MINNESOTA STARTS HERE

Conveniently located on Hwy 210 in Carlton, MN, just 3 miles off I-35,
right on the Willard Munger Trail near Jay Cooke State Park.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ribbon Cutting


The moment we’d all been waiting for arrived…. The official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony yesterday morning at Carlton Bike Rental. Congressman Jim Oberstar arrived early to tour the new facilities, along with the endless meeting and greeting that goes with such events. All who helped the enterprise were given the privilege of signing the ribbon, which was then ceremoniously cut, followed by a short speech on the importance and value of biking.

Scissors in hand, Congressman Jim began the speech by noting that more bikes than cars were sold last year in America and that the growth of biking has been significant over the course of our lifetimes. What follows are excerpts from this speech.

“We required in that legislation (Highway Trust Fund) a National Bicycle Coordinator of the Federal Highway Administration paid by the Highway Trust Fund, and State Bicycle Coordinators in every state, also paid out of the Highway Trust Fund; required the development of a state wide bike plan in every state…. From '71 to '91 there was only 40 million dollars spent by all 50 states collectively on bicycle trails. Since then, we've spent 3 ½ billion dollars invested in bike trails, Rails to Trails which are eligible under the Highway Trust Fund and the bicycle provisions. And then in 2005, I launched the Safe Routes to School Initiative for elementary schools to get children biking and walking to school, as an antidote to the obesity epidemic and the type 2 diabetes epidemic hitting this country. And now, the Safe Routes to School is in 7,000 schools nationwide, and every state has a Safe Routes to School Coordinator, and there's a Safe Routes clearing house to advise school districts on how to set their programs up and how to go about doing it. Every year, there's a national conference on Safe Routes to School, and the goal is to make bicycling a mode of transportation.

“Most trips by car are 4 miles or less. That is, 60% of all trips by automobiles are 4 miles or less. You could do that easily on a bike. You can have a basket in the front like they do in the Netherlands, in Denmark, in Finland, in Germany, in Spain, and many places in England, and put your groceries in there and take them home. Or you could have a shoulder bag and carry home most things that you need at a grocery store or shopping center. In Copenhagen, 38% of all trips for all purposes are by bicycle. The world's largest pharmaceutical, Novo Nordisk is headquartered in Copenhagen. The CEO of Novo Nordisk rides to work in a bike. His briefcase is in a limousine but the goes in a bike.”


After describing a bicycle ride through Washington D.C. with the Crown Prince of Denmark, the congressman spoke in detail about the origins of the Paul Bunyan Bike Train which has grown from 40,000 users a dozen years ago to 650,000 users today with the corresponding growth of bed and breakfasts, restaurants and other services due to this influx of bikers.

“People drive the 130 miles up from the Twin Cities, they park at the trail head and they have a wonderful, relaxing, reinvigorating weekend. That's what we're seeing. That's what you're part of right here Jolene. Thank you for the initiative, for your vision, seeing this great future for bicycling and enhancing Carlton with this wonderful facility. It’s a complete trail, you have the bikes you have the service, you have food, you have cold drinks, you have everything. All you need is hot days.”

Thank you, Jim.

Photos from yesterday's event courtesy Randy Samarzia. Click images to enlarge.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Everyone Invited to Saturday's Disc Golf Tournament

A mile from Carlton Bike Rental is a new and very cool Disc Golf course. According to Ethan Gamble who operates the new venture, there will be a Disc Golf Tournament from noon till 4:00 p.m.

The professionally designed disc golf course features 9 challenging holes taking you on a meandering route through the woods and fields around South Terrace Elementary School. Kudos to Kirk Johnson and Bob Olean for creating and building this exciting new addition to the community of Carlton. Come join us on Saturday for a disc tournament, with the Carlton Fire Department spearheading this exciting new event. Carlton Bike Rental will have discs available at the course. All proceeds will be go to charity. See you there!

Competition will be divided into four age brackets: 5-12, 12-18, 18-24 and 24 on up. Cost is $10 adults, $5 for kids with all proceeds going to a local family in desperate need.

Everyone and anyone interested in more information, call Ethan at 218-213-4123. Don't forget that Discs can be rented at Carlton Bike Rental, throughout the year. Are you ready to rumble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tribune Gives Us A Nod

It's always fun to make the news. Yesterday, the Duluth News Tribune made reference to Carlton Bike Rental in its Monday Biz Buzz section. The story went like this:

Joelene Steffens opened Carlton Bike and Rental and “Simple” Repair next to Art Dimensions in Carlton. The two enterprises are known as Hobo Junction.

The business rents bicycles, has picnic lunches, cold drinks and snacks for hot days, and maps to help you find your way on the bike trails. Hobo Junction also handles rentals for the new Disc Golf Course Sanctuary in Carlton.

The telephone number is (218) 393-1201.


But the big story is this weekend's Carlton Daze when Congressman Jim joins us for our ribbon cutting.

In the meantime, mark you calendars for a day you can join us on the bike trails. It's summertime. The breezy air is feeling pretty good and the wildflowers have never looked brighter.

Photo courtesy Randy Samarzia. To see Randy's amazing photography up close and personal, visit Art Dimensions and Carlton Bike Rental, here at Hobo Junction, or check out his work online at www.pbase.com/csphoto

Monday, July 5, 2010

Congressman Oberstar Schedules Visit To Carlton Daze

Carlton Daze is an annual celebration that is held each year here in Carlton, MN. During the last full weekend in July of each year, we celebrate "Carlton Daze", a community-wide celebration which includes softball tournaments, golf outings, a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, craft shows, auctions, children's theater, community plays, street dances, a 5k race and an ultra marathon, a business expo, bingo, live entertainment, a parade and food galore! There is something for everyone, and a great time is had by all who attend.

This year, one special attendee will be Congressman Jim Oberstar, our 8th district representative in Washington. He was looking forward to biking one of our newly opened bike trails, but as you can imagine he has a busy schedule. One item on the agenda is a ribbon cutting ceremony at Carlton Bike Rental here on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. "Jim" is well-respected as a friend of the working man and the common man. It's only natural that he would join us here at Hobo Junction on this special occasion to open a new chapter in Carlton history.

Carlton Daze 2010 will run from July 23-25.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Little Known Fact About Bikes

In 1970 bicycling became more popular because of environmental awareness. That was the year of the first Earth Day. The subsequent oil embargo and resulting fuel shortages led to even more reliance on bicycles and by 1978, more bikes than cars were sold in the US.

Biking is good for the heart and good for the soul. Be sure to get out and enjoy the fresh air and natural wonder that only biking can give you. Bring your whole family and make an outing of it. It's healthy and wholesome, and a great way to make memories that can last a lifetime.

We have all the styles of bicycles you could hope for. Make Carlton Bike Rental & Repair the kickoff point of your next scenic adventure. Minnesota starts here!
Bike art courtesy Adam Swanson. See more of his bike art at www.adamswanson.com