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Their favorite line: "Michael J. Fox has no Elvis in him."

And no, they have no idea who either Michael J. Fox or Elvis are.
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Almost as soon as I hit the street, the bike started trying to dart out from under me, like a racehorse anticipating the bell. When I reached the Greenway and had a wide open trail in front of me, it leapt forward like a rocket and we sped along as fast as we could.

A few minutes outside of Minneapolis, a large hawk or falcon dropped down beside me. It was just a few feet away, and the two of us flew along, side-by-side, feeling the wind blowing against us. After about fifteen or twenty yards, it turned its head to look at me then swooped back into the air and flew away.

As I made the loop back to Minneapolis, I came up beside a set of train tracks and a long freight train rolled by, pulled by two engines. It seemed to last forever, box car after box car, followed by a nearly endless line of flatbeds. Each time I thought it had ended, it hadn't. The train outpaced me, stretching out towards Minneapolis, and as I rode through St. Louis Park, it looked like the train stretched from the suburbs all the way to the outskirts of Minneapolis.
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Last week while towing the boys, I was passed by nearly everyone on the Greenway. Today as I was towing Éiden, I pulled away from a couple of twenty-something, hardcore cycling-dudes while heading up a steep hill. Then on the down-slope and a straightaway, I left them even further behind until they finally disappeared from my view.
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So yesterday I was biking along the Midtown Greenway through Uptown in Minneapolis. Just about where this picture was taken (back when the Greenway was still a railroad bed), a sixteen or seventeen year old kid rode slowly past us, and I couldn't help but stare because the kid looked like a spitting image of Bob Stinson as he might have looked before all the booze took its toll and his hair started to thin. I know there's a million and one kids in this city with some sort of Swedish/Danish/Norwegian heritage so the chances of seeing someone who looks like Bob Stinson are pretty high, but I still thought it was kind of neat.
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--On the way out we rode over Highway 55, crossing on the bike and pedestrian bridge per Arie and Éiden's request. "The bridge!!" they shouted in unison as I huffed and puffed, pulling them up the steep incline. "Yes," I managed to squeak out. "The bridge."

--Keeping with the bridge theme, we rode to the Stone Arch Bridge. "The Bridge Over The Mississippi River!" Éiden shouted, as he nearly always does when we cross the Mississippi (I still find it remarkable that my kids think of the mythic Mississippi River as being a regular part of their world).

--Halfway across the bridge we were nearly brought to a standstill by nearly a thousand Mississippi Lions. I'm not sure who they are or what they do except wear white T-shirts that loudly proclaim their names and blindly wander through the active bike path without once looking to see if there was a bike coming or not (which there was, and quite a few at that).

--On the other side, after making it through the gauntlet of Lions, we were forced to turn around by the profusion of cobblestone streets and the overpowering smell of garbage. On the way back, having to once more make our way through the Leonine pedestrians, I nearly took one of them out when, with her back to us, she stepped directly into our path at the last second. Lucky for her, I'd expected it to happen.

--Riding along the West River Parkway, a driver yelled at me to get on the bike trail (which was more pock marked and potholed than the road) mere seconds after we both passed a sign depicting a bike and car side-by-side accompanying the words, "SHARE THE ROAD."

--Making our way back over the bridge over Highway 55, I observed that while dieting and exercise may help one lose weight, exercising on a nearly empty stomach makes one's stomach feel that much emptier.

--Back on the street, a few blocks from our house, a Minneapolis school bus almost took the three of us out when he pulled the patented Minneapolis move, "I-may-be-parked-on-the-side-of-the-street-but-I'm-still-on-the-street-so-I'm-pulling-out-without-looking-just-like-I've-got-the-right-of-way." Luckily for us, he looked at the last minute, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this now.


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March 2012

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