• December 2021
    M T W T F S S
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Dude get a job doing good

To the person sending SPAM to my blog and email.

Try using your ‘powers’ for good.



Here’s the deal: use your imagination. It’s your friend and local bike shop owner standing by the off-ramp, with his bicycle and his backpack, flying a cardboard sign. Oddly enough, however, his sign reads that he’s collecting money not for himself but for a charity and he’s willing, as they all say, to work for it. “Will RIDE for Habitat funding.”

Yup, that’s right, I’m “flying a sign” to get money. Money from you– a charitable donation for Habitat for Humanity. “What does this donated money do?” you ask. “Is this dollar just going to just “get wasted”, or will it actually get used for good?” Well, let me tell you.

First, I have done many long distance rides for charity and none of them as significant as the Habitat for Humanity 500 Mile Bike Ride. I ride because I like to ride. I choose to do THIS ride because it raises awareness towards Habitat for Humanity and BUILDS a house for one family who really needs one. “Really,” you ask? Yes! I have ridden my bicycle to help build five houses and many of my friends who ride have ridden to build many more houses. I’ll spend a week riding 500 miles by bicycle to raise awareness of our goals, the project, and raise funds to build this year’s “Bike Home.”

“Where is my money going?” you ask. As I mentioned, the money you send on my behalf goes to the “Bike.home” – a real house for a real family. This year’s “Bike.home” will be in Hutchinson, MN, Habitat for Humanity MN’s 2000th home. Yes, the money you donate on my behalf goes to build the actual structure. If you’re familiar with Habitat for Humanity, you know that this house isn’t just a handout. The real benefit of Habitat of Humanity is that it does not just give people houses. The owners/beneficiaries MUST help build and finish the houses they are about to occupy. The people who benefit have to supply their own “blood, sweat and tears” to finish the house, and they essentially get a zero-percent loan that they have to pay back.

“How much of my dollar is going towards this charity,” you ask? An astonishing $.93 out of every dollar goes to the beneficiaries of Habitat for Humanity. That’s right, nearly every penny you send me goes to building a needy family the structure to finish a house.

You are about to help build not only a house but a family’s confidence in home ownership. They will be able to take real ownership of a home that they, you, and I have all helped to build together.

EASY DONATE HERE: HABITAT500-Mike Kmiecik-Rider-72

More Fun DONATE at the shop. I can take cash, check, credit card and all the money goes to HFH500.

Carbon footprint of a bicycle.

When setting up the “plan” for the shop I did a little research on the carbon footprint of a “new” bicycle. The idea was to point out that either buying a good used bike or getting that old dusty thing hanging in the garage tuned up and running would be a whole lot better than buying a shinny new bike (especially one of those cheap things from one of the big-box-stores). Given the choice between buying new bike and not riding that old bike and thus using a car, bus, train, etc. I would certainly tell you to get a new bike from a bike shop. The below article from “Slate” put out some compelling numbers.

“Two Wheels vs. Four” How far do I have to ride my bike to pay back its carbon footprint?
By Brian Palmer

“Choose wisely grasshopper.”

Habitat 500 mile bike ride

This is always the hardest part.

Asking you to donate to something you may or may not see.  This year I’m hoping to make sure you get to see it and the people who will live there (post ride).  I do, however, get to see what your donations build.  Every year I do the ride we have ridden to the house that your donations help build.  You see, when I ask you for a donation it’s marked to go to the “bike.home” project for Habitat for Humanity.  To me it’s a very tactile donation.  Your donation goes directly to a thing, something you can touch, a place where people live, a family, and a home.  If you wanted you could drive to the “open house” ceremony every year that we help build a “bike.home” home and take a tour.  You could walk through the house and meet the family who will be living in the house you helped build with a financial contribution.  On the Habitat for Humanity 500 mile Bike Ride (HFH500) I get to preview that house.

Please make a donation to Habitat for Humanity on my behalf, I’m rider #114.  This year I’ll post pictures of the house so you can see it too!

Mail your contribution, by July 5th 2011, to:

Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota

2401 Lowry Ave NE, Suite 210

Minneapolis, MN  55418

Or you can try:

If you use this site a 2.9% processing fee is deducted from the amount.  That a small amount compared to some of the other services, Network for Good @ 4.5% or First Giving 7%.

Or stop by the shop and drop me a check by July 9th.

Either way, Thank YOU! in advance.

Make sure you mark it for HFH500 and on behalf of Mike Kmiecik, rider #114, and please let me know so I may send you a thank you and receipt.

