Saturday, June 27, 2009

One More Time in Wisconsin

I know I blog too much about my biking adventures (even though that's what I do most in the summer) I decided to relate one more biking story so those who are new to my blog, esp. those who took this trip with me might enjoy it as well along with the few that read this on a regular basis. I might also gain more readership, which would be great even though like Jennifer (another blogger I read) doesn't know how many read her blog. ANYWAY, this trip was organized by an avid biker who also is an alumni of University of Wisconsin-Platteville from my husband's class. He organized a biking excursion starting at the University and running about 22 miles up and around the giant "M". The "M," by the way, stands for mining, in honor of UW's erstwhile mining school, which was very prestigious in the early 20th century. The students moved and cemented 400 tons of light-colored limestone to create the letter. The "M" is 241 feet high, 214 feet wide, and the legs are 25 feet across. The engineers who designed it used surveying techniques to ensure that the "M" appears symmetrical and visually appealing from all angles. ANYWAY, because there are not many bike trails in wooded areas around Platteville the travel was mostly on highways devoid of trees and surrounded by cornfields, etc. since I have been biking along trails here in the Twin Cities I figured I would be in shape. WRONG! The group left me in the dust except for a very kind lady close to my age who could have left me in the dust but decided to wait at the top of each ENORMOUS hill for me, took a shortcut that I wouldn't have known about and rested with me part way under the giant "M". Michael joined us for the shortcut. Not sure if it was a sympathy move or not but I appreciated the tired fellow Minnesotan not to mention husband. Much to my relief the halfway point welcomed us with a giant cooler of iced water bottles, apples, and donut holes. The sun and the hills really "killed" me not to mention when my chain fell off (by the way, sunscreen takes grease off your hands) but I hung in, made some wonderful new friends, and I may (I said "may") give it another try next year. All in all the most fun of course was winding my way back home with Michael through the small towns in Wisconsin and Minnesota and the exercise made me feel absolutely fantastic underneath all that sweat. All l can say is, GO WISCONSIN BIKERS!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"B" does not always stand for "blog"

We took our weekly bike trip with Dan and Mary to St. Paul covering 17 miles this time. Wouldn't recommend this trail if you don't like hills and bumps. Very woodsy, though. At one point we were surrounded by (I'm sure) 100 yr-old trees. They were so H U G E! The trail followed along the river and ended up in downtown St. Paul across from the Science Museum (the state capital is behind us) for our destination and snack and rest time. After returning to our cars we hooked the bikes back up and walked down to the river front and watched the river boats travel by (notice Fort Snelling up on the bluff) while we skipped stones and talked about our next bike adventure!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

There's More to Shakopee than Valleyfair

Michael and I have put a number of miles so far this year biking around the metro area. Two weeks ago it was a trail in Hopkins that leads to Excelsior. It is one of my favorite trails because of the scenery with all the boats and Lake Minnetonka shoreline. We went approximately 22 miles, a bit of a stretch for me this early in the summer but still fun. This past week we tried out a trail just west of Valleyfair in Shakopee. Very lovely and rustic. It led us to a small area in the old part of Chaska. Only 12 miles but very enjoyable with low riding hills. Ran across a number of people out that day including some very friendly teens. We don't run into many young people riding the trails possibly due to the ability to get one's license at 16 in Minnesota. I was glad to see them out exercising their bodies free of charge rather than emptying their wallets at Valleyfair. Outside of some interesting flowers, I took a picture of some wetlands on the southside.