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Milestone(26 posts)

Milestonegs6769
Jun 16, 2002 5:14 AM
Yesterday I rode my first solo, and first ever century. I did it as a sort of birthday gift for a good friend of my parents who turns 100 on July 1. I'll send her some photos and a small sign I carried in my jersey pocket. I think she'll get a kick out of it.

Total distance: 100.53 miles
Time to complete: 5 hrs 50 mns
Nearly 'doored': 1 (whew, knock wood)
Comments on bike from guys in trick red pickup truck: 1 "Man, that bike is PHAT!"
Number of times passed: 1 (dropped him within 1/4 mile, heh)
Number of times distance checked on Flight Deck computer in last ten miles: Like.....a lot.
awesomegregario
Jun 16, 2002 6:59 AM
good job! and excellent time too! It's also not often that you get friendly comments from folks in pick-up trucks (yes, i'm generalizing). When my wife and I are on the tandem we hate being passed, it drives her nuts. She is really competitive and a great stoker. What was the route like?
awesomegs6769
Jun 16, 2002 7:42 AM
Thank you! The pickup guy surprised me too. Another stereotype exploded.
I know what you mean about being passed. I don't race but I'm still human! Must be a groove to ride with an 'engine' like your Mrs.
As far as the route, I'm lucky enough to live in Minneapolis which provides a pretty sweet thirty mile trail with brand new surface. It's somewhat sparsely used so I was able to get 50 20-22 mph miles on it. Then across town to St Paul and Mississippi River Blvd. Excellent rolling course with a right side bike lane. Since it's along the river there aren't any 'intersections' when you're southbound so you can hammer with extreme prejudice. The rest on the faster moving city streets.
Best thing is I can't wait to get out again today!! I doubt it'll be 100 but 60's pretty likely!
funny story about being passedgregario
Jun 16, 2002 2:07 PM
we were a couple miles away from the end of a metric century and we had just passed a couple of pretty decent riders and were finishing strong. Then, for some reason, our timing chain came off and we had to stop and put it back on. We got passed by those two guys while we were fixing it. Man was my wife annoyed! It was funny. I know it's just a "bike tour" but you do get that competitive attitude.
funny story about being passedgs6769
Jun 17, 2002 4:05 AM
OUCH! I'd put that in the book under 'equipment failure'. Still, it's gotta hurt.

You two must be a terror on your tandem!
Where?filtersweep
Jun 16, 2002 2:59 PM
Huh... I live in Mpls. Do you mind telling me where this 30 mile trail is?
I'm in Mpls too, here's my ideas.Scot_Gore
Jun 16, 2002 6:21 PM
1) If you don't mind crushed limestone the Luce Line is 30 miles (plus another 40 or so of crushed granite way out west). It's not a great road bike trail but still ridable.

2) If you started in Victoria you be at 30+ miles if you used the SW LRT Trail, picked up the Kenilworth Trail in downtown Hopkins till it ends at Beltline in SLP then cut over the 1/2 mile or so to the start of the Midtown Greenway and take it all the way to Portland. The LRT portion is crushed limestone again but the rest would be paved.

3) Same basic idea of above but take the Cedar Lake Trail out Hopkins into downtown Mpls, use the downtown bike lanes to get yourself to the East River Road bike trail (or the road itself). Then Cross the Hwy 5 and Mendota bike bridges and use the Big Rivers Regional trail or don't cross the bridges and use the Shepard Road trail. Both trails take you to downtown St. Paul.

4) However I bet he didn't do any of the above. I bet he lives in Stillwater and used the Gateway trail to get out of and back into town. It's 18 miles one way, but he probably didn't start up at Park Point (there's nothing up there). Round trip would be about 30 miles of paved, moderately used trail (particularly at 6:00am on a Sunday) from the parts of Stillwater where people live.

My thoughts

Scot
I'm in Mpls too, here's my ideas.filtersweep
Jun 16, 2002 8:25 PM
hmmm. I live DT near the Dunwoody exit on the trail that connects with Kenilworth... I don't know if that is the actual Cedar Lake trail or not, since it splits. It isn't bad as a MUT until it crosses highway 100 (I think) and it is all just one trail, and is a bit hazardous. Of course the Kenilworth is full of broken glass the further east it goes.

I prefer West River Road- for its complete lack of stoplights, and very few stop signs, and no vehicles seem to be in a hurry when they drive on it. Unfortunately there are a few SPEED BUMPS near downtown. The road seems to just end after the waterfall near highway 55... so the question is always where to go next- go back the same way, cross to the St. Paul side, or take Minnehaha west (which I am beginning to hate, with all the lights).

