The Minnehaha Ride

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08 Sep 2017 15:29 #2644 by Mark Thornsjo
Mark Thornsjo created the topic: The Minnehaha Ride
New information on this ride - see my revised posting for the ride elsewhere on the Forum. Boat ride at 11:30 AM from the Excelsior City Dock, bike ride beginning at 2 PM, eats at Maynard's after the ride. Park at the Excelsior Elementary East Back parking lot behind the Library building off Water St. Boat ride and Maynard's even if weather cancels the bike ride.

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08 Sep 2017 15:33 #2645 by Mark Thornsjo
Mark Thornsjo replied the topic: The Minnehaha Ride
Ok, so you don't have to search for the original posting that I just updated, here's the scoop:

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!

Some new information as I've finalized the schedule and logistics. Remember to make your boat ride reservations NOW, as seating on the boat is limited and the excursion is popular. The boat ride and Maynard's parts will go ahead regardless of weather (if the ride gets rained out we'll just go straight from the boat ride to Maynard's).

Please read the ride posting that now has been posted to the 10/1 ride schedule. I've copied it here below with revisions per this update, and corrections (wow, I should've proof-read the posting better).

NOTE: We will indeed be able to park and start the ride at the Excelsior Elementary school. I've spoken with the facilities person for the school district and have obtained a permit for us to use the East Back Excelsior Elementary School parking lot, which is located immediately behind the old Library building on Water St and George St. The best way to enter that lot is to turn east (ok SE) off Water St onto George St (by the Wells Fargo bank) and go behind the old Library building where the lot is, adjacent to the Minnetonka LRT trail where the trail crosses Water St. We are welcome to park there starting at 10 AM for the boat ride as well as for the ride itself (those who go after the ride to eat at Maynard's are on their own to park at Maynard's). It's a short 3-block walk from the school parking lot over to the city dock.

If you plan to go to Maynard's after the ride, please let me know ahead of time so I can alert the Maynard's staff as to the approximate number of people to expect once the ride's done (expecting most will finish between 4 and 5 PM). If parking's full at Maynard's, it should be ok to leave your car at the school lot and walk to/from the restaurant.


RIDE SCHEDULE POSTING edited with updates and corrections:

Come enjoy the fall colors on the water and on the bike! This is a three-part event:

First, a really cool boat ride! We'll take a 75-minute ride on the historic steam-powered "streetcar boat" Minnehaha, starting promptly at 11:40 AM and departing from the Excelsior city dock. For information on this amazing craft, check out the history on the Museum of Lake Minnetonka's web site ( www.steamboatminnehaha.org/index.html ). RESERVATIONS REQUIRED, $15 per adult. Reserve NOW as seating is limited (90 people per excursion). Reservations for the 11:40 excursion are available at www.steamboatminnehaha.org/product.cfm?product=2269 . I strongly suggest you arrive no later than 11:15 so we're ready to board. After the boat ride is done at 1 PM we'll take an hour break to allow folks to grab a snack, prep for the ride and get to the ride start point that will be at the Excelsior Elementary East Back parking lot.

Second, biking! Two routes will be offered, each a variation on existing TCBC routes around the lake. We'll shoot for a 2 PM ride start. Dave Gepner and I will lead two groups: Dave a B/C group and I an A/B group (you B riders are most welcome and I plan to ride a B pace due to my continued recovery following my July 14 uber-crash). Dave's route (unless he decides to improvise something different!) will be the 28-mile Minnetonka Meander, starting in Excelsior instead of its usual start at the Minnetonka Ice Arena. My group will ride the 43-mile version of Eric Feld's Rolling on the West Side, again starting in Excelsior instead of its usual start at Dell Rd and CR 62. The CONFIRMED start point for both groups will be the Excelsior Elementary School parking lot (441 Oak St, Excelsior, MN 55331) on the south side of Excelsior Blvd. YOU CAN PARK IN THE EAST BACK PARKING LOT, located off Water St behind the old Library building. Take George St. in to the lot. Parking available for both the boat ride and the bike ride and, if needed, while at Maynard's. Again, the ride will start about 2 PM.

Third, eat! All riders are invited to Maynard's (685 Excelsior Blvd, Excelsior, MN 55331) for apres-ride eats and socializing. Unfortunately, it's not possible to coordinate a formal group event at the restaurant as Maynard's can't reserve a bunch of tables when our ride ending time is somewhat unpredictable and I'm not asking people to commit to a reservation. So we'll do an ad hoc approach: as you finish your ride and if you plan to go to the restaurant, surely there'll be others similarly interested, so buddy up and head to the restaurant where it'll be seating per Maynard's usual wait list (likely to be busy so plan for a wait). Send me an email ASAP if you plan to eat, so I can a rough head count to use to coordinate as best can be with the Maynard's folks.

