Bike Trail Picture of the Day - 4/30/12

Deer Crossing Ahead

Taken 4/30/12

Location:  Crown Point
Afton Alps Ski Area
Afton, MN

Show Your Support For Biking and Sign Up For the National Bike Challenge

The 2012 Get Up & Ride National Bike Challenge is a free program sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, The League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong Coalition and Endomondo.  Its goal is to unite 50,000 people to bike 10 Million miles from May 1st through August 31st.

Joining is easy and so is logging your miles.  Sign up at the National Bike Challenge website by clicking the "Join" button.  It's even easier if you already have an Endomondo account.  Watch the video below to find out how to sign up and create a team and invite friends to join your team.


If you have a smartphone you will need to download the Endomondo app to log your miles.  You can also log your miles manually if you choose to do so.  A Prize Program will be implemented throughout the challenge.  For an overview of The National Bike Challenge, I have included the video below.

Sign up today and you can register to ride solo, start a team or join an existing team.  For more information see the Official Rules page or the FAQ page of The National Bike Challenge website.  Get out there, accept the challenge and log some miles this summer.


Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro-A Useful Tool For Tracking Your Ride Statistics

Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro is a very handy sports tracking app that I use for logging all of my ride statistics, whether I am out on the streets, a paved trail or mountain biking.  It is a useful way to check your results after a ride, see your route on a map, share your workouts on Facebook and with your cycling friends and can be used to improve your times from previous workout routes.

I like this app for the fact that it keeps a running history of all of my rides so I can pick any specific one and check all of my stats and the route I took.  I simply log into Emdomondo's Login page or the history section of the app on my smartphone and I can view my complete history.

Mobile (iPhone)

By clicking on a previous workout I can view all of my stats, a route map and my lap times with speed and altitude on a graph.  When challenging yourself against previous workout routes, you can see where you have made improvements or need to make improvements.

Mobile (iPhone) w/ Speed & Altitude Graph
Mobile (iPhone) w/ Laptimes

When it comes to summaries, it will tally up your monthly performances with personal bests and give you an overall summary with all of your workouts included.


At the start of each ride you can choose the style of workout you will be doing.  Just choose your workout, select your sport (for cycling, use Cycling Sport, Mountain Biking or Cycling Transport), then start the 10 second countdown timer or hit the start button.  Start pedaling and you are tracking your workout.

Mobile (iPhone)
Mobile (iPhone)

After your ride, you have instant access on your mobile device to all of your workout data including results, lap and split times and a map of your workout.

Mobile (iPhone)
Mobile (iPhone)

When enabled, after a ride your performance will automatically be uploaded to your Facebook page for your friends to click on and see your stats and route map.


Start following your friends on Endomondo and see their real time workout stats, race against them and send them live pep-talk messages.  View their workout summaries as they are posted.

Mobile (iPhone)

This app works with Ant+ Bike Speed & Cadence and Heart Rate Monitor sensors and GPS to make it a pretty accurate statistics and tracking app.  I have just provided some of the more basic tools this app has to offer, but when you work with it and get to know its functionality a little better, you will see that I have only just scratched the surface on what it can do.  After using it for a few months, I really like this app.  I have found it's pretty accurate and stable on both iPhone and Android, but I still use my cycling computer for a real accurate measure of distance.  I would definitely recommend it to my cycling friends. 

Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro is a paid app and is available on many of today's smartphone operating systems.  For Android find it on the the Google Play Store.  For iPhone find it on Apple's iTunes App Store. 


Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists Introduce MORC Weather Blog

MORC has launched a great new addition to their website earlier this month which will come in very handy to cyclists, the MORC Weather Blog.   The blog is written by mountain biker, meteorologist Kristin  Clark who can be seen on WeatherNationTV , a 24/7 national weather channel based in Minneapolis which launched recently.

Kristin will keep you up to date on changing weather conditions and forecasts for you next ride in her CycleCast.  This is an essential blog for mountain bikers who rely on weather information to determine whether their next ride will be a rain out or if dryer, warmer weather is moving in to improve singletrack conditions.

This is a much welcomed addition to the abundance of mountain biking information already available on the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists website.  The Weather Blog in conjunction with MORC's Trail Conditions Forum provide Minnesota mountain bikers with the up to date information they need before heading out for a day of mountain biking.

Subscribe to the MORC Weather Blog and follow all of their trail conditions updates on Twitter at @trailconditions to stay informed and avoid getting rained out or finding out the trail is closed when you get there.  You can also follow Kristin on Twitter at @KclarkWNTV.  Keep up the great work Kristin.


