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St. Paul Bike Classic – A Ride Report(20 posts)

St. Paul Bike Classic – A Ride ReportScot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 6:03 PM
Every September there's a big fund raising bike ride in St. Paul. The Neighborhood Energy Coalition puts it on. They do work on energy conservation, alternative energy resources, and re-cycling. They've been putting this event on for years (I'm not sure how many, this was only two for me). It's got a terrific agreement with the city of St. Paul. They close the roads for most of the route. I bet if another event went to the city today and asked them to close a dozen major thoroughfares they get laughed out of the chambers, but the NEC been doing it for years, so it's become a tradition.

They offer two routes, a 31 mile route and 15 mile route. The family and I decided to do this ride together. My 7 year old just started riding on two wheels this summer. She's been doing great. She rode 27 miles in one day about a month ago. We decided to try the 31 mile route, with a number of bail out options. The route goes by a big city park with a beach, so we packed suits, the city zoo is on route, and the ride offers a number of supported rest stops.

I wanted more miles and the opportunity to exceed 10 mile per hour average, so I biked to the ride start from home. My wife and daughter drove to the start.

I took off a dawn for my commute to the event. I usually ride at dawn before work, the shorting day has made my ride pretty short, so I've been skipping it allot lately. It was nice to be on the pave with the rising sun. I've really grown to love this time of day and riding.
Along my commute to the ride startScot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 6:05 PM
In the distance you can see the downtown Minneapolis skyline. The structure in the foreground is Fort Snelling, a frontier fort built in 1825.
Sep 7, 2003 6:06 PM
Riders can begin anytime between 7:15 and 9:30. I arrived about 8:00, things were in full swing. Here's riders' just starting their tour.
Sep 7, 2003 6:07 PM
I had a little time to kill, before my girls arrived. I walked around looking for interesting machines. Three guys went by with 1960's era Schwinn cruisers. One even had a 60's era postal express courier bag on the back. I was too slow with the camera to get them. Here's another great ride, a tandem Bike Friday. It was well used and looked like it had provided lots of fun miles.
Sep 7, 2003 6:09 PM
The cell phone rang, my wife and daughter had arrived and were ready to roll.
On the Road AgainScot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 6:10 PM
We were off. My daughter was a little nervous at the start. All the people going by and being out on the open road had her a little spooked.
First Rest StopScot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 6:15 PM
I think another tradition of this event is musical entertainment at the rest stops. It seems a little out of place since nobody really stays very long and the bands mostly go unheard, all I can think is that they must have always done it this way. Here's the Squeeze Box guy at the first stop.
Curb AppealScot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 6:16 PM
The best thing about this ride is the closed roads. This is a major route into downtown St. Paul. You can imagine what it normally looks like. Today it's a bike freeway.
Can’t See Too Much of ThisScot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 6:18 PM
My girl doing her thing.....
Nice pics. Great Report!Geardaddy
Sep 8, 2003 8:02 AM
I especially like the pictures of all the riders in the middle of a highway. It's kind of like one of those 70's sci-fi movies where the world has run out of fossil fuels, so now everyone uses bikes to travel the roads. :)

Nice job. It's an inspiration to me to get my daughters out there too.
She’s CippoScot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 6:24 PM
Last month, when we took our daughter out for the 27 miler, we took all day. We had lunch and a visit to the playground, the most she did without a long break was about 10 miles in a row. Well, after about 12 or 13 miles she was beginning to lose steam. On the way up one of the longer climbs, she says, "Dad, this allot harder than I thought it would be".

Whatta you know, as soon as the ground points to the sky she's ready to abandon.

At the 2nd rest stop, my wife and I decided that I should race ahead for the car and the two of them would continue at whatever pace was possible. (As you can imagine I was secretly trilled, let me get this straight, you want me to hammer through the last 18 miles as fast as I can,.....well OK! : )

They moved on and ended up with the sweep van behind them and informed that they were the last two of 10,000 riders on course. My daughter was pretty beat at this point, a police officer that was part of the sweep duty offered her a ride in his police car, which she gladly accepted. This turned out to be her favorite part of the day. A ride in a Police Car with a Police Dude (her words, not mine). The chased my still riding wife another mile and half to a city beach, where they phoned me for pick up.

It was a fun day for the family.
Great report! Did you get her some treats for doing so well? nmorange_julius
Sep 7, 2003 6:31 PM
We got in the car, she was napped out before 5 minutes passed. (nm)Scot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 6:40 PM
Nice ride....cutiepie kid! ...........nmrwbadley
Sep 7, 2003 7:09 PM
One MoreScot_Gore
Sep 7, 2003 8:22 PM
I was just storing away the rest of the photos on the PC and had to share this one. My girls, out conquering the open road together.
Definitely a Cipo ...orange_julius
Sep 8, 2003 2:21 AM
with one loyal team mate following and the sag wagon
right after ;-).
Great pics!aliensporebomb
Sep 8, 2003 3:01 AM
Great pics Scot! I was hoping to get my wife out on that
thing this year but due to some unforeseen circumstances we
ended up not going this time out. Next year for sure though.

She's like "they really close the road to car traffic?" I'm
like "Yep." Heh.

Looks like you had a lot of fun though.
Nice report and pics :O) Looks like a great day! nmLive Steam
Sep 7, 2003 6:27 PM
re: St. Paul Bike Classic – A Ride Reportfarmerfrank
Sep 8, 2003 6:19 AM
Great report Scot. My family and I were out there the week before your state fair. It was hot and humid but we enjoyed the St. Paul Area. My wife's sister lives in Arden Hills. A lot of nice parks and lots of lakes.
What a great ride...The Walrus
Sep 8, 2003 11:25 AM
...there is something incredible about riding without cars, and equally special about riding at daybreak. The only chance for a car-less ride around these parts is the Bike Tour in conjunction with the L.A. Marathon each year, but it's not as mellow as your ride seems to be, since it follows about the same route the runners will take and that imposes time constraints.

Great to see your family getting into it, too.