Monday, May 4, 2015

About Towns :: A Cross-City Bike Ride

On the last Saturday of April I rode my bike from my home in South Saint Paul over to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's house. Twenty miles isn't really such a feat in the biking world, but it was exhilarating and beautiful. I loved that I got to cross two cities in one ride and see so much along the way.

My intent for my "About Towns" series is to take my own pictures. But this time I was on somewhat of a schedule and, never having made this ride before, I was not in the mood to stop and take photos. What I have done, however, is to collect photos that illustrate my ride and may inspire you, if you live here or if you ever plan to visit, to visit some of these beautiful places or take a ride yourself!

All the photos are credited at the end of this post. Please pay them a visit for more information!

So, here we go!

I left about 11:15 am Saturday morning. I rode through my neighborhood about a mile until I came to the path that leads down into Simon's Ravine.

Simon's Ravine empties out onto Concord Street in South Saint Paul. I rode this northwest along the Mississippi River into Saint Paul and the street became Caesar Chavez Street on Saint Paul's West Side. I rode past El Burrito Mercado and up Wabasha Bridge.

The bridge was quite a climb. It was probably the most challenging part of my ride. It certainly wasn't impossible, but I was happy to stop at the top for a swig of water.

I rode Wabasha on into downtown Saint Paul, making a left onto 12th Street and another left onto John Ireland Blvd. right in front of the Saint Paul Cathedral.

This shot of the cathedral is the very approach I had by my bike. In fact, I rode right past that bus stop in the bottom left corner of the photo!

I was tired at this point too, since it was the culmination of my climb up to the famous, Summit Avenue. It was nearly all downhill from there. I stopped to remove my outer vest and then enjoyed the houses all along the avenue until I turned right onto Prior Ave. and headed toward the Marshall Ave./Lake Street Bridge.

The famous James J. Hill house:

Coasting down the bridge connected me from Saint Paul to Minneapolis. I turned right at the bottom of the bridge, passed the diners sitting outside enjoying the weather at the Longfellow Grill, and wound my way onto West River Parkway.

I only rode a little way down the parkway when I connected up with the thing I was most excited about: the Midtown Greenway.

I just love, love, love this greenway! I had heard about it for years. It is such a great concept and cuts right through the heart of Minneapolis. No motorized vehicles are allowed here. They have emergency call boxes all along the route, it is well-lit and tended by volunteers all year long.

Here is a terrific, short video about it:

The Greenway is 5.7 miles of paved pathway and I rode almost the entire length of it on my way toward Lake Calhoun.

I turned off the Greenway and followed the path around the lake until I headed into the Linden Hills neighborhood where some of my family lives.

I took some video of some of the fun we had together that night. There are a lot of musicians in our family and we spend a lot of time singing and playing when we get together. This video is kind of a silly one that Google mashed up for me, though, from the videos I took. You won't get to hear everyone actually playing, but there are a few fun shots from the night in there.

Thanks for stopping by!

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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