Thank you.


PS: the shop will be closed July 9th through the 16th while I’m out on the ride.

Bit on KARE 11

Here’s the bit from KARE 11 earlier this week…


Water water every where.

Several weeks ago I noticed the CITY out checking waterlines and various other things that the CITY is checking to justify their existence and show us “your tax dollars at work.”  About a week after that I noticed a bit lower water pressure here at the shop and just assumed the CITY figured I had too much pressure and dialed back a bit.  Turns out the whole building’s (3 businesses) pressure is down and it’s now a “broken water line.”  Coincidence?  The CITY says “NO!” and on top of that my building owner and “Supplier” of coffee, who from here on out will be kindly referred to as Supplier, is responsible for the repair.  What!?!  The CITY comes out and tinkers with a water line, possibly breaking it, and now we have to pay for it?!?  Is that like having to pay for the constant stream of oil coming into this country too.  Our government “breaks it,” the Alaska Pipeline, or entirely makes a big mess of things, the “conflicts” abroad, and then WE (notice the big we) have to pay for it.  Nice (dripping with black greasy wet sarcasm).

Suffice it to say that replacing the thing the CITY broke is going to take a couple of days and I really can not run the shop having to ride two blocks home every time I need to “use the facilities” or wash stuff like a bike parts or my hands.  Thus the shop, in addition to normally being closed on Sundays and Mondays during the winter, will be closed on Tuesday the 25th and Wednesday the 26th.

For those of you who know me, you’ll know then that I’ll be at home working on that other home improvement project.  Just one more reason I “love” this CITY.

If you need some work or something from the shop I’m only a phone call and a short walk away.

Mr P. and the Snowman

The night before the last “big” snowstorm my niece’s 4th grade teacher got a call stating that school would start an hour late.  The next morning they called off the late start but forgot to call Mr. “P.”  When the kids got to class they learned that Mr. P would be late and were asked to write stories about why he might be late.  Below is her story.

Bike racks – for vehicles

Dear Customers,

For your vehicles:

I do not “stock” them but have both Yakima and Thule roof rack systems available (normally next day) and then Thule, Yakima, and Saris for trunk or rear mounted systems (again, normally next day).  I also have a couple of other systems available for pick up beds.  If there is a particular set up you’re looking for send me the details and the year make and model of your vehicle and I’ll get you a cost.

For your home, garage, or storage area:

Yup, got a whole bunch of these things available too.  Just let me know what and where your looking to store or hang your bike and gear and I’ll get you some items and prices to compare.

Thank you for inquiring and have a great week.

This is very nice and completely unexpected…

I received this note (below) today, it really made my day and week.  “Thank you,” and “you’re very welcome” to the person who sent me this note.



I wanted to thank you once again for helping me get my bike packed and ready to ship back to Maryland.  I very much appreciate that you took precious time out of your work day to help me!

In appreciation of your help, I donated to another organization dear to my heart called Hospital Albert Schweitzer (HAS). Located in Deschapelles, Haiti, my husband’s uncle was a physician at this hospital for over 30 years.  We had the opportunity to visit in 2004 where we met the local Haitians –  desperately poor people, but amazingly appreciative of the small amount of health care they could receive at this hospital.

As you know, Haiti suffered terribly during the earthquake six months ago. HAS was not affected physically by the earthquake but since it was one of the only hospitals in working order, HAS was overwhelmed with the amount of Haitians that showed up at its doors in need of medical attention from injuries suffered because of the earthquake.  Teams of physicians and their staff flew in from all over the world to help with the increased demand of injured patients.  The hospital has recovered from its crisis mode of the earthquake only to recently be affected by a terrible flood that occurred very near to the hospital grounds.  Because of severe deforestation on the island of Haiti, floods are not uncommon.  Unfortunately, it is a constant cycle of need.

The hospital is in ever need of support  – I donated to HAS in your name Mike, in appreciation of your selflessness and willingness to help out a fellow rider.  I’m so glad I was able to meet you and hope to see you in a future Habitat 500!

All the best,

—- ——”


What about the details?

So the linked article appears in the Star Tribune, from AP, who got it from WCCO (tv).  My rant and question to the reporters who post this article.  What about a helmet?  Was the youth wearing a helmet?  This, to me, is one of the most important issues of the article and it’s missing.  They take the time to note that he died of head injuries but fail to mention if he was wearing a helmet.  Here’s the WCCO link: