Thursday, 1 July 2010

Day 41 Cumberland to St Paul/Minneapolis - The Twin Cities

Tuesday 29th June
Daily mileage 92miles Average Speed 12.4mph Ride Time 7hr24min
Total Mileage 1496

As nobody had collected our fee for camping last night and we had planned a 6.30am start we had a free night after all, but of no fault of our own as there was not even an honesty box! It was sunny and blue skies but extremely fresh and we only made it a mile into town when we came across a café for a pot of tea and jam on toast.
We decided to try and cycle on quieter roads into the metropolitan area as the traffic was building. We took County Road G West and as it was early there was no strong wind which made it easier. We made it to Balsam Lake for a quick pit stop then continued on County Road I to Centuria where our map showed no choice but to head South on 35 and West on highway 8 for 3 and 4 miles respectively. Now with a slight Northerly wind we flew down 35 which was not too bad but highway 8 was evil in respect of the surface and traffic.

We managed to grab a snowmobile map that are based on the same quieter roads we want but in the winter obviously! This showed us County Road Y south and some even smaller roads that darted about until we came across Dresser. On the way we met two other tourers Roderick and son Elliot heading East and we stopped to ask what route they had taken from the cities. We carried on the 35 south to Osceola where we stopped in a café to have a look on google maps for a clearer idea of where to go and took several digital photos of the screen to follow later.

As we left and crossed the bridge from Wisconsin to Minnesota, our 7th state so far, we met approx 10 cyclists from the twin cities cycling club who were heading home. We tried to keep up with them for as long as possible up a huge hill where Richard provided valuable information about a cycle trail that leads into the heart of the St Paul, now all we have to do is find it! By this point it was 1.30pm and we had cycled 50 miles.

We followed Richard south on 95 and then through Scandia where he shot off into the distane. Although with our directions we managed to carry on the lovely country roads to County road 4 then again we went south but was losing our way when we got help from a sheriff. It turns out we were very close as we pulled into Pine Point Park which is where the trail begins and we sat having done 70 miles by 3pm. We chatted to a few people including the president of the trail which passed nearly an hour.

The trail itself was great to ride on but busy with other cyclists, people on blades and walkers it was like playing dodgems for 18 miles. After about 10 miles we bumped into Richard again who was still riding and had actually clocked up the same daily mileage as us. It turns out he has won the cyclist who covered most miles per annum in his club for the last 3 years and does 100miles a day for fun! He turned around and rode with us along the trail and as we were early to meet Irv at his house he invited us back to his house for a beer and blue corn chips, which were random. It was nice to sit on a sofa.

Richard offered to guide us all the way to the end of the trail and to Irv’s house so we kindly accepted and set off. Thanks Richard and happy cycling! As it was nearing 7pm the traffic had actually calmed a lot and we had a fairly leisurely ride but it was quite hilly and our legs were weak. Today did not quite beat our longest mileage day and we were tempted to go round the block a few times but we did beat our longest time on the saddle!

We met Irv and Duke and were shown to our lovely room on the ground floor where actually we have our own bathroom and the entire ground floor! I cannot get over how thick piled this lovely carpet is my toes just sink, its so comfy here. Irv took us to the fish tavern where we had a Walleye sandwich which was once served to ‘Gorbachof’ (probably not the correct spelling but you know who I mean!) We had an ice cream stop on the way home in the busiest ice cream shop you ever did see. We spent a long time today obtaining directions and looking back on it, it was well worth the effort as the ride was almost a pleasure!

1 comment:

  1. y'all look like u are having a great time !!!
    awesome mileage :o)