Monday, April 3, 2017

Bike trip with kids to Mankato

Another trip with my girls DONE. 3 days . About 150 miles. Sun, rain, wind... we got all of this.. Because we are in Minnesota).
 This is like a tradition already - to spent fall, winter, spring and summer breaks at Nadia's school at the bike trip.
I am not person who can buy ticket to the Florida or Mexico and be at the beach all day .. It is boring to ME ( but I still dreaming on day to come to the ocean to swim )  .. I love challenges, new places and traveling.. That is why I love bike trips. And I want to teach my girls that style.. Probably, when they grow up and will make their own choice what to do, may be they will not keep going to do this.. Who knows!?  But they will have experience.
Anyways.. I  planning to go somewhere during the spring break. But I don't have any ideas, routes where we will go... till the  day of the start. I just look at the map and choose course on the  south of Minnesota to Mankato. Why Mankato ? I have no answer.. just because I do not know good that area ...
New thing in that time was our start from home. Regular Dan bring us for the city boarder .. And this time I wanted to make start from home  with all stuff on the bikes. I do not want to be during the work week( for Dan ) so far away from city ... If something will happened he do not need to skip job ... and after work can  pick up us. When you have 2 kids at your trip anything could happen.
Regular I make "list with stuff" which I have to take with.
Because it is hard to keep in the mind all camping stuff, all for bikes and all for girls and me..
Every time it is much easier to do. But I always have EXTRA stuff...
One day I will made post what I take with for trips.
2 winter sleeping bags, tent for 3 person,3 sleeping pads, cooking stuff, some emergency food + food for Yeva and snacks (most food I buy at the stop - impossible put this all on 1 bike), clothes, medicine, a lot of devices (21 century!!!) .... clothes for different weather for 3 of us....

DAY #1
 So we started in the morning and used mostly bike trails to go out of the city. I was surprised HOW MANY bike trails in each city around Minneapolis ( this is amazing!)..  And sometimes we rode on the gravel in the  city!! My bike was full of stuff + trailer with Yeva and stuff in it ... What is not easy... Especially  first 15 miles... Your speed is slow (about 10 miles per hour) ..
 After Eden Prairie we came at the big road with traffic where I do not want to ride with kids and I had to made decision to take some private road near river which  had our course. I am not big fun to do that , but it was safety way. On that beautiful road we met one guy on the car and asked  him "could we go?" He let us to do this.
 private road

 We came to the Shakopee. I love this town.... because so many small things reminded you about native American .

 Finally we got gravel ... farms ... all what my soul love.
 We had some homemade lunch on the side of the road. Weather on the first day was so beautiful!
I used Garmin and just took roads what I liked which had course to the Mankato... It was so funny do not have any plans, routes, plans for night place... Just keep going...
 We had such a good elevation gain in the 1st day (about 2000 ft) and my legs was like a peace of wood. Nadia amazed me - rode non-stop , took all hills pretty easy... Never said "I am tired"... During this trip I believe more and more, that she could to do Almanzo 100.
 Many small nice city was on our way Jordan- New Prague ... In Jordan we stopped at McDonals.
Yes, during the trips mostly we eat at that place or gas station. I do not like spent a lot of money during the trip and Nadia LOVE Mc. Donald's. 

 About 5 pm I started to look place for the night. But , as always, mostly it is private property . If it is not private - it is swam area (
I stopped at one farm house with huge peace of the land and asked woman about permit to put my tent for the nice. She let us to do it. I  saw that she is selling Maple syrup  and bought on big jar (kind of my payment for the night ) .
In that  day we rode 55 miles.
 When I made camp Nadia and Yeva had big fun. With Yeva in her 16 month old now much more better to traveling: she understand all what you say  for her, she can walk, she do not put in her mouth all stuff to try... And also Nadia help me a lot with her sister...
I bought small radio.. All my mountains trips we always had a radio... It is makes you trip more funny. And  we took  it with and it works nice . I love music at night in the tent.
 This trip I let Nadia to take her Ipad with... And before night 3 of us watched cartoon )
 I cooked dinner ( I bring some food for cook from home) , but mostly I try to buy for 1 day.. because too heavy take for all days..

 We had such a warm and dry night. But in the morning weather was much colder that day before.Bad call... Looks like we will get rain today.. 50 miles to Mankato.

DAY #2

I always use nature stuff to clean dishes .

 Another portion of gravel...One thing about riding with trailer on the gravel. You always have to control your direction and choose more smooth part of it. ... because gravel is not always perfect and  kid inside shakes. If I could choose trailer now - I will buy more expensive but with suspension.
 Nadia love to do her selfie )
 On our way we saw one farm with huge amount of sheep (what is not typical ) . We made stop, asked permit to see sheep . Such a nice owners. We talked about life.. farm.. I helped to feed sheep ( I love to do it)...

