Yes, we have no bananas. Day 4 – 30daysofbiking

This post has nothing to do with bananas.


That said it is about two great joys of mine. Riding my bicycle to work and riding with my youngest daughter. This morning the two of us rode from our home to her school, about 7 miles away. Then I continued on to my school where I teach. It was a beautiful day. The ride home was delightful as well. I think I will let the images speak the rest for me.





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A Tribute and the need to ride my bicycle. Day 3: 30daysofbiking

Some days we grieve. Some days with grieve together with others. This was one.


With such gratitude for the life of my Grandfather’s youngest brother Armas who died this past weekend at the age of 95. He left everyone he met with so many gifts, me included.


He was the last of his generation in my family. An intelligent, warm, compassionate, caring model, mentor, friend, listener who spread love everywhere. He loved stimulating conversation and was an amazing storyteller. He was a teacher and beloved man.


After traveling 300 miles to and from Duluth today I returned home feeling spent. Such a life, so many lives touched by one person.


The sun had set and I set off on my bicycle. Straight from our home to a path. I wanted solitude. It was cold, dark. I rode and rode warming up. The moon shone down and lit up the tops of the trees but the path lay dark, eerily  illuminated by my light.


I stopped to take a picture of the moon and it had blue wings. Oh wow.


Today was a beautiful blue sky day. Just amazing.


A story shared at his funeral was how just recently in the process of dying in the middle of a rough night he burst into song, full volume:



Blue Skies

smiling at me.

Nothing but blue skies

do I see.



singing a song:

nothing but bluebirds

all day long.


Never saw the sun

shining so bright.

Never saw things

going so right.


Noticing the days

hurrying by:

when you’re in love,

my how they fly.


Blue days,

all of them gone.

Nothing but blue skies

from now on.

We sang it together today.


I am filled with gratitude and love.


He was the son of Finnish immigrants. His name was Armas. In Finnish his name means beloved.


He was so very, very beloved.


Good bye Armas.

Bike talk? Day 2 – 30daysofbiking

For the purposes of today’s post please note the following. The human will be referred to as (ME) and the inanimate, but highly personified,pedal driven, recreational vehicle will be referred to as (BLUE)

ME: Hey, let’s go I have to return these dvds to the library.

BLUE: Not interested.

ME: But I have this 30 days of riding you thingy going on here.

BLUE: And did I have a say in this?

ME: Look what we will be carrying. Breaking Away!

BLUE: Only if you say something in Italian to me.
ME:  Buon giorno, Papa!
BLUE: I am not your Papa, I’m your god-damned bicycle.
Me: Will you go now?
BLUE: ok, ok…
ME: It looks like rain.
BLUE: I don’t want to get wet.
ME: I’ll be ok, I will wear this bright orange rain jacket.
BLUE: I don’t want to get wet.
ME: You could use a shower. Have you seen yourself lately?
BLUE: And just exactly whose fault is that?
ME: Well hopefully we can go wash you off.
(Off they both go. Day 2 of 30 days of biking)
ME: Hey look, the moon in the tree.
BLUE: Ah… that is a street light buddy. Look over there in that tree, see it?
ME: Nice.
BLUE: This is nice, this riding in the dark stuff.
ME: I love it.
ME: We made it.
BLUE: Jeeeez, you are grabbing that thing like you are at a tea party.
ME: Do you want to get cleaned or not?
BLUE: Yes.

So this is 30daysofbiking.

Hmm.. I think I have this part down. Always goes with biking.

This might become 30 days of treats.


I sat down with my blue bicycle today and explained that what was experienced today would be repeated for the next 29 days. I was met with extreme skepticism.

Oh well…

This is me riding you. See?

I am off on the grand adventure. Please send encouragement.


I was reading tonight in Robert Hurst’s book “The Cyclist’s Manifesto”  in the section ,  Reasons to Ride and the first essay  The Flying Machine caught my attention. It told about the Wright Brothers love of cycling and how their love led them to open a bicycle shop.

The paragraph that grabbed my attention was one compared riding a bicycle to flying.

     “At the risk of sounding absurd, riding a bike is a bit like flying. Diving into a turn on a bicycle provides a delightful floating sensation. The body is hurtling through the air, suspended above the ground on  a minimal framework of steel and wheels. Floating on air, or at least, air -filled tires The machine itself, if it is a lightweight bicycle, accounts for a small portion of the total weight of the bicycle rider system. The vehicle is made up mostly of rider, who leans into a turn as would a bird.” 

– The Cyclist’s Manifesto

It made me reflect on my ride today and the amazing feeling of lightness and floating I had, and also of many pictures I have recently taken that have captured movement. These pictures sum up something I love very much when cycling. That feeling of movement, of zooming along and suddenly you notice the blur. I love  images like  that. Ones that happen often when I find myself taking a photo as I am moving. Well, anyway…

Here are a few.



Pedal Pedal Pedal

A few days a go I was listening to one of my favorite Pat Metheny songs,

The Truth Will Always Be,

and I realized how much it resonated with being on my bicycle. So, I sat down and pulled together video images I have collected on my bicycles.

The first is of my grandfather placing me on a tricycle. It was the first time my feet touched pedals and there were his hands placing my feet on. Wow, that hit me on deep emotional level. A time to young for memory.

Next, pedaling around and around in front of my chldhood home, the first moments without training wheels. Again, pretty faded memories, but incredible sweet footage.

But, to pedal… and pedal… and pedal…

That, is forever imprinted on my brain.

Black & White

Winter Ride?

Black and White/Yin and Yang

Where is our snow? Over the weekend I enjoyed a couple of very enjoyable, sunny rides. Surrounded by the colors of brown and gray with an overhead, brilliant blue sky. I longingly wished for some white. A snowy world that hides the dullness. I am not complaining here. I sure love riding this much in February without slipping and crashing and  without  losing a few extremities due to extreme cold.

I miss my white world so much that I thought I would take you on a bit of a trip of my weekend in black and white. Best way to feed my desire I guess.

Lake of the Isles skaters.

It is winter here. Proof exists in the presence of ice all over the place on lakes and shaded sidewalks and roads. You never know when a patch will pop up. Icy puddles that melt with the sunlight of the day and refreeze at night are easy to find as well. Winter like activities still go on. Skaters of all ages were out on Lake of the Isles Saturday.

Snow or Gravel?

I like this picture. Looks like it could be some snowy ground but it is gravel under my wheel. This excites me for two reasons. First, I fake us all out with my fake snow picture and second this makes me remember that I just saw my entry for the Almanzo 100  gravel race this spring was accepted. Woohoo!

February river...What, no ice??

Looks like it could be a balmy summer day, right? Nope, February. Only ice was tight against the shore.

Riverbank ice.

However, just behind my bike under the Hennepin Ave. bridge there was lots of nice ice.

Ghost Bike

Do you have these where you live? So sad, always. I pass this one on River Road all the time.

Bike meets Art

I do try to get my Blue bike to have a wide range of experiences. One of our favorite places is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. This horse looks cold, don’t you think?

Yes, the cherry is red.

The iconic piece in the Garden is the Spoon with Cherry bridge. Of course it is red.

Freewheel Bike on the Greenway

We made a quick stop here in front of Freewheel Bike because we noticed the letter B for Blue right in the window. Look closely, right above the blue bicycle. A perfect shadow.


See what we mean?

Oh boy…just looked outside, it’s snowing.