Tonight I’m in Richmond, Virginia. We had a little gathering at Pibby’s, a local bike shop, where New Belgium Ranger IPA flowed from our unbelievably cool beer trailer, built on a Surly trailer. For those of you who live in Minneapolis, it’s worth coming out for the Urban Assault Ride just to see this thing. It’s awesome. The beer trailer isn’t the point though.
I’ve spent the last eight years traveling the country, traveling the world, looking for great places to ride. I’ve ridden in 13 countries on 3 continents. Everywhere I go, I find myself talking about how great the riding is “back home.” Thanks to Bicycling Magazine, people know about Minneapolis as a bike destination, and they want to hear more about it. Tonight was no different. I spent some time talking about how great the riding is in Minneapolis with a group of people from Richmond, a town with some seriously great riding of its own.
I talk about how great the riding is in Minneapolis, but I’m also painfully aware of the fact that I’ve barely scratched the surface of what Minneapolis has to offer. Last summer, I got a chance to be home a little more than I had in years past. That wasn’t saying much, but I was around more. Over the years, I had a tendency to ride the same loop or two when I was home. I was often only home long enough for a couple rides, so I’d get out once on the road and once on the mountain bike. On the road, I would head out basically on a few variations of the same loop. Who could blame me? It took me along the river, on the Greenway, to the lakes, through downtown, and back across the Stone Arch Bridge. They are some of my favorite landmarks in the city, and I’d get out to see them on my bike every time I was home. But last year I was home enough to want to find some other places to ride. I just went out and got lost. I found some great routes that way. I had some awesome rides that way.
Going out and getting lost works great for me, because I’ll never be truly lost in the Twin Cities, but it’s not for everyone. Some people get nervous about getting lost. If getting lost isn’t for you, check this out.
Buried in a post about beer and bikes on BikeRumor, I found a brief mention of a website about trails in Minnesota. I clicked into the link, and this is what I found. Minnesota Bike Trail Navigator – It’s a pretty unreal database of trail info, maps, and photos. Check out the site, then go ride the trails. I’m going to treat it like a bucket list. I’m excited to go play bike tourist in my own town. Hope to see you out there.