The Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride, one of the first big t-shirt rides/recreational pain fests of spring, announced its move to Washington County for 2013.
After 13 years in Lakeville, the ride chose to move. In that 13 years, the area around the ride has grown increasingly developed, which has changed the nature of the routes over time. The Lakeville routes also led to some big hijinks, like the year on the run to Northfield the cross-winds sent everyone into ditches. Fun times. There has also been snow, rain, ice, 80 degree weather, and pretty much everything short of tornado or hurricane.
There’s no cause to expect the weather conditions to get less weird in WaCo, but the routes are going to be almost undoubtedly more rural again. And there shall be hills. Communities mentioned in the move announcement include Scandia (hills), Afton (hills), Stillwater (hills), Lake Elmo (not so much but you have to get in or out to the other places mentioned), Marine (hills) and Oak Park Heights (really happy to get a shout out and not just be the victim of the new St. Croix Bridge development, but that’s a different tale).
Aside from past history of dealing with Washington County law enforcement and finding them to be ignorant of bike statutes, I am a big fan of St. Croix Valley bike routes and look forward to the big move for Ironman.