Where to Ride

Finding Your Park

Did you know the National Park Service turns 100 this year? The United States are home to millions of acres of wild, beautiful landscapes preserved for our enjoyment, reflection, and to ensure that places that are truly wild stay that way for future generations to experience.

One of the best ways to experience our national parks is, of course, by bike! Whether shredding single track in bear country or cruising paved trails near the seashore, our National Parks offer some truly special places to see from the saddle. Continue reading

5 Places for Destination Cycling

I can’t say this enough… I love to travel. Being a Midwesterner, traveling to warm tropical beaches is heaven.  I also love to bike.  When I heard recently there was a bicycle tour company that took you on a cruise to cycle at the different ports, I couldn’t sign up fast enough.  On a recent week in February I set sail on the Norwegian Star with Bike & Cruise Tours. http://www.bikeandcruisetours.com  Our group consisted of 25 men and women, some older, some younger, some more experienced than others.  The one thing we had in common was a love of cycling.

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Our first stop – Roatan Island, Honduras.  When we were cleared to leave the ship, Continue reading

#UnlearnPavement: Super Cooper Grinds Gravel, Too

SarahCooper1

Central Iowan Sarah Cooper, known to some as “Super Cooper”, is well known in the ultra-cycling community.  Three times she has competed in the Bike Sebring 24 Hour Race, held at the historic 12 Hours of Sebring Race track in Sebring, Florida.  In 2014, her first time at the Sebring 24, she rode 433.8 miles.  In 2015, she rode 460 miles there.  In February 2016, she smashed her own Sebring 24 record.  Cooper rode an incredible 479.4 miles in Continue reading

Winter Gravel Riding: A “How To”

If read my previous post about winter gravel riding, you probably thought — great, good for this crazy lady.  She gets out and rides her bike in questionable weather on sketchy surfaces, but I would NEVER.  Well, maybe I can convince you otherwise.  Here’s a quick list of things to consider should you want to venture out on gravel, snow covered or otherwise —

 

Find a bike.

You’d be surprised at what types of bikes you can ride on gravel. Commuters with wider tires, your mountain bike, a cyclocross bike, maybe even Continue reading

Gravel Grinding: Will Bike for Donuts

Last winter during the cold dark depths of January I was itching for a long ride outdoors. On that particular Saturday morning, I woke up feeling more introverted than usual and also a tad pessimistic about the weather and my ability to successfully power a bicycle.  I said to heck with it, I was going to go ride my bike anyway, cold weather and crankiness be damned.  When I get in that sort of mood it’s usually better for everyone involved if I keep to myself!

As I mentioned before, I wasn’t REALLY in the mood for biking, but those are the days that I tend to need my bike the most. I convinced myself that I had to get dressed, get on the bike, and roll out the door.  I gave myself permission to turn around wherever I wanted; however, if I made it through the whole route I would be rewarded with a pit stop at my favorite donut shop! Continue reading

Where to Ride: Lake Independence Trail

In the Twin Cities & across the country // Head North for a Ride into the Countryside on the Lake Independence Trail

Start: The Lake Independence Trail connects to the Luce Line, Baker Park Reserve and Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, giving you plenty of options for a starting point. The total length of the trail one way is 15.8 miles, so if you’d like to make it a longer trip, I would recommend starting from the Medicine Lake area which connects with the Luce Line, giving you ~60 miles round trip. Myself and two buddies did this last Saturday and I was very happy with the ease of the trai; I love to take longer rides on the weekend, but I do not like having to stop to look at a map every 5 miles, which is why this route was enjoyable. Once you connect from the Luce Line onto the Lake Independence Trail, it is a straight shot out of town north with rolling hills and a nicely paved and maintained bike path.

The trail starts by curving around Baker Park Reserve, with gorgeous views of Lake Katrina and some of Lake Independence. Baker Park Reserve itself is a great destination for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, and golfing. The bike trails were wonderfully entertaining and curvy, allowing you a varied route that includes climbs, downhills, and tight turns. On the Northwest side of the loop you have the option to continue North out of the park on the bike trail, which goes directly up to Crow-Hassan Park Reserve along County Road 19.

End: Crow-Hassan Park Reserve is also very picturesque, but unfortunately the park does not have paved bike paths. You can hike or horseback ride into the reserve however and enjoy the natural prairie that changes colors with the month.

