Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From southern Minnesota: Hardy Harley biker November 30, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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WITH TEMPERATURES IN THE LOW 50s here in southern Minnesota on Saturday, the unseasonably warm weather presented another opportunity for some bikers to hit the road before winter settles in for good.

This die-hard Harley rider passed us while we traveled northbound along Interstate 35 in Owatonna early Saturday afternoon.

The biker lowered his left hand here, presumably to warm his hand.

He looked cold to me with his head hunched into his leather-clad shoulders while gripping the handlebars of his windshield-less bike. With his gloved hands in that high position, no blood flowed warmth to his fingers.

Exiting Interstate 35 in Owatonna.

Randy guessed the windchill on that bike to be in the mid-20s based on the air temp and highway speed of 70 mph. Brrr. Now that’s cold, even for a hardy Minnesota Harley rider.

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Note: I took these photos while a passenger in our vehicle.

 

Rider in the storm or… January 30, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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DAYS AFTER A MAJOR STORM dumped 16 inches of snow on Faribault, I spotted a motorcycle in the parking lot of a local liquor store. It wasn’t exactly bike riding weather with the temp at around 30 degrees.

 

Days after the storm, a fleet of city snow removal equipment lined up in front of my home as sunset broke.

 

Perhaps this Bold North biker had something to prove. Or maybe not.

 

 

 

I snapped a few photos of the bike with my smartphone, not even noticing the expired tabs and the travel bags until I reviewed the photos later. Hey, I’m not one to stand around outside in cold weather without proper warm attire.

 

 

Once inside Fareway Spirits & More, I mentioned the bike to the clerk. Turns out it had been sitting in the parking lot for days, moved there from the unplowed street (which is now plowed). She wondered if the abandoned motorcycle might be stolen, but had not phoned police. I didn’t either.

Monday evening the bike was still parked in the same spot in the cold and snowy Bold North of Faribault. From all forecasts I’ve seen, the weather in Minnesota won’t be suitable for riding anytime soon, including on Sunday. Forecasters are already predicting the coldest Super Bowl on record with lows of minus 10 – 15 degrees and a high above zero. If we’re lucky.

UPDATE, 7:15 pm, Tuesday, January 30: The bike, still parked in the same lot, is a Yamaha Star, Arkansas license, so reports the husband who stopped to check this evening.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Hardy, defiant or ? April 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:59 AM
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Scene on Willow Street, Faribault, Minnesota, 6:09 p.m., Tuesday, April 23.

Scene on Willow Street, Faribault, Minnesota, 6:09 p.m., Tuesday, April 23.

TUESDAY EVENING, APRIL 23, and I’ve just finished supper when I spy a motorcycle on the street.

Any other spring, and I would not give this mode of transportation a second thought nor grab my camera.

But this is no ordinary April in Minnesota. The six inches of snow which fell Monday into early Tuesday morning in Faribault have mostly melted, but plenty still blankets the landscape.

Forty degrees. Snow on the ground. And a biker hits the road.

As crazy as this appears, I recall seeing a motorcyclist riding in 30 degree temps a few months ago.

Thoughts?

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling