Tag Archives: cycling

This Wise Wednesday cyclist on the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour, last July, discovered a set of wheel from agriculture's past.

Bike Pic Oct 26, Wise Wednesday Cyclists Discovers Past Wheels

This Wise Wednesday cyclist on the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour, last July, discovered a set of wheel from agriculture’s past.  This photo was taken in Mabel, MN where the steam engine stands along Hwy 44, to promote the annual Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days, held each September.

The Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour, next year will be held July 7.8 &9 in 2017 and registration opens December 1st.

Back to this wise Wednesday. With the leaves still colorful we hope you get out on your bike and enjoy all the fall riding possibilities and Halloween Decorations in Minnesota. See many more bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Wise Wednesday 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!

This Motivation Monday cyclist demonstrates his enthusiasm as he attend the Bike Tourism Conference, held in San Diego, CA last year.

Bike Pic Oct 24, Motivation Monday Demonstrates Enthusiasm at Meeting

This Motivation Monday cyclist demonstrates his enthusiasm as he attend the Bike Tourism Conference, held in San Diego, CA last year. The 2016 National Bicycle Tourism Conference will be held November 2-5 at the Sirata Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fl. Each year tourism bureau’s, bike tour/event directors, and other bike related companies meet to network and learn the latest to bring you your #nextbikeadventure.

See our Photo Gallery from the 2015 Conference in San Diego.

With the leaves turning in the last week of October here in the upper Midwest, its perfect biking weather and we hope you get out on your bike. Get out and enjoy all the fall riding possibilities in Minnesota because and see all the bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Fun Motivation Monday 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. Also, 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. Here, you will find your next bike adventure. Also, check out the MN Bike Guide! It is now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com because you will 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!

This Wise Wednesday Pic of the week shows a cyclist on the Mississippi River Ttrail with a attachable brim for her bicycle helmet to help protect from the UV rays.

Bic Pic Oct 19, Wise Wednesdays Shows Helmet Brims Block the Sun

This Wise Wednesdays Pic of the week shows a cyclist on the Mississippi River Trail, near the Twin Cities Gateway, with an attachable brim for her bicycle helmet to help protect from the sun’s UV rays. We are noticing more and more helmet brim accessories now on the market that can be fun and some…well you be the judge. Are any of these accessories ones that you like or have tried that we would be able to share?

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

Thanks for viewing the Wise Wednesdays 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!

With determination, this motivation Monday cyclist demonstrates his passion for riding in style, money is no object.

Bike Pic Oct 17, This Motivation Monday Cyclist Rides in Style

With determination, this Motivation Monday cyclist demonstrates his passion for riding in style, money is no object, as seen in the photo. He has detailed his low-rider in U.S currency. The Motivation Monday picture this week was taken at the 2016 Open Streets Minneapolis community event held along Franklin Avenue, on Sunday, August 21st.

With the leaves turning and perfect biking weather we hope you get out on your bike, regardless of accessories or detail. Go out and enjoy all the fall riding possibilities in Minnesota because there are any all the bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Fun Motivation Monday 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. Also, 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. Here, you will find your next bike adventure. Also, check out the MN Bike Guide! It is now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com because you will 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!

How to Lube and Clean Your Bike Chain

From Christian Woodcock -Bike Roar
Most of us can’t often be bothered cleaning and lubing our bike chain, yet by following these five simple steps the job can be done quickly and easily. Learn how to lube and clean your bike chain. Remember – Don’t apply lube to a dirty chain!

 clean-2_jockey_wheel_with_small_tool1. Clear away the gunk
I have found it best to scrape away the larger deposits of gunk before degreasing. A good place to start is your rear derailleur. Ever noticed a buildup of black tar on the derailleur jockey wheels? In a perfect world we perfect people wouldn’t allow it to get this bad but things happen…

New on the market, this last year,  is Globalbike Gear Cleaning Cord. This is a convenient polyester cord lightly presaturated with an anti-corrosive, soy based cleaner/lubricant making it safe to use without a strong solvent smell. The cord slides easily between the tight spaces on your bike and picks up dirt, grime and buildup. Once you’re done, simply throw it away! They also make a chain cleaner cloth.

clean-1_bike_drivetrain_with_brush_and_detergent2. Wash
Use hot water, a stiff brush and some bike cleaning detergent (or the stuff you use for your dishes will do). Give the drivetrain a good scrub, particularly the chain. This will remove any dirt or grit hanging around the chain and cogs and prepares the area for degreasing.

