My mom drove up from southern MN for a national handbell conference, and is making a few trips between the downtown hotel and my Uptown home (1.7 miles one way). Whe she asked if I'd drive her down and drop her off (during rush hour), I pushed back and suggested we ride together on Nice Ride bikes. (Maybe I pushed back too hard?) She was pretty resistant.
At any rate, when she arrived last night, she was very gracious. (She's a gracious mom, and I tried to help with the offer of two chaperones and a 24-hour ride coupon. The beautiful weather and plenty of time helped, too.) We grabbed some Nice Rides, hopped on Bryant at Franklin, and tooled through Loring Park and the Loring Greenway to a couple blocks from the hotel. She registered, and we rode back.
The short answer? Yes, she can.
She seemed to enjoy the ride -- she rides plenty at home, and goes on an annual group bike vacation with friends -- but said she could never repeat that route on her own. While pleasant, it is a hard-to-follow route if you don't know your way. There are lots of turns, no signage, and the Loring Greenway is hard to find, especially on the park end. And she's never claimed she had a good sense of direction.
My other thought - what's with not having a curb cut on the Nicollet Mall end, forcing bikes to travel half a block on the sidewalk before an escape?
She drove herself to the hotel this morning, and won't be back for a few days. I hope we can repeat the trip (with a guide) Sunday morning and evening for the last day of the conference, though.