Don’t forget the Green Gifts Fair!

Posted by Doug Shidell, November 13th , 2012.

Stop by this weekend at Midtown Global Market. Event starts at 10:00 am. We’re closing out Bicycle Vacation Guide and selling it at half price ($12). We’re also offering discounts on all of our bike maps, t-shirts and greeting cards, and you won’t want to miss our wine bags and beer coozies made from the 2008 Twin Cities Bike Map.

While you’re there, ask about the new bikeverywhere.com interactive website with bike route information from around the Upper Midwest. You’ll hear more about it here as we get further into development, but we’d be happy to talk about it at the Green Gifts Fair.


Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

Bikes, Trails and Food

Posted by Doug Shidell, August 20th , 2012.

It was only a matter of time before someone put them all together into an event. In this case three events over three weekends in September. The Root River Trail will be celebrating a Taste of the Trail. Each community along the trail will include its own growers, producers and restaurateurs, offering complimentary samples of their products. Fare will include the famous pies of Whalen, Lefse made on a wood fired stove, a Norwegian favorite rommegrot, jams, jellies, honey and more from local farmers and a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs.

Bring your bikes and log some miles. you will need the appetite.

Dates for the multi-weekend event:

  • Sept. 8: Lanesboro, Whalan, Peterson
  • Sept. 15: Preston, Harmony
  • Sept. 22: Rushford, Rushford Village, Houston

For more information click here.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

Entire Cannon Valley Trail Open Again

Posted by Doug Shidell, July 29th , 2012.

The Cannon Valley Trail Association announced that the entire trail is open again, although sections of the trail are still unpaved. Finishing touches to the trail, including laying asphalt on the unpaved sections, shoulder work and ditch work, will continue for the next couple of weeks. The work will be done on weekdays and trail users may be asked to walk through the construction areas. No trail work will be done on the weekends.

The Cannon Valley Trail is not a state trail. It charges a trail user’s fee for all adult users. The generally good condition of the trail and the current major overhaul demonstrate the value of a consistent, reliable income stream and a governing body that is dedicated to providing users with the best possible trail experience.

This weekend I was on the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail. The trail surface was poor, with long stretches of bumpy and deteriorating pavement. These conditions have become a depressingly common occurrence on state trails.

Minnesota had the heady experience of receiving a lot of Federal funds for building new trails, but the political climate has been strongly against investing in our future, so funds for ongoing maintenance of the trails have all but disappeared. It’s past time to develop a sustainable method for maintaining our popular, but deteriorating, trail system.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

Waukesha County treats

Posted by Doug Shidell, July 8th , 2012.

In part, Waukesha county is frustrating because it has so many treats. But it is often hard to put them together. Here are some off the top of my head:

  • Lakes: I like lakes where one can get close to the water. Two big ones include La LaBelle and Oconomoc Lake. Smaller ones where the road is at the water’s edge include Middle Genesse Lake and Silver Lake.
  • Woods and moraines: Waterville Road and the area around Palmyra.
  • Farms and fields: the area southwest of Dousman (flat and quiet), the area northeast of Mukwonago starting with Maple Ave (surprisingly rural), and Saylesville.
  • Artesian springs: Waukesha county used to be famous for its artesian springs that bubbled from the ground. Despite overpumping of groundwater several still exist and attract people with jugs. One I encountered along the marked routes is just south of Big Bend. Another is on Parry Rd just east of Dousman.

There are also a number of attractive routes. One I like is going from Delafield to Oconomow via Mill Rd and Oconomowoc Lake. One can return via the Lake Country Trail or continue on to Lac LaBelle.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

Flood Damages Bike Trails

Posted by Doug Shidell, June 29th , 2012.

The recent 9 inch rain fall around Duluth, Minnesota has damaged the Willard Munger Bike Trail between Carlton and Duluth. The trail will remain closed in this area until further notice. The trail from Carlton to Hinckley is open but the bridges in Willow River and Rutledge have been closed until flood waters recede and DNR  inspects them for safety. The Willard Munger Trail is featured in Bicycle Vacation Guide and used annually by the MS150 charity bike ride.

Mountain bike trails in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area were heavily damaged by the rain, but all trails except Sidewinder and Miner’s Mountain Road will open today. The Cuyuna trail system has become a favorite destination for mountain bikers since opening about a year ago.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

Public Input for new Intercity Bike Trail

Posted by Doug Shidell, April 14th , 2012.

The Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners has developed a master plan for the seven-mile paved multi-use Intercity Bike Trail, which will travel north-south from Lake Nokomis Parkway in Minneapolis through Richfield and to the Minnesota River in Bloomington.

The trail will connect to the Minneapolis Grand Rounds trail system at Lake Nokomis, Three Rivers Park District’s Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail in Richfield, and the Mall of America in Bloomington. Future connections across the Minnesota River to Dakota County’s regional trail system and proposed Minnesota Valley State Trail also are considered.

