I’ve encountered many interesting people and sights over the seasons of doing the Saint Paul By Bike blog. I’ve ridden on about 40% of the streets of Saint Paul, so I’ve got a lot of blocks to travel to reach the goal of biking each and every block in our city. I’m not in a rush to complete my travels because the fun is in the journey – meeting interesting people, encountering curiosities, oddities and rarities, and learning about the history of Saint Paul.
Here’s how what became “Saint Paul By Bike” began. As I traversed Saint Paul about 2010, I saw various interesting, curious and cool things. It was interesting and fun to visit parts of the city to which I didn’t often or ever get. I also noticed sights while biking that I would have otherwise missed.
This got me to thinking. What would I experience if I were to bike every street in Saint Paul? How long would it take? What fascinating people would I meet? What interesting things would I see? What would I learn? Could I keep my curiosity at bay enough stay out of trouble?
In summer of 2011 I began biking the more than 800 miles of city streets in Saint Paul and writing about my adventures, complete with photos, maps, interviews and anything else that clarifies my experiences.
Saint Paul By Bike has been all I had hoped and more. Cliche’ perhaps, but true. I am most impressed with the people I’ve met; their willingness to talk to a sweaty bike riding stranger and share their interesting tales. From Highwood to Highland, Como Park to Ramsey Hill, Dayton’s Bluff to Frogtown, folks have been without exception a joy to talk with. I’ve made it to all of the 17 major neighborhoods; I’ve found good, friendly and helpful people nearly everywhere, which is a great counterbalance to what is often reported in the news and neighborhood forums.
Biking through places I’d never been is enlightening, educational, eye-opening and sometimes all three. I’ve also learned that rides take much less time than writing about the rides. First, I’m not the fastest scribe to bang out a story. Second, transcribing the interviews of the people I talk with so as not to misquote anyone chews up more time. The actual posting of the blog has been a great skill to learn but requires a chunk of time.
Thanks for checking out the blog. I hope it gives you a greater appreciation of Minnesota’s Capital City, the willingness to explore your world a little more, and maybe, a chuckle or two. While I experience many things, I know I’ll miss some interesting, important and historic people and sights. If there is place I must visit or a person I must meet, let me know. And don’t hesitate to say “hi” if you see me riding down your street.