After crossing Nine Mile Creek there was more fast, swoopy, twisty fun single track until we were dumped out at a parking lot just down from Bloomington Ferry Road. We had a steepish, longish climb out from the river valley to pavement that would take us to Quality Bicycle Products and Salsa HQ. The group broke up here, as a lot of us had to go to work at QBP. Captain Bob, Jason B, Miker, and I all went upstairs to the Salsa nerve center where several of The Crew were working away. Of course, our presence caused most work to come to a grinding halt! Note to Jason: Iowegians not good for productivity!
After hanging out there talking with David, Bobby, Steve, and a couple other guys, we took our leave and Miker, Jason B, Captain Bob, and myself headed back for the starting point of our adventure.
By now the weather was quite pleasant. The sun was coming through in fitful spurts and the wind was blowing, but down in the single track, that didn't matter. The trail seemed rougher both to myself and to Captain Bob. I ended up biffing again in a sandy corner. Nothing big. Just a washout.
<===Jason B and the Captain led the way all the way back while Miker and I took a more measured pace!
After we got going again I wasn't "in the groove" and I found myself making mistakes. I had to really concentrate on the trail. Finally, the "zen" feeling came back and of course, the single track petered out just then into double track road. Oh well! Chalk it up to not eating enough on the bike, (or at all, really) and not sleeping enough the night before which had followed a day of single speeding. But if you are going to have an adventure, there has to be something out of sorts, right?
<===A sampling of some huge graffiti. These letters were 20 feet high off the ground to their tops.
Coming back on the double track, we saw the coyote we heard about from Miker earlier. It saw us, of course, right away and ditched off the trail to the river side and skirted us down along the waters edge for a stealthy escape. That was a pretty cool deal though. A coyote right in the heart of suburbia!
<===The trails back to the car were much like this near the end of the ride.
We were all grinding away, chatting and cruising along for the last miles not wanting to stop. Captain Bob said later that the last five miles were pure torture, since he was starting to bonk. I was getting really hungry myself. You'll notice that we didn't stop for lunch, and it was nearing 2 pm.!
The last stretch was up an incline and I put my legs into "auto cruise" mode and spun up. I still felt good, I just needed to eat something.........soon!
<===Sibley House is a grouping of stone structures dating from the late 1800's in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Our ride started and stopped just beyond here in a parking lot.
The last bit of the ride was cool because we didn't see it in the pre-dawn darkness going out. So even though we'd "been there", we hadn't really "done that", so it was nice to see those sights.
Up around a corner and a gentle downhill to the parking lot where it all began hours before. We had gone something like 40-45 miles, seen various wild life forms, had a woodsie breakfast, hung out with some really cool folks, and rode our bikes on pavement, gravel, dirt roads, single track, and sand. We even got rained on and crossed a creek on a primitive ferry. How often does all that happen?
Well, I'll tell you, not very dang often! It was a very special day, and a ton of fun!
<=== And now, a few words about our vehicle of choice, the Salsa Cycles Fargo!
Well, I must say first that no other bicycle in recent memory has stirred such passion, interest, and controversy as this bike. For some, it is an answer to a conundrum faced for years, for some it is a revelation of "epic" proportions, and for some, it is a missed shot across the bow. Whatever it is for you, here is my take on what the Fargo is.
It is a fun machine. It is a ticket to places and experiences that maybe other bikes could manage, but the Fargo is made for. It does loads, it does roads, it does dirt, sand, and gravel. It can change direction in a catlike manner, yet it can ride like a magic carpet with a load on. Maybe it looks awkward, or gangly to some, but get beyond the looks and you can ride an adventure bike that can take you places and do things better than any other 29"er, (for sure) and better than most any other rig I know of that is mass produced.
Dollar for dollar this Fargo will "out-fun" any other bike I have hands down. That's been proven to me, and I'm betting it will be proven out for a lot of folks. Maybe they should have named this bike the "Fun-go".......nah! To close to fungi, I suppose!
Anyway, the Fargo. Fun on two wheels. go anywhere, smile!
Special Thanks: Brent and Ryan of Twin Six, Jason Boucher, Mike "Kid" Reimer, Joe Meiser, Bobby, David, Steve, and the rest of the Salsa Cycles Crew, (If I forgot your name, insert it here!_______) Quality Bicycle Products, Captain Bob, Our Lovely Wives! Thanks God!