Archive for the 'Biking' Category

Digiboo lets airport travelers buy or rent movies on flash drives

As it’s also topical to this blog, I’m pointing ya’ll to my other blog, Killing Batteries, where I just posted a hands on review of the new Digiboo movie flash drive rental/purchase service that debuted at Minneapolis/St Paul Airport this week. Read it and rejoice.

Biking | 14.03.2012 15:16 | Comments Off on Digiboo lets airport travelers buy or rent movies on flash drives

The 23rd annual MONDO Jugglefest – February 17-19, 2012

The 23rd annual MONDO Jugglefest drops this weekend, February 17th, 18th and 19th. Being of legal drinking age, but not quite ready to rent a car, this MONDO is brimming with all the options and (probably) not enough inhibitions of that fun and charming age group.

As always, two and a half days of open juggling, unicycling, workshops, and games will be crowned by the Saturday night MONDO Spectacular, our wildly popular public show. Among the this year’s venerable collection of talent,  we’re flying in Jack Kalvan, juggling sage and the veteran of 3,000 shows over 15 year of performing. All the way from Switzerland, we’ve got the world class unicycling pairs team of Emilie Stegmüller and Philipp Henestrosa. Finally, fearless local favorites The Danger Committee are also on the program.

A new addition this year, MONDO will host the Minnesota Kendama Championships. What’s a kendama? Glad you asked.

Once again, the festival is being held at Concordia College’s monstrous Gangelhoff Center, just off Hamlin Avenue in St Paul. This massive field house, with the always exciting bouncy rubber floor that weaponizes virtually every dropped club, is where all the workshops, demonstrations, prop vending and games will occur.

Some 500 jugglers, unicyclists and others attended last year. Few things in life slacken the jaw like a field house teeming with people deftly throwing and catching (and dropping and bending overing and picking upping) thousands of objects simultaneously, while a mind-bending army of unicyclists wizz around, yoyoists yo and poi spinners, uh, do whatever it is that they do. I’m telling ya, this caliber of full blown over-stimulation entertainment can usually only be achieved with highly illicit drugs. (Kids: don’t do drugs.)

If you don’t juggle (or unicycle or kendama), this is the place to learn. Formal and informal coaching persists throughout the festival. I can teach anyone between the ages of six and 75 to juggle in less than 30 minutes. That’s right, in thirty minutes you can be just a little bit more like me and who doesn’t want that?

The deets:
The 23rd Annual MONDO Jugglefest
Gym passes, good for all three days, are $10 at the door. All attendees will be required to sign a waiver before admittance to the festival.
Tickets for the MONDO Spectacular (7pm, Saturday February 18th) are $12 for adults, $10 for children under 12. This show frequently sells out, so it’s probably a good idea to secure tickets in advance.

Festival Hours:

Friday February 17th: 5:00pm – Midnight
Saturday February 18th: 9:00am to 2:00am (Note: the Gym will be closed during the Spectacular show, roughly from 5pm until the end of the show around 10pm)
Sunday February 19th: 10:00am to 5:00pm

Special self-promotion section:

I will celebrating my 30th(!) year of juggling at MONDO by showing off some of my club passing secrets, much like the amazing awesomeness below:

Biking | 13.02.2012 9:37 | Comments Off on The 23rd annual MONDO Jugglefest – February 17-19, 2012

My Skyway article in Vita.mn

Perhaps you’ll recall a few weeks ago when I didn’t leave the Skyway for two weeks and blogged about it in great detail. The article I wrote on the strength of that stunt is now live:

Not long from now, the planet’s space agencies will start recruiting people for the first colony on Mars. Colonists will need to be comfortable functioning in close quarters, endure extended periods indoors and survive on less-than-scintillating food options. Where will these hearty colonists be found? NASA? The Biosphere? Or some other place where tens of thousands of people happily go about their days in comparable surroundings?

Read the whole article here. Or grab a paper copy (one for every friend and acquaintance should do), so as to give the appearance that my articles are wildly popular.

Biking | 17.02.2011 12:03 | Comments Off on My Skyway article in Vita.mn

Where the *&#$ did I pack my Kryptonite lock?

You know what I love? Good timing. My appreciation for good timing is more acute than for most people because I am so infrequently its benefactor.

Have I mentioned that I’m cursed? Yeah, it sucks. So far, I’ve been able to keep the boils and flatulence at bay, but when it comes to things like timing, be it elevators, Light Rail or career-making book deals, I’m always about 30 seconds too late. Every time. It’s uncanny.

The upshot is that my eternal curse doesn’t afflict anyone more than two inches away from me, which is why, as we’re mere moments from biking season, it has come to pass that Minneapolis received a $900,000 grant from the Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Project to promote biking and walking. Look out Portland! We’re going to annihilate you the next time they take one of those cycling commuter surveys! Put that in your tweeter and smoke it, you dirty hippies!

