Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Going Somewhere Different Double Century Bike Ride

For the last three years I had been leading a double century bike ride that started in Coon Rapids that went up around Lake Mille Lac and back. After last year I made up my mind that I wasn't going to ride up there this year. The only scenic part of that ride was the 60 miles around the lake, but the other 140 miles was really quite boring.

 When I got back last year I marked out a rough route going out west from Champlin and back to see how far west I could get doing about 200 miles. I let it sit for about a year until someone on one of my recent rides asked if I was going to lead the Summer Solstice Double Century this year. I said I wasn't, but I had another ride almost finished that I could do.

 In about two weeks I had the ride that I called, Going Somewhere Different Double Century, scheduled on the ride calendar. I initially was going to post it for Saturday, 06-30-18, but the day had several hours of rain in the forecast. When I posted the ride for Sunday, 07-01-18, it looked like a decent day. How quickly the weather forecast changes. Based upon the weather still looking like I should do something other than riding 200 miles in the rain on Sunday I rescheduled the ride until Monday, 07-02-18 at 0530 am. This meant the person who asked me if I was going to lead my double century couldn't ride because he had to work.

On Monday, 07-02-18, Catherine, Paul and I rode the double century that ended up being 211 miles. The route basically went west from Champlin to Willmar. It then turned north from there to Spicer, then back east to Champlin.

It was a beautiful day for a bike ride.

Here are a few pictures and videos from the day...

Catherine just about ready for the day's ride...

Paul and Catherine at our first stop at the Kwik Trip in Buffalo...

Catherine and the look...

Took this just before the video below...

Catherine and Paul at our stop in Litchfield...

I wanted to get a picture of Catherine and Paul with a sign coming into Grove City, but there wasn't one from the direction we came. This certainly would do...

Catherine took over my iPhone .....

Catherine on the Glacier Lakes State Trail. We rode the section that was just north of Willmar to Spicer. This was the nicest trail I've been on in a while. I don't recall one expansion crack.

Historical Monument

Catherine at the Subway in Maple Lake. We were at mile 170 of 211.

Catherine saw a Buffalo statue earlier in the day when we biked through the town of Buffalo. I don't recall where she saw it, but after riding all day she decided she wanted to ride it.  Luckily, I knew where there was another Buffalo statue, but when we got there there was a sign that said "Do Not Touch".

Thanks to Catherine and Paul in joining me on the adventure!!

Monday, April 2, 2018

New Rolling Brook Bike Ride (77 mile route)

 On Thursday, March 22, 2018, I led the 77 mile version of my New Rolling Brook bike ride out of Hudson, WI. It certainly was another good day for a bike ride

Catherine, Paul and I rode the route today. 

Looking over the frozen St. Croix River from the Lakefront Beach House in Hudson before the start.

The Seven Evergreen resting before the start of the ride.

Chuck Ryan

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Four March 2018 TCBC bike rides...

 Here are a couple more Twin Cities Bicycling Club organized bike rides. On Saturday, 03-10-18, Paul, Rick and I rode my, Going Somewhere Saturday, bike ride from Trailhead Cycling in Champlin, MN.

This ride took us to the east toward Forest Lake, Wyoming and Stacy before heading back toward Champlin. Rick rode with Paul and I to just short of our first stop at Starbuck's Coffee in Forest Lake. Rick ended up the day with 53 miles.

Right after break Paul and I found a couple miles of ice packed gravel roads to ride before heading east of Wyoming, MN.

Our second break was at the Bridge Street Coffee Box in Oak Grove, MN.

Paul and I ended the day with 87 miles.

Paul and Rick at the Coon Rapids Dam, 03-10-18

Mississippi River

Paul and Rick, 03-10-18

Paul and I, 03-10-18

Bridge Steet Coffee Box, 03-10-18

On 03-14-18, Paul rode with me on my "Mild Weather Wednesday" ride. During our ride we had to have seen around 100 Trumpeter Swans. Today's ride was 62 miles long.

Paul looking over the Mississippi River in Ostego, MN on 0314-18

Paul checking out a couple Swans on 03-14-18

On Saturday, 03-17-18, Paul, Rick and I rode another version of my Going Somewhere Saturday bike ride. This time the ride took us to Maple Plain, Rockford, Buffalo, St. Michael and back to the start in Champlin. I knew ahead of time that Rick wasn't going to do the complete 102 mile route, so he headed back once we got to Rockford. Paul and I continued on toward Buffalo while riding a few more miles of new gravel roads before taking our second break at Dunn Brothers in Buffalo.

About a half hour into the ride we saw several deer start to cross CR 81, but all they did was stop traffic in both directions before they changed their direction and went back the direction from where they came.

Rick took a picture of Paul and I at the Blackwater Cafe in Maple Plain on 03-17-18

The route on 03-17-18
On 03-21-18, Paul showed up to ride another version of my "Mild Weather Wednesday" ride. Today's ride was 61 miles.
We found this interesting guy standing along the side of the road on 03-21-18.

