Tag Archives: Bicycle touring

A film & music festival to test out your multi-day bike touring skills

The 17th Annual Square Lake Film & Music Festival is the perfect way to experience multi-day bike touring. Just north of Stillwater, MN. This unique, bike-friendly, outdoor festival is August 10-11,2019. Over the weekend, with your camping gear shuttled free, enjoy local music on the outdoor stage. Plus short film & animation sets inside their theater-barn. You will experience multi-day bike touring fun, with a new beat for your ride home.

Music on stage with complementing movie screen adds to the fun.

Experience multi-day bike touring fun

Great music will include performances by Saltee, The Owls and The Cactus Blossoms. This is a family-friendly festival! So, in between sets enjoy some of Minnesota’s best local locally-made independent short films on one of the two screens.

Bikers entering the festival.

How far is the ride?

The festival is located on a private hobby farm, just north of Stillwater and only a few miles past the Gateway Bike Trail. Facilitated rides depart from Minneapolis and St Paul. Overnight “camping” on the festival lawn is free. Along with complimentary sag wagon support to carry your gear out to the event and back. Morning yoga and sound meditation are also provided for free to campers on Sunday morning.
Facilitated rides leave from the Twin Cities the morning of the event, with meeting
spots, in Minneapolis at the Hub Bicycle Shop and Summit Brewery in St Paul.  The 30-mile ride out to the festival utilizes the scenic Gateway Trail to its endpoint at Pine Point Park in Stillwater.  From Pine Point, the festival grounds are three miles further. Peace Coffee will again provide sag wagons to haul bikers’ camping gear. Overnight “camping” on the large lawn is also provided for free.

The festivals first “star score”

In partnership with the Minnesota Astronomical Society, banjo/guitar player Mike Rosetto will be playing a music set specifically designed to be heard while star gazing at the festival.  Telescopes will be set up to project images of the stars over the festival onto a large movie screen in the event of clouds!

Stars over the festival onto a large movie screen

How much does the event cost?

Bikers who attend the festival receive half-price tickets when purchased in advance. Regular price tickets are $30 from now through July 10th and $35 after that for attendees arriving by car.  Bikers receive a steep discount – only $15 when tickets are purchased in advance.  Tickets sales are capped at 400, and of that, almost half are sold to bikers. So try multi-day bike touring and enjoy a music festival that will put a beat into your pedal stroke.
The big issue with traveling elsewhere to ride is finding the good trails, best routes or fun secret spots that only the locals know about. That's why I recommend you enter a bike race. Not for the race, but for the route.

Bike races are a great way to experience new trails and routes

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Winter is the time of year my thoughts drift to the beautiful surroundings of warmer climates. Having traveled with my bike a great deal, I can attest to the fact that riding new trails and roads will invigorate your riding. The big issue with traveling elsewhere to bike is finding the good trails, best routes or fun secret spots only the locals know about. That’s why I recommend you enter destination bike races. Not to try and win the race, but for the route.

bike race

Stage 1 of BC Bike Race’s 2018 route

How can you enter a bike race, but race?

Any competition is not a race if you don’t try hard enough. So ignore your placement in the race results, relax, and think about the event as a well organized ride instead. This mentality works best for long events. For that reason, road circuit races are out of the question, but there are loads of mountain bike, Gravel, and road events that fit the bill.

Why go to a bike race?

The best reason to register for a race but not actually treat it like a race is the convenience. As an example, If you want to schedule an awesome mountain bike vacation on some of the best trails in the world, going to the BC Bike Race would be a good option. By registering, you have access to lodging, food, bike support, rider support and above all else eight preset courses are offered through BC’s best terrain. While you pay for this convenience, the cost is similar to if you were to plan it yourself with a lot less headache. Also, cycling events are family friendly by design, so bring everyone along!

How do I pick

With all these new options available to you, how do you pick your event? My recommendation is to start with location. Pick some areas you want to visit and ride in. Next check local calendars and see if any events will match up. Finally, register for the event of your choice and plan your vacation!

What to expect

What you will experience at these events depends greatly on the type and size of the event. For the sake of this article I will break the event types up into the two most popular categories: mountain bike and gravel bike

Mountain bike races

Mountain bike races are usually really long (like the Circumburke trail challenge in the Kingdom Trails of Vermont or stage races like the Transylvania Epic in Pennsylvania). The long single day races are fun way to test yourself and achieve a one-day goal and are awesome if you have limited time to get away. If time is not as much of an issue, stage races are where it’s at! Stage races are shorter individual rides spread over a series of days. They usually expose you to many different sections of popular trail networks as well as have a great festival atmosphere.

bike races

There are few joys that compare to experiencing new trails.

Gravel bike races

The popularity of gravel rides has exploded in the past few years thanks to dedicated people putting on world class events all around the globe. Many of these races started humbly but have grown to mythic stature. Events like Kansas’ Dirty Kanza 200 might be a stretch for most with it’s 200 miles of tire-splitting flint rock. However, for those interested in the adventure of a gravel race with a bit more approachable distance can look at Iowa’s Colesburg Gravelpocalypse with routes as short as 20 miles. Whatever your distance, gravel races are an amazing option with events all around the country.

bike Races

Lovely new roads await on countess events around the world.

What to do when you go to “race”

When you sign up for a race, it’s best to come to the event with some fitness and realistic expectations. Plan to take your time and have fun. Most importantly, remember that there are some really fast people out there who are actually racing these events. For that reason wait at the start line when the event goes off. Allow all those looking to compete to get into the race course then head off for your ride. When riding, yield right of way easily to all passing cyclists as some competitive riders may have had to stop to repair mechanicals. Finally, the race is meant to be fun. Feel free to push yourself, but if a section appears to be above your skill level there is no shame in walking it. All in all, enjoy the ride, the atmosphere and allow others to do the same

It’s Friday and time to ride off on another weekend of fun.