Clean-4_apply_degreaser_to_bicycle_chain3. Degrease
What to use? I recommend always using a cycling specific product from your local bike shop. Industrial degreasers are very powerful no doubt, but they can harm some of the more delicate smaller components in your chain. Products designed for bikes often use a non-corrosive citrus or similar biodegradable formula. The other benefit is that it won’t be as toxic for you.

Apply the degreaser to your chain, rotate the cranks backwards and let it soak into the links. Grab your partner’s toothbrush so you can scrub around the tricky areas like the rear derailleur (make sure you buy a new toothbrush once used – it will come in handy again).

Clean-3_wipe_off_bicycle_chain_with_rag4. Wipe off
Wash any remaining degreaser away with water. Grab the chain with rag in hand and rotate the cranks. Even after all this cleaning you will get black tar coming off the chain – That’s ok.
Your chain should be looking pretty sparkly now and will sound crisp as it runs through the cogs on the drivetrain. Oh, sweet music can be heard as you spin!

TIP:  Keep a rag handy where you store your bike. After every ride, give the chain a quick wipe off. This removes any excess lube or gunk collected from the ride and keeps your chain nice and clean. The lube remains where you want it- in the links, and doing its job.

Clean-5_apply_lubrication_to_bicycle_chain5. Re-lube
One of the reasons for the tar build-up we removed in the first step is over lubricating. We have all been guilty of this at some time or another and thankfully it hasn’t been criminalized (although in some riding groups you may get verbally flogged or sneered at.)

Lube should only be applied to a clean chain and as little as possible is best. Ideally you want the lube to penetrate into the chain links since this is where the chain contacts the cogs, not the outside links. Rotate the cranks to get maximum coverage.

Don’t worry if you over do it, the last step is to again grab the chain with a rag and wipe away any excess lube.
For the latest products: See your local bike shop

Bonus Tip 1:  Use the lightest lube you can get away with for the conditions. If using a dry waxy lube, the trick is on the first use. Apply thoroughly and leave overnight if possible, then wipe off excess and apply again.

It is a simple job, but an important one in order to have a smooth running bike. After lubing that crisp chain sound will now be the purr of a happy drivetrain.

 Bonus Tip 2: Road and Mountain Bikers, an old 1 or 2 gallon garden pump sprayer works wonderful to rinse off the mud from the trail or grim on the road before wiping down your chain and loading your bike for transport. Never use a power washer, the high pressure can damage seals on your drivetrain and possibly the paint on your bike frame.

Author: Christian Woodcock -Christian loves riding bikes. He has many years of experience working in bike shops and has successfully raced mountain bikes at a high level. These days, expect to see him climbing and suffering on a road bike, or talking it up on the trails with friends.

 

Festival Shows How Bike Friendly La Crosse Can Be

Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com
What a way to spend the last holiday of summer, then with old and new friends biking around the Mississippi River Valley, in and around La Crosse, Wisconsin!  (below, cyclist on the Apple Blossom loop overlooking La Crosse)

DV IMAGELast year, riding in and around this bike friendly community at the Labor Day Weekend Bicycle Festival, Marcy and I enjoyed several days of fun. Meeting and riding with cyclists from Florida, Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota and neighboring cities in Wisconsin. Enjoying a full schedule of city bike tours, scenic road routes to explore, a bike rodeo on Saturday and evenings filled with entertainment in the downtown area; a great time was had by all.

DSCF1086With most events starting and ending in or near Cameron Park, in the historic downtown district of La Crosse, it was easy to pick and choose which events or rides we wanted to participate in. From: coffee tours in the morning; many historic and wildlife tours throughout the day; ice cream or candy shop tours in the afternoon, it was hard to take it all in; and still have time to fit in at least one of the many country tour loops, on the Minnesota or Wisconsin side of the Mississippi – or the mountain bike options up in the bluffs overlooking La Crosse.

