Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour 2015

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Before you leave thinking this is just another ride report from yet another ‘bike ride’, please take in the description of this event.

 

 

This is a tour on 3-speed bikes (requirement)
English bikes (almost essential, at least a Sturmey/Archer hub)
Pre-war dress (tweed!)

and tea…

Think about that picture.
A line of 30-50 white tailed Raleigh 3-speed bikes lined up surrounded by lots of tweed.
Now think of seeing a mile of black upright bikes with wool and tweedy prewar fashon rolling by.

Quite a site even if you don’t do vintage. If you do, there’s more than just Raleighs present. Many prewar bikes make the trip.

Every 6 to 10 miles, they stop.

FB_IMG_1431821922211All day they ride past beautiful scenery, lie in the grass with a glass of wine, chat with each other while rolling along, help a fellow rider, make tea on an amazing vistas, enjoy a piece of pie on the porch and a pint on the patio.

The old English way of going for a bike ride is the most laid back I can think of. The bikes are made to haul a modest load (picnic basket, bottle of wine), are sturdy and comfortable. A rolling stroll through the countryside with English manners.

Now the ride report:

5AM- Awake with much anticipation
6AM- Arrive to pick up riding companion
8ish- Redwing starting area. Registration, drop off gear in the lorry, wander, chat and drool over the amazing collection of vintage bikes.
Opening ceremony -Tongue in cheek blessing of the bikes, quite funny complete with multi page bible(ish) read along and song handout done by real vicar in collar.
9ish- Roll out, not everyone, just sort of leave when you’re done chatting in the parking lot.

From here there will be no real time references.

Nice long line of white tailed bikes rolled across ol’ Miss and proceeded to take a variety of routes which all seemed to meet at Bay City.

FB_IMG_1431788850035We stopped for (a well made, from scratch) Bloody Mary at Hase Loft. Saw the Bay City hill. Had another Bloody…

Bay City hill-longest climb at the start of the ride. Good thing I had a flask of brandy along…reward for the climb, courage for upcoming plunge downhill (these are old vintage bikes remember).

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Somewhere near the Maiden rock, we found that a crank cotter pin could be replaced at a wayside. Full selection of pins with pin press and experienced mechanic, right there at the wayside. Just when my riding companion needed one. Much thanks and a beer at the last stop of the day were offered and accepted.

On to the Village of Maiden Rock for a pint and some food on Oly’s patio. Then fresh rhubarb pie on the porch of Smiling Pelican Bake Shop. Oh my.
Stockholm was next inline, several blocks of stores and shops, population- 66. I think every resident must have their own business, not an empty store front. We had a pint at Gelly’s after strolling around town and listening to the live music playing in the park.

A stop in Pepin is recommended. The ride through the marsh is long, straight and boring. Kind of a green tunnel with bad bridge seams. The rise out of the marsh is almost a revelation. Suddenly there are the great views again.

Neson just around the corner, a stop at Nelson Creamery for ice cream or a pint of micro-brew, your choice.

One more up and over into Wabasha and meet at Eagle Nest Coffee.

Camping in Malone Park with the geese.

A pint or so at Eagle Nest
Diner (Irish Stew) and a pint at Olde Triangle Pub
Couple pints at Slippery’s
Time for bed.
Morning coffee (fresh ground) before tearing down camp.
Ride around town.

Meet at Eagle Nest, discuss how MN doesn’t allow Bloody Mary’s before 10AM on Sunday. Breakfast of egg bake, fruit, various breads, coffee, OJ, still no bloody’s…

Rollout about 10ish
We found our Bloody’s at Port 104 in Lake City before the Brew Up. We needed it, a flat on the ol’ Raleigh got us the use of a wrench and a new tube from our fellow riders about half way to town.

The Brew Up is a group tea event in Ohuta Park. What can I say? A hundred people making tea at a park, in prewar clothing and riding vintage bikes. About it…
IMG_20150517_132755A visit to a civil war era residential area is next. Why? Well, an old stone wall of course. We’re all full of tea, time to stop for a nice cigar or pipe filled with tasty tobacco. Not a requirement, mostly another nice place to stop and chat.

A ride through Frontenac State Park. Quick stop to realize the Raleigh had a stripped rear axle bolt causing the balding tire to rub on the chainstay. Onward, up and down Hill Ave (gravel).
Straight to Redwing from there, end of the ride.

I believe we did about 85 miles, drank 4 or 5 Bloody Mary’s each, a few pints and most of the brandy in my flask.

Can’t wait ’til next year.

Please visit the Lake Pepin 3-speed Tour website for a much better description of the event.

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Bike Anywhere 2015

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Free Wheelin’ Wednesdays

June 3rd, 10th  & every Wednesday throughout the year, 4:00 – 8:00 pm

Pearl Street Brewery, 1401 St. Andrews St., La Crosse

Bike to the brewery and enjoy a free beer

C.R.A.P (Cheeseburgers, Ride, Ales and Pins) Ride

June 3rd, 10th & every Wednesday throughout the year

Depart from Pearl St. Brewery at 6:05 for a casual group ride through La Crosse’s neighborhoods, enjoy a $3 burger at Ye Olde Style Inn and finish the ride with bowling at Pla-mor (2 games and shoe rental for $5)

Led by Michael Barreyro, ph 715-586-1736

Bike to Coffee

Sunday, June 7-Saturday, June 13

Bike to coffee, show your helmet & enjoy a free cup a coffee.