Continue to check the Forum for further information. Call or email me if you have questions.

NOTE: the boat ride will happen regardless of weather. If we get rained out, we'll skip the bike ride and those who want will go directly to Maynard's after the boat ride.

Hope to see you there, and keeping fingers crossed the weather cooperates!


Original Forum Posting:
As we look ahead to the new season, as summer gets into swing and all the tours and rides get organized, I'd like to toss a new idea into the ring: The Minnehaha Ride. As many know, there is a deep transportation history in the Twin Cities before the automobile came into its perverse prominence, one that included both bicycles and mass transit, specifically streetcars. The Twin Cities had one of the most extensive and excellent streetcar systems in the world in its day, including shops in town that manufactured the rolling stock for our munificent streetcar system that extended from the waters of the St. Croix in Stillwater in the east to the Minnehaha Creek's headwaters out of Lake Minnetonka in the west. Having lived on both sides of town, I can appreciate the scope of this enormous undertaking, powered by the electricity generated by my grandfather's Northern States Power generating plants (he was Superintendent of Power Production in the early and mid 1930s). Anyway, at the height of the streetcar era, amusement parks were built at the end of the lines east and west, as enticements to increase weekend ridership. And it worked for about a decade in the 1920s. Point being that, to get to the Big Island amusement park the Twin City Rapid Transit Lines built in the 30s, boats were needed (and also served as lakeside excursion/commuter lines) to serve the park. So five boats were built in the streetcar shops, using the same superstructure basics as the land-based streetcars, but on a steam-powered hull. When the automobile, paved roads and WWII crashed the streetcar party, the lines were greatly diminished and the parks torn down. The "streetcar" boats were scuttled in the deep parts of Lake Minnetonka, and the history faded into obscurity. In the 1970s, however, enthusiasts restored one boat that was discovered by divers, resurrected and restored by dedicated volunteers of the MN Transportation Museum. Today operated independently for tourists of Lake Minnetonka, the boat Minnehaha is available for charter excursions of about 90 minutes, departing from Excelsior. The idea for this outing is to charter the Minnehaha for an early morning excursion, then go for a ~30+ mile ride with a meal afterward at a local establishment. I will review the calendar to see when various tours and club events are being planned, but would like input on when folks see available weekend dates being open with minimal conflicts with other events (e.g., Tour de Tonka, Tour of Lakes, Dianne's Grand Rapids weekend, BAM, etc.) So, feed me back and let's see if we can put a fun time together that takes us down memory lane (hey, I actually remember riding on a streetcar when I was 4 yrs old - my mom took me so I could experience it, and also the sadly lost Grand Metropolitan Building that had the glass floors and open-cage elevators). Cheers! Mark

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08 Sep 2017 15:42 #2646 by Mark Thornsjo
Mark Thornsjo replied the topic: The Minnehaha Ride
If you can't get tickets for the boat ride, let me know as I purchased 3 extra tickets. Mark

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20 Sep 2017 12:05 #2672 by Mark Thornsjo
Mark Thornsjo replied the topic: The Minnehaha Ride
Hi everyone, I hope those who are interested in going on the steamboat ride have made their reservations. If you try but find the 11:40 excursion is full, let me know as I bought three extra tickets. If you can't or don't want to do the boat ride, the bike ride starts at 2 PM from the elementary school east back parking lot immediately behind the old Library building. Again, two routes, one A/B (me leading) and one B/C (Dave Gepner leading). If inclement weather forces cancelling the bike ride, the boat ride will go on regardless and those interested can then go straight to Maynard's for further socializing and eats. Call me (651-747-7712) or email () if you have any questions.

Mark

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20 Sep 2017 12:44 #2673 by Steven Sikkila
Steven Sikkila replied the topic: The Minnehaha Ride
Hi Mark,

What day is the ride?

Steve

Steve Sikkila

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21 Sep 2017 12:10 #2674 by Mark Thornsjo
Mark Thornsjo replied the topic: The Minnehaha Ride
Replying to Steve's question, sorry for not stating the date. The event is Sunday 10/1. The boat excursion is at 11:30 (11:40 departure), the ride starts at 2 PM with expected finish by about 5, then on to Maynard's for those interested. See the previous postings for information on ordering tickets, but please be aware that the boat rides are popular and may fill up, so get yours ASAP.

Mark

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