Fred's Bike/walk Page

Selected bike related links - mostly Minneapolis related    More bike Links     More bike/transit links   Fred's Bike Blog

City of Minneapolis Bicycle Program has many useful links. "Where to Ride" link goes to page with
 maps - online and where to get printed ones including the great Hennepin County Bike map.
City of Minneapolis Pedestriain Program Similar resources for walking.
Minneapolis Bicycle Registration - Free Also report stolen registered bikes
Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition
Nice Ride Minnesota public bike sharing system will start in Minneapolis in May of 2010.
Theodore Wirth Park Off-road Bike Trail
Transit for Livable Communities advocating for buses, light rail, commuter rail in Minnesota
Walkscore site calculates a number that reflects the distance to destinations within walking distance for an
 address one enters.  It is a fairly rough calculation using information from Google. Choosing where to live
 in a location with most destinations in walking / biking distance greatly reduces the potential
 environmental/energy transportaion impact. Of course routes to work destinations are very significant.
North Minneapolis Bikeways
Luce Line Bikepath from Douglas Drive in Golden Valley to Wirth Parkway is now open. A key link west from Mpls.
Major Taylor Bike Club is the premier African-American bicycling club in the state of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest
Pedal Minnesota Great information, see "resources"
Twin Cities bike/transit links at Twin Cities Streets for People
Bicycle Commuter Institute
Blue bike lanes in Denmark which are used (only) at some intersections. Picture from Fred's 1999 trip.
 Note in the foreground that bike lane has curb between it and vehicle lanes as well
 as between it and sidewalk. BTW note that bus has 3 doors to speed stops.

Recumbent bicycles

I've been riding recumbent bikes pretty exclusively since Oct. 2009. A recumbent bicycle is a bicycle which places the pedals in front rather than below the rider. The rider's back is supported. Many recumbent riders find them easier and more comfortable to ride. I'd been interested in them for much longer. Since I ride mostly for tranporation in the city and therefore lock it up on the street. I wanted one I was willing to do that with. Recumbent bikes tend to be pricey compared to the wide range of upright bikes - they are made in smaller numbers and tend to have above average components. When I finally found used recumbents for sale by individuals for acceptable prices (see Craigslist paragraph below), I bought a used recumbent and then another. As far as I'm concerned it is the only way to go. Here's another good overview of recumbent bikes Bicycleman FAQ Fred's bike design and recumbent bikes it evolved from. I've never attempted to build this. FUS Earthday bike rides: 2006 2005 2005,2 2004 . Special Twin Cities bike shops - public workshops, used, coop, recumbent Minneapolis Venture North Bike/Walk/Coffee Open Shop-Tue 3-7, youth employment 1830 Glenwood Av 612-377-3029 2//17: M-F 7-7pm, Sat 10-5 Recovery Bike Shop Open Shop (Mon 7pm starting July 2018) , used. Central near Lowry Ave: 2504 Central Ave NE 612-876-5356 Cycles for Change - Mpls (formerly Spokes...) Open Shop-Wed 4-pm, Sat 1pm, Tue-women-5pm, 24/7 repair station 1915 East 22nd Street 612-787-7433 Grease Pit Bike Shop Now located at 2750 Bloomington Ave. Public workshop (donations) Mon - Thur:6-9pm Sat, Sun: 3-6pm Full Cycle is a bike shop based on a program to teach at-risk youth to repair bikes at 3515 Chicago Av S 612-824-7581. Calhoun Cycle Uptown area. One of the nations largest recumbent and folding bicycle dealers. Freewheel Midtown Bike Center on Midtown Greenway. Storage, Rentals, Cafe , Repair Classes, Public Shop ($4/ 15 min) Hub bike Shop Coop, two locations, Cedar Riverside; near Hiawatha & Lake (has used bikes and public shop ($5/hr)) Sunrise Cyclery at 2901 Blaisdell Ave So (new location) has an extensive inventory of used bikes. Two Wheels Bike Shop sells re-built used bikes and offers tune-ups. 1014 W 27th St St. Paul Express Bike Shop Community based used bikes / training 1158 Selby (nr Lex) 651-644-9660 M-F noon-7 Sat 1-5 Cycles for Change! (formerly Sibley Bike Depot) Member based nonprofit advocacy and public repair/education. located at 712 University Ave., St Paul (1 block west of Dale) Edina OUT OF Business: Edina Bike Shop NW of France Av and Hwy 62 Lower cost recumbents. Craigslist Twin Cities bikes for sale is a good website to look for used bikes. Maybe 1% are recumbent bikes. Search for "bent" repeatedly after using "next 100 postings" link at bottom of page to search last few weeks listings. I got my last two recumbent bikes via this site. USE usual PRECAUTIONS when arranging deals. It should be possible to configure Google Alerts to notify one by email when a 'bent' shows up for sale.

