Today, it’s pedaling poetry — a year in review, in labored verse:
It’s a time of reflection, this season of snow and icicles
So what kind of year was it for our bikes and our bicycles?
One trend that certainly cannot be missed
Look at all those bikes with electric assist!
E-boost helps folks with little bumps of power
Clear the bike paths! They go 20 miles an hour!
And speaking of “bike paths,” that name’s lost its appeal
Should be called, “paths for stuff with all kinds of wheels”!
Segways! Hover boards! A dozen kinds of scooters!
People on bikes are now minority commuters!
The year in bikes was newsy, and also full of shocks
Ride-share programs even dispensed with their docks!
Minneapolis is now fourth in the best bike town battle
Behind San Francisco, Fort Collins and even Seattle!
And riders are worried about their future just surviving
A cyclist was hit — and the car was self-driving!
Conflict, too, as drivers scowled at new lanes for bikers
And the off-road crowd jostled among bikers and hikers
To the good, schools now give bike-builders graduation gowns
And there’s talk of a bridge to St. Paul on the busy Midtown!
And we’re all out riding in the snow, slush and splatter
On zillion-dollar tires, grown studs and even fatter!
With luck in the New Year we’ll avoid big-time bike lane tension
Unless we get dockless hover board scooters with tiny little engines!
A recent column on the haphazard planning and development of bike paths in the state mentioned a bit of progress — a 3-mile addition to the Gitchi-Gami Trail south from Grand Marais along Lake Superior to Cut Face Creek on Hwy. 61, which is to be completed in the next two summers with a budget of $5 million.
The Gitchi-Gami Trail Association, which is working with the state to develop the beautiful trail (29 of the projected 89 miles on the North Shore have been built since 1999), was unhappy with several references to the trail.
In a letter, the association suggested that local kayakers’ opposition to a bridge in the project across Fall River was overstated, especially since the bridge will afford grand new views of the waterfalls for more people, including the disabled.
The association also objected to a headline which it said suggested that Gitchi-Gami’s project money could be shifted to more useful projects further south — a prospect that was not reflected in the column.
Tony Brown is a freelance writer from Minneapolis. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears twice a month. Read archived columns at startribune.com/bikeguy.