In Between: Since the ride from Medicine Lake was a decent jaunt, we took a break for snacks and a water refill at a gas station in Loretto. The station even had some outdoor seating, which was nice as it was  a sunny day and relaxing in the shade was a welcome escape. After the long ride home, my Moxie jersey tan line was getting pretty defined. And I’m rockin’ it like I do my goggle tan after a long ski season!

moxie jersey tan line

Is that a skin-colored Moxie Jersey you have?

When to Ride: If you are looking to log some miles during the week, starting at either park reserve will have you at 30 miles out and back within a couple of hours, but on a sunny later summer weekend, this would be a great way to get out of town without the gas tank suffering. Once the temps drop from the 100’s as it has been the last few days, camping would be a fun options as well!

P.S. RAGABRAI STARTS THIS WEEKEND. GET EXCITED! 🙂

Stay Sassy…

Team Moxie 

Where to Ride

In the Twin Cities & across the country // Get out of the metro and into Carver Park Reserve

Since this week’s weather forecast looks quite hit or miss, I jumped on my bike Monday evening for a ride in the sun [and heat] and since I was excited to be on my newer and faster road bike, I chose a long bike path that allowed for some serious acceleration.

Start: If you are looking for a ride that is 30+ miles, I began with the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail which begins in downtown Hopkins, and headed West. From Hopkins to the Carver Park Reserve the path runs about 15 miles. This trail is a packed limestone, so be prepared for a little rougher ride than pavement. The trail runs through North Minnetonka, Deephaven, Shorewood, Excelsior, and finally Victoria.

End: Once you get to Carver Park, the trails are paved smooth with dashed yellow lines, which is excellent for busy days, and the scenery is serene and full of green. There are several lakes within the reserve and plenty of wildlife. If you were to ride the full loop of paved trail, you’d be adding 10.7 miles to your ride. It’s so beautiful and well-maintained I think the next time I want to spend some serious time on my bike I might just drive to the park so as to spend more time doing multiple loops instead of worrying about coming upon intersections as you do on the regional trails.

In Between: Carver Park Reserve has a lot more to offer than just nice bike trails; it has hiking trails, horseback riding trails, reservable picnic areas, fishing areas, swimming locations, boat access to several lakes, an amphitheater, and group camping. So if you had a free weekend with good weather, this would be a perfect spot to bike to and camp at.

In fact, this coming Sunday you can join a naturalist for Nature on Wheels and get a tour of the park for only $5.00 a person. If you’ve got plans already, there are many other family friendly events at the Lowry Nature Center located in the park.

When to Ride: Because there is so much fun to be had, a whole day adventure would be a great way to put Carver Park Reserve on your agenda. Access to the park can be via the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail or there are several parking lots for car access if you are shorter on time or too far to reasonably bike there. The park is open year-round from 5AM to 10PM each day, so all seasons can be a fun experience.

There I am in my Sylvie Moxie Jersey at a pit stop within the reserve! Enjoy the ride!

Stay Sassy…

Team Moxie 

Moxie Trends

What we love this week // A little bird told us about a great, stylish headband – a Twete Bird in fact! 

As much as we love to re-enact those Herbal Essences commercials in the shower whilst lathering our long tresses, long hair can be rather inconvenient. (Alex, a Team Moxie man, can relate) Especially when we are at Cross Fit doing upside down push-ups or the wind is at our back on a long ride, we would really love it if the mane could just withhold it’s blowing-in-the-wind act and get out of our faces. Which is where Twete Bird and their fabulous headbands come in.

After being fellow Little Red Riding Hood attendees, we fell in love with how these cute headbands keep your hair at bay when you need it to be. As Twete Bird says:

From polka dots to florals, safari prints to French couture we have a headband in colors and prints to match every lifestyle.  Slip one on and spread your wings. No-care hair is just a headband away with Birde Bands.  It’s time to take back your life.

Deb picked up a couple styles of her own and she loves that these have a grippy velvet underside and an adjustable elastic band to really ensure that these headbands stay put, unlike the brands you can find at the convenience stores.

The headbands come in a wide variety of styles; thick or thin strap and many different colors are available. You could easily wear one of these to the office, to the after school event, and then to the gym. You can purchase them online at their website: http://www.twetebird.com/ or in local Utah retailers. They provide a unique way to fundraise as well if you are tired of the cookie dough buckets and popcorn tins, giving 40% of the sale back to your group! If you want to see more of Twete Bird, they also have a blog here.

