About “Saint Paul By Bike”

I began the fourth season of Saint Paul By Bike on Sunday, March 30, 2014. I am pleased to say it is an earlier first ride than I expected. The two goals I have for this year are to ride the few remaining streets in Highland Park I have yet to bike and make at least one trip to the far East Side. I’m not in a rush to complete my travels on Saint Paul’s streets because the fun is in the journey-meeting interesting people, encountering remarkable sites and learning about the history of Saint Paul.

Here’s how what became “Saint Paul By Bike” began. As I traversed Saint Paul a few years ago, I saw various interesting, curious and cool things. It was entertaining to visit parts of the city to which I didn’t often or ever get. I also noticed sights while biking that I would have otherwise missed.

This got me to thinking-what would I experience if I were to bike every street in Saint Paul? How long would it take? What fascinating people would I meet? What interesting things would I see?

In summer of 2012 I began biking the more than 800 miles of city streets in Saint Paul and writing about my adventures, complete with photos, maps and anything else that clarifies my experiences.

On September 30, 2012 I wrapped up the first full season of Saint Paul By Bike and it was all I had hoped and more. Cliche’ perhaps, but true. I am most impressed with the people I met; their willingness to talk to a sweaty bike riding stranger and their interesting tales. From Highwood to Highland, Como Park to Ramsey Hill, Dayton’s Bluff to Frogtown, folks were without exception a joy to talk with.

Biking through places I’d never been was enlightening, educational or eye-opening and sometimes all three. I realize it is going to take me longer, likely much longer than I thought to ride every block of every street in Saint Paul. With luck I’ll have plenty of time to do it. I also learned the rides take much less time than writing about the rides. First, I’m not the fastest scribe to bang away on the keyboard. Second, transcribing the interviews of the people I talk with so as not to misquote anyone chews up more time. Third is the mapping of each ride which I’ve had to do manually. However, thanks to my good friend Rucksie who gave me a bike GPS, that task will be automated from now on. Finally, the actual posting of the blog has been a great skill to learn but requires a chunk of time.

Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope it gives you a greater appreciation of Minnesota’s capitol city, the willingness to explore your world a little more and a chuckle or two. While I’ll experience many things, I know I’ll miss some interesting, important and historic people and sights.  If there is place I must visit or a person I must meet, let me know.And don’t hesitate to say “hi” if you see me riding down your street.

In October of 2013, this blog was featured in Curt Brown’s Minneapolis StarTribune column called My Minnesota.  Thank you Curt for an excellent story.  You can read it here http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/230354711.html


Originally posted August 2011 and updated March 23, 2012, January 27, 2013, November 12, 2013, April 5, 2014.

35 thoughts on “About “Saint Paul By Bike”

  1. Thank you for this blog! I have lived in St. Paul for almost 25 years but it is so interesting to get some of the back stories on these familiar sites! Love it!


  2. I enjoyed reading your blog. You’ve been close to a great trail – try the east end of the Vento Trail. Takes you through some old railroad tunnels, up Sweed Hollow past the old Ham’s brewery, and connects up with the Gateway Trail – which you can turn left on and end up back behind the Capital after crossing some interesting old rail bridges and ridding along 35E.

    See (someone else’s site) http://ronspace.org/2003/Swede_Hollow_Vento_Trail for a preview.


    • Hi Bob,

      Thank you for reading the blog and your nice comments. I will jump on the Vento Trail when (if?) the weather turns nice and post about it. I always appreciate suggestions like yours.



    • Hi Jimmy,

      I have ridden the bicycle boulevard many times. The city is talking about adding some new bicycle boulevards, which I look forward to trying. Thanks for reading the blog and commenting.



  3. Dear Wolfie Browender,

    This David Freedman the webmaster of the Extra Alarm Association of
    the Twin Cities at http://www.extraalarm.org and I’m writing to you from
    Davao City, Philippines where I have made my home for the last for years.
    I am now 68 years young, but I was bornin St. Paul and spent my whole
    life there (born at 304 Macalester St.) until moving to the Philippines.

    I really enjoy you photographs of ‘my’ city. I was disappointed to
    learn of the demise of the ‘7 Corners Hardware’. As a long time woodworker
    it is a true loss.

    Now to the reason for my writing.

    I have for years been developing 3D models of both St. Paul and Minneapolis
    former fire stations, many of which the buildings no longer exist, or exist
    only in severly modified states. You can find my progress here…


    and here..


    I have been searching for a detailed picture of the top ‘logo’ at od
    fire station 4b (2) on Wacouta for some time. You have an excellent
    picture of it on you site. If I might ask may I use a copy of it on our
    site also with appropriate credits of couse. I would like to use it both
    on our Station 4b site page at…


    and to include it in the 3D model of Station 4b.

    Thanks for you time…

    David Freedman


    • Hello David!

      I’m flattered that you have been following the blog from the Philippines. That explains a few of the international hits on the blog.

      I have used the Extra Alarm Association site many times for research into the Saint Paul Fire Department. It has been extremely helpful on several posts, including the one to which you refer.

      I am happy to let you use the shot of the top of Station 4. Thank you for asking.

      I’ll look at your 3D models in the next day or so.

      Enjoy your time in Davao City, especially as the weather gets colder here.



  4. Thank you so much for creating your brilliant blog. In doing so, you are not only recording past history, you are making current history. Your interviews with people on the street are akin to Studs Terkel’s documenting of personal history from primary resources. I am a Saint Paul native, professional tour guide (I traverse many of these roads with frequency on a bus with microphone in hand) and an avid walker. You have taught me a thing or two about my city that I may reference in the future.
    As a side note, I wrote about growing up working class in St. Paul in a solo show I presented at the History Theatre in 2009. One of the people of note who grew up in my neighborhood was Charles Schulz. Have you written about him (ie: living above O’Garas)? If so I’d love to read it!


    • Michelle,
      A sincere thank you for your very nice comments! I did not see your 2009 show at the History Theatre but I hope you have plans for an encore presentation, which would surely be entertaining and enlightening.

      Your knowledge of our city, both as a Saint Paul resident and a tour guide, have piqued my interest. I’d enjoy learning more about your experiences. If you’d like to connect offline please send me an email.

      Sincerely, Wolfie


      • Wolfie,

        Would love to chat with you about St. Paul history. Am happy to connect via email. Is this the best email to reach you by or is there another. Feel free to respond at your convenience!


        Michelle Myers Berg



  5. I’m looking for the photograph of Cap Wigington standing in front of the Highland Park Water Tower that you posted sometime in the past. It is for the MN Architectural Foundation’s fundraiser for our Wigington Minority Scholarship. Where can I find this photograph?


  6. Sounds like a great idea! For maximum symbolic value, we ought to meet up somewhere near the St. Paul / Minneapolis city line. (Sea Salt? Surly?) When you want to set something up, I’ve got an email link on my blog page. Best wishes, -max


  7. Greetings Wolfie. I would like to use a photo from your website. Photo is of the “construction of the Lafayette Bridge as it proceeds over the maintenance building.” Photo would be used to provide a visual to accompany bridge construction costs data for the Lafayette Bridge as part of a database/presentation I am developing for major bridge construction costs. If you are agreeable to this use, please specify how I should credit the photo.

    Many thanks!


    • Hello Ken. Feel free to use that photo and any others for your project. I thank you for asking first. Please credit it to Saint Paul By Bike blog or SaintPaulByBike.wordpress.com, whichever you prefer. If you are able to share your presentation I’d enjoy seeing it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s