Monday, February 11, 2008

The view from the top

If you've never been to Duluth you are really missing out. I am reminded of the awe inspiring beauty of this city each time I come home from the south heading north into the city on I35. You crest the hill and are presented with a wide open shot of the whole lake and river side of the city. It really is amazing and makes me love this living here, even though most of the time it's quite nice, unlike today, -20 some odd degrees this morning. Anyhow, this Saturday it was one of the nicer days, 18 above and cloudy which helped keep the warmth around. Saturday I decided today was the day I was going to go ride 7 Bridges Road. I've never been down the road on bike and never been on the road in the winter. I wasn't sure if one could pass the whole length or if any bridges were out completely for repair (they are old stone bridges and some if not all have been repaired, not sure the progress). Anyhow, I figured I would ride up the 3 or so miles, and then back down. If you don't know, 7 bridges road leads from the edge of the lake straight up to what's called Hawks Ridge because of the path migrating hawks take directly over this area every year. I don't know the elevation gain, a few hundred feet probably. Anyhow, I planned on taking an hour, 45 min up and 15 down. I left @ 9:45 and got to the top 45 min later and stayed to have a small snack and take a few pictures. I then headed down.
The trail is on a road that is closed in the winter and used for cross country skiers and snowmobiles and there was one other bike track but mostly people walking about with their dogs. The ride up was pretty calm, average speed probably around 6-8 mph. Once I headed down though, the fun began. I had speeds of over 25, close to 30 on snow pack, sliding around near 90 degree corners, back wheel out 90 degrees, steering with the front and sliding with the inside foot. It was intense. The amount of "out of control" feeling was really scary at times, the front wheel would grab a rut and I would feel like I was going to loose it.
Overall, it was super fun and I intend to ride that more and more as the temps cooperate. I also chatted with quite a few people on the trail wondering what in the world I was doing out there on a bike. Anyhow, here are a few pictures from Hawks Ridge.


(Click for larger image)

No comments: