul Trucker has become my go to bike and I just don't ride this any more.  It was my first nice bike and I have happy memories with it (Grand Rapids ride especially), but after all, it's just a thing.  She's a good bike and I'm sure she'll make someone very happy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


First ride on plain ol' rubber since November. I almost forgot what it was like without the sizzlin' bacon studdy wheels...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Let's have a little sing-a-long, shall we

There's so much strife in the world right now, so we need to sing together. How's 'bout a little Kumbaya...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bye, Hurl

Time for some more coffee and cookies before lift off

I don't doubt that Hurl will land on all four feet and skitter off to success somewhere else.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Foggy morning ride
Winter dragon's breath enshrouds
very quiet now