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

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

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 

Where to Ride

In the Twin Cities & across the country // Getting prepared for our Moxie Barn Brunch ride in Madison on May 12th!

Mark your calendars! Saturday May 12th is Moxie Cycling’s Barn Brunch Ride, taking place in the Madison, Wisconsin area and YOU are invited. Roughly 25 miles each way, the ride will begin in Madison and head south on the Badger State Trail. The destination will be a gorgeous 100 year old barn where we will have brunch and good company provided before heading back to complete the 50 mile ride. All levels of cyclists are encouraged to join! This will be an informal & free-to-attend event meant to get you ladies back on two wheels. Let us know you are coming or if you have questions via our Facebook page!

In preparation, I did a portion of the ride yesterday afternoon and brought my lovely mother along with me. The conditions were not ideal; there were wind gusts above 25 mph and we did get rained on here and there, but it was still a warm day and we still had an enjoyable ride. Here is Terri ready to ride:

Terri in her Moxie jersey & Trip wanting to come along

The scenery is rolling countryside, several horse farms, happy cows, and lush fields. Along the Badger State Trail there are many wooden bridges that cross over twisting creeks and offer good places to stop and take in the fresh air. The trail itself is packed dirt/gravel and easy to ride on with both big and skinny tires. Occasionally it can become muddy if there has been a heavy rain recently, but generally the trail is very well maintained and easy to ride. The path goes from Madison through Fitchburg, Basco, Belleville, and eventually all the way to New Glarus and Monticello. A pass is required to use the trail which you can get at the start of the trail via the registration box or at local convenience stores, $4 for one day or $20 for the season. The above photo is from the Belleville section of the trail.

Save the date and come back soon to find more details about Moxie Cycling’s Barn Brunch Ride on May 12th. Bring your Mom for something fun to do on Mother’s Day weekend, or recruit your girlfriends for a good way to get outside and active. Guys are welcome to come as well, as long as they bring a female +1!

Stay Sassy…

Team Moxie

Where to Ride (Last) Weekend

In the Twin Cities & across the country // Easter weekend getaway leads to a challenging hill-filled ride in the Mississippi River valley

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! I was able to get away from the big cities this weekend and spent Saturday and Sunday at my Grandparents house which is along the Mississippi River near Lansing Iowa. And since we were lucky enough to have a rain-free weekend, I took the opportunity to get outside and explore a nearby bike route I came across on WisconsinBiking.com called Black Hawk’s Retreat Tour. In total the trail was 35 miles if you took the outer loop and consists of a lot of hilly climbs and descents. We ended up starting where the trail recommends you end, on accident, but I think I would have preferred to go that direction anyway.

 

As you can see on the map, the trail recommends starting in De Soto and going clockwise around the loop. Which would mean a long steady climb into West Prairie and then a quick downhill finish. Instead, we began at UU with a STEEP climb up into Red Mound and then the rest of the route was hilly, but it made for a more pleasant second half of the ride.

Start: Either in De Soto, WI for a full loop [but you will be riding on a long section of busy Highway 35] or just North on UU

End: 30-35 mile loop back to the start

In Between: Lots of hills! This is a route that starts in the Mississippi River valley and climbs out onto the tops of the tall, hilly banks giving you a total climb range of around 700 vertical feet. Once you reach the highest points on the route you truly feel like you are up in the sky. When you look around you are surrounded by sweeping valleys of Midwest farmland and it is beautiful. When you descend into the valley along the Bad Axe River, you pass many old rural farm houses and pastures of cattle. On my ride this last weekend, the trees were just budded enough to create a lovely pattern of different shades of green across the hillsides. In the fall, the views would be jaw-dropping.

When to Ride: There are a couple places on the route that you will want to make note of. Along County Road UU and Highway 82 that connects Victory and West Prairie, these roads are pretty busy with big trucks and locals, so you will want to make sure you are being very cautious as there is not a shoulder to ride on and the route is very hilly and curvy. I would definitely recommend a rearview mirror and bright clothing to increase your visibility. When planning your ride, aim to do this section during the non-busy traffic hours, depending if it is a week day or weekend. As for the roads along Bad Axe River, they are much less busy. However, the dotted section of the trail is a gravel road, so make sure you have a bike capable of some rocky sections.

