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‘DUCK DYNASTY’ INFLUENCE
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GILLETTE NEWS RECORD
SECTION F
SUNDAY
JUNE 8, 2014
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QUESTIONS OR TIPS? Call 682-9306, ext. 203 or email [email protected]
Wheels
keep on
turning
How to keep your bike
in working shape
By MATTHEW STOTTLEMYRE
NEWS RECORD WRITER
[email protected]
Bicycles are simple machines that
can open up new ways to see the
world while providing mental and
physical health benefits, The Bicycle
Shop owner Fawn Conrad said.
If they are used for commuting, they
reduce congestion, save fuel and prevent air pollution.
Bicycles are simple and durable, but
they do take some basic maintenance
to keep them operating smoothly and
safely.
“The two surest and simplest ways
to help your bike work well are to
News Record Photo/Pete Rodman
Nathan Hixson, left, and Corey Smith play disc golf Monday at Dalbey Memorial Park. Smith has been learning the rules of disc
golf from Hixson for the last two weeks, and he said he has been enjoying it. “You’re out in the sun, it’s good exercise, and it’s
fun,” Smith said.
News Record Photo/Pete Rodman
Mechanic Dalton Timmer installs a
rim strip on a mountain bike wheel
at The Bicycle Shop on Lakeway.
maintain proper tire pressure and
to frequently lubricate your chain,”
Conrad said.
Drivetrain
The most basic maintenance is to
lubricate the chain often and keep it
clean. Frequency depends on riding
conditions, but a good rule of thumb is
to drop some lube on the chain every
three rides, Conrad said.
Running the chain through a dry
rag to knock off as much grime as
possible, then adding some lube and
working it into the chain can get the
job done. Commercially produced
cleaning and lubing devices are also
available.
Whatever process you use, it is
important to keep in mind that excess
lube on the chain will attract dirt and
grime. The goal is to get the lube into
the moving parts and have as little as
possible on the surface.
More intermittently, removing the
chain and giving it a good soak in
degreaser is a good idea.
The chain and sprockets should
be replaced when they become worn
enough to interfere with normal riding
and shifting or they become damaged
See BICYCLES, Page F2
Throw down
Disc golfer numbers soar
as it becomes the world’s
most popular new sport
By SCOTT HANSEN
NEWS RECORD WRITER
[email protected]
Kaige Bowles stared at the vast expanse of trees, bushes
and the occasional trash can that serve as obstacles to the
metal basket a seemingly infinite distance away. He released
his disc into the air and watched as it tore through the sky
toward the goal.
As the disc ran out of forward momentum, it turned and
cut through the wind until it settled on the grass a few hundred feet from the basket.
It probably wasn’t a perfect toss. But it didn’t matter.
Bowles was outdoors. He was having fun. And it cost almost
nothing.
That’s exactly why Bowles is participating in the fastest
News Record Photo/Daniel Brenner
As golf has its woods and irons, disc golf involves diferent types
of discs for diferent purposes. It has its drivers, which are lighter and ly farther; mid-range discs, which generally ly straighter;
and putters, which are used for close shots. The price can start
as low as $5.49, but discs in the $12-$15 range are more common. Some three-packs are available for about $25.
See DISC GOLF, Page F2
Americans and their cars: Is the love affair on fumes?
Shifting into neutral:
Americans and their
fading romance with
the open road
By ADAM GELLER
AP NATIONAL WRITER
The couple in the convertible sail
down a pristine freeway, the pavement
theirs alone. At the wheel, he smiles
in suit and tie, while she leans closer,
every blonde hair in place, her face a
portrait of mobile bliss.
“To whirl along with all the joy your
car has to offer,” reads the ad. “That’s
something to want.”
When it ran in the Saturday Evening
Post in 1955 — bought by a steel
company to hail the newly proposed
interstate highway system — U.S.
car culture was kicking into top gear.
Americans embraced driving as the
quickest route to independence, convenience and opportunity and cars as
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extensions of our homes and our personalities.
But six decades later, take a moment
the next time you’re stuck in traffic
to consider where we’re headed.
America’s romance with the road may
be fading.
After rising almost continuously since World War II, driving by
American households has declined
nearly 10 percent since 2004, a drop
whose start before the Great Recession
suggests economics may not be the
only cause.
“There’s something more fundamental going on,” says Michael
Sivak, a researcher at the University
of Michigan Transportation Research
Institute.
The average American household
now owns fewer than two cars, returning to the levels of the early 1990s.
More teens are waiting to get a
license — or not getting one at all. Less
than 70 percent of 19-year-olds now
have one, down from 87 percent two
decades ago, government figures show.
“I sort of marvel at this ... especially
with my students. They’re just not into
cars even in the same way my generation was and I’m 45,” says Cotten
Seiler, author of “Republic of Drivers:
A Cultural History of Automobility
in America,” and a professor at
Pennsylvania’s Dickinson College. “I
wonder if they’ve decided that there’s
another, better way to be free and to be
mobile.”
Our changing relationship with cars
and driving isn’t always obvious. But it
becomes clearer on the road, where a
journey through five states and across
more than 900 miles reveals shifts in
habits and attitudes. At a high school
in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, you’ll notice
that the parking lot remains half-empty
even after students with cars return
from lunch. In conversation at a
Minneapolis coffee shop, customers
tell of hours spent pecking away in
place thanks to Wi-Fi, rather than driving to work.
And those changes — whether its
car trips replaced by shopping and
socializing online, or jams that have
turned drives from an escape into a
chore — raise complicated questions.
For much of the last century, the car
has been Americans’ primary vehicle
for realizing individual freedom. But
in an era of road rage, gas close to $4
a gallon and the temptation of texting
behind the wheel, is driving still a love
affair? Or is it just a way to get from
here to there?
Commuting on two wheels
At 6:45 a.m., Sam Kirstein pulls
into central Minneapolis after a 5-mile
commute, parks and locks his vehicle
— and heads for a hot shower.
You wouldn’t know when he takes
a seat minutes later, wearing a pressed
striped dress shirt, that he arrived on
two wheels.
Kirstein, an accountant, recalls
growing up in a small town in South
Dakota where “cars were a way of
life.” In Minneapolis, he drove 45
minutes to work in traffic, until he
and his wife wearied and set off to
bike cross-country. They returned, but
never put away the bikes. Last year,
Kirstein cycled to work every day but
five, and put 4,000 miles on a car that
used to clock 15,000.
“The only thing I miss is being
able to listen to the radio,” says
Kirstein, 45, nursing a mug of coffee at
Freewheel Bike — sort of a rest stop
for cyclists with lockers, bike parking
and a cafe — before heading to work.
Each day, more than 3,500 others
share Kirstein’s route on the Midtown
Greenway, a freight rail bed converted
to bike highway. More than 4 percent
of Minneapolis commutes now happen on a bike, doubling since 2000.
Despite bitter winters, more are testing
the idea of leaving cars behind.
A second light rail line opens in
June, after criticism that it bypasses
deserving neighborhoods. Street corners sprout racks of blue-and-green
shared bikes. About 45 percent of
the 150,000 who work downtown
commute by means other than a car,
mostly by express bus, despite the city’s
1960s move to replace older buildings
with parking lots. That syncs with figures showing Americans took a record
10.7 billion trips on mass transit last
year, up 37 percent since 1995, far outpacing population growth.
See CARS, Page F5
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