Grounded Specialty – Bean Juice – Java Vino – Jules – McCaffrey’s – Moka – Ground Up – Root Note – Cabin Coffee – People’s Food Coop – River Rocks – Blue Dog -The Pearl Coffee House – 500 Club Bistro in legacy building Gundersen

Bike Rodeo

Sunday, June 7, noon

Hogan Administrative Building, 807 East Ave., La Crosse

Have the kids complete the bicycle safety course. Following the bike rodeo there will be a neighborhood group ride.

Led by Carolyn Dvorak, carolyn.dvorak@WisconsinBikeFed.org

Bike Ride with Kevin Miller and Carolyn Dvorak from Blue Heron Bike Shop

Monday, June 8, 6pm

Blue Heron Bike Shop, 213 Main St., Onalaska

Bike from the Blue Heron Bike Shop to the North Side of La Crosse and back.  Estimated distance 10-15 miles.

Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Executive Director, Dave Cieslewicz will take a bike ride with Mayor Kabat from City Hall

Tuesday, June 9, 8am

Everyone is welcome to join.

Women’s Bike Ride from River Trail Cycles

Wednesday, June 10, 5:45pm

River Trail Cycles, 106 Mason Street, Onalaska

Women’s Road Ride 25- 30 miles with a couple of hills; no one will be left behind

Led by Carolyn Dvorak, carolyn.dvorak@WisconsinBikeFed.org

Bike to Loggers Baseball Game

Thursday, June 11

Bike Basics Class

Thursday, June 11, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

People’s Food Co-op, Community Room, 315 5th Ave. S., La Crosse

$5 PFC Members/ $10 Nonmembers

A must attend for both novice and avid bikers. Colin Stiemke of Blue Heron Bikes will show you the basics from lubing a bike chain to tire pressure and brake adjustments; learn basic repairs to keep you on the road.

Bike Week Celebration

Friday, June 12 4:00 – 8:00

Cameron Park Farmer’s Market, La Crosse

Enjoy music by Grand Picnic & learn more about how the DRBC is working to improve bicycling in the driftless region.

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Logging Miles for the National Bike Challenge

The National Bike Challenge needs your miles. Commuting or even better, join your local peloton (your friends and neighbors who you love to ride with) and log some fun miles to the local park, trail ride or if you are me, my amazing local brewery.

The National Bike Challenge pits all the states in the US against each other in a challenge to ride the most collective miles. Last year Wisconsin was Third in the Nation! 4455 riders rode 2,616,314 miles (according to Endomondo). That number is hard to imagine.  I logged 4814 miles last summer just riding around town (I didn’t do any big rides last year). I missed the Platinum level by 186 miles. Gonna have to do the Tour de Pearl a couple more times this year…bummer 😉

 

So, how do you do it? Follow these directions:

 
-Go to the National Bike Challenge site click on this banner.

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-Log in using Facebook or your Endomondo login or create a new account
(I had an Endomondo account from last year, so I used it)

-Once you log in, you get three banners. Click the middle one to log your miles.

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You can log miles by syncing your Endomondo App on your smartphone or just typing them in on the above webpage clicking the LOG MILES + .

That’s it. go to the website, sign in, log miles.

 

If you don’t know how far you are riding, try using Google maps. You can set your start and stop point, change the transportation option to bicycle.

 

Quick logging tip: Use the same route for your regular trips, add manually for others.

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Using routes makes logging easy so you don’t have to sign on everyday.

If you are joining the challenge late, backfilling is OK. Pick the days on the calendar and fill in your milage.

 

Looking forward to seeing you out there.

 

Michael Baker, President

Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition

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Happy New Year

I went for a ride today. There was an annual ride happening and I wanted to check it out. I left the house after putting on the appropriate clothing, stopped to put some bills in the mail and then chose my route to the ride. I arrived early enough to roll down to the local bar/restaurant for a bloody mary and get a banana from the gas station. The ride started on time with 9 of us rolling north into a nice north wind with mostly dry pavement under the tires. We arrived at the end of the road and stopped to chat and grab a picture to record the New Years ride. We rolled down hill with a tailwind most of the way back and each rider pealed off and headed for home as we reached their turns. The last 3 of us went down to two as I decided to stop at the home store to get a couple items for home. While I was wandering the isles a couple of friends called and we decided to meet at the Legion  for a drink and food. After a couple Guinness, we headed in our home directions. I arrived home before dark with about 30 miles on the saddle.
Sounds like a typical ride, no big deal, do it all the time. Well, yeah. I do. And I enjoy it even though it was 5°F, I was riding my winter beater fixed-gear 26″ studded tire bike. This thing is no speed machine, but it does take the winter abuse pretty well. It’s geared low, but not that low. The routes to the ride were snow covered and of course half into a Midwest winter north wind. I stopped 3 times throughout the day and each time I had ice on my beard that took me a couple minutes to melt off with my hands. I was the last to arrive at the stopping point on the official ride (half mile behind the ‘peloton’). Normally, I would push the group with my summer fixed gear bike (geared high) and charge up hill with all the challenge it is to mash a big gear up hill, but it is cold out. Sanity rules out and slow is better as sweating makes you cold and the ride back would have been hypothermia for me. Sounds bad. It wasn’t. It was fun. Outside, bicycle, friends and a beer or two. Yeah, it was a good day.
Happy New Year fellow cyclists, get out and ride, any time, any weather. Riding is always good.
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