Speaking of clean energy transportation …..
It was a lot of fun in August to meet with the owners of the various Electric Vehicles and find out what they like about their automotive choice. Of course, automobiles aren’t the only way to get around town. Bikes can allow you to cover a lot of ground with very little effort, too. If you’ve never tried one, do yourself a favor and rent an electric bike sometime. There are a couple places in Stillwater, and Gateway Cycle on Hwy 36 at Century rents e-bikes as well. You will be amazed at how quickly you can adapt to riding a bike without having to worry about a big hill up ahead or which way the wind is blowing. The electric assist you get from the battery is adjustable, so you can decide if you want a challenging workout, or if you just want to take an easy joy ride without using any gasoline or looking for a parking place. All you need is a good bike lock for the stops, and you can go far without much effort. You may decide you want one of your own!
Maybe you don’t need a battery…maybe you just forgot how much fun it can be to get out an enjoy a good bike ride! Fall is a wonderful time of year for exploring God’s creation all around us in this beautiful state we live in. The Lake Links Association has been working hard to make a safe trail around White Bear Lake. The Gateway Trail can take you all the way from St. Paul to north of Stillwater, and if you cut off at the Brown’s Creek Trail, it will take you through a little canyon along a gorgeous stream and all the way to downtown Stillwater. There, the new St. Croix Crossing and Lift Bridge Loop Trail will allow you to see views of the St. Croix River you’ve never experienced from a motor vehicle. There are also educational markers along the way that will give you an excuse to stop and catch your breath while you learn something new or historical about the places you visit.
The trails we mention are not just for bikes. Everyone is welcome to enjoy them on a walk or a run if you like that better. No matter how you decide to enjoy the trails, please make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules of etiquette for everyone’s safety. Most importantly, when a biker comes up behind you and calls out “On your left!”, they are simply letting you know of their approach, so they won’t scare you when they pass. DO NOT move to the left! https://cyclingsavvy.org/2020/05/shared-use-paths-part-1-etiquette/
How about getting to and from school or church? A walk or bike ride is a great way to wake up and refresh in the morning or to decompress on the way home. In Mahtomedi, there’s a revived trail that runs through the natural area on the east side of St. Andrew’s Village all the way down to the water tower at the top of the High School athletic field and St. Andrew’s parking lot. The trail has been dubbed Marie’s Trail to honor a couple of special women named Marie from the community, and many could be enjoying a nature walk as part of their routine, thanks to the efforts of John & Becky Siekmeier, who undertook this trail revival.
Here’s another resource for finding good hiking trails: https://www.alltrails.com/us/minnesota
Enjoy God’s beautiful creation during fall and Happy Trails!