Chaska-Watertown-SLP 108K aka the Caffeine Express
This ride has the additional distinction of being open for the entire year and in Minnesota, that's a tall order. There are many issues with riding long distances in winter: sub-zero temps, 8 hours of daylight, frozen water bottles, dressing, etc. With snow being frequent and in abundance, it is also wise to have options for getting out of the cold. Rob, our RBA, insists that hot chocolate be plentiful to get him on a good winter ride. He has the only other permanent in Minnesota open all year round. But he clearly had a point so I made sure that hot chocolate/coffee was available ever 7-10 miles on this route. In addition, this route is really not very hilly with an emphasis on going up instead of going down (much safer and less chilling).
As with the 200k out of St Louis Park, this route begins at the YESMart. It travels through Eden Prairie to Chaska, the first control. There is a Caribou Coffee Option at Mile 6 and another Caribou at mile 16. From there, it turns northwest to Victoria where School of the Wise serves great coffee with ambiance a mere one block off route. From there, the route cuts through Carver Park Reserve, famous for excellent cross-country skiing and up to St. Bonifacious where you will pass a very nice Holiday with my favorite latte machine. From St Bonny, the route goes out to Watertown, home of Crow River Coffee (1 block off route). At this point, you are on your way home, but in case you become parched, there is a Caribou in Mound and another in Wayzata. All in all, you may never sleep again if you drink coffee at all these places. But I guarantee that you will be warm and have plenty of spots to bail should the weather go sour.
At only about 67 miles, it can be done by mere mortals in daylight even during the most massive daylight pit of the New Year. We highly recommend you plan any long winter ride with a very careful eye on the weather and recommend a go-no go decision the day before and to not really schedule before 4 days previous to the ride. That avoids going back and forth to schedule and cancel the ride. The permanent owner reserves the right to close the course if conditions are really bad.