Think Bikeshare is “New” and “Weird?” Think Again

Just a quick update from the As you’ll no doubt remember, a version of the bike rental or bikeshare idea was floated in Grand Forks just about a year ago, to varying degrees of support.  With the rollout of bikeshare in more and more American cities, will we see more support or less, locally?  What should come first: more commuter cyclists in general, or some type of bikeshare system?

UND Has a Columbia Road Update

I think I see why people always say that traffic is “so much better” after new road construction: these are the sorts of detours we’ll deal with this summer.  I feel bad for anyone along 17th Ave S or S 20th Street, they’ll be screaming for Columbia Road “improvements” by the time this is done.

Via email:

Reconstruction on the South Columbia Road Project from 11th Avenue South to DeMers Avenue has been rescheduled to begin Monday, May 6.  It was originally scheduled for May 1.  Minor work will continue next week, but it will not generally impact traffic on South Columbia Road.  For a map of the area, please see

South Columbia Road will be closed to traffic beginning on Sunday, May 5, in the late afternoon to early evening and will remain closed until early August.  The project completion date(s) are unaffected by the rescheduled closure date.

EDIT 04 May 2013:
Received this in an email as well: “The walking bridge on the overpass is expected to remain open for the first phase of construction.” Details please!  This overpass is the single connection you can make across the rail yard without going all the way to either 42nd Street or South Washington Street.  If the city cuts off pedestrian access, it is creating a huge issue.

Map below is from

What’s your Big Hairy Goal?

Racers feeding their inner demons at CP3 of END-SURE.

With summer spring not-winter on the horizon, it’s time again to put your money where your mouth is and pick a “big hairy goal.”  I think I first heard this term either from Andy or one of the good folks at Operacion Muerto, but I can’t find any evidence of that.  All it means is a goal that’s going to send you over the moon if you accomplish it.  Sometimes the planning and execution of these things can take years (summiting Everest, cycling around the world, etc.), but that’s for the people I like to call (affectionately) “the real crazies.”  If you’re new to the game, pick something doable but hard.  Like the hardest thing you’ve ever done.  Or the most planning you’ve ever needed.  Or something you’ve failed at before.

One such BHG that requires no entry fee is the Operacion Muerto Summer Challenge 2013: a ride or run across Manitoba without using any paved roads.  Another in my local area is the Winnipeg-Grand Forks-Fargo ride (2013 details TBA; not sure if this will be gravel-only as well).  For touring cyclists, though, this stuff is easy.  For multi-sport athletes, perhaps the Minnesota Lowest to Highest Duathlon Challenge is your cup of tea: race from Lake Superior in Grand Marais to the top of Eagle Mountain (the highest point in MN) and back.

Personally, I’ll be tackling the Lutsen 99er as proof that I can ride farther off-road than ever before, on this on a Surly Pugsley, as well as finishing a complete 24-hour adventure race at END-AR.  Are these big goals compared to other people?  Not necessarily.  Do they matter to me?  Undoubtedly.

You’re primed and ready now: what’s your Big Hairy Goal?

If something can be improved, why not improve it?

Had someone else read something I wrote recently.  I criticized a system of closed data, and then suggested a crowdsourced solution to get around the data guardians (not illegally, just through data mining from published works).  This person’s response?  To say that closed data should be closed because someone paid for it, and to ignore my solution.  In another section, I lamented various issues with data digitization projects, because I wanted to add another (citable) voice that could be used for digitization project funding.  Response: these issues aren’t new, and you don’t need to waste your time with them.

Who is it going to hurt to try to improve things?  It’s no skin off anyone else’s nose.

Regional Inspiration – Sioux Falls and Fargo, Cycling and Walking

The Argus Leader has a great, long article about how the city of Sioux Falls wants to encourage more people to commute via bicycle, how to ride in traffic, and coverage of the two recent cycling deaths.  Plus: bike share in the future?  In Fargo, Eric Christeson laments the loss of neighborhood schools to which walking or bicycle commuting by students is safe.

Greenway Trail Users Advisory Group Meeting tonight

Just a quick reminder: Recently, discussion on Green Lanes (bike lanes striped with different colors to differentiate them from motor vehicle lanes) has been occurring at these meetings.  If you have any thoughts about this project, you might want to show up.  I think the other group involved is the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Metropolitan Planning Organization.

You can read old meeting notes in the archive.

Greenway Trail Users Advisory Group Meeting
7 PM Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Grand Forks Park District, 1210 7th Ave S

Saturday Grab Bag 2013-04-06

Some things that have been on my radar lately.  First, in today’s news:

Second, it’s been a positive week in the American streets blogosphere:
Thirdly, some of the recent local/regional articles you may have missed (copies available on request):