Bike Trail Picture of the Day - 4/22/12

Passing by the Theodore Wirth Golf Course

Taken 4/22/12

Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway
Theodore Wirth Byway District
Minneapolis, MN

Trail Photo Gallery: Midtown Greenway

West River Parkway
to Chain of Lakes
Minneapolis, MN


Sabo Bridge Detour Route

Photos by Growley
Taken 4/21/12

Big Rivers Regional Trail: Kickoff Point for Round Trip River Rides

The Big Rivers Regional Trail is a 4.4 mile paved trail with great views of the Mississippi River, Minnesota River, Fort Snelling and Pike Island.  I like to ride this trail frequently for the great views of the river valley and because it is a great starting off point for round trip rides on both sides of the River.

With this trail's many connections, I can ride into Minneapolis, St. Paul or Eagan, making it a different ride every time depending on which route I take.

I like to start at the Lilydale trailhead located near 35E and the Sibley Memorial Highway.  There is a nice sized parking lot at the start of  the trail near the Pool & Yacht Club.  From here you can either head northeast onto the wooded trail that runs through the Lilydale/Harriet Island Regional Park towards the Wabasha Bridge or southwest along the Big Rivers Regional Trail and cross the river using the Mendota Bridge or the 494 Bridge.  There is also parking on the other end of the trail on Sibley Memorial Highway near the Mendota Heights Road.

Lilydale Trailhead Parking

Below are listed some of the many ride possibilities that can be routed using the Big Rivers Regional Trail as your starting point.

If I want to mix paved trail with some off road biking on my mountain bike, I will follow the Big Rivers Regional Trail southwest to the Sibley House Historic Site where I will be able to access the Mendota Trail which is in the borders of the Fort Snelling State Park.  From here I will follow the dirt trail along the Minnesota River all the way down to the Cedar Avenue bridge in Eagan and back.  This ride along the Minnesota River Bottoms provides some great views of the river and a pretty easy flat ride even though it is not paved.  I recently wrote a post on this section of trail called Fort Snelling State Park's River Bottoms Trail if you would like a little more information.  For a photo gallery of this section of trail, click here.  

For routes into St. Paul and Minneapolis, I will cross the Mendota Bridge where I can hook up with trails on either the north or south sides of the Mississippi River heading northwest or the north side heading northeast.

Crossing the Mendota Bridge

There are a lot of scenic river rides you can take by crossing the Hwy. 5 bridge to the north side of the Mississippi River.  This map will point out the number of combinations that can be taken from this crossing.

A view of the trails below the Hwy 5 Bridge

 Just some of the routes I like to take from this point are to follow the Sam Morgan Regional Trail by first going through the Crosby Farm Regional Park and then ending up in downtown St. Paul.  I will cross the Wabasha Bridge and follow the trail through the Lilydale/Harriet Island Regional Park back to the Lilydale trailhead.  Google Maps Biking Directions

Another is to follow the Mississippi River Blvd. and the East River Parkway north along the river to the Washington Avenue Bridge.  Here you can cross to the West Bank and ride south on the West River Parkway to the Hwy. 5 and Mendota Bridge crossings and get back onto the Big Rivers Regional Trail.  Google Maps Biking Directions

View of the Mississippi from the East River Parkway Trail

Throw the 35E Bridge crossing into the mix and you can create a multitude of  different river loop rides using the Big Rivers Regional Trail as your starting point.  Use Biking Directions in Google Maps and plan out your route for a scenic ride along the rivers.



Penn Cycle Announces 2012 Thursday Night at the Races Schedule at Buck Hill

Would you like to try your hand at a little mountain bike racing?  Never raced before or you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced mountain biker looking for a new challenge?  Penn Cycle has the event for the thrill seeker in you.  They have announced the 2012 schedule for what has become a summertime Thursday night tradition at Buck Hill, "Thursday Night at the Races".

The races are broken down into three classes, a Beginner Class which consists of approximately a 20 minute race, a Recreational Class which is about a 40 minute race, and the Advanced Class which races for 1 hour.  A free kids race is held after the adult races have finished.

There will be two series of races:

Series One:  May 10, 17, 24, 31, and June 7, 14.
Series Two:  June 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, and August 2.

This is a great opportunity to test yourself in a race setting on a challenging wooded course at Buck Hill.  The Beginner Class costs $5, the Recreational and Advanced Classes cost $10. Registration for the races runs from 5:00-6:15 pm.  The Advanced and Recreational races start at 6:30 pm followed by the Beginner race at 7:15 pm.  For additional details you can visit the link above for Penn Cycle's Thursday Night at the Races page or call the Bloomington store at 952-888-1427.

 Click here to see Kare 11 story on Thursday Night at the Races.

One Lap at Buck Video
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