I ventured from NE Minneapolis to the Old Arch Bridge that spans the Mississippi River that links with Cedar Lake Trail. The Cedar Lake trail is considered one of the finest bicycling freeways in the country. The Cedar Lake trial runs about 5 miles to St. Louis Park. A cyclist can ride all the way to the southern suburbs of Minneapolis on a network of bike trails.
The day was overcast with a moderate temperature and some slightly strong head winds hitting in all directions generally. I notched up 20 miles at the end of the afternoon. I loaded down with just the back panniers and put my head down and cranked out some revolutions.
Minneapolis has 46 miles of streets with dedicated bicycle lanes and 84 miles of off-street bicycle paths. Minneapolis has been ranked as the best biking city in the country by Bicycling Magazine, as well as the #2 bicycling city in the nation by the US Census Bureau. The city has also been awarded with the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community Award.
Minneapolis is home to Nice Ride Minnesota. Nice Ride is a non-profit organization, and anyone can become a subscriber. Simply take a bike when you need one, and return it to any station in the system when you arrive at your destination. It’s quick, easy and affordable. YOu can read more on How It Works.
The Cedar Regional Lake Trail connects with other Minneapolis trails as follows:
- A bridge over the BNSF tracks connects to Bryn Mawr park and a a section of the Luce Line Trail along Bassett Creek
- A short spur leads to Parade Stadium and provides a connection to Kenwood Parkway
- A longer spur, the Kenilworth Trail, follows the old Chicago and North Western Railway branch along the east side of Cedar Lake. This provides a connection to the Midtown Greenway Trail, the Southwest LRT Trail, and the trails around Lake Calhoun.
- Another spur follows the west shore of Cedar Lake. This trail is also part of the Grand Rounds National Byway.
The Cedar Lake Regional Trail was the first federally funded bicycle commuter trail in the nation.
There are many commuters on the Cedar Lake Bike Trail. Also, many cyclists ride all winter in the cold within the Twin Cities. The Cedar Lake Regional Trail, North Cedar Lake Trail, Cedar Lake LRT Trail, Midtown Greenway, and the Kenilworth Trail together form a 12.5 mile loop that the Cedar Lake Park Association has dubbed, not surprisingly, the Cedar Lake Loop.
A slight change in plans:
I decided to stay here in Minneapolis for the winter. The circumstances are dictating to stay. In the spring, I will head out for a nomadic bike tour. I just completed 4 years of backpacking international travel and I find myself kind of tired. A friend offered my to stay at her house in exchange for some help, and I accepted. I will be blogging about winter cycling in Minneapolis.