Decided to ride back to the point where Leif rescued me so that there are no breaks in my route. My actual distance was more like 50 miles than the 24 stated above.
Leif and Marcia live in the southwestern portion of Minneapolis near the lakes. It is a very nice part of town. I head out and do a lap around just about every lake. Got confused a few times and found myself retracing my steps. Nearly all the lake frontage is public space with trails and beaches. The trails are well laid out with a separate lane for pedestrians in many cases. Trails around the southern lakes were recently repaved and are smooth while the trails to the North are weathered and in need of repair. I stop at a cycle shop that carries recumbent bicycles and get a kickstand, rearview mirror, and another rear blinker. The kickstand had to be cut to length with a bolt cutter.
I head north then east through more green space, pass under Interstate 94 and find a new paved trail along the Mississippi, through a bit of construction, and then back on to West River Road. Ride through Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park back to Crawdaddy's parking lot. Snap in the cyclocomputer and begin accumulating miles officially. Turn around to head back. West River Road, then the Upper Mississippi Parkway (can't remember the exact name). Instead of heading back the way I came I jump on to North Second Street and ride a mile or so through industrial land. No worse than Long Island City in Queens. Wander around downtown. So far Minneapolis is much like Milwaukee only there's more of it. The cities themselves are rather small, but the metro area is a huge amoeba of suburb after suburb. I think that's why I misjudged the distance yesterday. Ride down Nicollet Mall, which has restricted traffic access. Not many people on the sidewalks by New York standards. This is the land of ample parking. Pass by St. Mary's Basilica. "The oldest basilica in the United States." Well, there goes another myth. I had always thought that St. Josephat's in Milwaukee was the only basilica in the US. Catch a trail called the Cedar Lake Commuter something-or-other. It runs along a railroad right of way that is still in use. The land looks like it used to be a rail yard. A couple miles and I'm back to the lakes. This trail even has separate lanes for traffic in opposite directions. A divided highway for bikes.
I arranged for a case of Usinger's bratwurst to be sent to Leif and Marcia's and they have corn on the cob. A little bit of Wisconsin in Minnesota for dinner.