Paul decided to go over and strike up a conversation after having seen him waving at us, 03-21-18

Throughout the winter we have been seeing a lot of Trumpeter Swans. They usually are flying, in the field some distance away or if they are pretty close they fly off shortly after seeing us and I usually can't get my phone out in time. Today we saw these 4 swans in the field so I got out my phone and walked their direction. I was ready for them to fly away, but they never did. Below are the same swans...I asked Paul to go over and pet them :)

Chuck Ryan

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Osceola 2 Luck Winter Adventure

 Osceola 2 Luck Winter Adventure

Saturday, 03-03-18 

 Paul and Catherine would join me on this ride that started from Oakey Park in Osceola, WI. I've been wanting to ride this route again with some snow on the ground, because it certainly gives the ride a different feel. I last rode this route with just a little bit of snow at the end of October last year with Rob and Gene. Blog Post Here

I actually drove the route 2 to 3 weeks earlier to check on the road conditions. Between mile 5 and 15 it would have been some slow going winter road biking conditions as the roads had snow and ice over almost all of this distance. Then there were several other spots along the route where caution would need to be taken due to other icy areas where the snow had melted by the side of the road and froze again on the roadway... especially on some of the hills. It would have been possible to ride the route, but it definitely would have taken more time to complete the ride.

Based upon the road conditions from earlier we all rode our bikes with studded tires, although today we could have done the ride without studs. Only if we knew beforehand, but we got a good workout riding on the studded tires.

We took a break at about the 43 mile mark at the Cafe Wren in Luck.  Nice little place for a hot meal...and some coffee.

We saw lots of different wildlife today. We saw were some turkeys, eagles, Trumpeter Swans and at least 8 deer along the River Road heading toward St. Croix Falls. Catherine also saw an otter on the ice next to some open water.

It certainly was a good day for a bike ride.  Thanks to Paul and Catherine for riding with me today. 
Oakey Park
Catherine and Paul

Me and Paul

Catherine and her new friend...

Bike at the Cafe Wren in Luck, WI

The route... 81 miles today

 Chuck Ryan

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 2018 Bike Rides... Part II

I've already posted some of my rides/pictures from the first part of February. This is Part II with some more rides/pictures that I did by myself and with some organized rides with the Twin Cities Bicycling Club (TCBC).

Below are some images of my bike ride on Tuesday, 02-20-18, after another winter storm the day before. I needed to check on the road conditions for an organized ride for the TCBC Wednesday morning. I initially started out riding my Mt. Bike for about 6 miles, then decided that it was possible to ride my Seven Evergreen SL with 38mm tires without much problem. Today I rode a little over 26 miles total. 













 This morning, Wednesday, 02-21-18, Catherine and Paul came to ride my, "Post Winter Storm Ride" from Champlin, MN. This was a 59 mile ride that took us to the NW of Champlin. The roads were in very good shape after the snow fall from just a couple days earlier. Today I didn't take many pictures, but took three short videos.

Here is Catherine on my "Post Winter Storm Ride". She stopped to take her windbreaker off, so Paul and I rode on, but then we stopped to wait for her. 


While riding on a some different gravel roads that were new to me we passed by a farm house that had two unleashed dogs. Both Paul and I made it past them on the very icy road, but Catherine stopped to safely get past them without being knocked off her bike.

After Catherine got past the dogs they came back out. Catherine put the dogs in their place...

Catherine and Paul 02-21-18
On Thursday, 02-22-18, I did another 17 mile ride by myself. I didn't take any outside pictures, but when I got back home I took a picture of the windbreaker I was wearing.


On Friday, 02-23-18, Catherine wanted to try out her new Nokian/Suomi Extreme tires that she bought for her Mt. Bike... although she would like to get a Fat Bike.

We tried riding in Elm Creek Park, but things didn't go as planned although she got to walk her dog. After biking and walking in the park, we rode around the park on the paved roads on our Mt. Bikes for a total of almost 12 miles. She liked her new tires, but she still would rather have a Fat Bike...

On Saturday, 02-24-18, I had three riders, Catherine, Paul and Scott, show up for my TCBC ride that I called "Between the Snow Falls". I scheduled the ride at sunrise to give us time to finish the ride before the snow began to fall. The temperature was zero degrees although my Garmin read -2 F. It certainly didn't warm up very much for the first couple hours, but it was still a good day for a bike ride. There was going to be a east wind so the ride was planned with that in mind. We took our break at the Bridge Street Coffee Box which was as I recall at about mile 32. The ride ended up being 52 miles and we got back a couple hours before the snow really started coming down.

02-24-18 at the Coon Rapids Dam

02-24-18...the Coon Rapids Dam with me in the picture.
02-24-18, Scott sent me this picture. Sure can't see much of the Dam. Riding across it was very icy.





Catherine (above) tells  us how cold it is...if you have sensitive ears, don't play the video just move along....


02-24-18. I decided to show Scott the stone structure built by Taddeus Giddings in the early 1900's.

 On Monday, 02-26-18, I was back checking out the road conditions after receiving around 7 to 8 inches of snow after Saturdays ride into Sunday. There were a few places where the wind had blown the snow across the road, but for the amount of snow we got the roads were in good shape. The average temperature on my 21 mile ride was 34 degrees F. I got back before the real melting took place, so the roads should be in better shape for my ride tomorrow. 





On Tuesday, 02-27-18, I went out for a short 17 mile bike ride and rode some of the same roads as the day before. I wanted to see how the road conditions had changed for the better after the 7 to 8 inches of snow that fell a couple days earlier. I have a TCBC ride schedule for the next morning so I was going to determine my route after today's ride.

02-27-18, I took a picture the day before in the same spot showing the snow completely over the road in this area, but today it was all clear.

Today, 02-28-18, I led my TCBC Mild Weather Wednesday ride from Champlin, MN. The ride began at 08:00 am with the temperatures in the low 20's making for very icy road and trail conditions early on. Catherine and Paul showed up to ride. We all rode with studded tires. Today's ride ended up being 62 miles.

Below are a couple videos of Catherine and Paul riding a couple different gravel roads up area St. Francis area.

Chuck Ryan