Tag Archives: Penn Cycle

Minnesota River bottoms, Bloomington’s natural trail network

John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

It was the summer of 1849, the first Bloomington Ferry began operations next to the Minnesota River bottoms. It carried people from the Bloomington shores to Shakopee. Exactly 40 years later, the first Bloomington Ferry Bridge was opened. Following that, versions of that bridge carried people, carriages, and motorists across the river for over 100 years. The current pedestrian bridge is a beautiful arch, spanning the Minnesota River and connecting Bloomington to the Highway 101 trail to Shakopee. The Bridge is also the starting point for The Minnesota River Bottoms trail. The River Bottoms are some of the metro areas last natural trails, popular for mountain biking, hiking, fishing and bird watching.

Minnesota River Bottoms

Bikes on the Bloomington Ferry Bridge, near the trailhead of the Minnesota River Bottoms

What are the Minnesota river bottoms

The Minnesota River bottoms are worn in by the riders, hikers, and runners who frequent them

The “River Bottoms” to locals, is a trail network stretching from the southwest corner of Bloomington, all the way to the trails of Fort Snelling State Park. These trails are worn in by the riders and runners who frequent them. While under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, they are not maintained by any government entity. Due to the fact that the “River Bottoms” aren’t maintained by any organization, the trails often take on a “path of least resistance” or direction. It is not uncommon for new trails to spring up after heavy rains and high river flooding. While riding, expect exclusively dirt trails with some log crossings, sand sections, and occasional overgrowth. Warning, pay particular attention for the Urtica Dioica plants, or stinging nettles, growing on infrequently used trails from June through August.

Wildlife of the Minnesota River Bottoms

Bikers, birdwatchers and hikers can enjoy the wildlife sightings along the banks of the Minnesota River.

Bikers, birdwatchers, and hikers can enjoy the wildlife sightings along the banks of the Minnesota River.

The River Bottoms are great for all types of recreation. It’s not uncommon to see hikers, bird watchers and people fishing along the banks of the Minnesota River. I have enjoyed sharing with my son the sights of Bald eagles and Beavers who make the watershed their home. Additionally, being a natural area, the River Bottoms are home to countless animals.

What to expect

There are a few popular entrances to the River Bottom trail, Lyndale Ave, Crest Ave, and Old Cedar Ave. These entrances offer ample parking and a clear trailhead. Once you start down the trail you will see that nothing is paved but worn-in enough to be firm under your tires. While a mountain bike is best for these trails, wider tires on Hybrids and adventure bikes navigate well. If you need to cross a stream, there are bridges or a ferry (at 9-mile creek) to get you around. Because the River Bottoms are so smooth, they are an ideal place to take kids mountain biking.

The Minnesota River bottoms are worn in by the riders, hikers, and runners who frequent them

You will find runners who frequent the natural settings of the Minnesota River bottoms

When to ride

Spring, summer, winter or fall the Minnesota River bottoms is a natural haven for cyclists

The best part of the River Bottoms is that it is one of the first places to dry out each spring. It is also one of the first places to freeze when winter rolls through. Avoid this trail in early spring as the trails thaw and after a strong rain. Other than that, these trails are sandy enough to drain quickly. One of the best things about the river bottoms is riding fat bikes. There in the winter, in fact, fat bikes can trace their development directly to the river bottom. When the snow falls, the river bottoms are the perfect mixture of flat trail, bermed turns, and accessibility to create a near-perfect winter track.

We in the twin cities are lucky to have a place like the river bottoms to ride. The fact that it is left free to change and natural is unique in a metro area. To that point, there are user groups that are working against the eventual possibility of developing the river bottom area. Whatever your opinion is on development, get into the wilds of the River Bottoms and enjoy this local treasure.

Put more smiles on children's faces by volunteering with Free Bikes 4 Kidz to clean, prep, or wrench some of the 5,000 bicycles collected this last month.

Help more kids smile by volunteering to prepare all the bikes donated

In the Twin Cities, help the Free Bikes 4 Kidz (FB4K) program in their 12th year. Volunteer to help put more smiles on children’s faces. Donate your time to help clean, prep, or wrench some of the 7,000 plus bicycles collected this year. Back in Bloomington, MN, FB4K is busy preparing all the bikes donated to prepare for their distribution drive before the holidays. For the 2019 season, the old Toys R Us building at 7839 Southtown Center, is a fitting location and easy for volunteers to get to. A convenient site so the distribution of bikes can begin in November, please consider helping.

Help Free Bikes 4 Kidz put more smile on kids faces

Free Bikes for Kids helps kid's smile with the 2016 season Bike Collection Day, on Saturday, October 8th, Donate your bikes to help more kids.

