Ride, 3 November, 2001

Rode to the U of M and across the river on Washington Avenue Bridge. Through campus to 20th Ave S to 8th St S. Cross freeway at pedestrian bridge at 24th St S. 20th St S to 26th Ave S to Franklin to River Road. The whole point of this was to avoid hills early in the ride, since my legs weren't feeling warmed up. It's a much more urban ride than my usual path along the river, but it also got me a chance to ride through the University and see some things there.

Took West River Road to the edge of Minnehaha Park. Through Old Soldiers Home road back to bike path. This is a real nice detour away from the parking lots and heavier traffic you face if you stay on the official bike path. And you get to cross the smaller bridge over the old channel of the Mississippi River below the lower glen of Minnehaha Park.

Continuing down the path to the Fort Snelling State Park Visitor Center. The long downhill (and mostly shaded by the river bluffs) path down is the only place I got at all chilly on the ride. Refill the water bottles, chat with another biker for a while. Then it's time to go up the killer hill to Ft. Snelling. It's not all that long, but it's very steep, and I still have to pause halfway up the hill. In spite of that, a gal at the top told me I made grinding up the hill look easy.

Across the Mendota Bridge, and then down the Big Rivers Regional Trail to Harriet Island. Partway along the trail, there's an informational kiosk where Dakota County has maps of their bike trails, so I grabbed one of those. This is a very pretty ride, and you spend much of your time within yards of the Minnesota River.

Across river on Wabasha Bridge, which is a long, but not terribly steep uphill. I geared all the way down, and got passed by a jogger, but no stopping.

At the top, I ask a couple on bikes what the best way to get out of downtown to the west is, and they suggest Kellogg. That's about what I figured, but as they take off and I start to follow them, they're riding on the sidewalks and such, so I just get out into the street to make some better time and behave like a vehicle, rather than a pedestrian. Of course there was something going on at the Xcel Center, so the police have the streets detoured, directing traffic onto the freeways leaving downtown Saint Paul. I ended up taking a little detour through the parking lot of the Minnesota History Center to get around the mess.

Back on Kelloggg, I take Marion to Aurora. This parallels University Avenue, which I've decided is my strategy to get home. At Western, I figure I'll cross Univeristy and take one of the east-west streets that parallels it on the north towards home, aiming eventually for the University of Minnesota transitway. I end up picking Thomas, taking me through the heart of Frogtown. Thomas ends at Fairview then Minnehaha to Prior. At this point I should've turned North, but wasn't sure of the details of getting onto the Pierce Butler Route and over to Raymond that close to the tracks, so I go South to University Avenue, instead.

Taking University to Vandalia actually isn't too bad. There's a parking lane through most of this stretch, and is's a Saturday, so there aren't many parked cars, nor is traffic trying to drive in the parking lane. I take Vandalia up to Charles, going back to the strategy of paralleling University. This is through pretty industrial area, but again, it's a weekend, so I don't have to worry much about getting run over by a truck. I wouldn't try the same route on a weekday, though. At Raymond, it's a short hop over to Territorial to get across 280, then to Westgate Drive, which drops me onto the U of M Transitway and I'm home in minutes.

A total of 28.6 miles. 3 hours elapsed. 2:26 riding time. Legs good and warm afterwards, and no pain in my knees. As I was riding and would glance down at the cadence meter, I noticed I was doing in the mid-80s for a cadence most of the time, which seems to be high enough to keep knee problems at bay. If it hadn't been for sitting around watching NASCAR and the World Series the next day, I could've gone and done another 30 miles.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:07:47.