From the top of the climb

And as I mentioned already, the hillsides make a spectacular landscape view and the pastures in between are richly colored as well. In the summer there would be green galore, but fall would bring a spectrum of autumn colors. I think I will definitely be making another trip back just to see that.

Down in the valley along the Bad Axe River

 

Stay Sassy… 

Team Moxie

& the Winner is…

We are excited to annouce the winning entry of our desgin contest!!

You voted & your top choice was:

We have yet to name the newest design which will be featured in our 2013 line. Do you love it? We think the design shows great individualtiy, and LOVE the colors. Thanks to all of our cyclists for voting!

P.S. This weekend’s Where to Ride will be posted Sunday night instead of Friday because I’ll be personally exploring a new trail for you over the weekend! To Grandma’s house I go, which is along the Mississippi River and means I’ll be surround by beautiful rolling valleys and winding trails… Let’s hope for sunshine!

Have a HAPPY EASTER!

Stay Sassy…

Team Moxie

Where to Ride this Weekend

In the Twin Cities & across the country // Sick of traffic in the city? Take your ride to the woods at White Tail Ridge

The Trail: White Tail Ridge – 5.7 mile loop

Start: About 45 minutes East of St. Paul, this is one of the best kept and highest quality singletracks you can find in the area. Just off of Highway 35, a couple miles North of the City of River Falls you can park at the end of Whitetail Blvd which dead ends at the start of the trail. Click the map for more details.

End:  This is about a 5.7 mile loops that brings you back to the start

In Between:   There are several ways to approach the loop, but either one you get some wicked climbs. If you start going South, which is the direction the mountain bike races use, you begin with a steady incline to increase your elevation and from there you’re in for a roller coaster. The scenery in spring is perfect since the undergrowth hasn’t had the chance to fully take over, giving you lots of greenery but not hindering your ability to get a visual of the upcoming trail. But beware of the humid or rainy days [unless you are training for Tough Mudder] because you will not leave with a un-splattered spot on you if the trail has some juice.

When to Ride: The great thing about this trail is that it is open year round for mountain biking, running, hiking, and is even popular for snow shoeing. The ideal times of the year would be early spring on a dry day or later fall once the weather begins to cool. The views are outstanding from the top of the ridge and you get to appreciate every angle of the forest throughout the trail.

Why YOU should check it out: Don’t let the boys have all the fun… mountain biking, as well as cycling in general, is dominated by mostly men. But so at one time was snowboarding, skiing, drag racing, hockey, etc. If you like a challenge and have the patience to practice the frustrating areas of the trail, this is a good place to start. After a good ride you may be dirty and sore but you’ll feel pretty proud to have gotten through. 

Stay Sassy…

Team Moxie

Where to Ride This Weekend

In the Twin Cities & across the country // This lovely weekend get out of town on your bicycle on the St. Boni trail

The Trail: “St. Boni” as nicknamed by locals, but officially a section of the Dakota Rail Trail

Start: Wayzata, on the Northwest corner of Lake Minnetonka, parking available

End: 13.5 miles later in the small settlement of St. Bonifacius, hence the trails nickname

In Between: Stunning views of Lake Minnetonka as you ride across the once was route of the Dakota Rail Corridor which takes you through Orono, Minnetonka Beach, Spring Park, Mound, and Minnetrista

When to Ride: A sunny day in the springtime just as the wildlife has embraced the growing season, which surprisingly could be this weekend! Highs of 55 degrees and sunny for Saturday and Sunday may tempt you out for the first ride of the season. Stop for lunch at the revered St. Boni Bistro, where you can park your bike at their bike rack in sight and sit on the back patio to catch some rays. Fresh, healthy, organic, and local choices of sandwiches, salads, and breakfast items served all day.

Have you rode the trail in the past? Leave a comment on your experience or any other recommendations!

Stay Sassy…

Team Moxie