FB4K helps kids smile with their annual Bike Collection Day, a few weeks ago

Now through Wednesday, November 30, several daily shifts are available to volunteer at. If you have extra time, please use the FB4K’s registration system to sign up for a shift you are willing to help out at. They need volunteers of all skill levels to clean and fix bicycles, no experience necessary!  Volunteer on your own or line up a large group. FB4K will be open seven days a week to fit your schedule.

If you have any questions, reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Laurie Toll, laurie@fb4k.org.

Have some fun, help clean and wrench some bikes

Put a smile on many kid’s faces by signing up early and often to help clean and wrench on some bicycles. Head to fb4k.org and register for your shift today!

freeBy volunteering today to help clean some bikes for FB4K's will help create some fond memories for you and future memories for children who receive them. bikes4kids-4

Create some fond memories for yourself and for the children who receive them.

Sign up today as a volunteer and find out more about these added benefits.

Volunteering and putting a wrench to a few bikes will create more smiles.

By volunteering and cleaning or wrenching some bikes will create a smile on your face and the kids who get them.

The Generous Sponsors of FB4K

Though the generosity of key partners like Allina Health, QBP, Penn Cycle, Park Tool, and Nice Ride MN, FB4K has gone far. However, they still need your support in building the foundation and to help every kid ride into a more memorable childhood. Why volunteer, why not?

So do your part making kids smile, volunteer today at http://fb4k.org/.

About Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Free Bikes 4 Kidz is a non-profit organization geared toward helping all kids ride into a happier, healthier childhood by providing free bikes to those most in need. When the public donates gently used bikes, FB4K organizes thousands of volunteers to clean and refurbish them, and then they give them away to kids in need. They started in 2008, fixing and giving away 300 bikes and in 2014 they reached the goal of 5,000 bikes. In the last seven years over 25,000 bikes have rolled through the FB4B’s giveaways and their sights in the future are set on other locations throughout the U.S. and the world. See more at http://fb4k.com/about/

Bike Pic Oct 19, the weather is warming for another fun fall day to ride!

A bike pic to remember! This photo was taken earlier at one of the meets of the Minnesota High School Cycling League, as teams prepare for the all-team finals at Mt. Kato, October 26 – 27. Mankato, MN.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘fall’ Bike Pic  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun visiting we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), or who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile-friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pictures with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with an HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

Bike Pic Oct 12, snowy mountain bike fun in the bold north

This bike pic Saturday, with snowy weather accumulating in northern Minnesota, get your gear lined up as the winter elements make the trails more fun.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our Bike Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile-friendly as we enter into our 11th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pictures with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with an HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

As the far north section of Minnesota gets its first measurable snowfall. In this bike pic, here in Bloomington MN, the roads are still a little wet, but doable for wheelie Wednesday.

Bike Pic Oct 09, wheelie Wednesday may help you into your sweet spot

With snowy weather predicted in some parts of the upper Midwest, in the next couple of days, take a chance as this bike pic shows. This photo was taken. in the past, in Bloomington MN.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Wheelie Wednesday’ Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile-friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pictures with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with an HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

This Wheelie Wednesday, Bike Pic June 20th and the last day of spring, take a chance! If life were a mountain bike trail a wheelie could help smooth out your day-to-day ride. Also, are you ready to rumble for Penn Cycle’s Thursday Night Mountain Bike Races, at Buck Hill in Burnsville, MN, tomorrow night? 

Bike Pic July 17, Wheelie Wednesday into your sweet spot

This Wednesday bike pic – if life were a mountain bike trail and a wheelie or Bunny Hop helped smooth out your day-to-day ride or helped drop you into your sweet spot, why not review the following tips to make your week an adrenaline high?

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Wheelie Wednesday’ Bike Pic  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a publisher of bike guides. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Smooth Out Your Day-to-Day Ride with Bunny Hop Monday, and:

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

This Bike Pic Tuesday, digging through the archives, we caught this young biker dude at Buckhill, in Burnsville MN ready to hit the trails running across the slopes.  

Bike Pic Feb 19, fond summer memories mountain biking Buckhill

This Bike Pic Tuesday, digging through the archives, we caught this young biker dude at Buckhill Ski Area, in Burnsville MN ready to hit the trails running across the slopes.

What better way to continue your fun, then finding your #NextBikeAdventure when the weather warms. See all the great ideas and bike destinations in the 2019 Bike/Hike Winter Planning Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Tuesday’ Bike Pic’  

Now rolling into our 12th year as a bike media, our goal is to encourage more people to have fun. In this expanded e-guide issue, we have added more free bike maps to review for planning your next adventure.

