Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Minnesota featured in a Bicycling article

Figured I would pass this along to my readers.

While working out on the exercise bike at the Y the other day, I came across this article in Bicycling magazine.

Most editions of the popular cycling publication have a story or two about an interesting or scenic ride one of it's riders partook in. However, since it's a national magazine, most of the rides take place in far-away places that go well beyond the outer reaches of a typical day trip in southern Minnesota. As much as we Minnesotans love to read about scenic bike trips along the California coast, it's not exactly a ride we can experience unless it involves vacation time (or, in my case, furloughs).

That's not the case here. Not only does the ride take place in Minnesota, but it's in an area some would argue to be among the most scenic in the state: the Mississippi River valley along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

The story is written by Frank Bures, a Minneapolis-based cyclist who decides that simply showing up at his 20-year high school reunion in Winona isn't a grand enough entrance. He instead decides to bike there all the way from Minneapolis, about a 200-mile trip along some pretty rocky terrain and brutal hills.

This particular stretch of the Mississippi River Trail is actually a pretty popular one among cyclists. Aside from its close proximity to a wealth of bikers residing in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, it offers an ideal mix of scenery and challenge for experienced riders. According to Bures, Greg LeMond trained for the Tour de France in that area.

Aside from Bures deep-seeded resentment for Winona (he portrays the community to be filled with crime and definitely wasn't thrilled about returning to his roots), it's a pretty fun read that will give you some inspiration for day trips to take on a bike this spring.

For myself, his story about climbing Barn's Bluff in Red Wing (apprently a climb Henry David Thoreau made way back when as well) just served as further proof that I really should have spent more time in that town when I visited last fall.

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