 At the end we got dozen of  farms eggs.. Not a good idea to take. But woman was so nice to us and I take.. We stopped at Waterville for the lunch. It was so cold and I need to charge my phone and Garmin. Nice gas station with food area inside. We ordered pizza (very nice service!!! )Spent 1+ hour... But we had 25 miles to go..
 When we leaved this city the rain finally was started,..Also we found BIKE TRAIL to the MANKATO!!! All 25 miles  Sakatah bike  trail! .. At the beginning rain was like a shower and  then harder and harder...
We where wet when we came in Mankato. McDonalds... and I had to make decision -where we will stay at night? Mankato SO  big city..and we had to go out of it..

  We came to the Eagle Lake... Rain started to be harder. And was so cold.. I surprised that Nadia do not say anything (strong girl)!
At the end of this small town I found farm house and asked permit to put tent. They  let us to do it. And HAPPINESS - warm sleeping bags, some food ( I do not cook nothing) and play together and  watched cartoon, and good night...

DAY #3
In the morning  all around were wet , but no rain anymore.
First 10 miles was on the soft, wet gravel and it was hard to me move my bike with trailer and all stuff.
We backed in Waterville and stoped at the same gas station where is everyone remember us. Another pizza... and time to go.
We kept going on the awesome bike trail . I feel more safety with kids at the bike trail. I do not trust drivers.
When I look at this picture  I do not believe that I can move it )))

In our plans where to ride one more day. But life and Yeva changed our plans...
The eggs, which we got from the farm , where at the back of the trailer. During the ride , my pretty silly girl found way to took|crush|and ate some eggs and made mess on my sleeping bag. So our plans had to be changes ? I made call to Dan and asked him to take us in that day after work... I do not thinking that sleep in so dirty sleeping bag was good idea.

silly girl with egg )
So in that day we made 40+ miles. And finished our trip at Faribault .
Little bit sadly that all done.. But I already have in my head another plans..
I am happy that my husband let me do all this trips.  

SO ... we made 150 miles.  I hope Nadia will keep  this in her mind in future like a good memories.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Lakeville race with kids

 The race L-M-L was the first race in the gravel season on my wish list in this year. But in the last moment the  life corrected my plans  (Dan got sickness) and I have to switched my plans and went with my girls to the short distance of the race (40 miles course).  And this will be good training lessons for Nadia (almost half distance from Almanzo 100 in our wish list on the May)
This race  90% gravel roads, about 2000 ft elevation gain.
This article less about race and more about how to ride long distance with your kids. What to take with?..

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gravel ride for my soul

 I am really tired from city... I'm so missing about my "Belorussian" style of ride. And today I decided to fixed it. I took Yeva, bike and trailer. I found on the gravel map (what a great map!) some place with gravel not far away from my house . Drove to the Elm Creek area, parked my car and just  going ahead.. Garmin 1000 ( what I got from Dan on the Christmas ) the best thing... You no need to worries  to making route  and keep in the mind where is your car...
I was surprised to get first road what is historical Downtown Maple Grove.
During the 27 miles of my ride I will few times see some historical places (I love it, I love history).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Actif Epica 2017 .

 Actif Epica 2017  was not in my plans. I had free entry for AE  which I won in the raffle at Arrowhead 135  few years ago. But could not to do last year (Yeva was too small to leave her without me)
But when my friends Thomas Woods( I met Thomas first time in 2013 during the Actif Epica race)  wrote at FB that he planning to go (2 weeks before the start ), I decided to ask him about carpool. And he said that he is OK about carpool. Next step find place to stay. I asked Doris Nelson  (me and Amy O. stayed at her house last visit) if it will be ok to stay at her house? And she was so nice to let do it for us . She was volunteer in this year

Monday, February 27, 2017

Night water butterflies . End of the season

Night water butterflies . The season #6 is over.
I really love this  meeting with my friends. The time which we spent together..

I love Cedar Lake

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Arrowhead 135 , 2017

Arrowhead  135 (AH)  have a  special place in my heart.
2017 it was my 4th try and 3rd finish.
Every AH never was easy.
2014 - DNF (batteries in my light was dead, I had cold night at my bivy and get frozen butt) report here
2015 - Diarrhea 2nd women finish . At the 1st check point I bought prune juice and rest of the race had terrible diarrhea )
2016 -  SuperMom  finish 3rd 7 weeks after Yeva was born with the stop at the check points for feeding baby and pumped my milk during the race (it was brutal race and I proud of myself) report here 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lake Minnetonka from the beginning by the end

It was my old dream to ride |crossing Lake Minnetonka.  I rode across small lakes before, but always wonted something BIG )
 It was fun to find someone who want to go with Steven Steichen, I never saw or rode with him before. But I found him in a group where is guys with good experience of adventure .
  The weather was perfect. In the morning was little cold, but by the end of out trip was really HOT!