Bikeverywhere News

Updated Cannon Valley Bike Rides

Posted by Doug Shidell, October 26th , 2015.

The Cannon Valley, 40 miles south of the Twin Cities, offers a wide range of bike riding options. Most first time visitors come for the Cannon Valley Bike Trail, a paved 20 miles trail along the south side of the Cannon River. Views from the trail include panoramic overlooks near Cannon Falls and intimate river bottom near Red Wing. Trail passes cost $4 and all of the money is spent on maintaining and updating the trail. The Cannon Valley Trail also connects to city trails in Cannon Falls and Red Wing.

Road riders will enjoy County Road 1 as it climbs from the Mississippi River Valley in Red Wing to the rural highlands of Goodhue County Once out of the valley, low traffic roads roll up and down along the ridge top then drop through a long and steady descent to Cannon Falls.

Gravel road enthusiasts will find several options for branching off the trail and returning. More ambitious gravel riders will enjoy riding Welch Trail west from Welch Village to Cannon Falls This road twists and rolls from the Cannon Valley to the bluff tops and back down. The last couple of miles follow paved, low traffic Hwy 17 into Cannon Falls. This route will take you through Miesville Ravine Park Reserve, a minimally developed park reserve with picnic shelters and hiking trails.

Finally, you can explore the Mississippi River Bottoms by riding Collischan Road, a gravel road that climbs slightly from US Hwy 61, then drops into the backwaters of the Mississippi River. This road drops to marsh level and is subject to flooding in the spring, but that intimacy with the vast backwaters of the Mississippi River is part of its appeal. Two non-technical National Forest Service trails in the area go deeper into the woods along water ways and high bluffs. You will need a mountain bike and minimal riding skills to navigate the trails.

This is an area that lends itself well to full moon night rides. Time your rides for after the leaves fall so the moonlight can penetrate the woods and light the gravel roads. Riding the gravel roads and Forest Service trails in the autumn moonlight is an experience that you will want to repeat regularly.

All of the routes and trails are available on the mobile Cannon Valley Bike Rides

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Exploring the Mississippi River Bottoms

Posted by Doug Shidell, October 20th , 2015.

Met riding buddy Dave Olson at the Red Wing end of the Cannon Valley Trail. We broke away from the paved trail early to explore the Mississippi River bottoms on gravel roads, forest service trails and railroad bridges. Two different trails represented in the photos. One deteriorated to the point where we had to lay the bikes down and explore by foot. After crossing the railroad bridge, we wandered over to Lock and Dam #3.20151018_135022

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New Updates for Mobile Twin Cities Bike Map

Posted by Doug Shidell, October 9th , 2015.

The mobile Twin Cities Bike Map has been updated. This is the third update for 2015, the last one was in August. Updates since August include:

Added 26th St and 28th St through the heart of south Minneapolis. These were high traffic one way streets that weren’t comfortable for most cyclists. The streets have been retro-fitted with wide, protected, bike lanes and now provide quick, comfortable routes across town.

Also added Broadway and Lowry Ave. in North and Northeast Minneapolis as bike routes. The City has also retro-fitted these routes with protected lanes.

New route along the scenic St. Croix River near Afton. This is very hilly country, but exceptionally beautiful.

Removed or changed a number of trails and roads around the Chaska area. As traffic increases in the area, some previously good roads have become uncomfortable.

Added new legend and North Arrow to the map.

Numerous smaller changes across the metro area.

This will be the last update for 2015. If you already have the 2015 mobile map, you can download the updated map for free. If you don’t have it, download now for the most up-to-date bike map of the Twin Cities area.

Download the mobile 2015 Twin Cities Bike Map

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River to River Trail

Posted by Doug Shidell, August 24th , 2015.

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20150823_133523 (1)The River to River Trail will eventually run from the St. Paul Airport to Red Wing. The newest addition, from Inver Grove to Pine Bend, has some great Mississippi River overlooks and surprising amenities like a pump and repair station.

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The old Rock Island Swing Bridge has been converted into a pier and park. The facilities are modern and very attractive. Note the fake railroad tracks going up to the bathroom entrance.

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Swing Bridge Park is located off 66th St in Inver Grove Heights just south of I-494

From north to south the trail runs along the top of a levee, follows an active rail line, climbs a very long hill along Concord Rd, runs next to a frontage road for Hwy 55, then runs through the woods as mentioned above. It’s an odd mix.

River to River Trail
The newest addition to the trail runs from Pine Bend Bluff SNA to south of 117th St. It’s a short, but attractive segment of trail that gives a hint about what to expect with future developments, as the trail is connected to Spring Lake Park near Hastings.

