Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Slow down and read the street signs

These damp spring mornings are some of the best times for a ride. It's been 6 months since I've felt anything resembling humidity and it felt great to just breath it all in. I set out intending to ride some of the little roads in and around River Falls, WI with a stop for gas and coffee thrown in there. 

This was a slow down and read the street signs style of riding, often best done solo. It's really the only way to find the "Alligator Slide Roads" that you'd otherwise miss. Some of them, like High Ridge Rd., just end in the woods somewhere. Other turn to gravel or forest lanes, not a problem for anything smaller than a K1600GT. Any road with "Coulee" in the name is worth exploring.

I was going a little fast and saw 109th street a little too late to slow down safely. When riding slow, which is the same as riding the speed limit in most places, traffic can sneak up on you in a hurry. It's always better to slowdown and whip a uie than to jump on the breaks and get run over. It'll give you an opportunity to put those slow speed MSF skills to use.

This turned out to be a blessing; a quarter mile down the road I saw a new hike in fishing/ walking access for the Kinnickinnic River. The "mirror - slow - uie" procedure was put into action and soon found myself standing at new Kinnickinnic River Land Trust access sign. At this point the ride quickly became a hike, one of the benefits of riding solo.

The access is on FF, just south of River Falls half way between 35 and F. It's about a mile hike in that cuts through two farm fields before heading down the bluff into the Kinnickinnic River valley. It turned out to be great for bird watching as spring is in full swing. Hiking down int the valley, the orioles were putting on a show in the treetops and a nearby grouse was drumming. I always feel the grouse drumming before I hear it and have to stop in my tracks to verify the source. Across the river a Pileated Woodpecker sang its ancient song.  

Parking at the new Kinnickinnic River access on county road FF, south of River falls. 

King and queen of the valley standing tall on the trail.

The lower Kinni running full. This is an excellent trout stream and I'm looking forward to fishing this new stretch.

The XS waits patiently for my return. 
B&W or color? 

Bonus: XS 500 ad - I should have stopped for rugby practice at UWRF

The embedded Google directions don't work as well as I'd like them to. Here's the screen shot of the route.


  1. Very nice blog ! I am building an XS500 myself and your pics and rides are inspiring.

  2. Thanks and welcome to the blog. These are great bikes, way ahead of their time. Mine is 36 yeas old and I use it 2- 3 times a week. This was my inspiration for picking one up: http://www.xs500forum.com/index.php?topic=398.0