Jo Olson is the communications director for the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, an advocacy and education group (aka BikeMN). It will host its annual MN Bike Summit on March 15 in St. Paul.
I’ve always been a fantasy fan but for the last couple years I’ve been on a sci-fi kick. I just finished “Leviathan Wakes,” the newest installment in the Expanse Series by James S.A. Corey. I always feel a little sad when I finish a book, so I try to have one lined up and waiting for when I’m done. This time I’ll be starting the “Hyperion Cantos” by Dan Simmons. I know, I’m 30 years late on that one, but I’m finally getting to it. I also recently subscribed to Salvage, a quarterly publication of “revolutionary arts and letters.” It’s edited by one of my favorite authors, China Miéville.
I work for the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, and I’ve been watching the movement around the hands-free cellphone legislation at the State Capitol closely. BikeMN supported hands-free legislation last year when it didn’t have nearly the traction that it seems to this year. It’s really exciting to see it getting picked up again. Of course this issue, as well as a few others (including funding for Safe Routes to School), are on BikeMN’s legislative agenda this year. We’ll be sharing it all and lobbying legislators at our upcoming Minnesota Bike Summit at the State Capitol on March 15. Everyone’s invited.
My husband and I don’t have a TV, but we do catch up on the occasional streaming show. We recently watched the STARZ series based on Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods.” It was delightfully weird and pretty true to the book! I also occasionally find myself on YouTube watching white-water kayaking videos and daydreaming about getting out on the water.
Because I work from home, I get to listen to music as loud as I want and there’s no one to complain. I’ve been listening to a lot of Baths in anticipation of their April show at the Fine Line, and I’m looking forward to the album releases for Of Montreal and Janelle Monáe. I also listen to a lot of podcasts: One of my favorites is the BBC series “In Our Time,” where experts dig into a new topic each week. Recently, it spent an hour discussing fungi — which are everywhere! One week the podcast will dig into Kant’s Categorical Imperative and the next it will be discussing cephalopods. It’s just a great mix of really interesting topics.
It’s been a good winter for biking, aside from the deep snow we’ve had lately. I bike-commute on a cyclocross bike with studs, so I’m usually pretty comfortable in the winter. Still, the mashed-potato snow texture on the roads after these big snowfalls makes for tough riding. (I had the good fortune to get snowed in with my husband and some friends at a rustic cabin up near Isabella.) My husband and I are also in the process of planning our honeymoon to the Balkans in Europe this spring. We’re trying to find the perfect balance of hiking, canyoneering and relaxation, but it might be impossible!