In the Twin Cities & across the country // Serious mileage can be had West of the Twin Cities via Luce Line and surrounding regional trails
This week I decided that it was time to find out what 70+ miles of biking in a day feels like. Friday and Saturday turned out to be drizzly and cold, but Sunday morning the sun was shining bright. After a large breakfast of lean bacon, sugar-loaded pancakes, and a few eggs we mapped out a loop that got our day-trip over 70 miles in length and set off.
Start: We started going West from Wayzata on the Dakota Rail Trail (which was featured previously here) but kept going past St. Boni out to the quaint town of Mayer & then headed North on Highway 25 to Watertown where we began our ride back East on the Luce Line
End: Coming back East on the Luce Line, which eventually turns into the regional trail, we went through Golden Valley and then South through Theodore Wirth Park, and finally jumped onto Cedar Lake Parkway trail to take us all the way back to the Minnetonka area.
In Between: Since these are well-maintained and frequented bike trails, the riding is pretty smooth which allows for a lot of social interaction if you make it a fun day trip with friends. Views are made up of a lot of sunny countryside and, of course, lakes: Lake Minnetonka, Lake Waconia, Oak Lake, Lake Gleason, Medicine Lake, and a small glance of Cedar Lake. So if you plan enough ahead there are ample spots to picnic alongside your preferred lake shore.
When to Ride: It turned out to be a great choice to start the day on a lot of protein and carbs because 70 miles is a long way. The Luce Line is a packed granite trail, which takes extra energy to keep up your speed, so be forewarned. Ultimately, you want to make sure you picked a day that allows for you to be outside 5+ hours and that you have the items needed with you in case of a flat tire.
Just off of the Dakota Rail Trail, you can also stop for a quick game of Mini Golf in an awesome sculpture garden. We decided to not give it a whirl today, but it is definitely on the agenda for a day with a shorter loop!