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Posts about Urban living

Northeast's cycling museum open Sunday

Posted by: Steve Brandt Updated: July 25, 2014 - 6:16 PM

When Brent Fuqua moved the expanding bike shop he co-owns into a newly refurbished storefront across Central Avenue last summer, he suddenly had thousands of square feet in which to stash the bikes the business had stored in rented garages across northeast Minneapolis.

That new space included a big second floor. Meanwhile a buddy, Juston Anderson, had accumulated somewhere between 40 and 50 vintage bikes in 27 years of collecting.

“I thought people should see these bikes,” Fuqua said.

So during Sunday’s Open Streets event, in which bikers will take over 8-1/2 blocks of Central for six hours, the Cycling Museum of Minnesota will debut in the upstairs of Recovery Bike Shop, 2504 Central Av. NE.

From 19th century boneshakers, including one with a 60-inch drive wheel, to trendy Pusgley fat-tire bikes, cyclists will get a glimpse of cycling history that highlights important advances in biking from technology to alliances with good roads boosters to changing social mores. They’ll see those how changes affected bike safety and speed.

It’s a coming-out party for the museum, which organizers say is only in the formative stages and won’t be open regularly until sometime next year. “It was just a bunch of dudes with bikes,” Fuqua told a sneak

preview Thursday night that was intended to elicit interest and funds from an invitee list that dressed from cutoffs to suits.

The organization’s nine-member board has incorporated and plans to put on educational programs, conduct community rides, host family events, present lectures and show films.

The collection includes beginner bikes for kids, BMX bikes, mass-produced bikes by Sears, hand-made frames by some of the state’s noted builder, bikes on which some of the state’s best-known racers sped, and vintage machines such as a locally made tandem designed for courting couples.

But there are also prosaic bike collectibles, such as the 1950s prototype of a Park Tool Co. bike repair stand.  It features such parts as a concrete-filled World War II shell casing, kitchen table legs and a 1937 Ford truck axle.

Anderson, 42, of Arden Hills, remembers looking at pictures as a kid of the high-wheeled bikes that dominated the 1880s but were typically affordable only to wealthy young men with strong legs. “I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know how you could balance on something like that,’” he said. But earlier this month he completed a century (100-mile) ride on one at a collectors meeting.

The nursing home janitor said he takes a frugal approach to collecting. He said he reminds his wife: “There’s other hobbies I could get into. I could get into hunting or gambling or drinking.”     

(Above: Recovery Bike co-owner with a bike that mimicked automobile streamlining; below: an 1897 courting tandem made by Deere and Webber of Minneapolis.)

Here's more on the upcoming Lee house exhibit

Posted by: Steve Brandt Updated: July 24, 2014 - 1:32 PM

It you read Thursday's article on the listing of the Arthur and Edith Lee on the National Register of Historic Places, you may have been left wondering about details of the University of Minnesota's upcoming exhibit that commemorates the events that led to the listing.

Here's the information on that exhibit that was supposed to accompany the article but didn't:

What: “A Right to Establish a Home,” an exhibit at the University of Minnesota focused on the 1931 purchase of a home by Arthur and Edith Lee, the resulting backlash, race and housing in Minneapolis, and racism in Minnesota.
When: Aug. 23-Jan. 4; opening reception on Aug. 22, 6-8 p.m.
Where: HGA Gallery, Rapson Hall, 80 Church St. SE., Minneapolis.
Sponsor: Goldstein Museum of Design
More information: http://goldstein.design.umn.edu/exhibitions/upcoming/

(Photo above: Part of the crowd of white homeowners who opposed the move of the Lees, a black couple, to their neighborhood in 1931)

Touching up Andersen United's image

Posted by: Steve Brandt Updated: July 21, 2014 - 4:58 PM

MPLS figured anyone out painting her school’s name in Monday’s brutal 91-degree heat deserves a shoutout.

Jena McDermott, an AmeriCorps volunteer at Andersen United Community School in the Phillips community, sent the kids inside due to the heat.  But she remained outside.  “I’m a perfectionist,” she said.

McDermott works with kids in an after-school sports and arts program, who decided to paint the bricks spelling out “Andersen” in rainbow colors.  The bricks previously were all-white.

City looks to install bicycle corrals

Posted by: Alejandra Matos Updated: July 18, 2014 - 3:20 PM

Demand for bicycle parking is so high in some areas that the city wants to install on-street bicycle corrals.

The corrals are groups of bicycle racks, installed adjacent to the curb, in the road's parking lane.

Currently, the city provides off-street bicycle racks to businesses, community center and organizations that are willing to split the cost of installing and maintaining them with the city.

The city's Public Works department will present the proposal to install 25 corrals to the city council on Tuesday.

Birchwood Cafe and Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub already have similar corrals that they installed on their own. The city's Public Works Department says there have been requests for more because bicycle parking demand exceeds the available spaces on the sidewalk or boulevard racks.

The department has set aside $50,000 to install the corral, which will be seasonally available from April 15 to Nov. 1.

The cost to install the stalls is estimated between $1,800 to $2,900 for the first year and $150 to $250 for maintenance in subsequent years. Those who want a corral would also split the cost. The city anticipates each location keeping its corral for a minimum of five years.

If the city council passes the proposal, those interested in installing a corral would have to apply for it. The city will give priority to those that have a high bicycle volume.

On-Street Bicycle Corral

94 ramp shift into downtown headed for approval

Posted by: Steve Brandt Updated: July 11, 2014 - 5:37 PM

A plan to reramp westbound access from Interstate 94 to downtown Minneapolis is headed toward key approval next week by the City Council.

The change would shift the 94 entrance ramp into downtown from S. 5th Street to S. 7th Street at an estimated cost of $10.5 million. The current plan is to start the project in mid-2015 and finish it later that year.

The reramping of the 94 access to downtown carries out a 2007 directive approved by the council when it adopted a downtown transportation plan.

The city’s traffic engineers said that 7th provides more direct traffic access to downtown’s core. The current 5th entrance ramp winds around the former site of the Metrodome, and through an intersection at Park Avenue complicated by crossing light-rail trains.

The city said that many drivers headed toward the downtown core already turn from 5th to 7th, creating further congestion on streets that connect them. So that’s why the shift was approved by the council’s transportation committee on Tuesday and is scheduled for a council vote next Friday. The 94 ramp would enter downtown where the Hiawatha Avenue ramp now enters downtown.    

The bulk of the project involves building a ramp bridge across Interstate 35W and adjacent ramps. It would then carry traffic through the Hennepin County Medical Center complex. The state is supplying $7.5 million of the cost through two programs, while the city will borrow $3 million for its share.

The project isn’t the only freeway change planned on downtown’s east side.  Plans also are pending to create a new northbound entrance to Interstate 35W from S. 4th St. Moreover, there has been discussion of converting the existing S. 5th Street ramp to better downtown access for the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

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