Ride to Wisconsin

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thumb wi ride.jpgWisconsin is just across the St. Croix via the old lift brigde. The bridge is a town landmark and traffic bottleneck that congests the downtown on the Minnesota side and limits growth on the WI side. A new bridge was about to be built when we moved here, but neighbors told me they had heard that before, many times. They were right. Still not built, in the courts, money, who knows. So the lift bridge remains a focal point of the town.

This morning I crossed it for the first time. It isn't long, or a hairy ride or anything, I just hadn't done it. We're up on a big bluff and getting downtown is a long steep descent. That means a long steep ascent to get back, so I've only ridden down to Main Street on the unicycle once before. This morning I wanted to ride over to Wisconsin just to say I did, so down the hill I went. It took some concentration to stay on top of the unicycle and keep my speed controlled, but I made it down just fine. The bridge was lifting for a boat just as I got there. The traffic and I waited until it cleared and the lifted section was back down to road level.

The bridge is only maybe 15 feet about the water, well maybe 20, but nothing scary. There is no room on the roadway, but there is a sidewalk that I could ride. On the other side the sidewalk turns into a dirt path that skirts along a cliff down to he river. Actually, when I looked over the edge of the cliff in that section, I did get a little scared, so I didn't look over the edge any more. Our town attracts motorcycles, and three guys on Harleys crossed the bridge when I did. One of them, with open pipes and blatting exhaust lost power heading up the hill. Kinda hard to horse around a large heavy dead bike on a slope. I turned off on a side street to go down to a small park on the WI side where the town sets off fireworks during the summer. The paths are sand and I just sink in and fall off, so I dismounted and took a few videos of the fall scenery.

Getting back home means riding up the bluff. There's a road south of town that has a much more manageable slope than the ones in town, so that's where I headed. Even though the slope was a bit more mild, I still had to climb to the same elevation, so that meant it was a loooooong hill. Once at the top I took a route past a bike shop/coffee shop and saw that the lycra crowd still was sipping cappas even as the weather turned cool.

Only a 5mi ride, but the hills and bridge made it an event.
WI ride video

11 Comments

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Michaels published on October 16, 2010 1:11 PM.

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