The latest addition to the trail will appear this fall with the last update of the year for the mobile 2015 Twin Cities Bike Map. Download the mobile phone here.

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Mobile 2015 Twin Cities Bike Map Updated

Posted by Doug Shidell, August 5th , 2015.

The 2015 Twin Cities Bike Map has been updated. Changes since May include:
* New routes through Downtown Minneapolis and around CHS Stadium in Downtown St. Paul.
* Removed Highways 6 and 10 around Lake Rebecca Park Reserve. Traffic has increased to intolerable levels on these roads.
* Removed Hwy 96 between White Bear Lake and Stillwater. Shoulder is OK, but traffic is very heavy.
*. Multiple changes around Elm Creek Park Reserve. Add some nice miles of road just west of the park reserve.

If you already have the Mobile 2015 Twin Cities Bike Map on your  phone, you can download the updated map at no cost. If you haven’t tried it, see details.

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Mobile Madison Bike Map Update

Posted by Doug Shidell, July 10th , 2015.

Pheasant Branch CreekI spent a week recently in the Madison, Wisconsin area  and came away with a number of updates, primarily in the western half of the city and western Dane County. Special thanks to Francis Stanton, publisher of Eagle Eye Maps for route suggestions. Francis has been riding, researching and publishing bike maps of the Madison area for over 10 years. He suggested several roads that provided ideal east west connectors between existing bike routes in western Dane County. Check out his Ridge and Valley Rides atlas for loops that follow the most scenic, low traffic roads within 50 miles of Madison.

In addition to the route updates, I was able to add shaded relief information to the mobile Madison and Dane County Bike Map. Shaded relief gives a general sense of the terrain in an area. with this addition, you will be able to judge how many hills you will encounter on any ride. This is a significant addition for an area that is as hilly as western Dane County.

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Valley View Rd Under Construction

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 27th , 2015.

Valley View Rd near the Braemar Golf Course in Edina is under construction. See the attached photo for an alternate route. This looks like major construction, so expect the road to be torn up through the 2015 riding season.

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Removing Bike Routes

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 16th , 2015.

Sometimes bike routes have to be removed because of traffic. The attached screen shots show three routes that are no longer acceptable for riding unless you are a hard core cyclist who doesn’t mind heavy traffic.

Delete Hwy 96
Highway 96 between White Bear Lake and Stillwater has wide shoulders, but traffic is so heavy that it isn’t pleasant to ride.

Delete Hwy 6

Highway 6, north of Lake Minnetonka, also has wide shoulders but far too much traffic. While researching this route, I saw drivers weaving onto the shoulder, possibly because they were texting and driving during rush hour.

New Route Rockford

Woodland Trail is dangerous. Traffic, including trucks, is very heavy and there is no shoulder. Note the alternate option on Greenfield Rd.

These changes will appear in the updated mobile Twin Cities Bike Map later this summer. Print versions will show the updates on the next press run.

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Rusk County

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 16th , 2015.

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Rusk County, in northwestern Wisconsin, is one of the least populated counties in the state. The county has low-traffic paved and gravel roads that are ideal for day trips or short tours.
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The land is primarily a mix of forests, farmland and marshes, with several large rivers and low rolling hills.

Brian Vanderah, an avid cyclist, has researched the routes extensively and put together a unique map of bike loops designed to explore the entire county. Loops range from 5 to 100 miles in length and are laid out so the shorter loops are also the flattest. Each loop starts from one of the main cities in the county (Ladysmith, Bruce or Weyerhauser) and a key next to each city gives distances. Because the loops overlap and share roads, it is possible to customize rides endlessly.

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The longest ride, a mix of gravel and paved roads, explores the remote northeastern parts of the county. Segments of the 100 mile ride follow the shore of Dairyland Reservoir, the largest body of water in the county.

The free map is available for mobile devices using the PDF Maps App.

Download the free PDF Maps app.

Download the free Rusk County mobile map.

More about Rusk County.

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CrossRoads Stone Arch Bridge

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 2nd , 2015.

St. Anthony FallsThe latest Crossroads puzzle will appeal to history buffs, engineering geeks and anyone who needs an excuse to hang out around St. Anthony Falls. Follow map clues to the mill races below the falls, the Guthrie Theater, Stone Arch Bridge and Water Works Park. By the time you’re finished you will have a good sense about the early history of Minneapolis, how power is generated by turbines and how early power lines were inspected in winter. That is, if you aren’t completely distracted by the rushing river, the Minneapolis skyline and the food and drink along St. Anthony Main.

More information about Bikeverywhere CrossRoads Puzzles.

More information about the Stone Arch CrossRoads Puzzles.

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