Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Late-Season Ride around Lake Minnetonka

In Minnesota, November weather can be a real crap shoot.  Athletes around here know that we're working on borrowed time.  Make no mistake.  The snow is coming.  Sure, the hardest of the hard-core will keep running and cycling even if it means crampons and studded tires.  Us mortals though, well, we have several months of treadmill work and trainer sessions ahead of us.  Ugh.

On the other hand, sometimes November will bless you with a perfect fall day.  It'll be cool enough to demand an extra layer or two, but warm enough so that you never feel chilled.  That's what I got today, and I sure wasn't going to waste this opportunity.

The wind was coming from the South and West, so naturally, I started by heading South and West.  I wanted to earn a good tailwind for the 2nd half of the ride.  The first stop was the boardwalk that runs along the Southern edge of Medicine Lake.

Then, I kept heading South and West towards Lake Minnetonka.  My aim was to circle the southern half of the lake, so I hopped onto highway 101 and took it to Minnetonka Boulevard where I could follow the lake shore into Excelsior.

The roads around the Western half of the lake are excellent for cyclists.  The shoulders are wide, the traffic usually keeps it below 40 MPH, drivers are courteous and there are usually plenty of other riders out there.  During the summer, I usually ride these roads at least 3 times per week.  It's good stuff.  In any event, I kept following the shore line until it turned East and I came into Wayzata.  Be careful in this town.  The local authorities are notorious for ticketing cyclists that don't come to a complete stop at stop signs.  There's no rolling through allowed.  They want you stopped, un-clipped and with a foot on the pavement.  Don't get me wrong, they're doing the right thing.  If I want to use the roads, I should follow the same rules that everyone else has to.  I just wish all the motorists that rolled through stop signs got tickets too.

After passing through Wayzata, it was only a two-mile jaunt until I could hook up with the same trail system that would eventually take me back to Medicine Lake, and then home.

I couldn't really ask for more.  Sure, soon it'll be nice to have another goal to work towards.  You know, something at which I can focus my effort.   But sometimes it's fun just to enjoy biking, because, well, I actually DO enjoy biking.

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