DSCF1124If you can take off early for the weekend, each year the fun begins on Thursday evening with a Registration Packet Pick-up Party at the Pearl Street Brewery. Located in the warehouse district of town, those that can make it early can sample some of the area’s finest brews while looking at all the ride option that begin Friday morning. Last year, we sampled the latest IPA, a couple stouts and a porter that tantalized my taste buds. Along with all the great food in La Crosse, visiting the brewery was an added bonus to our visit here.

DSCF1031On Friday, as more cars toting bicycles roll into town, cyclists of all ages and experience levels looked forward to all the ride options scheduled. Ride opportunities last year and similar to this year’s schedule included a: Coon Valley Coulee Express ride (28, 48 or 57 mile), In town Coffee & Muffin Ride to West Salem, with stops at a bakery, and up in the bluffs on the east side of La Crosse, mountain bikers can try the Human Powered Trans Ride for some technical challenges. Other self-guided tours and events of the day included: trail rides; tandem & recumbent rides; and options for some gravel road riding.

DSCF1104As the sun sets, beyond the bluffs on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River, the Festival’s activities move from the park to the heart of downtown, centered in music filled Pearle Street area. Here while enjoying the tunes of several bands, along with many food and beverage options in the closed-off street section, many bicycle tales were shared and the next day’s activities planned.

DSCF0984The event and ride options on Saturday continue with registration and packet pickup throughout the morning in the park. Here, amongst a farmers market setting,  local vendors are selling coffee and breakfast scones as riders check in for the events of the day.

CampWI_728X90 For those wanting to explore the countryside on the Minnesota side of the river, some say it’s God’s Country, the Apple Blossom Loop (35 miles) and the Driftless Region’s Most Scenic Ride (62 and 82 mile) are rich in history and beauty. Similar to Friday’s Wisconsin’s coulee ride in length, all tours depart from Cameron Park in La Crosse. The Apple Blossom crosses the Mississippi River bridge into La Crescent, Minn. to begin the featured rides of that day.

DSCF1010Later in the morning on Saturday, at the Mayo Clinic Health System Campus, the annual BIKE SAFE rodeo takes place. Great family fun, this event features a bike safety course, a sizing and discounted helmet sale, bike decoration stations, with a parade that follows showing local residence and visiting families, and all the fun bikes decorated.

DSCF1015As the kids continued to have fun at the rodeo there was a late morning Heritage Tour of La Crosse scheduled, the first of two for the day, can be enjoyed. As we discovered the commercial buildings with 20th century Chicago style including gargoyles, followed by the Art Deco and Art Modern styles of the “Roaring Twenties.”

DSCF1086 Then the residential tours show another side of La Crosse’s architecture. From Victorian to Tutor designs a local guide there, like ours last year, will give you an impromptu lesson that really explained how the towns expanding neighborhoods complement the contrast to the historic downtown district of this river city.

DSCF1163With the heat of August still normally in play on Labor Day Weekend, the Homemade Ice Cream Tour was and is a big hit for all. Using both the paved trail and recommended city bike routes, a tour leader will take you to three confectionary establishments in the city that still make their own ice cream, on site. We found, with a few miles in between each of the planned stops, it was easy to have a small cone to taste test at least one of a dozen or more different flavors at each shop we stopped at.

DSCF1106Each year the La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival coincides with the Downtown Sound Music Festival which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 10 p.m. Last year the Music Festival feature live entertainment on a bicycle powered stage! See the fun had by all on their Facebook page and a lineup  for this year’s entertainment.

DSCF0980Planning the trip here we found the Settle Inn, about a half mile north of the downtown area, to be a very bike friendly lodging venue to ride from each day. With many hotel amenities favorable to bicyclists here and a combination of designated bike routes to get downtown, I will use this property again. For more hotel or camping options when biking here, see At-A-Glance, La Crosse.

If you can’t make it for the 2014 La Crosse Area Labor Day Weekend Bike Festival, contact the Tourism Bureau and they can arrange maps and itineraries for your own weekend bicycle festival, anytime of the year.

DSCF1117I could ramble on and on about the pleasurable time Marcy and I had at last year’s Bike Festival, however I won’t. The most important thing I can share with you is, come to La Crosse with your bike and – have some fun!

