Biking to the State Fair

Posted by Doug Shidell, August 31st, 2010

It’s a little unnerving to stand on the Sustainability Stage in the Eco Experience building, dripping wet with sweat, to explain that I ran into a bike detour and the power is out so I can’t show the Power Point.  Some of it is my fault. I left too late and rode too hard through 68 percent humidity. No way to show up fresh for a talk under those conditions. I also should have anticipated that the bike lane on Como Ave would be closed during the Fair. Como is the busiest street anywhere near the Fairgrounds during the fair.

I didn’t anticipate the power outage. Apparently a truck ran into a power pole and took out the electricity to the fairgrounds.

We made it through, though. One gentle woman handed me a tissue to wipe my brow, a staffer brought over a water bottle and the folks in the audience adjusted to the lack of visual stimulation by asking lots of questions, providing personal insights and generally tolerating the unexpected circumstances.

The presentation was about the rail trails and back roads of Minnesota and Western Wisconsin and was based on Bicycle Vacation Guide. I enjoy giving this talk. When the power is on, I use the Power Point to introduce general information about the trails of Minnesota and Wisconsin, then open up the talk by asking the audience to suggest a trail or area of the state to talk about. I can then jump directly to that trail and talk about it. Even without the power, we were able to carry on the discussion.

I’ll be back at the Eco Experience Building on Labor Day for a 4:30 discussion. This time I’ll leave early so I can arrive and cool down before the presentation. I assume that we won’t have another power outage, so I’ll bring the Power Point again. Stop by to say Hi.

Oh yes,  despite the detour and the overheated intro, I still think riding to the fair is a blast, and the calories burned reduce the guilt about eating calorie packed Fair Food. If you want to bike to the State Fair, check out this map, created by Bikeverywhere.

The Eco Experience Building is on the north side of the Fairgrounds so the nearest bike parking is in Lot 2.  If you are coming from the west, however, I suggest going to Lot 3 and walking across the Fairgrounds. Lot 1, the busiest of the three, requires negotiating traffic or walking to access.

See you at the fair on Labor Day.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc