Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Ride

Winona Loop: 67.48 miles Ride Time to Winona was 1 hour 55 minutes, average speed: 16.6 Ride Home was 3 hours 25 minutes, average speed at finish: 12.6

Beautiful weather returned today beckoning us to increase our pedaling distance so we set our destination for Winona. Getting to Winona was a comfortable ride. We suspected the wind was at our back and anticipated a more gruesome trip home. We watched the many flags flying in the breeze and just geared ourselves for a challenging ride back home but not before we had a rest and visit with family in Winona.
Mom & Dad Storsveen were grilling burgers and brats for lunch and we accepted their offer to join them. As we pulled up to their house, brother Rob was there with his shiny red motorcycle and brother Paul and sister Lynn were also on hand for a wonderful photo opportunity—it couldn’t have been planned any better. We were missing sister Jean but she will be arriving from Washington State soon and we will be gathering together again then.
image Views along our bike route to Winona, MN
imageA rare family photo opportunity meets us in Winona
As predicted, the ride back towards St. Charles was brutal and took us a total of 3.5 hours pedal time to achieve. We took many stops along the way to rest and received one phone call from Mom wondering how we were doing—Mom always seems to call when we are biking up a hill but Dennis always does a good job picking up the slack. We had a wonderful journey today and were excited to see four other cyclists along our route. Who knows, maybe our neighborhood roads will become a common travel corridor for cyclists in the near future. It’s always a joy to share our smiles of fulfillment with others as we quietly pedal by.
imageOld Glory waving us on towards home on this memorable Memorial Day ride

May 2012—Total Biking Miles 420.49
Accumulative Miles 1038.57

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pedal & Paddle

Pedal & Paddle: 38.11 miles
TANDEM: Ride Time was 2 hours 54 minutes, average speed: 13.1

The weather forecast looked good for biking today so we called our biking buddies, Alan & Michelle, to see if they wanted to join us on the Root River Trail. We met up in Lanesboro at 10:30 a.m. and biked towards Rushford. Lunch at The Creamery was a good choice. Alan & Michelle were on a tight schedule and needed to be off the bike by 3:00 so following lunch we all biked back to Lanesboro. The temperature reached into the 90s by ride’s end which led us to agree that a 38-mile day on the bike was just fine.


Following our bike ride on the Root, we decided to add a paddle adventure to the day—our first duathlon. We carted the kayak to Chester Woods for a trip around Chester Lake. We noticed a big improvement from our first attempts at synchronized paddling and the boat just glided along the water. When the legs can no longer spin for the day, the kayak will allows us to continue to play.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Breakfast Ride

St. Charles & Home: 12.43 miles
TANDEM: Ride Time was 57 minutes, average speed: 12.9

This short ride into St. Charles welcomed the Memorial Day weekend and like most Memorial weekends, the forecast was not suggesting good biking weather. We saw a window of opportunity on this Friday so hopped on the tandem for a 12-mile ride into St. Charles for breakfast. The wind was strong but a temperature in the upper 60s made for a pleasant ride. The rain held off throughout the ride—we escaped the wrath of Mother Nature again.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

COWS Spring Rally—Port Washington, WI

Day 3—Breakfast Ride: 30.64 miles
TANDEM: Ride Time was 2 hours 19 minutes, average speed: 13.1

We gathered at 8:00 a.m. for this final day of riding ending the 2012 COWS spring rally. Beth and Pat did a super job hosting this event. It seems they did have an angel watching over them providing care and good weather throughout. We biked most of today’s miles before stopping for breakfast and again it was a wonderful day of riding. We biked the roads towards Cedarburg one more time and then finished by biking back to Port Washington on the Interurban Bike Trail.



Our group stopped for breakfast at Newport Shores. The brunch buffet was awesome. A photo shoot took place following our meal and Don Zietlow provided us with a final circus act when he dropped his sunglasses below the boulders we were posing on. It took newbie, John White, to snake his long arm down between the rocks to fish the glasses out—that’s true club dedication!


What a memorable rally. We travelled new routes, met new friends and gathered with friends we haven’t seen since last biking season. Port Washington is a quaint little village which helped make this spring rally a success. Saying good bye was easier as we would all be seeing each other again soon, either at the COWS Wrangler ride on the Root or at the Midwest Tandem Rally in Madison, Wisconsin—Life truly is good!