On a related note, if I could only figure out which of these still-packed boxes sitting around my bitchin’ new condo contained my Kryptonite lock, I wouldn’t even be sitting here right now. Now I’m gonna have to walk all the way to Surdyk’s like a sucker.

Speaking of timing, gas is now $3.357 a gallon??? Jesus bootie slapping Christ. That’s gotta hurt. How are these people expected to buy wine and cider when it costs them $73 to fill up their completely unnecessary SUVs that they have no business driving, even if they could successfully navigate or park them – which they can’t if the lofty views from my bitchin’ new condo are any evidence.

I’m so overcome with empathy right now. ‘Empathy’ means ‘disgust’, right? Where is my dictionary? Probably under my Kryptonite.

I don’t mean to sound like a self-righteous asshole about these gas prices, but for those of you who’ve developed lives that are entirely dependent on excessively large cars that you only use for commuting and blocking traffic in my neighborhood, I’d just like to say BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Oh, since I’m in a hating mood over here, there’s this red Hummer I see downtown all the time. Every time I see it, it’s ignoring other traffic or lazily parked in one and a half parking spots, last time, taking up part of a handicapped spot. I saw it again a few days ago – the passenger side window had been smashed in. Now, I don’t normally endorse vengeance-fueled property damage, but seeing this particularly deserving example of returned bad karma was by far the highlight of an otherwise dismal week.

Do your part, flip off a Hummer.

Biking, Car-free lifestyle, Downtown | 18.04.2008 11:00 | 6 Comments

Winter bike safety

Judging from my visitor stats, many of you probably found my blog via Metroblogging, so this probably won’t be news to most, but just in case, I wanted to highlight a recent post by Erica about winter bike safety.

Having just returned from Chile’s sun and warmth yesterday, even though I had been forewarned by numerous wretchedly jealous friends via email, I was nevertheless stunned by the cold and snow that appeared while I was away.

If memory serves, Minnesotans need a good month or so to re-learn how to drive in slippery conditions each winter and double goes for cyclists since the consequences for even minor accidents can be disastrous.

As for me, well, my bike has been retired. Not only does my work-of-art, pencil-thin, zero-friction road bike have no business tooling around in these conditions, but I’m still tiptoeing around here with no health insurance, so I’ve gotta scale back the risky business until I get myself some kind of coverage in this country.

That said, props to all the people still on two wheels out there. You’re insane, but I love you anyway.

Biking | 13.12.2007 10:03 | 2 Comments

Critical Mass In a word ‘whoa’

criticalmass.jpgI had no idea the monthly Critical Mass bike ride/organized traffic slowdown had become so, erm, critically massive. I fortuitously encountered last night’s ride as it passed in front of the post office while I was on the way home from an early evening brisk walk to cap a long day of ass-numbing writing.

I’m no good at estimations, but there had to be 400-500 people in the convoy. A stream of bikers three or four deep crawled by for about five minutes and I never even saw the front of the thing, so who knows, could’ve been 1,000. Five MPD vehicles brought up the rear.

I’d heard some ne’er do well jackasses caused a ruckus at a ride this summer. Who started it? Reports vary. It’s tempting to blame the dreadlocked, tattooed guys armed with backpack stereos, but then it’s no secret that the MPD employs its fair share of power-drunk bullies.

Then last month’s more orderly ride was lambasted by perturbed Strib columnist Katherine Kersten, who was incensed about the possibility of being stuck in her car for five extra minutes as Critical Mass riders “infringe on others’ rights by disrupting traffic and running red lights”. Oh the humanity. Lady, I’ve been stuck in line at Lunds longer than that waiting for people that don’t think to fish out their checkbooks until the last item has been rung up, chatting away with the cashier without the slightest inkling that the rest of us would rather get on with our lives. Why aren’t you taking a swipe at those menace to society nogoodniks in your column?

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Biking | 27.10.2007 16:54 | 1 Comment

This is why I love the Midtown Greenway

midtowngreenway.jpgI realize the timing of this post could be better. Most sane people are deflating their tires and hanging their bikes in the basement for winter. I’m also aware that I’m probably the last person to get around to gushing over it, but for the benefit of out-of-town readers, I feel compelled to highlight the Midtown Greenway.

Though it was partially completed before I left for exotic far off lands in 2003, I’ve only recently tooled down the full length of this swath of bike and foot traffic giddiness. Next to Light Rail, the Greenway is my favorite bit of urban renewal to come to fruition during my absence.

For those of you even less enlightened than I currently am, the Greenway forms a conduit across the heart of the city, largely in a disused, paved-over railroad ditch. It connects the Mississippi River Boulevard – and therefore downtown with the western suburban trail system. The path is quiet, attractive and safe with a mirror-finish surface, tasteful ambient lighting and occasional gardens that verily erase the white-knuckle aggravation of cycling through the heart of the city.

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Biking | 26.10.2007 18:19 | Comments Off on This is why I love the Midtown Greenway