Greetings folks. I hope you are all planning to have a great 3 day weekend. I also hope that the next 3 days involve riding, fun and family. Today, we've got a guest blogger. Joe Meiser, Salsa Industrial Designer brings you part 2 of our Riding Season Series. We generally don't let the designers blog because we need them working on all those pesky little details that make our products great. Here goes.
This morning a few of us met for our weekly Friday Colossal Ride. The plan was to ride from Colossal Caf? in S. Minneapolis to our office via the famed River Bottoms Trail that follows the Minnesota River south of the city. This weeks ride group was smaller with the holiday weekend coming, 6 of us met for breakfast, with four heading to the trailhead on pavement and the other two headed in their respective directions. This morning?s weather was absolutely incredible with temps in the mid-50?s and the sun burning off the clouds as we made our way through Bloomington to the trail
The River Bottoms has been written about before here on the Salsa Blog. It is a classic trail here in Minnesota one that many natives will tell you was where they learned to ride. I would venture to say that everyone who has ridden it has fond memories, or at least memorable experiences to tell about. It is by no means a destination trail for Minnesota Mountain Bikers, but it is a great trail to take new riders. From my neighborhood in South Minneapolis to the office I can ride 25+ miles off streets 15+ of that being single track. This makes it a great trail for a commute to and from work when I make the time.
This morning the trail was in fantastic shape, we dropped in at the Indian Mounds School trailhead and rode to the Lyndale trailhead enjoying the descent down the bluff. As we rode the dirt road connecting the Lyndale trailhead back to the single track Pete practiced his wheelies.
From there we had to take a bit of a detour up the bluff and through the neighborhoods of S. Bloomington. Last week, Adam and Pete discovered that hooligans had cut out the raft that allows riders to ferry across the mouth of Nine Mile Creek where it empties into the Minnesota River. We are left to believe that this raft built by hard working volunteers is on its way down the Mississippi to New Orleans. Our detour led us to a trailhead entrance that we had not explored before. It was an unexpected surprise and an incredible view. We descended down a dilapidated paved service road that threatened to swallow us whole, through the woods that opened up onto Coleman lake where we were able to traverse a narrow land mass that separates the lake from the surrounding wetlands. As we arrived at the lake the view was stunning.
We stopped to take in an incredible view and snap a few photos on a beautiful morning. From there we connected back to the trail and rode the rest of the way to work.
The Minnesota River Trail is immensely important to Minnesota Mountain Biking, our local ecology, and the people who have experienced it by foot or bike. It connects us to each other (as cheesy as that sounds) and it connects us to our local environment. I had started to write here the effects that industry has on our local environment and the Minnesota River in particular, but this isn?t a post about being self-righteous or pressing my arguably liberal environmental values on you. It is a post about enjoying some time spent with friends and co-workers on a local trail that presides in an incredible natural resource that we have in our back yard. I?m guessing that as most of us that read this blog started to think about our three day weekend we thought long and hard about taking a road trip out of town with gas prices soon to reach 4.00 a gallon. Let this be a reminder to, as many publications as of late are printing, ?Be a tourist in your own city, town, or county?. Even better than being a tourist in your own backyard, be a tourist in your own backyard on foot or by bike. I think you?ll be surprised at what you?ll find and what you?ll experience when you slow down, get out of your physical and proverbial box, rub your eyes, and look around. I know I was this morning as I looked out over Coleman Lake watching the wildlife in awe of the glass top and reflections of the forest around it.
Have a great holiday weekend, stay safe, and most importantly enjoy the time you have to spend with family and friends here on this round ball hurling through outer space.
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Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.