Bike Pic Dec 8, yeah its Friday and time for that next bike adventure

It’s Friday and time to ride off on another weekend of fun. This week we caught these two bikers cruising a trail along the beach in San Diego, CA.

What better way to continue your fall fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends at one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Yeah Its Friday’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

Riding the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail from St Pete to Clearwater, Florida.

Bike Pic Dec 7, a warm weather bike reprieve in Florida

Riding the bike friendly Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail from St. Pete to Clearwater, Florida gave these two Midwest biker chicks a reprieve from the cold weather at home.

What better way to continue your fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest  Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing the ‘Bike Florida’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

Tour bike directors, at the National Bicycle Tourism Conference in St Pete, FL, roll out for a morning ride before scheduled sessions begin.

Bike Pic Nov 9, bicycle tourism directors roll out before meetings

At the National Bicycle Tourism Conference in St Pete, FL. this week, tour bike directors from all over the U.S. rolled out for an early morning ride before scheduled BTN workshop sessions begin. Here leading the pack is T.J. Juskiewicz, Director of RAGBRAI.

What better way to continue your fall fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest  Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing the ‘Bicycle Tourism Conference’ Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

Here in this photo, we found a cyclist enjoying some summer touring fun in the Bluff Country of Southeast Minnesota near the Root River Valley.

Bike Pic Oct 20, A Recap of Summer Touring Fun by Bicycle

Here in this photo, we found a cyclist enjoying some summer touring fun in the Bluff Country of Southeast Minnesota near the Root River Valley. This Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour will take place  again July 7th through the 9th, in 2017. Watch for more ride details in December.

With the leaves turning and perfect biking weather we hope you get out on your bike and enjoy all the fall riding possibilities in Minnesota. See many more bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Summer Touring Fun Pic of the Day. 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While showcasing all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. And don’t forget to smile, while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next photos that we post daily.

Have a great day!

Bike Pic Dec. 14, a beautiful summer ride

Here are a couple happy cyclists touring Washington County, near the Brown’s Creek Trail that leads into Stillwater, Minnesota. See more bike opportunities for this area here.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

#FindYourNextAdventure

Bike Pic Dec. 13, Sunday in Winona’s Bluffs

A great place to ride your bike, here is a happy cyclist touring the hills and valleys around Southeast Minnesota’s driftless area, near Winona along the Mississippi River Trail.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

#FindYourNextAdventure

Bike Pic Dec. 12, a happy touring cyclist

Here is a happy biker touring the roads around the Brainerd Lakes Area of northern, Minnesota.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

#FindYourNextAdventure

Becoming a Randonneur

For cyclists who care to ride unsupported long-distances, randonneuring is a style of riding that is non-competitive in nature, with self-sufficiency a must and endurance cycling is paramount. When riders participate in a event of this nature they are part of a long tradition that goes back to the beginning of the sport of bicycling in France and Italy. Friendly camaraderie, not competition, is the hallmark of randonneuring.

tand-9313791745_f87ab8cdb2_b

First grand bicycle trip for Sean and his best friend Paul who set out from Portland, Oregon, across the U.S. to Portland, Maine last summer. The photo above the headline is Lynne F. at the Anderson Viewpoint on a Oregon Randonneurs event

Today there is no direct English translation of the French term “randonnée”, which loosely means to go on a long trip, tour, outing, or ramble, usually on foot or on a bicycle, along a defined route. A person who goes on a “randonnée” is called a “randonneur”. (The correct French term for a female participant is “randonneuse”, but such distinctions are often lost in America, where we tend to lump everyone together).In cycling, it means a hard-riding enthusiast who is trying to complete a long randonnée inside a certain time allotment. Note that a randonnée is not a race. Overall, about the only thing being first earns is some bragging rights.

tand-dsc01357

Andrea, looking good on a D.C. Randonneurs 600K event.

It is not uncommon for the last finishers to get as much applause as anyone else. Indeed, there is much camaraderie in randonneuring. One does it to test oneself against the clock, the weather, and a challenging route – but not to beat the other riders.

In comparison to other forms of competitive long-distance cycling, such as at the Race Across America (RAAM), where there are following cars with crews supporting the riders every inch of the way, randonneuring stresses self-sufficiency.

Help can only be given at the checkpoints along the route, so support crews (if there are any) must leapfrog the rider. Any rider caught receiving assistance from a support crew in-between checkpoints (or, “contrôles” as they are commonly called) will be subject to a time penalty, or even disqualification.

tandem_trike

Here is a captain and his stoker on a tandem trike enjoying the countryside on this event.

Randonneurs are free to buy food, supplies, or bike repairs at any stores they encounter along the route. Once riders have successfully completed a 200-kilometer “brevet”, they are entitled to be called a “randonneur” or “randonneuse”.

Randonneur Terminology

Like all other sports, “randonneuring” has a vocabulary of special terms and phrases not readily found in a dictionary. Many of the terms are French words or adaptations of them, owing to the origins of “randonneuring” there over 100 years ago. Today, these terms are commonly used by randonneurs around the world. Informal definitions of these terms are provided to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the sport, are listed here

Becoming an official Randonneur

In Minnesota, Randonneur’s are dedicated to promoting the development and enjoyment of randonneuring in the state of Minnesota. Many of the members here are members of Twin City Bicycling Club. For other state chapters go to RUSA(Randonneurs (USA), the national randonneuring organization.