I think our brains are programed to think big. I know when I give my mind freedom to think, I always go to far away places with big environments. Alaska. The Rocky mountains. New Zealand. Australia. I could go on and on. Sometimes these big thoughts get in the way of exploring your own back yard. This is the case for me personally as we travelled north to MN's North Shore a few weeks ago. I had my mind set on riding beautiful and rugged Arrowhead region of the state. When Kid Riemer suggested we head south and ride the Park Point public beach near downtown Duluth, MN I was skeptical. So we packed up to drive home and headed south to Duluth for a lunch time spin on Park Point public beach. Little did I know it would be one of the most fun and unique experiences of this trip.
Mike Dion of Ride the Divide fame riding a Mukluk on the snow dunes of Park Point in Duluth, MN
Within minutes of hitting the beach, we were all laughing out loud. The snow and ice formations on the beach created a Moabesque riding experience. Our big tires crawled over smooth snow, ice, & chunk.
Mike Dion and Kid Riemer beach cruising on Park Point
Quickly we realized we'd be out here for much of the day. It was just too much fun. The public beach is something like 7 miles long. We set our sights on the furthest point and meandered our way up, down, over and around the snow and ice formations.
Kid riding the ridge
We took a bunch of video here as we played around. It really was similar to riding Moab, Utah except it was on snow. Unlike Moab where the rock provides unlimited traction, the snow formations were slippery and the inclines proved to be challenging. The key was smooth power output and picking good lines. Anything off camber meant you were either sliding out or going downward.
Meiser & Kid riding the ice chunk
As we approached the far end of the point, the surface got a bit more chunky. It turned into a techy and weaving route. Honestly, it was quite punishing and very challenging. Super fun though. We pedalled and pushed on.
Kid approaching the end of the breakwater on Park Point
Joe, Mike and I took a food and coffee break and Kid Riemer pushed on to the furthest point of the beach. He made the flag at the end of the breakwater. It was the crowning achievement of the day.
As we pedalled back to the car we were hungary as we did not plan to be out there for 4+ hours. We were tired from getting completely worked by the techy chunk. We were elated with our find. Tired and hungry we piled into my Honda Element and headed out of town dreaming and planning for another day of exploring on MN's North Shore.
Think big, but explore locally. You will never know what is there unless you go explore.