Last Friday promised to be a nice day and the weekend was looking to by dicey (which ended up to be correct) so I took Friday off and decided to go on a long bike ride. My goal was to ride from my house in southwest Minneapolis to my childhood home out in Mound, all via bike trails. It is a 58 mile-round trip ride which would be the longest single ride I have ever attempted.
The impetus was a new 13-mile bike trail that recently opened between Wayzata and Mound. This trail followed abandoned railroad tracks and passed right by million dollar houses, wooded areas, Lake Minnetonka, the old Tonka Toys factory, and my old house. As a kid and teenager I spent a lot of time on various parts of those tracks and the ride promised to be nostalgic.
Getting from Minneapolis to Wayzata is relatively easy. From the lakes to Theodore Wirth Pkwy to the Luce Line trail and I was in the western suburbs in a flash. The Luce Line has not quite connected to Theodore Wirth but the base is there. That last connection should be done later this summer. The highlight was the Dakota Trail which connects Mound and Wayzata.
Boy did it bring back memories. Riding across the Arcola RR Bridge (see above before it was a bike trail), where we used to bridge jump and where one day my friend Todd was walking one way on the bridge with a case of beer in his arms and coming the other way was a Hennepin County Sheriff. He dropped the case (doh!) and jumped off the bridge into the water. The trail also goes right through the Lafayette Country Club where I spent two summers working on the grounds crew and once saw Mick Jagger up close. The trail passed by houses where kids grew up that I liked and hated. Old mailboxes that I use to destroy would catch my eye as I passed by.
The trail goes right into Mound, which looks completely different than when I was growing up. Past downtown Mound is my house and the trail passes within 100 yards of my old house. As a kid we spent a lot of time on those tracks and the hills surrounding them. I noticed that there were still dirt paths going up the hills so I think kids still play in those hidden areas, unseen by adults. While I was tooling around Mound my I-pod, set on shuffle, was playing Dylan’s Desolation Row. Not sure if that meant anything but it sure produced a smile.
Unfortunately I had to ride back home and by the 50 mile mark my thighs were really feeling the miles. I made it home a little sore but feeling pretty good. I will definitely take that trip again.