2017 NR Tour Planning

Jack planned last year’s tour in Minnesota after RAGBRAI, so the task logically fell to me this time around. I had no idea what difficulties I was about to encounter. Spent most of the month of June in Europe. I’d hoped to do some planning while away, but that’s really hard to do in a foreign land surrounded by great family, great scenery, great food, and much activity. I finally arrived home in early July with planning as my top priority, and soon felt it crash in on me. A simple look at Day 1 out of Jasper revealed no vacancy at

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Mormon Lake Loop

Record heat in Phoenix today. Here in July that’s saying something, as the thermometer topped out at 118F (48C). Instead of fighting it, Phil and I jumped into the SUV and took off for Flagstaff to get in a training ride. In searching for bicycle routes online, I stumbled across a map from Absolute Bikes describing a Lake Mary and Mormon Lake Roads route as “the classic Flagstaff road bike ride.” Our quest for the day was thus set. We breakfasted and staged at the IHOP near the intersection of I-40 and I-17, and were soon on our way southeast

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2017 Northern Rockies Tour Is On

Planning is now seriously underway for this year’s tour.  Jack, Phil and I considered 2 options.  One was north-to-south along the Oregon and northern California coastline.  What won out, though, is a north-to-south route through the northern Rocky Mountains, starting in Jasper Alberta.  Should be fantastic. The route will follow the Adventure Cycling Association’s Great Parks North route.  Starting in Jasper National Park, we’ll basically criss-cross the continental divide a couple of times, wavering between Alberta and British Columbia.  Crossing into the US, we’ll then ride through the Rockies of western Montana through Glacier National Park. The plan is to

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Sedona Day Ride

It’s starting to look like Jack, Phil, and I will eventually plan a touring trip this summer or late fall. Headliner ideas are either the Oregon-California Coast or a Northern Rockies path. Either would be fantastic. This weekend Phil and I decided to jumpstart the riding year with a day ride in the Sedona area.  We planned a few options, basically 30-, 45-, and 60-mile out-and-back options, and also mapped out a few loop options if we wanted extra miles. We met Friday morning and took the scenic route (AZ87 and AZ260) from my place up through Payson, Pine, and

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2016 Riding Year in Review

Yet another calendar year gone by. In terms of cycling, rather unremarkable with a few notable exceptions. A long steady decline in mileage year on year. 2011 – 8,487 2012 – 3,030 2013 – 2,827 2014 – 1,998 2015 – 1,657 2016 – 1,616 One might be tempted to chalk that up to age or interest, but mostly life getting in the way. Took some huge breaks in there due to conflicting travel. Aaverage distance per ride is staying pretty steady, just a drop in number of days doing it. 2011 – 47.7 miles /ride average (178 rides) 2012 –

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IM18 – Stillwater

Diamond Bluff, Wisconsin to Stillwater, Minnesota Distance: 35.5 miles Ascent: 2,171 feet http://cyclemeter.com/51ced2364be66c17/Cycle-20160807-1143 Cumulative Distance this tour:  844.8 miles Cumulative Ascent this tour: 34,412 feet Up early this morning.  It had been a perfect night of camping – serene and perfect temperature.   I took another long stroll around the apple orchard.  Magical stuff.  At one point I startled 2 deer who bounded away in giant leaps.   Around the pumpkin patch were lots of plants that reminded me of childhood in Pennsylvania…milkweed, goldenrod, and many others with unknown names. Back in camp it was peaceful and slow.  Jack and Phil were

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IM17 – Nesbitt Nursery

Wabasha, Minnesota to Diamond Bluff, Wisconsin Distance: 55.9 miles Ascent: 3,183 feet http://cyclemeter.com/51ced2364be66c17/Cycle-20160806-0812 Cumulative Distance this tour:  809.4 miles This morning we breakfasted in the AmericInn lobby with something masquerading as eggs and sausage.    We learned that last night Phil was audience to a snoring duet between me and Jack somewhere about 1:30AM.  He said it only lasted about 30 minutes. Out of Wabasha, we took to the ACA route starting away from the river (MN60) and into an immediate 450 foot climb.  Sorta hurts with no warmup.  It reminded me of a similar morning back in 2011. (http://www.twowheeljournal.net/?p=2869). As

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IM16 – Long and Lovely Day

Brownsville, Minnesota to Wabasha, Minnesota Distance: 73.1 miles Ascent: 2,033 feet http://cyclemeter.com/51ced2364be66c17/Cycle-20160805-0731 Cumulative Distance this tour: 753.5 miles As previously noted, this was one fantastic campsite, the best yet on this tour. Sunrise over the Wisconsin bank. Mist rising off the river waters. Very dewy conditions due to yesterday’s rains. Magical. Phil got up real early, with Jack and I lagging. We arose to winds from the north between 5 and 10 mph, so our early riding took us into a headwind. The scenery along the river road, however, was again marvelous, blue skies with white clouds and the wide

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IM15 – Doesn’t Get Better

Monona, Iowa to Brownsville, Minnesota Distance: 68.2 miles Ascent: 3,583 feet http://cyclemeter.com/51ced2364be66c17/Cycle-20160804-0808 Cumulative Distance this tour: 680.5 miles Wonderful overnight tenting in Monona’s Gateway Park. Once packed, we each headed over to Subway or Quillin’s grocery store for things like lemon-filled donuts and coffee. In the center of Monona we picked up Pleasant Ridge Road headed east, and took it 14 miles in the early morning mist prior to sunrise, through fields of corn and soybeans. Reaching the river bluff, we were rewarded with a 500’ drop in elevation to reach the town of Marquette. Giddy-up! Marquette is a tiny

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IM14 – Beautiful Iowa

Dyersville, Iowa to Monona, Iowa Distance: 61.8 miles Ascent: 2,075 feet http://cyclemeter.com/51ced2364be66c17/Cycle-20160803-0827 Cumulative Distance this tour: 612.4 miles If Iowa could get any more beautiful, it did today. A late rise for me in the Dyersville park, and it seems I farted around more than usual this morning while Jack and Phil waited. Finally ready to go, I then couldn’t find my baseball cap, and was about to unpack my tent to see if I’d rolled it inside. Fortunately, Jack and Phil produced it – I’d left it in the park rest room. We rolled south a mile to find

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