Archive for May, 2012

Minnesota #2 Ranked Bike Friendly State. Wisconsin Drops to 6th.

Posted by Doug Shidell, May 22nd , 2012.

While Minnesota moved up to the second most bike friendly state in the country, Wisconsin continues its downward slide from 2nd in 2010 to 3rd last year, to 6th this year. The League of American Wheelmen  based its rankings on five categories: Legislation and Enforcement, Policies and Programs, Infrastructure and Funding, Education and Encouragement, and Evaluation and Planning. Both states remain in the top ten overall in the nation, but Wisconsin has reduced its commitment to funding and spent only a portion of its allocated Federal funds to build and maintain bicycle facilities.

for more information on the rankings, click here.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Eric is Back in Town

Posted by Doug Shidell, May 22nd , 2012.

Eric is back in town, so Brad, his Dad, called in sick. I wrapped up an important phone call, closed  the office for the afternoon and pulled out the riding clothes. D took a break from his fruitless job search. D2, who never understand our obsessions with work, simply asked where and when.

By 1:00 we were riding through a cloudless, windless, 71 degree day. We stopped at Minnehaha Falls, did a quick check on the water flow, then migrated to Sea Salt Eatery to order fish tacos and a pitcher of Summit Saga. Service was slow, just the ticket to catch up on Eric’s latest adventures: A survival hike at 17,000 feet in the Himalayan foothills of India, a planned trip to Nepal, ski instructor near Lake Tahoe.

These were only the latest in a string of adventures that started with a road trip to California in the family van. That one scared his parents, but they’ve gotten used to his adventures, even a little proud, when they aren’t worrying about his life, future, and other things parents worry about.

We followed River Road north to the Stone Arch Bridge, cruised around Target Field, checked out the Midtown Greenway and circled the lakes. It was a casual ride, with frequent breaks, easy chatter and the occasional hammerhead, single file pace line sprints. The sprints were slower and shorter than they used to be, but more fun because we slowed before the thrill of speed was overshadowed by the lung bursting grind of too much adrenaline.

It was an afternoon ride, not unlike so many in the past, but heightened by the fact that, on short notice, we dropped everything, played hooky and went for a ride.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Oak Leaf to Interurban Connection

Posted by Doug Shidell, May 21st , 2012.

The Wisconsin Bike Fed blog has a discussion of plans for connecting the Oak Leaf Trail to the Brown Deer Trail and the Ozauke Interurban Trail. A public meeting will be held this Thursday at the Brown Deer Park boathouse to discuss these plans.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

MS Rides this Summer

Posted by Doug Shidell, May 19th , 2012.

The MS Society will host its annual MS150 ride from Duluth to the Twin Cities on June 8-10.  The two day event uses the Willard Munger Trail from Duluth to Hinckley the first day, then follows back roads to the eastern metro area. It’s a worthy event and a great way to experience long distance bike touring in a safe and hassle free environment.

For more information or to register, visit myMSbike.org.

If that whets your appetite for longer tours, follow up with the MS:TRAM Ride during the week of July 22 ̶ 27, 2012
This scenic journey through the Central Lakes region, includes stops in Alexandria, Bemidji, Walker, Park Rapids, Wadena and Fergus Falls. Enjoy small-town hospitality, top-notch support and festivities to boot —For more information or to register, visit myMSbike.org.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Minnetonka Blvd No Longer a Bike Route

Posted by Doug Shidell, May 13th , 2012.

For years Minnetonka Blvd was a standby for one of my favorite bike rides into the western suburbs. The route involved going west on Valley View Road, then skirting the shores of Lotus Lake and rolling along Lake Lucy Rd to Galpin. That got me to Excelsior. From there I shot straight back to Minneapolis via Minnetonka Blvd. It was a fast road, with an intermittently good shoulder and a tailwind. I didn’t care for the increasing amount of traffic on the road, but there weren’t a lot of good alternatives, so I tolerated the vehicles.

That changed several years ago. I found myself taking the Lake Minnetonka Trail, or turning up to ride Cedar Lake Rd. If I was interested in adding hills, I took a combination of roads like Ridgewood and Lake St south of Minnetonka Blvd.

Today I decided to go back to Minnetonka Blvd. It wasn’t any fun at all. Traffic is still high, the shoulders are falling apart and the intersections with major cross streets aren’t easy to negotiate. Apparently other riders have come to the same conclusion. I didn’t see a single rider on Minnetonka Blvd. Four years ago that would have been unthinkable.

Minnetonka Blvd will no longer be designated a bike route on the Twin Cities Bike Map. The change will be noticeable with the next press run. I can’t predict when that will happen. If I sell out this press run, the change will come when I reprint. At the latest, it will appear with the scheduled update in 2014. The Twin Cities Bike Map is always evolving to reflect the changing conditions for bicyclists in the metro area. Although the changes aren’t usually as large as removing a major east/west corridor, they are frequent and numerous. I’ll be out there checking out new routes and doing my best to keep the bike map as current as possible.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Dakota Rail Trail Segment Closed in May

Posted by Doug Shidell, May 6th , 2012.

The Dakota Rail Trail between Highland Road in Minnestrista and Kennedy Memorial Dr in St. Bonifacius will be closed until May 25. The trail will be closed in this segment while Highland Road is being reconstructed at a right angle to improve sight lines for trail users and motorists.

Trail users traveling west should detour south along Highland Road, then west along Kennedy Memorial Dr, rejoining the trail where it intersects with Kennedy. Trail users traveling east should detour along Kennedy Memorial Dr east, then north on Highland Road until it rejoins the trail.

For more information, go to www.ci.minnestrista.mn.us

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News