Sunday, June 30, 2013

Triking Along the Root River Trail

Neighborhood Test Ride & RRT to Harmony: 55.10 miles
TRIKE Pedal Time: 5 hours 41 minutes, average speed 9.8

After taking the trike out for a short neighborhood jaunt and making a few minor tweaks, I was ready to introduce it to the Root River Trail with a challenging ride from Lanesboro to Harmony. The first half of this route was very hilly but on the trike I just continued to crank up each hill with no worries of going too slow and tipping over. I reached the top with just enough energy to pedal to the Crunchy Side for a break before enjoying the downhill coast back to Lanesboro. The trike handled better than expected and I counted 7 “WOWs” from bikers passing by. The unusual paint job seems to draw attention.


While breaking in Preston, we began a conversation with an Iowa bike group and realized we had met them before at the 2012 PIGS Rally in Cresco. Keith and Mary Wherry, Cresco bike shop owners, showered Dennis with compliments on the trike design and build. The trike proved to be a worthy addition to my growing bicycle collection.


Total June Miles: 285                  Total 2013 Miles: 742

The rain this season has put us behind for total miles.  Last year at this time we had double the miles, however, the weather had a lot to do with the completion of the trike in just 3 months, much earlier than expected.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

COWS Wrangler Ride–Lanesboro, Minnesota

RRT Lanesboro to Harmony: 45.78 miles
TANDEM Pedal Time: 4 hours 1 minute, average speed 11.3


The continued threat of storms caused this Wrangler group to gather at the Veerkamp farm to discuss if biking today would be an option. We missed our planned ride start by one hour which allowed the storms to clear out of the area giving us 4 hours of dry riding.


The trail was showing much damage caused by recent storms that hit southeastern Minnesota. We needed to be especially cautious around the areas covered with mud. Keeping the bike upright through each mudslide was a challenge for each captain.

The temperature was really heating up as we reached the trail signs warning us of the steep hills we needed to climb before reaching our lunch stop. Dennis and I placed ourselves ahead of the group to secure seating for 8 at the Crunchy Side in Harmony and make sure plenty of water would be waiting as each team arrived.

Pedaling back to Lanesboro was effortless. The wind was at our back and the trail rewarded us for our earlier climbing efforts. We all made it back to the start dry, safe and ready to eat again.

Back at the farm, we shared another meal together before saying good-bye to the 2013 Root River Wrangler Riders.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Funny Flamingos

Chatfield Loop: 44.63 miles
TANDEM Pedal Time: 3 hours 36 minutes, average speed 12.3

We finally had a day to bike with no worries. We journeyed along the country roads towards Chatfield where we stopped for a DQ treat. The temperature was in the 80’s and the skies were blue throughout our ride.

Along our route near Eyota, we spotted a pond and as we got closer, noticed flamingos on its edge. In my excitement, I halted the bike and quietly inched towards the pond to get a photo before they could run away and as I got closer, was disappointed to learn a joke was played on me—the birds were not real! Someone had quite a sense of humor. We had a hearty laugh and then continued on our journey towards home—a delightful little voyage.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wyatville Loop

Wyatville Loop: 27.23 miles
TANDEM Pedal Time: 2 hours 23 minutes, average speed 11.3

We needed a morning break from resume writing so decided to bike the Wyatville Loop. We packed a lunch, remembering that stops on this route were non-existent. We found a grassy patch to break after climbing the category 5 hill found on this loop. It’s amazing how good a simple sandwich can taste after a challenging incline.


Lunch was cut short when we found a tick crawling up Dennis’ leg. We brushed ourselves off and hopped back on the bike to pedal towards Lewiston. The sky was beginning to fill with dark clouds so we called our daughter, Jill, and asked her to meet us in Lewiston with the van. Some rain did fall after we reached home but we escaped the threatening thunderstorms occurring in surrounding areas. We will have to try completing this loop another time when the weather is more acceptable for cycling.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Wisconsin Visitors

Saint Charles Loop: 19.04 miles
TANDEM Pedal Time: 1 hour 45 minutes, average speed 10.8

The sun shine is back! We enjoyed a new Saint Charles Loop with Kathi and John Johnson. The Johnsons detoured to our house prior to setting sail on their Alaskan cruise. We all went to lunch at the Amish Market and then began pedaling an undetermined route to show Kathi and John around the Saint Charles neighborhoods which included a visit to our first home built in Saint Charles. It was amazing to see how the property has matured. We also pedaled up the hill near Interstate I 90 to check out the new business park. It’s currently uninhabited which made it a fun place to bike the newly-paved roads. We then picked up the Saint Charles bike path which lead us to A&W for an ice cream treat before pedaling back to the farm—a very enjoyable route.


Sunday, June 2, 2013


Saint Charles Trails: 2.30 miles
TRIKE Pedal Time: 15 minutes

The trike’s maiden voyage took place on this chilly day in June. We drove to Saint Charles in search of an open parking area to test the mechanics of the trike before disassembling for painting. We had a great time pedaling the trike and it passed every test with flying colors. Even with only one gear, the bike was fun to pedal. Some final details will now need to be worked on before we take the trike on a longer test.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

RRT—Rushford to Lanesboro: 37.11 miles
TANDEM Pedal Time: 2 hours 50 minutes, average speed 13.0

Welcome June! It’s been 12 days since we last had the tandem out for a ride. Chilly, May rain and severe thunderstorms kept us huddled inside. Even today we took a chance with scattered thundershowers predicted throughout the day.

The trail is always a great place to ride on days like this. We biked from Rushford to Whalan and since the trail was open beyond Whalan, we continued on to Lanesboro. We encountered many rough spots in the construction area where surfacing needs to be completed. The trail will close again in mid-June to allow for continued construction with a completion date sometime in July.