55 days of biking

My plans for the summer have changed. My plans were changed back in March because of COVID-19. My business is still open which is good but I want a little more out of my summer.  There is more to life than working and staying home so I have decided to challenge myself to ride my bike every day for the next 55 days. My goal is to ride a minimum of 500 miles, between July 1st and August 25th.

I started a Facebook group and invited some family, friends, and assorted neighbors and clients to bike every day for 55 days. The plan is simple. Bike anywhere any time of day and if so desired share pictures and comments or whatever. I’ll probably summarize my bike rides each week and share some pictures on this site.

There is already a “30 days of biking” event every April. I rarely participate because I don’t enjoy biking in snow or in subzero weather and I just hate getting road salt all over my bike. July and August have longer days and more sunny days and on average less wind. As a bonus, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming.

Biking is more fun on long summer days when it is warm enough to wear shorts and we can leave the gloves at home. On the hot days, I like to go early in the morning or in the evening. I plan to check the weather forecasts at the beginning of each week and do a little planning.

The event won’t be cancelled due to COVID-19 and it can be done outside while social distancing. I normally don’t wear a mask when I bike but always bring one with.

Here is a collage I made from a ride along the gateway trail from St. Paul to Maplewood and back again.

collage of pictures from bikeride
Bike ride

License renewal deadline for real estate

June 30th is a special day for those of us with real estate licenses.  Real estate licenses are good for two years and have to be renewed. We are not all on the same two-year cycle. Some licensees’ two-year cycle ends next year.

This was my year for license renewal and I got it done early in case the murder hornets come to Minnesota.

To renew a license the licensee has to have completed 30 hours of continuing education and pay the state of Minnesota some money. Now I am good until June 30, 2022, which will be my 20th year in real estate.

If you are a real estate licensee I believe we have until midnight to renew so there is still time.

The month of June went by way to fast. I hope July lasts a little longer.

Milkweed

Preparedness Plan deadline is today

Masks – the red one is my dress mask and the black and white is the one I wear the most.

There is an executive order requiring Minnesota businesses to have a preparedness plan and that plan is due today. The plan has to include details about what we are doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among employees or customers or both.

After looking over the requirements for workspaces I am thankful that our offices are in our homes and that I don’t need to worry about keeping an office safe.

To keep our clients safe for the most part all we have to do is follow the guidelines for wearing masks and social distancing. For showing homes and listing homes we keep the number of people in the home to a minimum with shorter showings and no overlapping showings.

We wear masks and carry extra face masks and gloves and hand sanitizer too. I have it in gallon jugs and it can be used to sanitize lockboxes and keys and hands too. We ask our clients not to touch anything when touring a home.

There is more but you get the idea. There are lots of rules for real estate companies and these are on top of other Minnesota rules and MLS rules and local, state, and national rules and federal, state, and local fair housing laws too.

Recently I noticed some conflicts where if I follow one rule I may be breaking the law or breaking another rule. There doesn’t seem to be a way to report discrepancies to the rulemaking bodies.

Some real estate companies are doing open houses. Open houses are not a necessary part of the home sales process but are prospecting tools for agents and advertising for real estate companies. We are not doing open houses for safety reasons. Open houses are not safe for attendees or agents.

They pose an unnecessary risk especially when we consider that there are more new Coronavirus cases in the US than Europe, India, and China — combined.

The USA is the world leader in Coronavirus cases and deaths by such a large margin it doesn’t seem like a fair contest.

Rice park isn’t getting many visitors

Rice Park
Rice Park
Rice park fountain

I took the pictures downtown during what used to be rush hour. The library is closed because of the pandemic and there isn’t any water on in the park. People used to cut through the park on their way to work and there were always people sitting on the benches.

The fountain is empty and so is the park except for that one lone pigeon who is probably hungry.

If you are looking for a quiet place that isn’t crowded where you can enjoy the outdoors I have found it.

First Friday of summer 2020

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Our plans for the summer have changed due to circumstances beyond our control. Right now for me, summer is about being outside as much as possible.  I have never enjoyed my front porch as much as I enjoy it this year.

Yesterday I went on a walk and used my phone to document the wonderful wildflowers that bloom this time of year.

wildflower collage
wildflowers

I did not see many bees. I suspect they are all hanging out in the pollinator-friendly gardens of my friends and neighbors like they did last year and that is why I don’t see as many of them in the park.

Get out this weekend and enjoy the flowers. We all know what comes next . . .

Throwback Thursday Shared Bikes

A few years back St. Paul had shared bikes. Last year was the year of the scooter. All of that is gone now. I like to think of the bikes and scooters as part of the before time.

shared bikes
5th street downtown St. Paul pre-2019
lab where bikes used to be
5th street and St. Peter downtown St. Paul  2020

I am not sure what happened to the scooters. They were everywhere. I suppose with people staying home more there is no place to scoot to. I feel fortunate that I have a bike, one that I mostly don’t share.