Patrick Stephenson is a copywriter at Minnesota Public Radio and the director of 30 Days of Biking. Follow him on Twitter, @patiomensch, where he tweets like 5,000 times a day.

Ride of the Week

Posted by: Patrick Stephenson under Physical infrastructure Updated: August 29, 2014 - 6:50 PM

I arrived home last night, circa 10 p.m., still caffeinated on a cappuccino I’d chugged at a writer’s group that evening. “Let’s go for a bike ride!” I suggested to my sister Emily, who’s lived with us throughout August as she transitions to a new apartment in St. Paul.

Emily agreed, and we set off on our bicycles — into the dark, into the night, with my superpowered headlight illuminating the streets and paths and little path mice (I found one! I scared one.) before us. Sitting in my bottle cage was my brand-new but already beat-up Boom, a Bluetooth speaker that makes every bike ride into a dance party™. I hit play and we pedaled onward. Bright headlights, music, bikes — the full experience!

When Em and I left home, our destination was vaguey. I knew only that I had TONS of energy and needed to ride. The Cedar Lake Trail, Minneapolis’ bicycling superhighway, is a quick pedal from my place, and without much discussion, we headed straight there, bound for St. Louis Park.

The trail was awesomely empty and dark, and Emily and I rode past the old railroad yards right outside of downtown, then past Bryn Mawr along the CLT’s divided paths (one for joggers, two for cyclists). Each side is surrounded by huge bushes that whisp out into the trail and create an eerie-looking wall, in the dark at least, of bushes on both sides. My favorite CLT view is Cedar Lake itself, which is just gorgeous in the dark, especially with a summer night sky reflection.

We ended up in West End (West Ended up?), rolling around in the parking lot at Cub Foods and drinking water from jumbo-sized Jimmy John’s cups. Biking back home, again an empty, dark Cedar Lake Trail, again with the beat of my Boom powering us, I felt like I could bike forever. Or till midnight, at the very least.

THAT, to me, is summer: Saddling up on your bike and riding somewhere with no destination in mind — and ending up in a parking lot, chatting with your sister about nothing much.

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