Monday, April 30, 2012

Biking to the Ballgame: April 29, 2012

Joe and I decided that it was high time to get the bikes out for the year.  He's had his up on the blocks in his living room for the winter (so that he could bike while watching Supernatural), and I've been keeping up at the gym.  It's not the same as biking down a path though - through nature and cityscapes, the wind in your hair (in my case...heh).  We bought tickets to see our beloved Twins on Sunday and thought that it would be great to bike into Minneapolis on the Cedar Lake Trail, which goes right to Target Field.

Before I go too far here, let me just sing the praises of my hometown for a minute.  Minneapolis has an AMAZING bike trail network.  I grew up by Lake Harriet and spent most of my childhood biking around it and the other lakes in the chain.  I had no idea how unique that experience was.  Minneapolis' founding fathers (and mothers) decreed early on that the lakes should belong to no one person - they should be parkland.  The City's Park & Recreation Board has long been a powerful force in the city for community park and natural spaces.  Through the work of Park Board as well as independent groups (such as the Cedar Lake Park Association, which is mainly responsible for the Cedar Lake Trail), Minneapolis is the #1 Bike City in America, according to Bicycling Magazine.  Imagine that!  A city that experiences 6 months of winter is the best in the nation for biking.  Clearly they're doing something right.

Anyway, back to the trail.

We decided to hop on the trail at Highway 100.  We had a hell of a time finding a place to get on the trail - finally we found little Dakota Park in St. Louis Park.  We got the bikes out of my car, pumped up the wheels, and got ready to go.

Lookin' good, Joe.

The path itself is for biking in both directions as well as pedestrian use.  Sometimes the pedestrian path is split from the biking path, sometimes there are THREE paths (one for biking west, one for biking east, one for pedestrians).  the Cedar Lake Trail is called the country's first Bike Highway for that reason.  It's pretty sweet.

Joe shows his Twins Pride as we bike towards the skyline in the distance.

One of the many nice things about this trail: it didn't cross a single road.  It's an old railbed, so there's a few roads that go over the trail - but the trail itself doesn't go over any bridges and there wasn't a single time in which we had to stop for auto traffic (there were a few bike trail intersections).

Remember where we parked!

The most difficult part of the trail was trying to figure out how to get ourselves and our bikes TO Target Field.  The trail literally passes beneath the field - but in order to get up there, we had to walk our bikes through a sketchy self-storage building, take a freight elevator to ground level, and then walk all the way around the stadium before we found the very-crowded bike racks.  Once we were in, though, we were golden.

We sat in the outfield for the first time - it was great!  

The Twins were golden, too.  We won, 7-4.  The first inning was particularly exciting: four runs, including a triple from our New Best Friend Josh Willingham.  He hit a triple, a double, a single...but neglected to hit a home run.  Ah, well.  He's done a lot for the team, offensively.  He's such a Willingham.

courtesy of Twinkie Town
After we got done mopping the turf with the Royals, we retrieved our bikes and attempted to find our way back to the trail.  We got turned around and wound up taking our bikes down an escalator, which was a new experience for the both of us.  Once on the trail, we realized that the trail went right by the player's parking lot.  We saw several players and a certain play-by-play announcer (TV guy, never watch him) go out to their fancy cars.  Neat!

post-first ride of the season
Nah, I'm just kidding.  It was only a 12.5 mile ride, and we stopped for 3 hours to watch a game in the middle of it.  I felt fine afterwards, and I feel fine today.  I'm really looking forward to more biking adventures this summer.  Grand Rounds, Tour of Saints, Hike-n-bike on the Superior Hiking Trail, you name it.  Have wheels, will travel.

Total miles biked today: 12.5

Total miles biked (in 2012): 12.5

1 comment:

  1. You are making me want my bike out of my parents' garage! When I was in Minnesota, I walked on some of those trails... it really was better than anywhere else (but I didn't have a bike when I lived there, so I didn't get the full experience). So nice to use biking as transportation instead of just riding in circles.