Ardy Nurmi-Wilberg. Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour Director
It was a perfect day to ride a bike on the Mesabi Trail. Perfect temperature, lots of sunshine, even the wind cooperated giving everyone a little help from behind.
Held on the first Saturday in August, last year the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour traveled from Grand Rapids to Virginia with nearly 700 riders from all over the upper mid-west participating. And the proceeds benefited Ampers (Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities) and the Mesabi Trail.
Designed for both the serious rider and families with children, all riding is exclusively on the Mesabi Trail passing through many of the unique towns & cities of Northeast Minnesota. Each year this unique linear route ride starts & ends in two different locations offering four routes, a 12, 33, 53 or 69-mile option. Along the way you will find food & music at six rest stops and a picnic dinner & concert at the finish – with a complimentary t-shirt and bike water bottle to take home. This fully supported ride also provides transportation for riders and their bikes.
Each routes gives riders a taste of history and culture along the trail as the tour stops at places like the Greyhound Bus Museum, in Hibbing and at the Hill Annex Mine State Park, in Calumet, or the Hull Rust Mine, in Hibbing. Just a mile off the tour this is the world’s largest active open pit mine – often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the north. Whatever section you choose to ride the Mesabi Trail offers ride participants an up close look at the northland forest, passing by lakes and rivers and the majestic water filled iron mines.
From our 2013 ride, we would like to extend gratitude to the 128 volunteers who donated almost 1,500 hours of their time. Also a special thank you to our sponsors: Great River Energy, Mesabi Trail, MediaCom, Villas at Giants Ridge, Itasca Trails Task Force, UCare, Century Link, Amper’s, Frandsen Bank & Trust, Idea Drilling, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Mesabi Masonry, NE Technical Services, Iron Mining Association, Mining Minnesota, Range 11 TV, Mesabi Daily News, Hibbing Daily Tribune, Grand Rapids Herald, Hometown Focus. We couldn’t do it without you!
Here are some of our rider comments from the 2013 Tour:
• “Love this event – it gets better every year. Your volunteers are the best on the planet!”
• “This is one of funnest and best organized rides I’ve been on. We’ll be back!”
• “The ride is extremely well organized. Snack food at rest stops was a great variety. The musicians were fantastic. Overall a great experience!”
• “Solid, I’d do it again!”
In our 10th year, the 2014 Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour is Saturday, August 2, on the Mesabi Trail in Northeast Minnesota. This year the ride is going in reverse of the 2013 route, traveling west from Fayal Township (near Eveleth) to Coleraine (near Grand Rapids). For more information on riding the Mesabi Trail or to register for the Bike Tour, click here.