A Guided Tour Through Various Landscapes From MY Town To Spring Lake Park, Within Spring Lake Park, And Back To MY Town Via An All-Terrain Vehicle

But First, A Weather Report

According to Cycle365 Weather Alarmist, Storm Chaser Greg, April weather has been generally pretty shitty. (He asked me to point out that he is the only Minnesota weatherman who, so far, has the guts to use that meteorological phrase in the public media.) A warming trend will be moving in tomorrow, but today we can expect more clouds, more wool cap and glove temperatures, and possibly rain. At least there will be minimal wind and no stinking snow. Now back to your regular programming.

The Guided ATV Tour

No, I haven’t gone plum crazy. I’m not driving one of those glorified golf carts with big engines and huge, knobby tires. MY all-terrain vehicle is The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong. My bike can take me almost anywhere, and the proof is in the pictures.

Through the hills on gravel roads.

Through farmland on paved highways.

Through the view-blockers on a bike trail. (Don’t you just HATE those gaudy signs at the entrances to City, County, State and National Parks? That yellow eyesore behind the trees and vines is way too ostentatious.)

Through the pine trees on a well-groomed hiking/cross-country skiing trail.

Through the hardwood forest on a rugged dirt trail.
Over the steel mesh bridge leading to this Spring Lake overlook.

Yes, my all-terrain vehicle will go wherever I steer it. Pretty impressive, yes?

We took a short break at the park’s gathering center. It’s a LEED certified building, which means it meets a bunch of standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, and use of sustainable construction materials. A LEED certified building is not required to have weeds & vines growing on the roof and siding, but it does make it LOOK more environmentally friendly.

I like it.

Outside the building, I read this “Amazing History.” It really IS amazing, considering the earth is only something like 6,000 years old according to some highly influential Biblical “scientists.”

A view of the back side of the building.

When I went back to retrieve my bike, a woman came out from the building and asked, “are you here for the guided tour of the park?”

“No, I’m just out riding my bike,” I replied, “and I thought I’d take a few pictures.” I hadn’t developed my theme for this ride yet, but if I would have I could have replied, “No, I’m conducting my own guided tour of the park right now.” That would have been pretty funny to me, but pretty bizarre to her.

“Isn’t it kind of cold to be riding a bike today,” she asked?

“Not if you’re dressed for it,” I responded. Maybe I sounded like a smart ass, I don’t know.

“It’s so beautiful out there right now,” she continued. “The eagles are out.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen them,” I agreed. “And, in my opinion, this is the best time to look at the scenery — before the leaves on the trees block the view.”

Depending on what you believe, it took either 6,000 years or 5 BILLION years to create this view.

My ATV took me down this bike trail into the valley of snakes. I barely missed this one, which had already been run over by some other bicyclist.

This poor opossum didn’t have a much better day than the snake.

I hope you enjoyed my guided tour. See you next time.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

10 response to "A Guided Tour Through Various Landscapes From MY Town To Spring Lake Park, Within Spring Lake Park, And Back To MY Town Via An All-Terrain Vehicle"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: December 26, 2020

    Hey, I think I recognize that lookout over Spring Lake. Would we have biked past there on our way south to Hastings with you?

    We’re progressing on spring plans, btw. We think our first day will end in Hastings, and from there we’ll follow the east side of the river to Pepin before turning east to Chippewa Falls. Lots of possibilities for us to hook up there, but you should probably start saving up your penneys for that pint you owe me.

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 26, 2021

      Yup, good eye and good memory. We also rode that section of bike trail where the dead snake was. Unfortunately, I entrusted my pictures and description of our ride to “Bicycle Life,” which means they are now gone.

      I think you’ll enjoy the route on the east side of the Mississippi. It’s quieter, prettier, and hillier. I went over to Wisconsin this morning to check things out for you. I’ll be posting my ride here shortly.

      And I can’t remember exactly why I owe you that pint, but you can be sure I won’t back out of the deal–even though I am just a poor retiree barely getting by on a fixed income. At least I have a little over a month to save up. I think maybe I’ll have a nice Belgian Trippel, but you might have to have a Coors Lite.

      • By: Scooter Posted: April 26, 2021

        Coors Lite! Yes, that’s exactly what I’m thinking. I’ll fly half way across the continent and score me one of them Coors Lites. Yum! Counting down the days.

        • By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: April 28, 2021

          Give Scott some Millars lite from the other side of the river

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: April 25, 2021

    Thanks! Enjoyed the tour seeing areas where you normally ride.
    Mr Bing Bong is a great ATV — especially, considering he is one wheel drive.
    We used to give the president of the Toronado Chapter of the Oldsmobile Club a bad time for riding his folding bicycle around the meets — since it was rear wheel drive. 😉

    And yes, the highly scientific and technical meteorological term for MN weather could equally apply in IL!

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 26, 2021

      True, my bike is one-wheel drive, but it is turbocharged by two powerful legs.

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: April 26, 2021

    Nice variation in terrain and riding surfaces. Nice information sign, too. “What will people know of Storm Chaser Greg and his actions 8,000 years from now?” Fortunately, they will have his cycle365 posts!

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 26, 2021

      In 8,000 years, Storm Chaser Greg will be remembered along with such great historical figures as Nero, Judas Iscariot, Atilla the Hun, Hitler, and the Javier Bardem character in “No Country For Old Men.”

  4. By: Suzanne Posted: April 27, 2021

    Nice to see the different trails where you ride – and I like that building, too. It really looks like it belongs there. Can’t say that for a lot of architecture.

  5. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: April 28, 2021

    Poor opossum, interestingly related to the Australian marsupials.

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