I have yet to use the Gateway.

I need better roads. The MUTs here are incredible, but hazardous. Ironically, the best roads are usually near something "natural" like a lake or river, and so there are often MUTs next to them... and some rednecks just don't quite get it that "yes, there IS a trail eight feet away, but that DOESN'T mean I should be riding on it" .
Where?gs6769
Jun 17, 2002 4:01 AM
The thirty I refered to was Cedar Lake and it's extensions. If you start at the downtown trail entrance, use the uptown leg to it's end at 5th Ave, back to the trail split, take the Hwy 100 leg to Hopkins, bear left as you reach Hopkins, ride the extension to St Louis Park, head back down town you've got about 32 miles. A bit of 'out and back' I suppose but car free, though not rollerblader free.
An even lesser used spot I like a lot is Shepard Road in St Paul. Take Mississippi River Blvd in St Paul south to Crosby Lake, either go through the nature preserve (really beautiful), use the (crappy) path or the shoulder (best for groups), at the other side of Crosby Lake Preserve, cross a scary highway entrance (heads up!) under a viaduct (watch for glass and the dead squirel that's been there for weeks and over another scary highway entrance/exit and you're on some of the fastest, least used, car free trail I've found. It's had some glass on it lately which is unusual for this path. Still, it runs all the way into downtown St Paul. I've ridden it on perfect days and seen only one or two other people. When it peters out at a railroad crossing, you can climb up to Cathedral Hill (use the route past the Xcel Center), get on Summit Ave and you're heading back to Mpls. From my place in DT Mpls it's a pretty good rolling 30 miles with plenty to hold your interest.
Post if you feel like hooking up for a ride around our Twin Cities.
Ahh...Out and back on Cedar Lake, that'll do it.Scot_Gore
Jun 17, 2002 4:22 AM
I concur with your Shepard Road assessment. It's a nice route.

Nice guy you are, "climb up to Cathedral Hill (use the route past the Xcel Center)", that's the steep way!!!! :) I wimp out and keep going to Jackson.

Did you bike to the Crit races Saturday? I was there around 10:00 to 1:00. Saw a number of the Cat 3-5's and the start of the women's pros. This was the first time I'd seen Crit racing. One thing I noticed, you can certainly tell the difference between Cat levels.

Congrats on the solo century.

Scot
Ahh...Out and back on Cedar Lake, that'll do it.gs6769
Jun 17, 2002 6:12 AM
Shepard's pretty happening, save for the recent glass thing. I hope it's been swept as it seems that the path is maintained. Usually not too much litter.

Ah, indeed Cathedral Hill is a steep one. I know I'm feeling it at the top. It also takes a bit of maneuvering to get into the right lane at the Xcel Center corner. Always have to be on the ball in DT St Paul. All of the one way stuff can be tricky. One consolation is that once you're on Summit you can hit every light if you a) hammer b) have the usual tail wind and are c) pretty lucky.

How do you go on Jackson? I'd be glad to know of another route!

I didn't see the crits. I was pretty torn between going to that and pursuing the century. I looked at the course on the 'net though and it looked like there was a brutal hairpin. Did you see any of it at that point?
JacksonScot_Gore
Jun 17, 2002 6:45 AM
I'm assuming you're climbing up by the River Center's parking ramp (as I recall it's named Hill Street doh!!!)
For Jackson stay on Shepard Road and gingerly cross numerous RR tracks. Look for flashing yellow caution lights on your left. Ride under the bridges by the caution lights. Downtown runs downhill from the Capital to here. Your now in Lowertown (another no brainer name). If your familiar with Galtier Plaza it's just a couple blocks up after crossing under the bridges. Take any of Westbound one ways back toward Xcel/River Center. These will get you back to where you climbed up, over a more gradual assent.

See you out there.

Scot
Oh yeah....The CritsScot_Gore
Jun 17, 2002 7:26 AM
I was at the non-hairpin end. I was with my daughter in the family area if you re-call it from the map. I didn't see any crashs at the hairpin but I saw a few down where I was as riders took the more gradual curve into the straight leading up to the haripin. Nothing serious to rider or steed that I saw, lots of road rash. The Flanders team winning alot of the races I saw.

Scot
Jacksongs6769
Jun 17, 2002 7:47 AM
You are correct, by the R.C. lot. *Hill* St. ouch!

Thanks for the tip! St. Paul can be a maze!

