I do my best thinking when….


….I’m outside moving under my own power. It’s when my best ideas percolate to the top. It’s when I can sort things out in my head without really trying too hard. It recharges me. It’s meditative. It doesn’t have to necessarily be on a bike. It can happen while walking around my neighborhood or hiking on the trails near my house.

The Munger Trail.

Today I worked a half day. Came home. Worked on a project for while. And ran some errands related to the project. By late afternoon I was back home. The sunshine was calling to me and I found the need to get back outside. After a snowy week last week, the weather has finally turned the corner towards Spring. With the temperature creeping up above 50, I really had to take advantage of it. A ride in the sunshine would help me sort a few things out concerning my project. When I want to ride and think and not worry about traffic and intersections etc, I head to the Munger Trail. It’s 2.5 miles from my house and heads south for 70 miles. It climbs slowly out of Duluth on an old railroad grade and is nicely wooded. I can ride and let my mind wander. When I feel like it’s time to head back home, I turn around and it’s a gradual downhill all the way back. Now that I have a smartphone and have been using the app, Ride with GPS, I discovered what seems like barely any climbing on this route in reality is a quite dramatic change in elevation.


I did nearly 1500 ft of climbing without ever feeling like I went up a hill. It’s so gradual.


That may explain why this rail line which the Munger Trail crosses uses extra engines to push trains up this grade. I once read this rail grade is the steepest active railroad grade between here and the Pacific ocean. That includes grades in the Rockies and other western ranges. These two engines were returning back to the Lake Superior basin after helping to push a train up the grade. They were coasting downhill hill here and were nearly silent. On my return I watched another train going up.


Of course we have no green signs of Spring yet. It’s another month before things start budding and leaving out here. We still have reminders of winter, although fewer than normal for this time of year.

The ski hills on Spirit Mountain are still snow covered.
Patches of snow can still be seen here and there.

6 thoughts on “I do my best thinking when….

  1. Pondero April 15, 2016 / 6:29 am

    Looks like stellar weather, glad your were able to get out and enjoy it.


  2. anniebikes April 15, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    On the Munger to feed the sunshine hunger!


  3. bribikes April 15, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    What a great trail! On days like these, with the tempting warm sunshine, it can be hard to stay indoors, so happy you were able to enjoy the weather.


  4. Pondero April 16, 2016 / 6:22 am

    Regarding the “do my best thinking” observation, I’ve noticed a mix of outcomes. Sometimes, like you, I do some productive thinking. Other times, it seems my mind can become peacefully void of thought…for hours. Bicycling is never a distraction, but always seems to give me what is needed.

    Liked by 1 person

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