Back to Minnesota for more cycling

Joined
Jul 7, 2014
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3,504
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
We enjoyed cycling in north-central Minnesota every year from 2015 through 2019, and then were interrupted by the pandemic. Last week was our first time back, and it was as good as we remembered.

We drove down on Wednesday, and stopped in Bemidji to cycle around the lake. It rained heavily while we were in the forest at the north end of the lake, and then backed off for long enough for us to complete the loop. The skies opened up as soon as we'd finished. Good timing! Finished up with 27.5 km on the trip meter.
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We stayed at a hotel in Walker, and on Thursday rode out to Park Rapids and back on the western leg of the Heartland trail. Marveled at the fall colours we don't get here at home.

We stopped for coffee in Park Rapids and met up with Canadian cycling legend and former olympic athlete Lindsey Gauld, and his buddy Al D. Lindsey celebrated a million kilometers of cycling in 2013, and figures he's now at 1,250,000! Just a chance meeting, but it was great to visit with them.

I'm nowhere close to that, but we did rack up 106 km on the day.
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On Day 3, Friday, we did "The Triangle", a loop of the Shingobee Connection Trail, a section of the Paul Bunyan Trail, and a section of the shared portion of the Heartland and Paul Bunyan trails. Lots of warning signs about 8% grades. Glad to have my 22-34 low gear! About 38 km in all.
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On Day 4, Saturday, we drove out to Itasca State Park and did the 31 km loop. We remembered it as very beautiful, and weren't disappointed! Very neat to see the Mississippi headwaters.
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On Day 5, Sunday, we drove down to Baxter and then cycled down to the Crow Wing State Park. Again, just as good as we'd remembered. Bonus: Didn't break a chain by the Mississippi this time. Just a hair shy of 50 km.
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Bike problems were minimal ... my wife's old (2007) Giant Iguana mountain bike, which she'd planned to ride on this trip, was stolen just a few days before we left, so we took her touring bike, a 1987 Bianci Grizzly, fitted with 1.5" tires and various updated parts.

A couple of days before we left, I replaced the worn 1.9" rear tire on my 2002 Rocky Mountain Fusion mountain bike with the 2.1" tire from the front, and installed a new 2.125" tire I had on hand on the front. (I have this aversion to having a larger tire on the back than on the front, even when the difference is that token.) Anyway, the 2.1" tire on the back was marginal for clearance. Several times under load, the rear wheel shifted enough for the knobs on the L side of the tire to start "quacking" as they contacted the frame. Today I replaced it with a 1.5" tire I had on hand, so the bike now has a bit of a "Carolina squat". Will try it though - it might be a good combination.

I also had my rear shifter cable starting to stretch badly on the last day on the way back from Crow Wing, but it hung on long enough to give me enough gears to get home. Replaced it yesterday when we got home - it was hanging on by about half its strands.

But no flats, no broken spokes, no broken chains, so all good!
 

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Joined
Oct 17, 2020
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21
A beautiful area, looks like you had a lot of fun. I have lots of great memories around that area from college at Bemidji State. Riding around Lake Bemidji is always a fun day. I used to ice fish 200 yards in front of my dorm there on the lake, and drive across the lake and park on the ice for class. Good times.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
4,517
Looks like a great ride. You mentioned 38km which is about 25 miles. I love a good 20-30 mile run. Just right physically and mentally for me. Especially in that beautiful fall envirnoment.
 

Number_35

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
3,504
Location
Winnipeg MB CA
A beautiful area, looks like you had a lot of fun. I have lots of great memories around that area from college at Bemidji State. Riding around Lake Bemidji is always a fun day. I used to ice fish 200 yards in front of my dorm there on the lake, and drive across the lake and park on the ice for class. Good times.
https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t...unyan-trail-in-minnesota.242497/#post-4557781

@Halderm, the linked thread has some photos from earlier trips.

The Bemidji State campus looks great.
 
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