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Showing posts from April, 2020

Day Ride: North/NW Twin Cities Loop with Wildlife and Hiking Stops along the way

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123 Miles, 3 hours without traffic Click here for the map:   North Northwest Scenic Route with Stops

Minneapolis - Brooklyn Park - Champlin River Road - Dayton - Elk River - Big Lake - Sand Dunes State Forest - Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge - Nowthen - Anoka - Rum River Road - back to Minneapolis

This route has scenic roads with a lot of corners and great walking/hiking/overlook stops along the way. Roads in the State Forest and National Refuge may be gravel. Dayton River Road, out of Champlin, is due for construction work in Summer 2020 - check for updates.


Minneapolis 94W to 252N
Left 85th Ave N
Right on Noble Parkway N  - in a few miles, this turns into W River Road
In Champlin, cross over/go straight across Highway 169 - turns into Dean Avenue (residential)

Take a Right on Cartway Road (still residential)
Left on Dayton Road/Dayton River Road at the 4 way stop  *Pay attention to the posted speed limits along this road!*

A nice pull off is North River Park, there's a short…

East Metro/WI: Scenic Ride with Quirky Photo Ops, Good Food, and Biker Hangouts

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Scenic Tour with Quirky Photo Ops, Good Food, and Biker Hangouts   130 Miles, 4 hours with stops
Click here for the route details and step by step turns

 Minneapolis - Rosemount - Hampton (2 quirky places worth the stop along the way)- Miesville (Kings Burger Place, anyone?) - Welch Village - Hager Heights, WI - Nauti Hawg @ Diamond Bluff, WI - No Name Saloon/Monkey Bar @ Prescott, WI - and back to Minneapolis


Minneapolis - Hampton *2 stops  off of County Rd 50 in Hampton:
1- Wat Munisotaram - Be respectful, knees, shoulders, and elbows must be covered. Remove shoes when walking in any structures, including the open air platform with the Buddha's on the upper level of the driveway. People live on site and their culture respects calm, tranquility, and peace. Please also be respectful by turning off your music as you enter the driveway, by NOT revving your pipes, and by presenting yourself in a calm, peaceful manner.   https://religionsmn.carleton.edu/exhibits/show/wattmunisotaram/in…

The Dam Saloon, WI - Well worth the stop at Lock & Dam #5

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The Dam Saloon    Click Here to see the Dam Saloon  - Well worth the stop at Lock and Dam #5 just outside of Fountain City, Wisconsin

Located at the base of Lock and Dam #5, there is a 'bar' called the Dam Saloon. There is no sign on the roadway - the entrance into the place is a steep, gravel driveway, littered with huge potholes with no advance warning. There may or may not be an old wooden sign, mostly faded.. and likely on the ground, not on a post for anyone to see from the roadway.





      After parking in the gravel lot, you walk over the two sets of train tracks and you will see a barge on the water. 
You will wonder what all of the stuff just in front of the barge is... the stuff you notice that you have to walk across.. or thru? Or over? To get to said bar...
Ahead, there are some rickety, teetering, steel planks, some tied together, some with wood in between, none level, and none REALLY secured to anything specific. Yes, you have to walk across the gangplank - aka all …

Route Planning Tools - My Go To Sources!

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I don't think of myself as a collector.. I dislike clutter. But when I go to pull out my map bin for ideas on where to ride.. I realize that I AM a collector. Of Maps. Not only that, I may fall under the 'she has issues' category based on how many maps I own. I am a visual person. While I don't like to plan every step of a trip, I like to look up my destination and find cool roads to explore in that area. It's never concrete, and if I miss a turn, it never fails to lead me to another awesome road.  Here are some of my favorites - my GO TO sources when I want to find cool, twisty roads, or fun destinations.

