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Last Saturday, all I was planning to do was ride my bike the ten minutes to the nearby Midtown Farmers Market, eat the farm egg sandwich with asparagus pesto, greens, maple vinaigrette, and Parmesan that the Dandelion Kitchen food truck was making, and bike the ten minutes back home. No such luck. The weather, though slightly on the warm side for my personal preference, was simply wonderful and I couldn’t help but stay outside.

This was my first time visiting this particular market. I go anywhere on Saturday mornings, it has been to the Mill City Farmers Market to visit another favorite food truck, Chef Shack. But this Saturday, Dandelion Kitchen’s tweet about that egg sandwich caught my eye and I thought, why not? I’ve often enjoyed their lunch creations downtown during the work week and I was excited to try something different.

It was delicious. I bet they’d sell a lot of those egg sandwiches at lunch, too.

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There were a few other food stands at the market, so I went back for more. I decided to also try the Caprese kebab and the curry satay chicken from Kabomelette. I don’t know how I was expecting the Caprese to be prepared—I guess as a kebab I was thinking it would be hot—but it was the only thing it could have been—mozzarella balls and grape tomatoes on a skewer. I think those fresh mozzarella balls might be one of my favorite forms of cheese. The curried chicken was quite good, too.

I will try the other food stands the next time I go back.

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When I finished eating, I had a ten-second debate with myself about whether to take the long way home, aka, do the ten-mile bike ride loop. It was a debate because I hadn’t packed my bike the way I would if I planned to be out for a while; in the end, I knew that if I went home to re-prepare I probably wouldn’t go back out, so away I went south instead of north.

I was rewarded within a mile. As I approached the corner of Hiawatha Avenue and 46th Street where the bike trail jogged off into a less-concretey setting, a young deer came trotting out of the brush looking as if it had a mind to cross Hiawatha. I was able to cross 46th quickly enough that I could shoosh it back to where it had come from. A few yards on and I could still see it between the road and the nearby houses.

I went off-road and stalked it gently to see if I could get some pictures. It was obviously an urban deer because it didn’t seem too concerned by me. We had a few stare-downs and I could see that it was a young buck with about six-inch antler sprouts. He eventually waggled his tail at me and sauntered back into the undergrowth and I decided it was time to move along.


My loop took me through Minnehaha Park. After dilly-dallying at the market and communing with the deer, I found myself in need of facilities and availed myself of the some in one of the pavillions. When I came back out, I noticed that Minnehaha Creek was flowing more energetically than I’m used to seeing  it when I ride east from Hiawatha. I let myself be hypnotized by what could be considered mini-rapids and walked my bike along the bank for a ways. I came to a footbridge over the creek and went up on it. I looked over the other side and suddenly realized that I had accidentally come upon Minnehaha Falls.

No kidding, that’s the first time I’ve ever been to the falls in person in the twenty total years I’ve lived in Minneapolis which is just crazy. It’s a landmark location. For the second time in the day, I made the decision to take my time. I locked my bike up and explored, along with a hundred of my closest friends.

Doesn’t matter that there were crass people and screaming kids all around me. Doesn’t matter that to go down and then back up, I had to negotiate about three storeys’ worth of short, stone steps. Sometimes, the aesthetics still win.

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I found out that the hoard of other bikers I was seeing on the trail, most of whom had little number tags pinned to their backs, were participants in the Tour de Cure for diabetes, the finish line of which was in the park. As part of the festivities, the cover band Stitched was playing. I sat and listened their interesting range songs, which included Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” and the Ohio Players’ “Love Rollercoaster.” I liked the guy’s voice.

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I finally got going again and went my merry way north along the Mississippi River. When I got near the end I decided that I was too hot and tired to deal with the long, steep hill that I knew awaited me to get up from the river back onto the streets in my neighborhood, so I peeled off into the side streets which were a little less direct but much more flat.

As a result, I was able to ride through the Milwaukee Avenue Historical District, a charming example of urban preservation. The houses were built in the late 1800s and rehabilitated in the 1970s. The street was turned into a pedestrian mall and when you walk (or bike) along it, you totally have the feeling of being in another era.