As we continue to showcase more destinations you can explore, we are all about capturing fun photos to capture those memories. Hopefully, some worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post at HaveFunBiking (HFB)? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Please include a brief caption (for each), who is in the photo (if you know?) and where you shot the picture. Your photo submitted should be at a medium resolution or more, for consideration. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit at HaveFunBiking and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure. Here you will find all the information you will need when visiting one of our Community Map Partners, accessible on your mobile-friendly devices.

Watch for our spring print guides in April.

As 30-Days of Biking progresses in April, the spring 2019 Bike/Hike Guides will be available in both print and digital format. So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure.

Please share all our pic’s with your friends and us on our Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to smile; we may be around the next corner with our HFB camera, ready to capture you for the next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable New Year!

Do you have a bike or two taking up space and collecting dust? Is so, consider donating them to Free Bikes for Kids (FB4K) for their annual drive to help kids smile.

Help a kid smile, donate any old bikes you have this Saturday

Do you have a bike or two collecting dust, taking up space and no longer needed? If so, consider donating them to Free Bikes 4 Kids (FB4K) for their 11th annual drive, putting more smiles on kids faces. For those who have already donated extra bikes laying around, you can still help by volunteering to get the bikes ready. Their goal this year is to collect more than 10,000 bikes to hand out, can you help?

FB4K helps kids smile by donating your bike

Free Bikes for Kids help kids smile with the 2016 season Bike Collection Day, on Saturday, October 8th, Donate your bikes to help more kids.

FB4K is on a mission to see 10,000, plus smiles from all the bikes they will collect this Saturday.

The kick-off to the 2018 Bike Collection Day is on Saturday, October 6th. To make this year a success they need both your old bike(s) and help to get the bikes ready.

Helping FB4K’s put more smiles on kids faces is pedaling philanthropy

Don’t have a bike to donate? Join them at their warehouse, in Brooklyn Center, over the next two months. Sign-up for a shift or two, at a time that works with your schedule. Just open this volunteer link and answer a few questions so you can help with the 10,000 plus bikes that will be dropped off and moved to their warehouse this Saturday. Come on your own or bring your crew when you volunteer. Sign-up today to secure your spot. The more, the merrier!

Free Bikes for Kids helps kids smile so please help by volunteering to clean or wrench on some bikes if you can't help with bike donation.

Join the fun, help clean or wrench on some of the used bikes like these guys.

The warehouse, at 5930 Earle Brown Drive in Brooklyn Center, is where volunteers will clean, refurbish and give a final quality control check to each bike donated. Be a cleaner, an organizer, or a mechanic for a shift or two or more. Volunteer on your own or line up a large group. FB4K will be open seven days a week, so get involved today. Email Riely the Volunteer Coordinator, at riley@fb4k.org  he can help schedule your group.

About Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Free Bikes 4 Kidz is a non-profit organization geared toward helping all kids ride into a happier, healthier childhood by providing bikes to those most in need. The public donates gently used bikes. Then, they organize thousands of volunteers to clean and refurbish them before they give them away to kids in need. So really, FB4K helps kids smile.

In 2008 they gave away 300 bikes and last year there were over 9,316 bicycles collected and given out to children in December. In the last 10 years over 50,000 bikes have rolled through their giveaways. That is a lot of smiles on kids faces!

Though the generous help of key partners like Allina Health, QBP, Penn Cycle, Park Tool, Nice Ride MN, and others, FB4K has gone far. But they still need your support in building the foundation and to help every kid ride into a more memorable childhood.

Do your part making kids smile, see more at  FB4K.org/

In this Bike pic mountain biking out ahead of mom at Penn Cycle's Thursday Night at the Races, on Buck Hill. Photo taken near Lakeville, MN.

Bike Pic Aug 18, mountain biking out ahead of mom

In this Bike pic mountain biking out ahead of mom at Penn Cycle‘s Thursday Night at the Races, on Buck Hill. Photo taken near Lakeville, MN.

Find many more mountain biking friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking. 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike. While showcasing all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. And don’t forget to smile, while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next photos that we post daily.

Have a great day!

This Wheelie Wednesday, Bike Pic June 20th and the last day of spring, take a chance! If life were a mountain bike trail a wheelie could help smooth out your day-to-day ride. Also, are you ready to rumble for Penn Cycle’s Thursday Night Mountain Bike Races, at Buck Hill in Burnsville, MN, tomorrow night? 

Bike Pic June 20, wheelie Wednesday may help you into your sweet spot

This Wheelie Wednesday, Bike Pic June 20th and the last day of spring, take a chance! If life were a mountain bike trail a wheelie could help smooth out your day-to-day ride. Also, are you ready to rumble for Penn Cycle’s Thursday Night Mountain Bike Races, at Buck Hill in Burnsville, MN, tomorrow night?

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Wheelie Wednesday’ Bike Pic  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!