Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Morning Ride Launch 2015

It's on! Saturday morning group rides have officially launched this weekend. And with great weather like we've been having – a nice turnout was to be expected. And that my friends, has all the makings of a very positive cycling season indeed. We had seven riders in total this morning, which is a really good size for this first Saturday out. This would be considered a medium size group for this club. Typically, a small group for Team Sprockets will range between 2 to 4 riders – a large group will be about 10 plus. We also had the pleasure of riding with one of our new team members today as well, which was awesome.

Meeting at team headquarters in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, we kicked off this Saturday morning ride at 8:00am today. It was mostly sunny, with a temperature around 55 degrees, and a light wind – overall perfect day really. We did a classic Team Sprockets loop around Mendota Heights, Eagan, Minneapolis, and St. Paul. We rode for about 90 minutes, at a casual clip, ranging a distance around 25 miles. This was a good distance for everyone, to balance between different riding levels. This distance will begin to increase as we move into the season, and as riders acclimate to each other and become stronger with conditioning. Overall, we made a fairly good time throughout the ride today – only stopping to fix a flat tire for one of riders half way through the route. We made that time up fast, with a quickened pace, good road quality, and low traffic conditions. Also, this Saturday was not a destination ride like some other of our past rides, but rather, a get-together course ride reception to kick-off this new season, with new ideas, and new riders.

Finally, we completed our inaugural Saturday morning kick-off ride with a delicious post-ride breakfast at TK's Coffee in Lilydale, Minnesota. Given the hilly terrain of the Mendota Heights area, optimal for cycling, and attracting enthusiasts from all over the metro area – TK's Coffee Shop has become somewhat of a destination not only for Team Sprockets, but other cyclist, and bike teams as well. TK himself is a lively and welcoming store-owner, with excellent hospitality, service, and delicious foods and coffee.

If I didn't know better, I'd say this season – is looking pretty tasty...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fire the Cannons!

The 2015 TEAM SPROCKETS cycling season is officially kicked off! And what could be be better to start this riding season off right than an excellent small group ride through Southeastern Minnesota. The group gathered in Red Wing, Minnesota, and rode the Cannon Valley Trail to Welch, Minnesota. It turned into a perfect weekend for riding bicycles and enjoying cool artwork. The Cannon Valley Trail is a 20-mile plus scenic bicycling trail running between Cannon Falls and Red Wing, Minnesota. The group chose to ride a small section of the trail,

which was a shorter ride than usual, but it was a great way to warm up for the season and get everyone prepped for longer rides to come. Starting at The Anderson Center at Tower View – the group enjoyed a wonderful sculpture garden before heading down the trail following the Cannon River to the town of Welch, and Welch Village Ski Resort, where diehard skiers were still savoring the last precious days of Winter.
If you get a chance
to ride or visit Red Wing, Minnesota – make sure to check out The Anderson Center at Tower View. Located on the Historic A.P. Anderson Research Farm – it is a very cool creative residential art center for painters, writers, sculptors, poets, photographers, and more.

Now for the beginning of the rest of the season!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Perfect Summer Morning in Minnesota

Given the long cold winter, and a seemingly extended cold spring, on top of non-stop weekend rain – it was finally amazing to go out on a substantial group ride in PERFECT weather. For a change. A break finally revealed itself this last Sunday morning with excellent participation. 72 degrees and mostly sunny was exactly what the doctor ordered...necessary medicine in more ways than one. Calling a group ride most of this season has been pretty spotty given the weather, so there was some pent up anticipation to get out and really get some miles down. After getting a couple of e-mails inquiring on an outing – it was only a matter of time that the ball really got rolling. We met in Mendota Heights, rode north on Shepard Road to East River Road in St. Paul, up to the University of Minnesota East Bank, over the Mississippi River via the Stone Arch Bridge, past the Guthrie Theatre, down West River Road, pass Fort Snelling, over the Mendota Bridge and back home. We even took time to look at Minnehaha Falls along way. Overall, an extremely satisfying ride!