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I got home and realized for the first time in the nearly four hours that I had been out that oh yeah, it was sunny and I hadn’t put on sun screen because I had only been planning to be out in it for twenty minutes. Fortunately, it never felt as bad as the crisp to which it looks like I’m fried here. Still, it was shocking when I first saw it.

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I showered and refreshed myself, built a fire with which to cook, and enjoyed a few Summit Gold Sovereign Ales while sitting on my steps. All in all, I consider it to have been one of the most enjoyabledays—partly because it was ninety percent spontaneous—I’ve had in the last few years (London vacation last summer notwithstanding). Hurrah!

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I only intended to go to the Mill City Farmers Market to get something to eat from Chef Shack. I did, and then on my way back, I got a sudden bee in my bonnet to just go on a little bike ride. So I did. And paid attention to the undersides of bridges.

These are all bridges over the Mississippi River between St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam and Lock & Dam No. 1. There are three not pictured because I didn’t get the idea right away.

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Bridge to nourishment: bacon beer brat from Chef Shack.

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Photo 1: 10th Avenue

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Photo 2: Remains of the I-35W bridge that collapsed in 2007 are still spread out on the Bohemian Flats near the University of Minnesota.

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Photo 3: I-94

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Photo 4: Franklin Avenue

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Photo 5: Railroad bridge between 26th and 27th Streets . I would seriously doubt that it’s still used for train traffic.

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Photo 6: Bridge to hydration

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Photo 7: Lake Street

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Photo 8: 46th Street. This one seemed quite cathedral-like to me as I stood under it.

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Photos 9–12: Bridge on the Mississippi: Lock & Dam No. 1. I had a little staycation with this as I hadn’t realized that you can walk all around the facility. There is a catwalk that bridges the two locks (it seems only the 9-footer is used), and then it’s quite parklike on the dividers between the various channels.

Photo 9: Bridge to observation, catwalk

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Photo 10: The 6-foot lock, which doesn’t seem to have been used any time recently, as there were some quite large shrubs growing in the far end of it on the wall.

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Photo 11: Bridge to dinner, if you’re a spider.

Finally, I leave you with this video of the dam’s waterfall. That’s a blue heron flying around. There were also white herons, ducks, and geese.

There were more bridges on the second half of my ride, but unfortunately, my battery died while I was enjoying the Lock & Dam. Maybe I’ll go out again this weekend to capture those.

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I did the 20-mile bike ride again today. The forecast called for unsettled weather in the afternoon, but I chose to defy the gods and set out. This time I had the photo plan in mind from the outset so this time the pictures are on the even mile marks. I mostly took them in motion looking straight ahead, unless there was something interesting to the side. I decided you didn???t need to see my mug in every shot this time.


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Photo 1, mile 0. Stop at the neighborhood bicycle shop to blow up my tires. It was breezy so I figured if my tires were nice and plump, I???d have a better time of it.


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Photo 2, mile 1. Mississippi River. Apparently it was Mile 7 for the Minneapolis Marathon. Oh great, am I going to have to dodge joggers all ride?

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Photo 3, mile 2. Mississippi River, Mile 8 for the marathon.

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Photo 4, mile in-between. A party on the lawn at the American Danish Institute.

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Photo 5, mile 3. Mississippi River

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Photo 6, mile 3.5. Mississippi River. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

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Photo 7, mile 4. Mississippi River, Godfrey Parkway, road to the Lock & Dam #1.

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Photo 8, mile 5. Minnehaha Creek

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Photo 9, mile 6. In between Lakes Hiawatha and Nokomis. Lifeguards on duty.

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Photo 10, mile 7. Minnehaha Creek and Parkway

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Photo 11, mile in-between. Hello, ???Cottontail on the Trail???!

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Photo 12, mile 8. Minnehaha Creek, approaching the underpass of I-35 where there is road/path construction.

