I’ve encountered many interesting people and sights over some seven seasons of doing the Saint Paul By Bike blog. I’ve ridden on no more than 25% of the streets of Saint Paul, so I’ve got a lot of blocks to travel to reach the goal of biking each and every block in our city. I’m not in a rush to complete my travels because the fun is in the journey-meeting interesting people, encountering curiosities, oddities and rarities, 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? What would I learn? Could I keep my curiosity at bay enough stay out of trouble?
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, interviews and anything else that clarifies my experiences.
Saint Paul By Bike has been all I had hoped and more. Cliche’ perhaps, but true. I am most impressed with the people I’ve met; their willingness to talk to a sweaty bike riding stranger and share their interesting tales. From Highwood to Highland, Como Park to Ramsey Hill, Dayton’s Bluff to Frogtown, folks have been without exception a joy to talk with. I’ve made it to all of the 15 major neighborhoods as defined by the city’s district councils; I’ve found good, friendly and helpful people nearly everywhere, which is a great counterbalance to what is reported in the news.
Biking through places I’d never been has been enlightening, educational, eye-opening and sometimes all three. I’ve also learned that rides take much less time than writing about the rides. First, I’m not the fastest scribe to bang out a story. Second, transcribing the interviews of the people I talk with so as not to misquote anyone chews up more time. The actual posting of the blog has been a great skill to learn but requires a chunk of time. Then there is my job, which takes up a good portion of my waking hours.
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 most recently in spring 2017.