#1 - Butler Maps. Hands down my FAVORITE map ever. I happened upon my first Butler Map years ago at the little store on the Pig Trail in Arkansas. I have been hooked ever since. Their moto is 'Dream. Plan. Ride'. They are specifically tailored to motorcycle routes - not only that, they are color coded. Butler Maps website describes G1 Roads (yellow) road…

The 2nd time I tipped my bike over...clay-like mud, 5" of rain, and a 1/2 mile long driveway

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Tip Over #2 happened at around 80,000 miles. Pretty solid track record of remaining upright considering the length of time and mileage in between!   I was on my Victory Cross Roads in the middle of BFE Texas. It was April. Our destination (a friend of a friend’s house) was in the countryside of Texas, with tons of acreage on either side of the mobile home. While it is likely an amazing view in nice weather, in storms, it just offered better insight of the beating that was about to occur. 
So as the clouds turned darker and darker, and as the wind picked up faster and faster, we were all moving our bikes under whatever cover we could find, which included a mini-shed, and a lean-to on the side of a horse barn. Good enough! With sirens blaring, our phone alerts going off like crazy, it was obvious we weren’t going to have a campfire. Amid tornado warnings, high winds, and blaring alerts, we all hunkered down inside the house, cranked the tunes, cracked a beverage, and busted out the blow…

Free Virtual Entertainment this week - Trivia, Comedy, Mic Night and more!

Free events happening this week! Times are Central Time Zone

I don't know about you, but I am starting to go seriously stir crazy in week ?? of Stay at Home orders. I have lost track of time. I forget to do basic things like comb my hair. I stare out the windows hoping for someone to walk or drive by, just for something new to glance at. I check the mail like 3 times a day, yet I watch the mail person arrive daily. Just tryin to get those steps in!! The ones I usually get going to people's homes, or heck, even walking to the printer at work is more steps that I am getting these days. #ThingsToWorkOn  Zoom Happy Hours are AWESOME!  But it's good to switch things up from time to time - so here are some other ideas!!  I've done the work, but you are on your own to figure out what day it is and when the events happen in relation to today - lol!


Free Virtual Trivia  Saturday 4/18 @7pm & Wednesdays @ 7pm 
https://www.facebook.com/events/352925642299463/?event_time_id=352925…

The first time I tipped over on my motorcycle...

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Remember when you first started learning how to ride a bike? It’s a struggle to keep your balance and if you start to tip over your first instinct is to jump off the bike, hands first, planting your wrists against the ground with force, while your skin is soaking up the gravel, one tiny pebble at a time... and then you run crying the whole way home? Well, when you’re on a motorcycle do NOT do that. Nothing will go well if you try to jump off a 700-pound metal beast with flammable liquids between your legs and think that you’re going to be able superman your body farther than your bike will land. You can’t fly. Your bike can. You won’t win. The best thing to do is opposite of what your instinct might be – when you start to tip over, think of the bus lady yelling the rules at you on the first day of school. “Keep your hands and legs IN the bus (aka on the handlebars and foot pegs) while in motion”. And motion includes that of tipping over. At least on my Suzuki and my Victory, the bike …

Motorcycle Tires - What to look for and how to get the most life out of those two wheels

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Tires - two of the most important safety components of a motorcycle, yet so little thought goes into them until it is too late. Tires provide balance, traction, resistance, absorb the road bumps, and potholes. Tires can help or hinder one's riding abilities. Tire types are personal preference - based on how you ride, what kind of weather and roads you typically ride, and (obviously) what type of motorcycle you have.


Tube vs Tubeless
Tubed tires generally come with a spoke wheel, which allows the bike to better absorb road/terrain impact. So when you hit that ginormous pothole while going down the road, the spoked rim disperses the impact around the rim evenly, lessening the chance of bending or cracking the rim. Tubed tires are cheaper to repair if punctured, since the whole tire doesn't need to be replaced, only the tube. On tubed tires, the valve stem is part of the inner tube.  On tubeless tires, the valve stem is mounted right to the rim - but is not part of the tire or ri…

My Top 3 Motorcycle Accessories - especially for long distance rides

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There are certain things that have made long rides 'easier' in some way - here are a few of my go-to's!
              (*I am not paid, nor asked, to advertise these things. I legit love them and have them on my bike)



X Phone Mount by RAM- The key piece to this setup is those little black rubber knobs - turns out they hold the phone in place. And without them, well, the phone takes flight.  And sometimes it flies in the path of an on coming semi. #DidntMakeIt
 I don't have the black webbing to loop over the phone, but it would be helpful! Instead I use a hair tie on rough road-ing days!!


https://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-B-149Z-A-UN10U


Cup holder.. Let me start off by saying I mocked people who had these.... until I got one. It's big, its not super attractive, but when it's 90 degrees and the sun is beating down on you as you ride your black bike along the black pavement... a cup holder is hands down worth it!!!  It's self leveling - I recently tested it, on …