Total Rally Biking Miles: 117.50

Saturday, May 19, 2012

COWS Spring Rally—Port Washington, WI

Day 2—Port Washington to Oostburg and back: 59.62 miles
TANDEM: Ride Time was 4 hours 17 minutes, average speed: 13.8

A mass reunion was held at 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the Country Inn & Suites. It’s always a treat to see all the teams come together toting their gear in, on and behind whatever vehicle works. The forecast for the day could not have been better for this spring ride. Most teams were choosing the 60-mile route to get the most out of this gorgeous day. After a short greeting from our rally hosts, Pat and Beth Peterson, we were released into the countryside in search of an adventure full of new sights and sounds.



All bikes are welcome at a COWS rally. I was envious of Dennis and Ingrid’s new wheels, a green and yellow tandem Greenspeed trike. They allowed me to test its comfort and I slid into the stoker’s seat with ease—is there a new bike in our future?


We’re off pedaling down the quiet country roads between Port Washington and Oostburg with 50 tandem teams at our side. The weather is the topic of choice as we greet each team we pass. We are blessed to have such a lovely day for this spring COWS rally.


In Oostburg we stopped at a Subway to order a sandwich which we took to the red trailhead depot building to eat. We watched the many tandem teams pedal by as we enjoyed our lunch on the benches of the abandoned train station.


Our ride comes to an end after 60 miles of pedaling but the party continues on. The COWS spring banquette was held near the hotel at Nisleit’s Country Inn. The banquette room assigned our group was overflowing with COWS members. The food was good and the meeting following was brief. Kelly and Jordan stepped down from their 8-year reign as club secretaries and Dennis and I were nominated to the board. We are grateful for the time Kelly and Jordan gave our club and will remember their part in each COWS activity we attended. Hats off to them both for their dedicated service! As a parting gift, Kelly and Jordan passed the COWS hats to us and I will treasure them always.


Friday, May 18, 2012

COWS Spring Rally-Port Washington, WI

Day 1— Port Washington to Cedarburg and back: 27.24 miles
TANDEM: Ride Time was 2 hours 41 minutes, average speed: 10.8

The 4-hour trip to Port Washington was a breeze compared to our last COWS adventure in Alabama. We reached Port Washington before noon and awaited a call from Kathi & John Johnson to verify lunch plans. John and Joan Laabs also checked in and plans were set to meet at the Dockside Deli along Lake Michigan. Jean and John White, new COWS members from Missouri, joined our group. After lunch, we began biking along the planned route for rally day 1 which passed through Port Washington and then turned southwest towards Cedarburg before returning via the Interurban Trail—a 30-mile paved trail completed in 2002 which spans the entire length of Ozaukee County.


A short break was unanimously decided as we came upon the Chiseled Grape Winery. This unique winery was housed in a renovated old school house and offered wine tastings which was enjoyed by the wine connoisseurs in our group. Back in Port, we decided an afternoon cocktail would add a nice touch to this great riding day. The pub we chose, Sir James, had a dark, medieval charm to it and included a friendly bartender who took good care of us.



Today’s route was full of scenic backgrounds which we fully enjoyed as we slowly rolled along. The view of Lake Michigan from the pier was spectacular with clear turquoise water sparkling under the bright sunny sky—a wonderful start to the 3-day weekend with members of our COWS tandem club.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Bike Ride with my Brother

Amish Market and Back: 8.02 miles
SINGLES: Ride Time was 41 minutes, average speed: 11.4

I had the opportunity to bike with my brother, Paul this evening—what a treat. Barb and Paul just signed up to bike the Tour de Pepin bike ride with us on Saturday, June 2. This will be their first organized bike ride and we are excited for them. Paul will be riding Dennis’ single Rans V-Rex and I will be on my Bacchetta while Dennis and Barb ride the tandem. Paul did a great job for his first time down the road on the Rans and it didn’t take him long before he was speeding down the road ahead of me. The wind was very strong on the trip out but what a sweet ride back!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother’s Day Cruise

Rochester Loop via Chester Woods: 68.48 miles
TANDEM: Ride Time was 5 hours 9 minutes, average speed: 13.2

Today was a very fun biking day. We started out from the home farm and headed towards the Chester Woods County Park near the town of Chester, MN. We wanted to check out the park for a possible spot to kayak. The waters here looked perfect for beginning kayakers like us. We were wishing our Werner paddles had been delivered as this would have been a perfect day to be on the water, but it was also perfect to be out on the tandem with no time restraints and all day to ride!


