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.