Hitting the road on a bike

The best way to enjoy the world

Biking to the banks of the Mississippi, the Sports Editor’s favorite spring.

With the cold getting ready to finally break in the next couple weeks, hopefully that means all the snow is going away. And that can’t happen soon enough.

That is because after the snow goes away, it becomes the time to do the best physical activity to keep the mind clear — biking.

Now, let’s get this out of the way: in terms of best for physical health, biking is high up on the list, but not at the top. Swimming, being low impact and involving all parts of the body, is better, but there is one caveat. There is always a slight fear of drowning, though that could be just another bit for the adrenaline rush.

Biking meanwhile, burns a bunch of calories and is not much more impactful on the joints than swimming, and it doesn’t come with the fear of drowning.

But the best thing about biking though is there is a sense of adventure. When swimming, you get stuck in a pool or just surrounded by a lot of water. Running can have some adventure, but there is a tight limit on how much ground you can cover, and the same is true with hiking.

On a bike, however, it is pretty easy to cover ground quickly. Within an hour, it is possible to be over 20 miles away from your starting spot if you are fast enough. Reasonably, you can cover 12 to 15 miles in that time.

But that is on the road. Getting off road is where the fun begins. A quick disclaimer: heading off road isn’t easy. Make sure to wear a helmet and remember to try to roll through the crash when flipped over the handlebars.

But the rewards can easily outweigh the risks. Finding a nice trail into the woods offers sanctuary for the busy mind, a full escape from the everyday.

And it offers a chance to take in some beautiful vistas. Personally, my favorite spot is back home in Baxter, Minnesota. There, there is a park that runs along the Mississippi River that sits on an old homestead. Tucked a couple miles into the woods, the trail runs down to the river. A canoe landing is where the trail heads, and when the river is low, you can walk down right next to the river. It isn’t a bad view.

The trail itself is a bit rough because the city decided to put down wood chips to mark the trail. Not the best biking surface. At least the unofficial trails remained untouched, and the old homestead driveway is still pretty packed down for some fast speed.

The great escapes are not just for those heading off road. In fact, the trail system here in Fargo offers a mild escape. The top route to take would be the Fargo Mickelson/ Trihorn Path that winds along the banks of the Red River.

So, once the snow melts, get out and enjoy the fresh air on a bike, if it ever melts.

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