Last Friday marked my 4th straight Friday dirt to work through the Minnesota River Valley. Dirt to work Fridays give me 40 miles of fatbike riding through the sandy singletrack of the valley. If you are keeping track, you know that my riding has been inconsistent at best. The fact that I made 4 in a row makes me quite happy.
This particular Friday, though, was not my best outing. I’ll be very honest in that I felt terrible on my bike. My sleep deprivation had caught up with me and I had no gas. My ability to push myself mentally kept the pedals turning but I was suffering. It also did not help that the other riders didn’t show up and it left me alone with the mighty Joe Meiser.
On the way home, we had a 4 legged guest join us for the first part of the ride. Luke, a new engineer at work, and his 4 legged partner joined us for the ride. I grew up on a farm with dogs and have resisted getting a dog. Dog’s are outside animals and given I live in a city, I have never wanted one. However, experiencing riding with a dog was great and I only briefly thought about owning a trail dog. Thankfully, my leg pain and my stomach cramps overcame those thoughts. Luke and dog turned up and Pete, Joe and I pressed on.
Lot’s of folks may be wondering why we ride fatbikes here as many grew up riding regular mountain bikes on the Minnesota River Trail. Besides fatbikes just kicking ass and the fact that they are the new definition of mountain bikes, there is lots of sand in the valley. We had incredibly high water earlier in the year and the trail was closed down for months as it was 100% under water. This flooding brings lots of new top soil and sand to the trail. It’s a fatbike paradise down there and without one, I really believe it would totally suck down there. Can you do it on a cross or mtb, of course. You’d just have to push/carry through quite a few sections. In my 20 plus years here in Minneapolis, I’ve ridden the river trail countless times. I love it. It may be flat, but it’s twisty, sandy and changes every year. It’s a fatbike heaven.
And with that, I will leave you with my parting shot. It’s a departure from the black and white and shows the other element of the valley, green. The air is thick with moisture right now. It’s heavy. Growth is everywhere. Green is everywhere.
See you all this coming Friday. We leave Sibley House in Saint Paul at 7:00AM sharp!