See ya on the road.
What about Ramsey Hill??bnlkid
Jun 17, 2002 8:29 AM
Sure it's steep(12-14% near the top), but it's short so the pain is over with quicker. There is also the switchback route next to Ramsey Hill as well as the gradual climb of Grand Avenue. Try these options sometime and see if it helps with the downtown problem. You can access it from Shepard road by riding up Chestnut then past St. Joseph's hospital along 35E.
You're just plain mean.... : )Scot_Gore
Jun 17, 2002 9:00 AM
Any street where the city has to heat the sidewalks to keep it's resident's alive in the winter you know is STEEP.
I thought I was being nice...;-)bnlkid
Jun 17, 2002 9:25 AM
I know it's steep, but it's cool to the look on drivers faces as you come up to them at the top. I have gone the Cathedral hill route, but because of all the traffic you guys mentioned earlier, I like to cut the loop off short before going into downtown. Plus, I have three options to climb depending on how I feel. The Grand Ave. route is about 3/4 mile at 4-5%, so an easy spin will get you to the top without too much pain. The Ramsey Hill route usually takes less than 2 minutes with half seated and half standing. The third option to the right is a nice route climbing through the residential area that overlooks downtown St. Paul. It's a nice secluded area with almost no traffic.
Good optionsgs6769
Jun 17, 2002 10:08 AM
Thanks for the alternatives guys. Now if I'm not feeling too Pedro Delgado-ish I can take it a little easier on the way out of the river valley!
Sheppard Roadfiltersweep
Jun 17, 2002 5:17 AM
I'll have to give Sheppard Rd. a try. I thought it was more of a freeway... it is one of those roads that doesn't know what it wants to be, and it is one of the best kept secrets in St. Paul... reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Homer joins that Masonic-like group, and he has access to a secret freeway.

Speaking of broken glass- I've flatted on that uptown leg... I think it is some form of entertainment for chronic inebriates to toss bottles off the bridges- and some bozo threw a TV set off a bridge onto the middle of the trail.

Speaking of trails, I was on my "other bike" yesterday and noticed that they entirely redid large chunks of the Minnehaha creek trail. I would never take a road bike on that trail since the sightlines are terrible- but for what its worth...

Riding around the Twin Cities... we've all probably seen each other at one point or another... it isn't like there are that many roads practical for riding. There is one guy, who no matter where I go, I always meet him riding the opposite direction- almost without fail. Then again, most of us are creatures of habit, and ride the same routes at similar times. I would be interested in hooking up for a ride if we share similar riding styles. A full group ride in the city is a bit much, but two or three work quite well.
Sheppard Roadgs6769
Jun 17, 2002 6:28 AM
First time I road Shepard I felt a bit Homeresque. I kept thinking "Where is everybody". Then I decided to shut up and enjoy.

I saw the TV too! Freaky stuff. One thing in that route's favor is that it's swept pretty regularly by work crews that are....uh....'guests of Hennepin County'. There is a lot of bottle tossing though. I really watch it approaching the bridges over the path.

About time for M'haha Creek trail! I used to use it once in a while but decided the surface was just too nasty. That and the blind corners. I'll have a look this week I think.

As you say, we've probably seen one another. I'm the guy on the 59 cm Klein, usually a white cap.

See you 'out there'!
White cap?filtersweep
Jun 17, 2002 3:16 PM
Never a helmet (nothing judgemental)... tall? Glasses, not sunglasses?

I think you "waved" at me yesterday when I was on my "other bike"- I missed it and the woman I was riding with asked "do you know that guy?"

I have the crazy Selev Alien helmet and a yellow Trek.
White cap?gs6769
Jun 18, 2002 4:04 AM
Yup, I think it was an Once cap, 6'3" and glasses not shades. Dark purple/blue/green irridescent Klein.

Ah yes! Alien helmet and yellow Trek are ringing a bell!

What's your 'other' "other" bike?
Other bikefiltersweep
Jun 18, 2002 4:44 AM
"Other bike" is a silver Specialized bike dubiously called "Crossroads." I don't know what it is... it's like a hardtail with smooth tires, sort of like a city or trail bike with elements of a "comfort" bike without being too much like a hybrid. It is my social bike, so to speak.
Other bikegs6769
Jun 18, 2002 6:10 AM
Cool. I'll keep an eye out for that Alien helmet and yell 'Road Bike Review!!!'. Well....maybe not yell but I'll wave anyway. That is if it doesn't frickin' rain all week like it may.

See ya by the banks of the Ol' Miss.
re: Milestone...yea baby..keep on going!NM!!bic
Jun 16, 2002 7:23 PM
Thank you! I think I will! NM.gs6769
Jun 17, 2002 7:49 AM