5 bike routes for the enthusiastsPublished 9:12am Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Albert Lea has a group of about 10 riders who get together every Wednesday evening during the warm months to ride their bicycles.
Martin’s Cycling & Fitness owner Scott Martin said they don’t just go for little 5-mile jaunts around the lake, either. These are road cyclists, the kind who like rides into the countryside and back. They pedal 20, 30, even 40 miles when they get on two wheels.
They gather at 6 p.m. Wednesdays at the bike shop, 1137 S. Broadway Ave. The bike shop is right at the bend where South Broadway becomes Southeast Broadway, near Hardee’s.
Martin, 51, has owned the store since it opened in 1981 and has been riding bikes since he was a boy. He has been into road biking for about a decade. Martin’s Cycling & Fitness has hosted the Wednesday night rides for seven years.
Martin said he looks forward to the
completion of the Blazing Star Trail to Hayward. Presently, the trail is a 6-mile dead end. After the work is finished in 2014, the trail would become a pleasant addition to the routes the road bikers enjoy taking.
He shared the group’s favorite routes, starting from the bike shop:
1. South on Southeast Broadway, east on Freeborn County Road 19 (South Shore Drive), south on County 26, west on County 13 through Glenville and continuing past the Poet ethanol plant and over Interstate 35, north on County 18, which leads to South Broadway and the bike shop. The ride is about 20 miles.
2. South on County 18 (South Broadway), east a half mile at County 5, continue south on County 18 to State Line Road, west on State Line Road past State Lake Lake to Emmons, north on County 14, east on County 17 (Conger Road), north on County 18 back to bike shop. The ride is about 31 miles.
3. South on County 18, east a half mile on County 5, continue south on County 18, west a half mile on State Line Road, south into Iowa on Wheelerwood Road, which takes a couple of curves before reaching Diamond Jo Casino. Go back the same way, and it is a 30-mile total.
4. North on Broadway to Fountain Lake, west on Fountain Street, north on Lakeview Boulevard around Fountain Lake, west on County 20 (Richway Drive), continue as it curves northward (becoming the Bath Road), west on County 25 through Manchester to Oak View Golf Course, then go back the same way. It is about 29 miles in all.
5. North on Broadway to Fountain Lake, west on Fountain Street, north on Lakeview Boulevard around Fountain Lake, west on County 20, continue as it curves northward, west on County 14, continue across Highway 13, south on County 14, east on County 17, north on County 18 to bike shop. This ride is about 22 miles.
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