Following our tour of Chester Woods, we decided to continue biking towards northwest Rochester. The winds were not a hindrance on this beautiful day and we were rolling along quite well. We pedaled up to Applebee’s for lunch and the staff saw us coming even before we parked the bike. Many smiles, comments and questions greeted us as we found our seat. Shortly after ordering our meal, another couple arrived in bright clothing which left us feeling a little less unusual. We left the restaurant fueled up and ready for the trip back home. We passed IBM and the Silver Lake Park where people were out enjoying the day. We were soon on the outskirts of Rochester and pedaling down the shoulder of Hwy 14. We passed Eyota and began to discuss taking a break in Dover at the Roadhouse Bar & Grill. A quick trip into St. Charles to gather groceries for a cookout and we were then back in our neighborhood. Being early in our riding season, our legs are still in need of more pedal time before we can tackle a 100-mile day. We reached home after 5 hours of spin time knowing that we stretched our abilities to the limit. We’ll be looking for a rest day and then we’ll be back out on the road searching for our next physical adventure.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Enjoying the Mississippi River by Bike

MRRT & CVT: 66.36 miles (a metric century)
TANDEM: Ride Time was 5 hours 12 minutes, average speed: 12.7

Today we travelled by van towards Hastings, MN to meet up with biking friends, Alan and Michelle Andersen to check out the Mississippi River Regional Bike Trail near Spring Lake Park Reserve. This is the third Friday adventure we have enjoyed with Alan and Michelle. Our group was not sure what we would find for biking trails here but all were willing to take a chance. We were on the bikes by 10:30 a.m. pedaling towards Hastings along the Mississippi River. The skies were blue and the temperature was in the 70’s with no rain in sight. The trail system here appeared to have been newly paved and provided a very comfortable ride.

imageWe continued along the MRRT (also known as the Hastings Trail System) enjoying the views along the waterways which included Lock and Dam #2. A few wrong turns into construction areas forced us to retreat using rugged escape routes—a very entertaining journey. Much activity was taking place along the river with construction crews working on a replacement bridge between the Minnesota and Wisconsin state borders here.

Alan and Michelle take a shortcut down to the river nearly scaring this man resting peacefully on a bench

We reached Hastings around 11:00 which was too early for lunch so we searched out the Chamber of Commerce building for trail maps of the Hastings area. We found numerous guides not only of bike trails but also of water trails that will be handy for upcoming kayak adventures. We set off along the City’s Loop Trail towards the Vermillion Falls Park and stopped on the falls bridge for a beautiful photo opportunity.

These heads startled me as we pedaled past



The group decided it was now time for lunch so we biked back into Hastings to rest at the Busted Nut Bar & Grill. The food and service was superb.

Back on the bikes, we pedaled towards our vans parked north of Hastings. We passed over the river and stopped for one last look at the wildlife living here. I was fortunate to snap a photo of a blue heron towering above three turtles resting on a log. Once back at the vans, we took a short tour of the Spring Lake Park Reserve before deciding to drive to Cannon Falls to do more biking on the Cannon Valley Bike Trail.



We finished our bike adventure today by biking the full Cannon Valley Trail from Cannon Falls to Red Wing and back, a total of 40 miles. We stopped at the Bierstude in Red Wing for a quick snack and when exiting the diner noticed the sky looking pretty dark to the west. We picked up our speed and zoomed back to our vans parked at the trailhead in Cannon Falls. We were rained on for the last two miles of the total 66 we biked today. It was a beautiful day of riding and we look forward to our next adventure with Alan and Michelle.




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Is It Summer Already?

Dover Loop Plus: 26.70 miles
TANDEM: Ride Time was 1 hour 57 minutes, average speed: 13.6

The temperature was in the 70’s when we were released from work so we decided to cancel our plans to shop for groceries and instead rushed home to get more miles on the tandem. Each ride we try to increase our miles while daylight allows. We added six miles to our usual Dover Loop by continuing on towards Eyota before looping back towards Dover. We stopped for our usual meal at the Roadhouse and while eating we were warned of the threatening weather heading our way. The sky was looking quite dark to the west as we began pedaling back towards home. We made it home safe and sound and still dry.

imageLooks like there is some rain off to the west—pedal faster!