London to Nokomis

The last time I wrote in this blog, I was in a folding bike race in London, certain that my heart was beating faster than my wheels were spinning. My pace and place have changed. I’m still touring on the same folding bike, but it’s now on slow rides in the beautiful cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They keep winning awards or getting noticed for how many people cycle here, despite winters where a high temperature of freezing feels pretty good.

Since it’s summer, the temperatures are up, and more people are out. I’m going to describe one of my favorite bike routes here, which goes to and around Lake Nakomis. You can click any icon on the map to see where the pictures in this post come from.

I’ve met many people who say they like being around water, but I’ve met very few who say they don’t like being around water. That says that most people like being around water, and that’s why I like cycling to and around Lake Nokomis, and many other places in the Twin Cities. The map shows how this route has lots of water.

I didn’t take many pictures at first because the ride was t20160608_185133 shoreoo good to stop. I had to soak it in. After riding for a while, I rested a while, on the shore of Lake Nokomis. Then, the urge to capture the place in a picture came back. it’s a simple shot, but it shows the relaxing action.

Some cyclists like speed, especially young men. I like to stop, for pictures, treats, and for the surprises that usually come up—more on that soon.

I had to stop and watch this kid fish for a while. Since I lived in London for 7 20160608_190312-boy-boatsyears, this is the first time I’ve seen summer return to Minnesota for a while. Something is different about watching a kid fish here, maybe because I was him once. It was a relaxing moment, even better when the sailboat glided by.

I mentioned that surprises show up on cycle rides. Here’s the first, which also involved a chance for some treats. I’ve always liked the simple music coming 20160608_190521-musicfrom one singer and a guitar. One great part of cycling is finding fun routes or places to share with people later, so I’m looking forward to stopping by this place with family and friends–from the US & UK.

Just when I thought the surprises were over, I heard a single drum. Fortunately, it was in front of me. A moment later, I saw dancers in the distance. Folks from the UK or other places may have wondered where aboout the name “Lake Nokomis.” It’s native American, which might be why these dancers chose this spot.

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And sometimes, a simple sign shows something slightly surprising. I like an official sign that tries to have some fun, like the white one in this picture.

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At the start of this post, I mentioned treats. After a few miles 20160608_192951-treats-rotate2of cylcing, few things are better than DQ ice cream, although there’s many fun spots for treats on this and other routes. Ths picture also shows the NiceRide bikes that anyone can rent.

 

 

I returned on the same trail that took me to Lake Nokomis. When I take this route again, I may spend more time at a bench like the one here, reading or writing. There’s a small stream in front of the bench, which is hard to see in this picture.

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The trip finished by passing over something larger than a small stream, the Mississippi River. In London, I enjoyed looking at the Thames, especially with when lights from Big Ben or the London Eye reflect off the river. But the Mighty Miss will always be my favorite. The path I took continues along the Mississippi, on the right of this picture.

 
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I’ve mentiond London more than I expected to. I guess the place left more of impression than I thought, since I was there for 7 years. That reminds me of a wonderful quote from the 1990s TV show Northern Exposure.

It’s the coming back, the return which gives meaning to the going forth. We really don’t know where we’ve been until we’ve come back to where we were. Only, where we were may not be as it was because of who we’ve become. Which is, after all, why we left.

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