450 Students Projected For Fall HS Bike Race Series

Libby Hurley, libby@minnesotamtb.org MN MTNBike_july-20

The MN High School Cycling League is pleased to announce their outlook for the fall racing season.  (Above photo,  JV Riders Erik Brekke (325) from Eastview and Jackson Melin (335) from Hopkins battle for the lead after the start of the 2013 Mt. Kato race…uphill. Photo Credit: Todd Bauer) The MN League works during the off-season to actively recruit new student-athlete racers and teams to participate. This year’s efforts paid off with seven brand new teams and three composite teams split to form high-school specific teams. Composite teams are intended to be temporary solutions towards building single school-based teams or county-based home-school teams. “We had 26 teams racing in 2013,” said Minnesota League Director Josh Kleve. “We anticipate close to 40 teams will be ready to race this fall. We think we’ll be right around 400-450 student athletes racing.” MN League List of Teams Teams with “M” signifies middle school racers are included on their team. 1. Armstrong Cycle Club | M 2. Apple Valley HS Team | M 3. Austin Composite | M 4. Bloomington Composite | M 5. Burnsville HS Team | M 6. Chaska/Chanhassen | M 7. Cuyuna Lakes Team 8. Duluth Area Team | M 9. Eagan HS Team | M 10. East Metro Area Team 11. Eastview HS Team | M 12. Edina Area Team | M 13. Highland Park Team 14. Hopkins Area Team | M 15. Hutchinson Area Team | M 16. Lakeville HS Team | M 17. Mankato Composite Team | M 18. Maple Grove HS Team 19. Mayo Rochester HS Team 20. Mendota Heights Composite 21. Mpls Southside Composite | M 22. Minnetonka Area Team 23. Osseo HS Team 24. Patrick Henry HS Team 25. Prior Lake HS Team | M 26. Rochester Area Team 27. Rosemount HS Team | M 28. Roseville Area Team | M 29. St. Croix Valley Composite | M 30. Stillwater Area Team | M 31. Twin Cities Academy 32. Washburn HS Team | M 33. Wayzata Team | M 34. White Bear Lake HS Team Teams in Development 1. St. Anthony 2. Waconia 3. Northfield Full Team Details and Contacts The MN League is one of 13 statewide mountain bike racing leagues operating under the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Based in Berkeley, CA, NICA provides resources and guidance to guide the development of high school mountain bike racing across the U.S. MN MTNBike_julyb-20CrankSisters Skill Session Crank Sisters Mountain Bike Try it Out Session on Wed. July 23 is open to GIRLS, no racing experience required. Please note, boys may attend the try it out session schedule on the same day and try out the bikes, but the skills session with Pro MTB Bike Racer Kyia Anderson is for girls only. July CrankSister Session will be lead by Kyia Anderson @kyiabikes at Salem Hills.  Full Details and Directions for CrankSisters Session and Pro Bio. About the Minnesota High School Cycling League The Minnesota High School Cycling League, founded in 2012, serves all Minnesota high school and middle school-aged students, and regardless of ability level, is committed to providing a positive co-ed cycling experience. Each MN League season includes summer camps, a five-race series, wilderness first aid certification courses and a Spring Leaders’ Summit for training and certification of coaches. The MN League exists by virtue of a range of fundraising activities, as well as generous donors, and MN League sponsors including the founding national sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components; as well as establishing NICA sponsors Easton Foundations, SRAM, and Trek Bicycles; major sponsors, Giro, Clif Bar and Company, Primal Wear, Quality Bicycle Products, GU Sports, Cannondale, Kinetic, Maxxis, CamelBak, Feedback Sports, Optic Nerve, Easton, Athletic Event Supply, Fort Lewis College, Fox Racing Shox, Sho-Air, Yakima, Lizard Skins, DeFeet and Ritchey Designs; media partners Mountain Bike Action, Dirt Rag, Switchback and Cyclingnews. MN League specific sponsors include Founding Retailers Penn Cycle and Erik’s Bike and Board Shop, Mt Borah, Life Time Cycle, AAA, Muscle Milk, HealthPartners Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series, Salsa, Peace Coffee Racing, Park Tool, Karma Race Management, Ipsity Marketing, and Valley Bike and Ski. For more information on the MN League, visit minnesotamtb.org.

