With our weekend camping rained out, we decided to dedicate time on Sunday to some biking. The Twin Cities was still under a threat of more rain, so we looked south. The forecast for Faribault and Mankato was looking much drier, so we made a choice to hit the Sakatah Trail, which runs between those two cities.
Most of the trail sites that I have read stated that the middle section of this 39 mile trail is in desperate need of repair, and should be avoided. We didn’t want an 80 mile adventure anyway, so we opted to pick one side of the trail and do an out-and-back ride. Since the Faribault side was about 15 miles to Waterville, we decided to make that out destination. We packed up the bikes and within an hour we were at the trailhead ready to go.
The ride was nice and smooth and flat. This section of trail was obviously re-paved sometime in the last couple of years, and the riding was very easy. There were very few hills to contend with, and those that we encountered were never more than a 1-2% grade (this was old railroad bed). We zipped along at a good clip and within an hour we were passing through the Sakatah Lake State Park. We decided to hop off the trail a short bit and hit the park office. My wife bought a pin for her park collection and we headed back down to the main trail with some haste. The mosquitoes were abundant and we didn’t bring any bug spray with. Our only salvation was to keep moving to avoid them at all costs.
Within a mile from the park we made it to Waterville, MN and right off the trail was a cute little ice cream and burger shop. It reminded me of a Dairy Queen, but it was just a family run business. We got some lunch and relaxed for about twenty minutes before the return trip. With a round trip total of 32 miles, our legs were starting to burn a bit. Despite the soreness in our legs and backsides, we managed a solid clip on the way back and managed our two fastest 5 mile segments from 20-30.
All things must come to an end, and soon we were back at the trailhead. We had another great riding adventure, and my wife managed another distance PR. The weather was amazing, although I could have done with a bit less sun. The temps weren’t too bad in the upper 70’s, but I was certainly glad to be biking and not running in it. Now I just need to get my weekend long runs back on track after missing this weekend. Thirty two miles of biking isn’t anything to sneeze at though in the fitness department.
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