A group of eight intrepid riders of the Twin Cities 3-Speed Adventure Society braved a little heat and humidity to conduct a reconnaissance ride of the route to State Fair grounds on Sunday. We set out from the historic train depot in Minnehaha Park and rode a very bike-friendly route that brought us to the Finnish Bistro in St. Anthony Park for brunch. Fortified by food and coffee, we rode east on Como Ave. to the State Fair Grounds to see what was going on over there.
At first, we all we saw was a few construction workers spiffing things up for the Fair, but as we meandered around the empty fair grounds, we bumped into a car show with live music. We dismounted and walked and gawked at the fancy old autos. In fact, one of our group seemed to be dangerously close to buying a car, but fortunately we were able to get him out of there before a deal could be consummated.
Satisfied with our reconnaissance, we took the transit way to the East Bank. A portion of the transit way is stilled closed due to Light Rail construction, so we had to take University Ave and then off-road it a bit, but we made it to the pedestrian bridge at the U of M with no incidents. From there, we rode on to the Stone Arch Bridge, since one of our group had never seen that landmark and we all needed more water. After posing for pictures, we rolled back to downtown, where we ran into a TC3-SAS friend who joined us as we continued south towards our start/finish point.
As an added bonus, on the way back to Minnehaha Park, Mark took us to see the largest sinkhole in Minneapolis. This sinkhole was formed by a large cavern that collapsed quite recently (geologically speaking) and is now a big depression in a residential neighborhood near the Mississippi River just south of Lake St. It’s really quite remarkable and worth seeing if you have not been there.
The route totaled to just about 23 miles according Gmap. We had two new-comers on this ride, including someone who came all the way from Wisconsin to roll with us. It was great to welcome them, and everyone seemed to have a good time, although we would have all appreciated cooler weather for our reconnaissance mission.
If you are planning on going to the State Fair this year, seriously consider riding your bike there rather driving or taking a shuttle bus. The ride is easy and there is typically free bike corral parking right at the gate to the Fairgrounds, so it’s cheap, easy and convenient.