The morning began with a short ride in to Mound, where we took in the Spirit Of The Lakes festival parade. Perfect slice of small town America, featuring Veterans, political candidates, and hundreds of happy children.

From Mound, we headed west on the Dakota Trail. Long stretches of the trail, already a gem for local riders, have been recently resurfaced. The smooth, fresh blacktop made for a brilliant roll.

We easily made our way through St. Bonifacius and Mayer (after quick stop for an energy bar – Breakfast!) and then in to New Germany. We decided to push on to see how far the pavement extended. It turned out the end of the line was only a few clucks west of New Germany. A quick stop for pictures, we decided the day’s first beers were in order.

Back to New Germany, and the T-Road Tavern. It wasn’t entirely surprising to learn that no nicely hopped pale ales were on offer. So I did what must be done and returned to the old ways: original Coors Banquet Beer, in the stubby brown bottle. Slàinthe!

We headed east, and the idea of running the entire trail, end to end, was first proposed. Before considering that idea further, a late lunch was needed. The best place on the trail for a nosh and a beverage is the St. Boni Bistro. The Pilsner Urquell was cold and tasty. I don’t know what exactly they are doing to the diced tomatoes on the chicken bruschetta sandwich, but please don’t change a thing.

This was definitely a relaxed ride. We pointed ourselves back toward Mound after the meal. At the festival, the live music was underway. We hooked up the bikes, plopped ourselves in the sand, and watched the people, young and old. Meanwhile, after 45 miles of riding, we debated the wisdom of attacking the “eastern summit,” where the trail ended in Wayzata.

I believe we ultimately concluded, “why the hell not?” We covered the eleven miles at a nice clip. Mission Accomplished. We rewarded ourselves by crashing the rooftop patio at the relatively new 6Smith restaurant overlooking the lake. Fulton’s Sweet Child of Vine tasted so damn good. I’ll be returning to that patio, because the Breakfast Burger on the menu seems like too good an idea to be missed.

That just left the last bit – ten miles or so back to Mound. MapMyRide, which is my go-to tracking app, died along with the iPhone battery after 45 mikes. All in, we have a pretty good estimate I of 65 miles clicked. A brilliant day.