Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday Leisure

We finally had a clear day with sunny skies. Sometimes I know myself well enough to know that the only way to make myself do something I enjoy is to make a commitment. Otherwise, I tend to wander around trying to think about what it is to do. The ol' paralasis by analysis.

I'd made plans with Scott from the bike shop to go for a ride. We met at his house and wound our way through Saint Paul to the Midtown Greenway and out west to Hopkins. We set out on the North Corridor of the SW LRT Trail to Victoria. We wound our way south on county roads through Chaska to finally hook up with the South Corridor of the SW LRT Trail back to Hopkins and eventually back through Saint Paul. I wound myself back home lackadaisically home to be back somewhere around 1:3o this afternoon I think. I looked at the computer on my bike. Just over 80 miles in 5 hours of ride time.

I enjoy riding with Scott, he's very efficient on his bike. Doesn't take much for food, rides at a quick pace that makes me work to keep up, and is good company. Much of the time that we were riding along we were hovering around the 17-18 mile per hour range. Faster than I feel like I normally ride, but I enjoyed pushing it a bit.

I rode the Quickbeam primarily because I knew the tentative plan of going out to the Southwest metro and if we did follow through, the trails are crushed limestone. With all of the rain that we have had all week, I expected soft and messy conditions. It was also only 42 degrees when I left. So, I essentially just unpacked my work clothes, threw in an extra lightweight jersey and off I went.

In contrast, Scott was traveling much lighter on his Surly Crosscheck. No fenders, no racks, no dynamo hub, singlespeed. He forgot his toolkit. So, I blame my working hard to keep up on that as well as the simple fact that Scott has that advantage of being one of those 135 pound wiry little guys. Always a challenge to keep up with.

Felt great to be out on a leisure ride. There have been quite a few weekends where I have had work to catch up on. Or, when faced with precious free time, the thought of riding wasn't the first thing to pop into my head. Sometimes I feel like riding all week makes me think that is enough. Today reminded me that even though I ride 150 miles a week back and forth to work... A little weekend fun ride is fun too.

First real ride of any distance in my Ibex cycling shorts. I hope that they perform as wonderfully during hot weather as they do in cool. I think I can stick with my original thought that they go into the most-comfortable shorts I own category. We'll have to see how they do in really warm weather next summer. Since they are a thicker knit merino wool, I can see how they might be perceived, as some have reviewed, as being warm.

Returned home to change quick and go to work on the yard. Raked all the leaves and mowed. Not a short task on nearly a 1/2 acre lot. Another friend Sean who I also met and worked with at the bike shop dropped by on his bike ride home. We enjoyed each having a beer and great conversation for nearly an hour. Now pushing 7pm I am faced with the fact that I think I actually need to eat something today!

So much for my thoughts that a weekend left home alone I would have all kinds of time to catch up on work, clean out my bike shop, go for bike rides... Nope.... I think I am going to jump on my bike, go out to get something to eat, and make a trip to the liquor store. After all... It's Saturday in MN. Liquor stores are closed tomorrow and that's just stupid!


Troy said...

Question: I see through some online research that there are bike routes throughout much of the twin cities... Is there a route between Bloomington and uptown/downtown Minneapolis? Does the SW LRT route go through or near Bloomington?

Reflector Collector said...

Bloomington is a pretty big suburb, so I am not really sure WHERE in Bloomington. I've only ridden down there a handful of times. The SW LRT is more West than Southwest.

There is a printed map available from Little Transport Press. I believe they even have a new version coming out this spring. It's a great one to keep packed away in a bag on the bike.

I use Google Maps, Routeslip, and Gmap-Pedometer as tools to figure out routes. There are also lots of people interested in cycling willing to share advice. Take a look at Minneapolis Bike Love Route Planning

In general, one of the challenges of using a bicycle for transportation is finding an acceptable route. It can often times adventure mixed with frustration.

Even yesterday finding a route between the two ends of the SW LRT was a challenge. Or, there were times when we got lost trying to simply follow the LRT!

Reflector Collector said...

Oops, forgot to add that Nicollet is not BAD. The combo of Penn mixed with Oliver and Newton is not a bad (if not circuitous) route to the lakes, then Cedar Lake trail.

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