Fred's Bike Blog

    See also Fred's general blog

6-5-2012 __ Fred's bike mishap  .

Saturday June 2, 2012 was a beautiful day in Minneapolis and first day
of Bike Walk week.  At 2:15 pm I was on my way to meet with a cohousing
person at at Monterey Cohousing (Mococo) at 2pm... When I had realized
I was going to be late I did not have the phone number available
(mistake 1) to inform her.  So I was rushing too much (mistake 2).

In my haste I took a downhill stretch of the bike trail along the
parkway near Brownie Lake too fast and lost control. I think I hit
an uneven dip that had sand in it on a small curve. The path seems
to slope toward the lake / outside of the curve some too - opposite
from a banked turn.

The bike and I went into brush and little stumps (and one 6" stump).
But missed the trees.  I ended up off the side of the path toward the
lake somewhat downhill from the path with a big slice in my right arm
just below the elbow.  Later I learned it was called an "avulsion"
(skinned). I've visited the site 3 times since the mishap. I suspect
my arm may have hit the 6" stump but it had no blood on it. I did not
find any blood or evidence at the scene.

Skin down to the fat layer was ripped and pushed back (but still
attached at the far end).  I had some other bruises, and nicks etc but
the avulsion was the worst.  I remember my helmet taking a few bumps.
Fortunately my face was spared unlike my other bike crash 16 years ago.

Becca was at a "tea party" not far away.  Another bicyclist called her
for me; he stayed with me until she got there and helped load the bike
on her car.  A woman bicyclist also stopped and seemed to have some
medical expertise. They both gave me handkerchiefs to wrap around the
wound and my arm as a tourniquet.

Becca came and took me to Urgent Care at her clinic also not far away.
They cleaned me up and I got 5 stiches to hold the skin of the
avulsion back in place and an ace bandage over the pads for 5 days to
hold the skin in place to help it heal in place. I'm taking
antibiotics for five days. I was lucky that my injuries were not worse
and that I was cared for so well so promptly.

It would have been better to have been a even more late and made it to
Mococo.  Live and learn.

The main causal factors seem to have been going too fast for
conditions (tho I did not realize I was at the time);  poor condition
of the path. The small (16 inch) front wheel and the underseat
steered recumbent bike may have been a factor in losing control under
the extreme conditions. Here is a picture of the Vision Under seat steering
Despite the accident, the Vision remains my favorite bike.

There is a plan to upgrade the bike path where my mishap took place
as well as access to little Brownie Lake. See Brownie Lake Improvements
Not sure about the timeline. [ The major upgrade of the bike path was completed
in 2014(?) and the "downhill stretch" that veered nearer the lake only to come back
up to the bridge over the Cedar Lake Trail has been eliminated by keeping the trail up by the parkway.
And of course the new trail is smooth. ]

The bike seems to be fine. The handlebars were twisted a bit at the
goose neck and easily twisted back.

My recovery is coming along.  In the week after my mishap I biked several times.

Bike Walk week here has a number of events. Today I will go to the
Bike Walk to work event downtown.  Next weekend is the Ciclovia (Latin
American term that I prefer tho they seem to be calling it "Open
Streets" more this year - a 20 block section of a major arterial in S
Mpls (Lyndale) is closed to motor vehicles for the day for bicycles
and pedestrians.  It is basically a big party with lots of moving
around.  I plan to go and volunteer to talk to people the first 2
hours about Bike Walk infrastructure efforts here as well as other
tranportation efforts.

4-10-2012 __ Get another recumbent bike  .
Vision Under seat steering
Vision from front

6-10-2010 __ Nice Ride MN Public Bike system grand opening ( expensiveniceride ) .
On Bike Walk day 2010 I attended the grand opening.  It was threatening to rain but mostly did
not. It was interesting to see the southbound lane on Nicollet Mall clogged with bikes - many of
them Nice Ride bikes.

