Thursday, February 23, 2017

BBBC Feb 22nd - Grey days

The grey days of winter abound with missed opportunities. Heavy doors shut out the wonders of a frozen world, secrets that no one cares to hear. Thawing eyelashes are treated to deep blue grey color fields occasionally organizing themselves into familiar shapes but sometimes not.


This post is part of the Brave Bold Blogger Challenge put on by The goal is to write everyday during the month of February

- Ride North

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

BBBC, Feb 20th - A road close to home

I am blessed with an amazing commute. A to B is three miles, but I manage to extend that as time and two wheels allow. My extended commute starts on the bluffs above the west bank of the Mississippi River. From there I head down into the valley and through Lillydale regional park. heading back up the bluff, I catch I-35E and immediately exit onto Shepard Road. From here I ride along the east bank and pass downtown. Shepard Road becomes Warner road and ends at Hwy 61. Two lefts has me in and out of the commuter torrent, I pop out in Mounds Park. From Mounds Park I have a super secret way into downtown that spits me out by CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints.

Go Saints!

The view from up top. 
This is the start of my commute, St. Paul's West Side neighborhood.

Lillydale Regional Park's Pickerel Lake (still in St. Paul)

Mississippi River in spring,that's ice on the river.

Shepard/ Warner Road looking upstream at the Robert St. bridge

Mississippi River looking down stream (from the Hwy 52 Bridge bike path)

Two of the many burial mounds in Mounds Park

The view from Dayton's Bluff

This was taken last Friday! 
It was the first time I have ever ridden in February, but not the last!

- Ride North

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BBBC, Feb 14 - Happy Valentine's Day

Feb 14th: What does Valentine's Day mean to you?

Cake. It means cake. 

Happy Tuesday ya'll!

- Ride North

BBBC, Feb 13, five natural wonders within an hour of Saint Paul

This post is part of the Brave Bold Blogger Challenge put on by The goal is to write everyday during the month of February and I haven't exactly been keeping up. The bigger drop was not giving credit where it's due.

Thanks Toad Mama for putting this together! 

Today's topic (yesterday's really): open concept or room with walls?

William O'Brien State Park

This state park sits on the west bank of the Saint Croix River, north of Marine on the Saint Croix. The Saint Croix river is a National Scenic River, a designation that protects it from development.

map | camping | trails

Rice Creek Chain of lakes

The Rice Creek Chain of Lakes is seven miles long, located between I-35W and I-35E, just north of The Cities.

map | entrance fee: $5/day

Camping (make a reservation)

Wargo Nature Center
7701 Main Street
Lino Lakes, MN 55038

Spring lake Park

Located between highway 52 and Hastings. A short hike from the parking lot will bring you to +100 foot bluffs overlooking Spring Lake, the impoundment behind lock & dam number 2.

Spring Lake and tree tops

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge/ Fort Snelling/ Minneahah Falls

The Minnesota Valley national Wildlife refuge is the only national refuge system located within a major metropolitan area. Starting in Jordan, the Minnesota river valley winds in and out of the refuge system before converging with the Mississippi River at Fort Snelling. Looking south from the I-494 you'll see the refuge, look north and you'll see Fort Snelling State Park.

Lake Minnetonka 

( Lake Minnetonka Regional Park )

I couldn't make a list of the Twin Cities' natural wonders without mentioning the magical waters of Lake Minnetonka. While I've motored past and fished the big lake to my west, I don't have any specific park or par-like stops to recommend. There is a regional park on the west end of the lake and plenty of places to stop for lunch. Also, the U of M Landscape Arboretum is just south of the lake, off of highway 5.

- Ride North

Saturday, February 11, 2017

BBBC, Feb 11th - National Parks

Kicking around a fly and ride trip to Vegas. It's not cheep but it's not bad and when time is an issue it could really up the adventure per hour. If you really wanted to turn it into an adventure, throw in some open air desert camping.

From Las Vegas you could easily get to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Death Valley National parks.

Rent a Bonnie for $80/day and they pick you up at the airport. $300 round trip air fair.

And, I've always wanted to carry on a helmet.

- Ride North

Thursday, February 9, 2017

BBBC Feb 9th - Three pics you’ve never shared

 Three pairs of pictures that I've never shared. My garage can, at times be a complete disaster. I'm sorry for what you are about to see...

Oil leak Triumph (pre-triumph really)

Post oil leak Triumph!

About 20 or so years worth of registration stickers on the 1978 Yamaha. 
(most from a previous steward)

A well-earned bath. 

Valve adjustment time. (I need to do this again this spring.)

Smooth Operator and another St Paul sunrise.

 - Ride North

Monday, February 6, 2017

BBBC, Feb 4th - mileage goals and whatnot

My mileage goals are never anything specific. I want to ride frequently enough to keep my skills sharp and work in a trip with my dad. Most of my riding is done to and from work. I'll get an evening blast in once and a while, sometimes it's a morning ride. I would love to wander far and wide but I can't just throw my wife and child on the back and take off to remote locations across the globe. It's just not where I am in my life and that's okay. While I'm always eyeing up this trip or that, I know I'm needed at home.

Mrs. North and I taught our four year old son (he was three at the time) how to ride a bike last fall. A real bike with no training wheels, a free wheel, and hand brakes. (they make the coolest stuff for kids these days) We took him on some paved trails and he did really well. He loves riding his bike and can you blame him! I also took him to the local mountain bike trails. We did lap after lap around the beginner trail, it was awesome. He told me that he loves riding his bike through the woods. So, a big part of my mileage goals will play out in the woods with my son and that's as good as it gets. I can't wait. (We rode down to the mail box yesterday. It was 20 degrees out, -6 Celsius. The kid is unstoppable.

I do have a few local trips that I'd like to make happen. One of them is to ride the Minnesota River valley out to Redwood Minnesota and camp for a night. The valley, from Mankato to Lake Traverse is a beautiful area of the state that doesn't see much traffic. When you think of Minnesota Paul Bunyan comes to mind, lakes and pine trees, maybe canoeing wilderness areas. While we do have all that, Minnesota is also home to the prairie. We have a state park with a bison heard, it's not Custer State Park but they're there.

Also, I really want to add attending a group ride or rally event to my list of goals. It's something I've never done and if I say it out loud, here, then maybe I'll make some time for it.

I've always had a deep rooted goal of making time for the important stuff but it's not always easy knowing just what that stuff is. It is clear to me that having some saddle time in my life makes me a better husband, a better father, and far easier to live with. So the motorcycles and mountain bikes are here to stay.

- Ride North