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Photo 13, mile 9. Minnehaha Parkway. Two dudes in coral-colored shirts passed me. Then I showed them when there was a sharp uphill and I passed them back, without even trying. Thank you, Curves!

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Photo 14, mile 10. Approaching Lake Harriet

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Photo 15, mile 11. West side of Lake Harriet

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Photo 16, mile in-between. I did not need the hotdog stop today. However, the Inver Hills Community Band was warming up to perform in the Lake Harriet Bandshell, so I still stopped for a few minutes.

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Photos 17,18, mile 12. Between Lakes Harriet and Calhoun. There is a sightseeing trolley train that putt-putts between the lakes.

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Photos 19, mile 13. West side of Lake Calhoun. Minneapolis downtown skyline in the distance. It started raining about here.

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Photo 20, mile 14. Midtown Greenway. I took a slightly different path to the Greenway today. Had to wait for a long traffic light. It stopped raining. The sun came back out and the smell reminded me of the swimming pool in the summer when I was a kid.

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Photo 21, mile 15. Midtown Greenway, just before the Bryant Avenue access point. I used to live there. I miss it. Also, I took a slight detour off the path to go look at something that might be important in my future.

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Photo 22, mile 16. Midtown Greenway

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Photo 23, mile 17. Just before Freewheel Bicycle???s Midtown Greenway location.

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Photo 24, 25, mile 18. The fancy shmancy bridge over Hiawatha Avenue.

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Photo 26, mile 19. Hiawatha commuter trail, almost home. The awesome, ugly high-rises that are the landmark of my neighborhood.

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The mileage seems to have not quite worked out, because it’s still 20.5 miles, but you get the idea.

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I finally went on a ride I???ve been wanting to, down the Mississippi River to Minnehaha Creek, up the sides of a couple of lakes, and back home on the Midtown Greenway to the Hiawatha path. It???s 20.5 miles. I stopped to take a photo approximately every mile and here they are, locations duly noted on the map.

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Photo 1, mile 0.75: Mississippi River. I didn???t think to start taking photos until I got down to the river, hence the 3/4 measurement.

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Photo 2, mile 1.75: Mississippi River

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Photo 3, mile 2.75: Mississippi River, under the Lake Street Bridge

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Photo 4, mile 3.75: Mississippi River

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Photo 5, mile 4.75: Mississippi River, near the turn-off for Lock & Dam #1

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Photo 6, mile 5.75: Minnehaha Parkway

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Photo 7, mile 6.75: Minnehaha Parkway, between Lakes Hiawatha and Nokomis

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Photo 8, mile 7.75: Minnehaha Parkway

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Photos 9, 10, mile 8.75: Minnehaha Parkway, ???Cottontail on the Trail??? at Portland Avenue. I did not know this was there, and it was time for a photo, honest!

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Photo 11, mile 9.75: Minnehaha Parkway

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Photo 12, mile 10.75: jog up to Lake Harriet

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Photo 13, mile 11.75: Lake Harriet

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Photo 14, mile 12.75: Lake Harriet, lunch stop. I was really hungry by this time and the hotdog was a good enough combo of carbs and protein.

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Photo 15, mile 13.75: Lake Calhoun. The temperature was in the mid-80sF. There were a lot of people enjoying the water.

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Photo 16, mile 14.75: Lake Calhoun soccer fields

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Photo 17, mile 15.75: between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles, access point to the Midtown Greenway

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Photo 18, mile 16.75: Midtown Greenway. This follows old railroad tracks along 29th Street.

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Photo 19, mile 17.75: Midtown Greenway. White building is a Freewheel Bicycle store and pitstop for bikers. It even has showers.

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Photo 20, mile 18.75: Midtown Greenway, turning toward Hiawatha Avenue.??

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Photo 21, mile 19.75: Hiawatha Avenue bike path. Franklin Avenue Light Rail Station in the background, and also downtown Minneapolis skyline. Almost home!

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Photo 22, mile 20.58: Home, whew!

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Satellite Map ?? Google Maps