This non-profit high tech system (computer networked, credit card based) is partly funded with
cigarette lawsuit proceeds and quite extensive in downtown Minneapolis down to the Midtown
Greenway / Lake street and over to the University.

I have a few concerns.  It appears that the structure of the system will serve some people's
needs but not others.  I hope it serves enough people to be sustainable.

There is no provison for helmets - logistics to do so would be too complicated.

[Following section updated 3/21/2011]

Very Expensive for one ride

The price structure - a "subscription" for a day, month or year plus an escalating fee per 30
minutes after the first 30 minutes is clearly designed to encourage short trips. The people it
will serve best are people who get to downtown often by some means other than bike who can use
Nice Ride often to get around downtown from one station to another.  A yearly subscription
($60) and first 30 minutes of each trip free make this very reasonable. ( $60 / (8 months x 20
weekdays = $0.40/weekday)  Even a monthy subscription is comparable to one bus ride per day (
$30 / 20 weekdays = $1.50/weekday ).  For a person who wants to spend a day exploring the area
covered by making many short tips using Nice Ride, it's very reasonable 24 hours for $5.00 and
the free 30 min per trip.

HOWEVER it seems to me that a person who wants to make one or two trips, the minimum $5.00 daily
subscription requirement is very steep. This would be $5.00 for one (or $2.50 for two) rides of
less than 30 minutes. Considerably higher than 40 cents or $1.50 per day with lomger subscription.

Clearly this pricing structure is limiting usage.  In the first year of Nice Ride MN, I never
observed a station without bikes available.  Tho useage was statistics were adequate to justify
the system. BUT the demand at WITH THIS PRICE STRUCTURE was not high.  I am sure that a lower price,
and particularly would guess that a lower price for one or two rides would result in much higher
demand.  The goal that I propose would be to have a price structure that got about 90% utilization
during dry daylight hours. (10% or some similar number or so would mean there some were bikes
available at most stations at most times.)

In support of my argument that a modified pricing structure would increase usage substantially,
I cite my direct observation: In 1999 I used the Copenhagen public bike system. It was free but
required small ($2-$3) deposit in a system that resembles the shopping cart deposit system at Aldi
grocery stores in the US now. There were seldom bikes available after early morning until evening.
Clearly there was very high utilization.

Note that they did not have the 30 minute free aspect which would bring bikes back to stations
more promptly and muddies my comparison. Bikes were supposed to only be parked at stations
which with the deposit was incentive to return them. Also bike useage generally was already
very high there in 1999.  And Copenhagen has many tourists who could use bikes. But I think the
argument still is valid.

Pictures of Copenhagen city bike #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6
I think Copenhagen is implementing a new system, I hope they do not implement a pricing structure
that needlessly limits useage.

Another situation where Nice Ride MN pricing is high: if you wanted to take one 125 minute trip
(outside the service area maybe around the lakes), would be $21.50 which seems to me excessive.
But the system was not designed for this type of use.

See also Wikipedia: Bicycle sharing system
[end update]

We'll see how much use this pricing structure draws.  I think the argument recently made that
parking should be priced so there are SOME free parking places could apply here. That is, price
the use so most but not all bikes are in use as much as possible.  This might mean some time of
day factor in the pricing. Maybe weekends could be priced lower.  Since the system is already
computer / network based a more flexible pricing system should not bee too difficult.

The web site has a Station map  (use link on the right down one screen on home page).
It is a zoomable Google Map. Clicking on station icons on map give real time information on
number of bikes and "docks" available. This could expand to include the current price if
there were experimentation with prices.

10-05-2009 __ Used Sun EZ-Speedster CX Recumbent Bike .
Yesterday I bought a used Sun EZ-Speedster CX Recumbent Bike from Jory in Carver, MN
which I learned of from the Craigslist TC bikes for sale area.
(Only a few 'bents show up here; I searched for "bent" back about a month periodically. BUT...
In May 2011 I found a better way... Use Google alerts which sends an email message when
a search finds new results to get notified when a used 'bent is for sale on Craigslist . )
Sun EZ Speedster CX Recumbent Bike    Higher resolution    Fred on the Sun bent Nov 2009

On 10/7 I studied the bent closer.  Some observations:
1) the front "Promax" disk brake's rotor is not centered in brake and is rubbing
on one side. Red knob does not seem to alter centering (it does on back).
(Later, it needed lubrication .)