Copies of the master plan are available at www.ThreeRiversParks.org (search for “Intercity” in the search box at the upper right corner of the home page)

The public has the opportunity to provide comments from April 2 through May 1; written comments may be submitted by e-mail to ICRT@ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org, by fax to 763-557-5248, or by mail to: Three Rivers Park District, Intercity Regional Trail, 3000 Xenium Lane N., Plymouth, MN 55441

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

A New National Wildlife Refuge?

Posted by Doug Shidell, April 4th , 2012.

Plans are afoot for a new national wildlife refuge in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Called the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, it would be centered on Genoa City and run between the Bong recreation area on the east roughly to the western shore of Lake Geneva. The northern boundary approximately follows the White River State Trail and the southern shore of Lake Geneva. Despite its proximity to Chicago and Milwaukee, this is an area of small towns, lakes, farms, and country roads that offer great bicycling.

In contrast to older National Wildlife Refuges that consist primarily of federally owned property, the new refuge would be a patchwork offering a variety of environments for wildlife, particularly birds that could move from site to site. This does seem to fit in with current thinking about conservation: rather than concentrating on preserving completely wild areas, find ways to support both wildlife and a variety of human activities.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

Root River Trail Bridge Work is Complete

Posted by Doug Shidell, April 3rd , 2012.


Recently posted on the Root River Trail website:

Root River State Trail Report April 2, 2012: The bridge repair work is complete and the trail is open from Lanesboro going east to Whalan. Going west toward Fountain, the bridge near Riverside on the Root Restaurant is closed, however, you can access the trail west by starting at Lanesboro’s Bass Pond Parking Lot at the base of County Hwy 8.  The new trail segments will be widened and resurfaced for a fantastic biking experience. The trail is completely OPEN all Saturdays & Sundays and on weekday evenings.

Bikeverywhere offers two options for learning more about the Root River Trail. check out our book Bicycle Vacation Guide or get just the Root River Trail a PDF of the Root River Trail chapter in Bicycle Vacation Guide.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

Mozaic Bridge

Posted by Doug Shidell, March 20th , 2012.

Sometimes a new piece of public infrastructure fits so neatly into a neighborhood that it appears to have been there forever. That’s what I felt when I checked out the new Mozaic Bridge and bike ramp near Hennepin Ave in Uptown. I first learned about the bridge when Andrew Dahl of the Ackerberg Group asked me to add it to the Twin Cities Bike Map.

During my brief visit I saw dozens of bike riders using the ramp and the bridge. The two amenities had become so integral to the neighborhood that I had to ask Andrew just how long they had been open. I questioned whether I had simply missed seeing them over the last year. Andrew assured me that the bridge is new and his colleague verified that it opened in January.

The bridge creates a nondescript, perfectly ordinary pedestrian crossing. Riders and pedestrians crossed over it and under it without comment. It didn’t draw attention to itself or inspire grand thoughts. The beauty of the bridge was in its pure functionality: You could get from one side of the Greenway to the other without dealing with the traffic or transit stations on Hennepin Ave, and the ramp connected a medium density neighborhood with the highly trafficked trail. In light of the recent failure of the Martin Sabo Bridge, further east on the Greenway, the simple sturdy design of the Mozaic Bridge is even more appealing.

If I have any complaint, it’s about the connection between the south side of the bridge and the rest of Uptown. The bridge empties onto a busway that feeds the transit station. The space around the station is uninviting for either bikes or peds. A walkway across the bus road runs past the Mozaic Art Park with it’s signature Colussus II head, but it doesn’t give the sense of a throughway for either bikes or pedestrians. As a matter-of-fact, it wasn’t until I had left the area, via the ramp and Greenway, that I realized that I didn’t even follow the walkway to see if it connected to anything.

The bridge, ramp and still developing Art Park were built by the Ackerberg Group as part of their new multi-use Mozaic Building. I’m not an architect, so I can’t comment intelligently on the design of the building, but I did note that it steps back from the trail as it rises, an intentional design feature that prevents the building’s shadow from blocking the sun on the trail. That design feature, plus the public bike and pedestrian amenities that came with the project, make Mozaic a great addition to the Uptown area.

The Mozaic Bridge and the bike ramp to the Midtown Greenway will be part of future Twin Cities Bike Maps but, like the bridge itself, the symbol for each will not stand out. They will be simple green lines on the map, but they will do their job when you get to the area.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc

Hank Aaron Trail Article

Posted by Doug Shidell, March 17th , 2012.

The magazine Rails to Trails has a really excellent article on the Hank Aaron Trail that runs the width of Milwaukee County, starting at the Lakeshore State Park on Milwaukee’s lake front and running east to the Oak Leaf Trail on the west side of the county.

Let me also make a pitch for joining the Rails to Trails organization that advocates for bike trails and worked hard to head off proposals to end federal funding of bike facilities.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News, Misc