Our personal favorite is the Houndstooth style: just a perfect and subtle match to our France Ave. jersey.

In other upcoming news, MS 150 is this weekend! We will be taking part in the two-day ride from Duluth to the Twin Cities in support of the National MS Society. The ride is a total of 150 miles and we can’t wait to get out there and ride after having to be in the audience last weekend! Will you be there? What are your riding plans for this weekend? In any event…

Stay Sassy…

Team Moxie

Where to Ride

In the Twin Cities & across the country // The first ever Moxie Barn Brunch Ride!

The weekend finally came for our first official Moxie Cycling hosted ride and it was great fun! Moxie’s Barn Brunch ride was held in the Madison, Wisconsin area and had pretty good turnout considering it was a busy Mother’s Day weekend. Here is our group ready to ride Saturday morning:

The weather was forecast for a possible sprinkle in the morning, but we got lucky and it turned out to be a pefect day. There were clouds on and off, but the temperature wasn’t too hot or cold and made for great riding weather. After meeting and greeting at Phitness Plus, we took off on the lower portion of the Capital City Loop [the highlighted section below] which connected us to the Badger State Trail, where we went South all the way past Belleville.

From just South of Belleville, we had on hand our so-called ‘people mover’ to take us to the famed Burr Oak Farm Barn another 20 miles off the trail so we could avoid the rolling country hills that were lacking a shoulder. 

The ‘People Mover’

There we had a filling lunch of grilled brats, cheesey potatoes, fruit, and of course, gourmet Dulce de Leche cupcakes! Before we got back on our bikes for the return trip there was a tour of the Burr Oak Farm barn.

View from the front of the barn

The two-story barn was originally built in Chicago, Illinios for use at the World’s Fair in 1893, making the barn 119 years old, yet it is still in great shape.

Lithograph advertising the Chicago Day
celebration at the fair which commemorated
the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
(CHS ICHi 14835)

A big thank-you to everyone who joined us on the ride and we hope that you enjoyed yourselves! Also, a late Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother’s out there!

Stay Sassy…

Team Moxie 

Where to Ride

In the Twin Cities & across the country // Guest blogger Tonya Vrba tells us about dating & cycling in the Windy City!

When someone cute catches your eye, it can be difficult summoning the courage to ask for a date. It’s always a good idea to have a plan in mind before making a date proposal. Cycling is a wonderful change to the normal dinner and movie dates. With the right trail and scenery, anyone can find enjoyment on a bike. The Fox River trail, which stretches for 35 miles from Aurora to Algonquin is the perfect romance path.

Start: From the south, the Fox river trail start in Aurora, Illinois near North River Street Park. There are plenty of places to join the path. If you want a short ride to a specific city, start on the road further north. My boyfriend and I usually start near North Aurora Island Park. The path is immediately immersed in trees, breaking now and then to provide beautiful views of the river.

End: This path does not loop, so at some point, you will have to turn around. The trail ends in Algonquin but meets up with the McHenery County Prairie Trail. If you’re looking for a long ride, follow the Prairie Trail all the way north to the Wisconsin border. Being close to so many towns, you’re sure to find a place to rest for the night. Just remember to turn back at some point!

In Between: Although the trail winds through nine Chicago Suburbs, it’s hard to not notice you’re surrounded by nature. The trail makes its way through more than 10 parks and near the trail in Geneva there is a lovely Chinese garden to visit. Downtown St. Charles has wonderful restaurants and a beautiful view of the river. The path itself is paved and wide enough for both bikers and walkers. It’s a common site to see a family with kids on the path near the parks. During the areas where the path moves inland there tends to be less people and more greenery.

When to Ride: Late Spring and early summer are some of the best times to ride as plants will be in bloom. The Chinese garden in Geneva has more color in it during the summer as well. Sunny days are the best as the lights makes for great photos. Two things to avoid are windy and humid days. Dirt and leaves from the forested areas can carry on strong breezes and humid days can create problems with insects in the air. If neither of those things bother you, the only bad day, is a rainy day.

Author Bio: Tonya Vrba is a passionate writer. Her work has been published in newspapers and blogs. She writes frequently about health, career and dating issues. Tonya currently writes with Dating Sites Online. Learn more about her work at her personal website