Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Getting Out There

Spring is cooking in Minnesota. These images are from our favorite park, Salem Hills in Inver Grove Heights. They were taken in  mid April, tossed into this post and mostly forgotten about. 

The RideNorth family has been doing a lot of "taking the good with the bad." Many a recess, lunch hour, and weekend have been spent on the bikes exploring paved trails along the Mississippi and mountain bike trails through the woods. 

The Japanese have the concept of shinrin-yoku or forest-bath. It's about simply being in nature and taking its sights and sounds. It's restorative and we've been putting this idea into action. Watching spring emerge and the associated exercise have been our primary allies in the fight for our sanity. 

Of course it is now May 20th and we could touch 80 degrees for the first time all year. Summer is right around the corner and "Getting out there 2" will be overdue in a matter of hours.

- Ride North

Monday, March 16, 2020

Social distancing on two wheels

Those of us still blogging in 2020 appreciate the extended introspective opportunity that is Social Distancing. In an effort to bring balance to the force, I set out with my camera and my bike to see what I could see.


Two mighty oaks
grasp many tons of glacial drift 
suspended 700 feet above the Mississippi River.

Clouds and ice.

The ice is still thick on this oxbow. 
Folks were out there hunting pike.

Two wheeler du jour.

Ancient brick ovens that built St Paul.

A symbiotic relationship.

e-bikes and oil cars.
This guy commutes year-round on his e-bike.
I've done 0 degrees, it would be better with electric assist.

Eagle nest in Crosby Park.

The king of the floodplain.
It's the redwood of the river bottoms. 
bike for reference

Stay safe out there, take things as they come, and look for the opportunities when they present themselves. For now, I have orders to work from home, the kid is out of school until further notice, and all the bars and restaurants are closed. Good thing I'm a home-brewing biker. Now, if I could just make my own TP.

- Ride North

Friday, February 7, 2020

A year in 12 snapshots - 2019












- Ride North

Friday, October 25, 2019

Good morning St Paul!

Channeling my inner Steve Williams this morning. It pays to double check the temp before heading out. This time of year, clear sky mean cold temps. Luckily I don't have far to go. 

I'll be topping her off with some more non-ethanol gas and Stabil on my way home this afternoon. I don't do a lot of winterization but I do make sure they get good gas and a healthy dose of fuel treatment. And the batteries go on a trickle charge.

Warm winter days happen!

- Ride North

Friday October 25th | 30f | 3 mi

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tour de Wisconsin

Stretching the legs on the Guzzi. Both my grandma and her sister turned 80 this weekend and a family reunion was planned at my folks house in Hartford WI for noon on Sunday. It would have been too much running around for my family to attend but I wanted to go. So I did, and Mrs. North was willing to hold down the home front while I was gone. Which was nice.

I was on the fence about taking the bike. I'd be back late on Sunday and the weather called for light rain and 60 degrees both days. But I did it. I'd say it was good but not fun. Half of my riding was at dusk or dark and on the interstate. It was a learning experience so in that sense it was great. The one thing I would have changed is to add a stop between Osseo and St Paul on the way home. I know I was tired and the difference between 9:15PM and 9:30PM is just not that important.

I-94 to 10 to 41 on the way there, 33 to I-94 on the way back. Both routs took exactly 6h. 15m. including stops. Although Google maps lists them as 5h10m and 4h50m. I think my new cut off for this trip is time. If I have the time to take 61 - 108 - 33 (mostly all 2 lane 55 and 65 mph) at least once then I'm in. If I need to tear down I-94 at 75mph in the dark for more than a few hours, then I'll take the car. 
A stop in Plover, WI. for lunch and a walk. (Stevens Point)

Hot roast beef sandwiches and fluff!

a mint Olds Super 88 complete with clear plastic davenport covers

The canal in Portage WI 
connecting the Wisconsin River (Mississippi) 
to the Fox River (Green Bay)

Another Portage picture.

Saturday night I went out for prime rib and drinks with my dad and brother at a little supper club/ restaurant by Pike Lake. (and the Brewers hit a walk off run to beat the Cubs!) And that right there was worth the trip.

The reunion and birthday party on Sunday was fantastic! I got to catch up with my cousins and second cousins, some of whom I haven't seen in 20 years. I played with their kids and met some of my dad's extended family who I've only heard about (many many times over the years!), all share a classic Wisconsin sense of humor. (i.e. a license plate that says. "HERE I AM") Good times!

- Ride North

9/7 - 9/8/2019 | 621 miles | 12 h. 30m. | 60 F | cloudy and some light rain

Thursday, August 8, 2019

A summer evening samba

It's July. The sun hangs around late into the evening. While it takes its time sinking into the western horizon we give chase. Follow the western road. Make haste. Soon it will be dark.

Deer feed in a cut alfalfa field. Birds follow the river scanning its banks for sweet scaly sustenance. Maybe the road will provide their protein. They'll never make it through the high-viz textile. Better keep an eye out for four-legged intruders. 

- Ride North

July 20th | Henderson, MN | 116 mi.| 7:30 - 10:00 PM

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Good night St Paul

The Mississippi mud is back after a long flood season.

Fresh sand.

Pickerel Lake

Rent a yak at

There's an asphalt path under all that.

- Ride North