In 2022 I did a thing. I started mountain biking. And I didn’t die. (Whenever I go out, my wife tells me not to die.)
Instead I biked 239 miles, 37 separate times at 19 different places across 8 states. (And that’s just mountain biking, not counting my road biking.)
It was not without incident.
- I managed to bruise my tailbone on my second ride out and couldn’t ride for three weeks. I had to sit on a donut. So I bought knee pads.
- My brand new bike fell off my bike rack. Let’s not talk about how I didn’t notice right away and dragged it let’s not say how far.
- How hard can a teeter totter be? I never found out, because I fell off the raised platform before I even got to the teeter totter.
But it was also incredible fun. I saw mountain rivers and fall colors, winter frost and waterfalls. The exercise kicked my butt, but it was fun so I didn’t care.
Continue reading I Started Mountain Biking and Didn’t Die →
I took a solo vacation the second week of September for mountain biking, Colorado, a concert, and to visit my grandparents. I’d been wanting to get back to Colorado for a while and my new mountain biking obsession opened up a whole new world of stuff to do. My grandparents also moved into a senior living facility at the beginning of summer, so I wanted to see them. The rest of the family were busy and not super excited about this kind of trip, so I opted to do it myself.
I also hoped to see a bit of fall color, but going for the concert in early September meant it was way too early for much. That just means I’ll have to get back to Colorado for a bucket list fall color trip.
Continue reading 2022 Mountain Bike Solo Trip →
The River-to-River Greenway through West St. Paul is now complete with the Robert Street underpass. This post has been a long time coming. I could have written it two months ago, but I’ve been busy. Also, I wrote my first post supporting this project back in 2017. And the effort to support this crossing goes back much further, to real plans around 2010 and big ideas around 2000.
Yeah, 20 years.
Sometimes progress is slow.
Continue reading Robert Street Underpass on the River-to-River Greenway Trail →
I went for a bike ride today in the glorious June weather. I decided to check out the River-to-River Greenway trail in my own West St. Paul neighborhood.
Well, I biked the sections of nice trail, OK trail, crappy sidewalks and really bad connections that make-up what could eventually become the River-to-River Greenway trail through West St. Paul. It’s not officially designated as such just yet, mainly because West St. Paul is dragging its feet and turning its nose at about $3 million of county, state and federal money. More on that in a minute.
Here’s the path the River-to-River Greenway currently takes:
Continue reading Biking the River-to-River Greenway →
I’m not going to be one of those people who blogs or tweets about his incredible athletic achievements. I’m not going to tell you how I’m running a marathon or crushing my 5K time or trying a fancy new workout program. Whatever.
I am getting more exercise lately. But nobody cares about that. Frankly, I’m slow, sad and pokey and no one wants to read updates about my abysmal mile times.
But I have learned one thing from exercising: You have to be consistent.
I started exercising again because it makes me feel good. It’s good stress relief, it feels amazing when I’m done and it’s good for me. But if I slack off for a week and try to get back into it, it sucks. If I don’t run for a week, then go for a run it isn’t fun anymore. Then it sucks. My joints revolt and my legs want to cramp up and my knees hurt. When I finally get home I don’t feel like a million bucks, I feel like I want to die.
Same thing on the bike. If I haven’t been biking then every little rise is a mountain and I have no energy or stamina to make it up. But even a little bit of consistency and I’m cruising up the incline.
It’s about consistency. You have to keep at it. It’s true in exercising, it’s true in writing, it’s true in anything creative, it’s true in much of life.
Keep going. And if you do slack off and get behind, get back up again. That first time will suck. But the second time will feel better. Remember that when you’re tempted to skip a day. Don’t. Save yourself that sucky run and stay consistent.
Yesterday thousands of bike riders stopped traffic across the Twin Cities as part of the annual Saint Paul Classic Bike Tour.
I was one of them.
I rode 30 miles around St. Paul, following Mississippi River Boulevard along the bluffs, down Shepherd Road to downtown and the waterfront, then back up the bluffs to Indian Mounds Park, then along parkways to Phalen Park and Como Park, then past the state fairgrounds, across University and the light rail construction and over 94 to get back to the start at St. Thomas. Yeah, it was as tiring as it sounds.
Earlier this year I started riding my bike more to get some needed exercise and even more needed stress relief. I decided early on that I wanted to do the Saint Paul Classic. I’ve always thought that’d be a cool event to take part in, but I was never active enough on my bike to seriously consider it. I should have. The short route is a very do-able 15 miles.
While I’ve probably only biked more than 15 miles once this year, I decided to go for the 30 mile route. I tend to overdo things like that, but I also wanted the bragging rights. Amazingly, I can still walk today.
While they did close off streets and intersections for the ride, I’d guess that 95% of the route was along streets with marked bike lanes or on streets next to paved bike paths. St. Paul is pretty bike friendly.
We also passed a lot of public art, which was fun for me.