The last time I rode the Hwy 169 to 35w portion of the MN River Bottoms was mid-December when I rode the entire main trail for the first time. I must have had blinders on as I don’t remember seeing very many technical areas. I rode it again on Saturday and, with my blinders off, discovered a large number of challenging logs and one giant teeter totter.
The most interesting and challenging area is the first set of logs you encounter as you head east from the Bloomington Ferry Road parking lot, hugging the river trail. Only one of the four logs is big. But they’re situated in a way that it’s tough to clean any set of two. I’ll have to get really good at hopping both my front and rear wheels before I’d clean a set of four in either direction.
This big log has been built up at both ends to make it more rideable lengthwise. I added a small log (center photo) as it was too steep riding over it crossways (towards the river). It still took me a dozen times to clean it because the log is so fat and flat on top that either one of my pedals or my chain ring bash guard would cause me to lose my balance. I finally figured out that I needed A) more speed on my approach and B) a larger dose of unweighting once I got up top.
The teeter-totter plank is a hoot. And after you get bored with it (heh) ride the length of the logs (both directions) that serve as its fulcrum. Much more challenging.
And here are photos of six other obstacles (two photos each) at other points along the trail: