Friday, October 17, 2008

West River Road

Since we're talking about biking, I took a pre-planned jaunt with my wife, today. The West River Road under the 35W bridge is finally opened. We knew that it was more hilly than we prefer, but wanted to make the run at least once before the season is over.

We started our normal path, a shot down Minnehaha West, across Snelling, and a left (south) on Aldine. Now its across the pedestrian bridge and a few more blocks to Marshall. Once on Marshall it is a 'no hander' down the monster hill to the river bridge, changing to Lake Street once you are across. All that is left is a sharp right down to the river road, and then along the River we ride.

It was up and down, but not too bad. Beautiful fall colors and the river to our right. It all seemed serene until we went under 94 then the Washington Avenue Bridge. In the distance we see green. and I don't me green grass but green what turned out to be beams of iron, and we knew what is was. The remnants of the 35W bridge, lined up like an old green 'Erector Set', twisted, turned and numbered for the investigators. We stopped and stared at the twisted metal, knowing it once was a major arterial connection to the big city, and there it was, an organized scrap heap waiting to be moved.

We shoved off and could see int he distance the new bridge. A slow climb up under the 10th Street bridge brought us directly under the new, bright white, 35 W wonder. What a beut. A clean, elegant addition to attempt to erase a scare on our city. We slowly peddled under the bridge, watching workers still tweaking their masterpiece. I'm glad we made the effort.

We continued our ride to the stone arch bridge and connected back to our normal loop, up to 5th, through Dinkytown, around the new Gopher Stadium and hooking up with the U of M Transitway. We connect with Energy Park drive at Raymond, go under Snelling and weasel our way to the Hamline pedestrian bridge before gliding back up to Minnehaha, just a half block from home.

Just under 15 miles, on a beautiful Fall afternoon, with a side of history to go along with it.


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