Seat slides about 8" . For Fred about 6" from back of square tube to seat
bracket seems about right

Seat back braces has minor deficiencies. Width at seat back is different
than lower tubes. Length adjustment is minimally adequate and awkward.
Where braces attach to frame near rear hub should allow tubes to pivot
while being secure.

Recently installed rack was only loosely attached in front (to seat back braces
with wire ties). Tight attachment there would inhibit seat adjustment. Plan a
tube from front of rack down to frame by "down tube". Done.

Update 11/29/09.  I've ridden the bent a fair amount thanks to the good weather we've had
including a long ride on bike trails out to Lake Minnetonka. I'm quite pleased with it.

10/08 __ This year I've been biking to Roosevelt High School (RSH) to help with an inovative
installaltion of computers in a science classroom (see GCOS ).
It's about an 8 mile ride across Minneapolis.  One day in Sept. when I got close to RSH I noticed my front tire was
going flat. I got to RSH ok - walking a few blocks.  I thought the leak was quite slow so I decided to try and limp
home with it as is.  I made stops for air:  (many bike shops have a loaner bike pump to use on site)
Hub Bike on Minnehaha for air
Hub Bike on West Bank for air
One on One Bike just N of Downtown for air (curiously it had not lost
much if any air since the west bank ). I got home in  about an hour.

This route followed the LRT/bus routes so I could bail out and
ride transit with the bike if the leak was too fast to keep inflated
enough to get home.  All Minneapolis city buses now have a fold down rack for two bikes.
They are used a lot.  (Some bikes get forgotten on the rack :)
If I have a suspicious tire, I'll take a pump and maybe a patch kit.
There are enough resources in the city that I don't carry them routinely.

10/07 __ This image, 4 bike vertical rack , is a mockup that attempts to illustrate an idea for a bike
rack that holds bikes vertically and overlapping side to side by having alternate bikes higher
thus allowing bikes to be stored more densely. This is probably more dense than realistic since
the bikes are all the same. I expect that only with experience will it be possible to arrive at
a practical density. Maybe some racks set up at different density for different bikes -- mostly
touring bikes vs mountain bikes and maybe different style handlebars. I would hope that the
rack could be used for short wheelbase (about 40" between axles) recumbent bikes.  These
would only be used where there are many bikes parked like around dorms.  There will be need for
some conventional racks for bikes and riders for whom these racks don't work. Bicyclists can be
given incentive to use them such as availability of space, proximity, maybe reserved spots,
maybe shelter from rain.  Note that in some ways bikes are actually more maneuverable when they
are walked vertically than walked conventionally since one can walk behind the bike and thus
maneuver in a narrower space. I often walk my bike into the garage on end (where I have a
vertical rack).

In this image:
o red by the front tires represents hooks
o longer red line by the stem represents the top of a loop tub which
  the bike can be locked to and which stablizes the bike side to side
  ( see crude attempt at a side view of bike in vertical rack )
o lower red is a channel where the rear tire sits.
o Not shown is a ramp for the raised bikes to roll up into position.

Note that Dero Bike Rack Co. (here in Mpls) has several space saving racks
including one that suspends bikes from trolleys that allow you to push neighboring bikes
apart when hanging or removing a bike so bikes can be stored about 8" apart.

7/07 __ Today I got  a large old yellow Schwinn bike from a friend. I hauled it
on the trailer behind my bike.  I held it vertically using a "tray" that is normally used
on a car top rack -- the kind that keeps both wheels on and has a brace that
clamps on the down tube. I usually use the trailer to haul water and supplies to the garden.
Bike on trailer

6/07 __ pondering conversion of a used aluminum "women's" frame with 7-speed hub and internal brakes
to a recumbent... Replace forks with those for 20" bike for a 20" wheel.  Mount a strong tube to
support cranks out front and seat (red line in picture): Yellow aluminium bike

Compare to this 29 pound Volae with 650 C wheels

Compare to this  to this Vision VR-50 USS Short WheelBase with Underseat steering recumbent
bike for sale in Aug '07 for $695 (It was sold before I saw it) Note that it has Full Suspension.

This page is maintained by Fred H Olson  email:  fholson at
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