It's official, summer's over. At least, as far as my bike commute goes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not done commuting. It just means that I have to go to my abbreviated schedule. During the summer I can drop my kids off at daycare at 7, ride in to downtown, shower at the YMCA and still be to work by 8:30 or so. But, now that school is in session the bus doesn't pick them up until 8:15. I'm not willing to slide my entire schedule back a full hour and 15 minutes because I wouldn't get home until their bedtime. So, I'll get them on the bus and then ride to Ft. Snelling and catch the Light Rail in the morning. This gets me to work at 9:00, and I'm not stinky after the 7 km ride. Then I'll ride the entire route home.
Today, my boss told us all to leave early so I took off at 4. I wanted to ride someplace I hadn't ridden before and get some additional miles under my belt. I rode on West River Road to Franklin, then crossed over to East River Road and followed it to Summit. I rode Summit all the way to the Ramsey hill, which I'm glad I was going down instead of up! Once I got on 7th Street, I knew I had to get off of 7th Street as soon as possible because traffic was hairy. So I took a right onto Smith and climbed up the high bridge across the river. I was glad I'd been soft pedaling and enjoying the scenery to that point, otherwise the climb might have killed me. But I felt very strong all the way up. Which is good, because I had to keep climbing through Cherokee Park and onto Highway 13. By the way, 13 is under construction right now just south/west of the park so I wouldn't recommend that route any time soon. I flew into Lilydale and took the Lilydale trail (more long, drawn out climbing) all the way to my regular route at Sibley Memorial Highway.
A total of 40km on the day and a beautiful ride. Even more beautiful because I didn't plan it, but it just came together naturally and spontaneously. And other than the construction on 13, I never had any problems. Happy Labor Day weekend!