Bikes, Birds and Beer, May 25, 2013 Outing: Fridley and Minneapolis

Join us for a leisurely way to enjoy spring.

When:  Saturday, May 25, 2013; Meet at 11:15 a.m. for the 11:30 train. The outing will finish at approximately 2:15 p.m. (though some may want to stay for a while at Pscho Suzi’s bar).

Where:  Target Field Station next to the end of the Hiawatha LRT on 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis.

What:  This is a bike and train outing, starting with a brief Northstar Commuter Train ride to Fridley that shows one way to use transit to reach metro green space. From the Fridley station we ride to Islands of Peace Regional Park, then cross the Mississippi River, ride south along the west side of the river through interconnected riverside parks, and last cross back to the east side of the river, ending at Psycho Suzi’s on Marshall Street N.E.

Difficulty: Easy, short bicycle ride. Estimated bike riding of 7 ¼ miles (more if you continue riding on your way home from the bar). There are some hills, but not demanding ones.

Cost: $2.50 for train ride, whatever it takes to put together a bag lunch, and what, if anything, you buy at the bar.

Contact info: Ron Williams, 763-533-3065, tobie3065@msn.com. I would appreciate it if you would let me know if you plan to come. However, coming without notice is OK .

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May 10th Update: Breaking news about the May 25th Bike, Birds & Beer outing: As we ride south by the Mississippi River in the early afternoon, we will steer west and up the hill as we enter Minneapolis to go to the Carl W. Kroenning Interpretive Center. At 1:30 p.m. Michelle, the naturalist there, will talk to us a little about the animal and plant life in North Mississippi Regional Park.

More Details:  We will start by meeting with our bikes at 11:15 a.m. Inside the station (which is at the northern most tip of Target Field) are the machines for buying tickets for the Northstar Commuter Line (cost, $2.50). Then we will take an elevator down to the Northstar Line platform. The train leaves promptly at 11:30 a.m. See map of these connections: http://www.metrotransit.org/target-field-station-map.aspx.

We will arrive at the Fridley train station at 11:43 a.m. From the station we will briefly ride on 61st Avenue and cross East River Blvd to get to the Mississippi River Regional Trail along that road. Stevenson Elementary School is at that juncture. We will ride mostly west about two minutes on that trail to the Islands of Peace Visitor Center and then cross a little wooden bridge (just north of the Center) to Chasis Island Park. For information about this site click on the url below:

http://www.nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/islapeac.htm.

When you get to that web page, click on “Anoka County Parks” (right under “Islands of Peace”).  The resulting page shows a picture of the bridge. Under “Resources” at the left of this page, click on “Park Map”. The result is the only accurate map of this area that I have found. We will eat lunch on park benches in Chasis Island Park. This heavily wooded park is a quiet respite from the busy suburb nearby. Many ducks and other birds make their home there. We can ride a mile or so of paved trails which circle inside the island. Close by and across the river is Durnham Island, also good for water birds but reachable only by boat.

After about a 45 minutes to one hour stay on the island (although our activity there is dependent upon whether there is flooding of the island at the time), we will go south on the Mississippi Regional Trail and cross the river on the 694 bridge to Brooklyn Center and the bike trail going south in River Edge Park. By that time we will have ridden about 2 ½ miles. We will continue another 2 ¾ miles, sometimes hugging the river, sometimes veering a little away. Much of the way is lined with trees, sometimes big trees, but we will also see some meadows. We may want to stop to watch and listen to birds, or to just relax by the river. Less than half-way down this stretch we will cross into Minneapolis’ North Mississippi Regional Park, and eventually cycle up and away from the river where Shingle Creek enters the Mississippi.

After a brief glance at Weber Park, we cross the river again on Camden Bridge. It is about a 2 mile ride from Weber Park to the Psycho Suzi’s bar at 1900 Marshall Avenue, N.E. (which is reputed to have a terrace overlooking the river). After Camden Bridge we will ride on the trail next to St.Anthony Parkway until we get to Marshall Avenue. The parkway affords a nice view of the river.After arriving at Psycho Suzi’s, there is no more collective bike riding, just pure socializing. Here are some suggestions on ways for you to go home

  1. Just ride wherever all the way.
  2.  Ride about two miles to downtown Minneapolis to ride public transit by going southeast on Marshall, then southeast on Main until you get to Hennepin. Turn right on Hennepin to go over the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.
  3.  Ride on Marshall down to 16th Avenue, turn left and go east four short blocks to 2nd Avenue to take the 2nd Avenue bus downtown.
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