MMM’s fourth in a series of Rides and Routes
The Lake Loop
Where: West Mestro Suburbs
Length: 51 miles
Time Needed: Allow at least 2 hours for the route we chose.
by Stephen Heller
I call this route the Lake Minnetonka Ride. A version of this route was the Saturday ride during Scooter Du 2 in 2001. It is almost 50 miles long and takes about 2 hours to do the whole thing. The ride around Lake Minnetonka is no secret; there were a ton of motorcycles and convertibles out on the Sunday that I took this route. This route is the first long ride that I took after I restored my first scooter. It is very nicely suited for small capacity bikes because the speed limit for most of the route is 35 mph and there is only one small section were the speed limit gets above 45 mph.
The twisty roads that follow the shoreline around the lake are a ton of fun to ride. Even on the hottest days the tree-covered route is refreshingly cool. The winding roads are the main attraction for this ride, but looking at the boats and crossing over the bridges connecting the bays is a different sight than driving in city traffic. There are many parks to stop and have a picnic and relax, or get an Ice Cream cone if the mood takes you.
The starting point for the ride is the Triple Rock Social Club on Cedar Ave. in Minneapolis. Only a couple of blocks from The Joint and the Cabooze, but the place couldn’t be anymore different. Hosting punk rock shows at night, and on weekends they serve up a mean breakfast including vegan and vegetarian dishes and the “Cool Hand Luke” 12-egg omelet. It is one of my favorite spots for a Sunday morning breakfast.
This route covers many areas that make the metro so great, the river road the parkways and a few lakes. From the Triple Rock, go south on Cedar and then take a left on Frankin to get on the river road. Admire the new Guthrie Theater along the Mississippi and the great park system that we have in the Twin Cities. The route then goes west through North Minneapolis to the Theodore Wirth Parkway, part of the Grand Rounds ride that was detailed in the first Rides and Routes. Wirth Parkway takes you through the giant park that skirts the west side of Minneapolis. Going west on Minnetonka Blvd it is pretty much a straight shot to Lake Minnetonka. The Dairy Queen along Minnetonka Blvd has been a popular ride meeting spot for me. Minnetonka Blvd goes south around Lake Minnetonka through the town of Excelsior. Navigating through Excelsior take Manitou Rd. right (north). Right on Shoreline drive and the route will take you west through Wayzata. Which turns into Lake St. A right onto Circle Dr. and a Left McGinty and you are heading back towards Minneapolis. I like to take Cedar Lake Rd. back so I am not seeing the same route both ways.
Eating a late breakfast then taking a great ride and then eating an early lunch. I can’t think of a better way to start a Sunday.
Ride along with our driving directions — it’s easy! The appx. odometer reading is printed after the written direction. Have fun! Start at the Triple Rock Social Club 629 Cedar Ave, Mpls.
• South on Cedar Ave.
• Left on E Franklin Ave 0.4
• Left on W River Pkwy 1.5
• Left On Plymouth Ave. North 5.2
• Right on Xerxes Ave. N 7.3
• Left on Golden Valley Rd. 7.8
• Left on Theodore Wirth Pkwy 7.9
• Right on Cedar Lake Rd. S. which becomes Ewing then France Ave S 10.8
• Right on Minnetonka Blvd. 12.2
• Follow Minnetoka Blvd Left after 101 21.4
• Right on Excelsior Blvd 25.9
• Right on 2nd St. 26.0
• Left on Water St. 26.2
• Right On Oak St. /CR 19 26.5
• Right on CR 15 30.7
• Follow CR 15 to Shoreline Dr. turns into Lake St. East 36.4
• Right on Circle Dr. 37.2
• Left On McGinty Rd / CR 16 37.3
• Left On Minnetonka Blvd 40.7
• Left On Cedar Lake Rd. 41.2
• Left On Park Place 46.9
• Right on Glenwood into Minneapolis 47.9
• End Glenwood/ I94 51.1