Blue Earth Focuses on Bike Friendly Designation

Chuck Hunt, Editor of the Faribault County Register A local group wants to make Blue Earth, MN a friendly place for bikers and they don’t mean the Harley motorcycle riders who pass by on their way to Sturgis every summer. 510123_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead, they want the city to be a safe and welcoming place for those who want to pedal bicycles around town. Last Monday the Active Living Coalition hosted a Bikeable Community Workshop at the Public Safety Building in Blue Earth. Leading the workshop were bike experts from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Department of Health, as well as a representative from the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. Those attending the workshop were members of the community, including city councilmen, Chamber of Commerce office, city engineer, Blue Earth Area Schools officials and some interested local bicycle enthusiasts. According  to Dar Holmseth, of the Blue Earth Community Education office and leader of the Active Living Coalition, “The workshop leaders were very pleased with how well our roundabouts safely accommodate pedestrians and bikers.”  “They also thought we have great potential (for safe bike routes) with the newer, wider streets in town.” Holmseth also mentioned, “the ultimate goal is that Blue Earth is in a good position to become an official “Bike Friendly Community.” There are currently 11 cities in the state which have achieved the Bike Friendly Community designation, ranging in size from Minneapolis down to Grand Marais, population 1,351. The closest one to Blue Earth is Mankato, which not only has bike trails and lanes, but also 2,000 bicycle parking spaces in its downtown area. On Monday the workshop focused on the benefits of biking both for individual persons (health, physical activity and saving transportation costs) and for communities (economic impact, tourism and increasing home sales). A main focus was on creating “complete streets” which have areas for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. “Over three times as many bicycles are sold in the U.S. each year (14.9 million) as cars,” said Nick Mason of the Minnesota Bicycle Alliance. “And the third highest rated item people look for when buying a home is whether places to bike are nearby.” Bicycling is the second most popular outdoor activity. In Minnesota it has a $1 billion impact on the economy. The workshop also focused on engineering items for making places bike friendly. These included paved shoulders, bike lanes, shared use paths, regulatory signs and bike parking places. Mason also gave a lesson on bike safety and the “rules of the road.” “Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated like drivers of vehicles,” Mason told the group. “And never sacrifice your safety for the convenience of others. You should own your lane.” After a break for lunch the workshop participants moved outdoors for a “mobile workshop.” Two groups toured Blue Earth on bicycles to do a bike field audit. After a five mile ride around town, the two groups reassembled and spent the last hour of the workshop trying to prioritize their goals in working towards making Blue Earth a bike friendly community. See more at:  http://www.faribaultcountyregister.com/page/content.detail/id/510123/Is-BE–bike-friendly–.html?nav=5002#sthash.qccPL5UY.dpuf

4th of July Bike Ride Includes Minneapolis’s Newest Bike Lanes

“What a fun way to spend the early part of your 4th of July holiday, leisurely riding the parkways, scenic commuter routes and trails in and out of Minneapolis than on the Tour D Amico bike ride,” says Hiawatha Bicycling Clubs president Leon Webster. “This ride is an annual tour, not a race, perfect for the whole family with a delicious picnic lunch at the end.”

TDA2011_RL_7Starting and ending in Golden Valley for the 15th Annual Bike Tour of the Twin Cities on the 4th of July, the three route options are available. This year’s tour offers everyone a chance to explore some of Minneapolis’s newest bike boulevards on the 30, 45 and 62 mile scenic routes through the Twin Cities. Then at the finish, D’ Amico & Sons Restaurants hosts sinfully delicious Italian picnic, in their Golden Valley courtyard.

TDA2011-RL_12The tour begins at the Golden Valley Commons Shopping Center, off Highway 55 and Winetka Avenue, and all you need is a bike, helmet, and a cell phone to take pictures of yourself and your friends having fun along the way. This year they are offering a selfie contest, where TDA2007_RL_1___Copytwo winners will be selected from the most fun and the most creative photo categories submitted. The winners selected will each receive a $50 gift certificate for D’ Amico and Son’s Restaurants and a Tour D’ Amico bike jersey. Here is your chance to ride routes through the scenic western suburbs and then in and out Minneapolis offering many picturesque backdrops for selfie photos.

Let’s see you riding the Tour D’ Amico 4th of July bike ride! For day of and pre-registration information see: www.Tourdamico.com

Run by the Hiawatha Bicycling Club, proceeds from the tour benefits bike education in Minnesota.

 

 

Bemidji Loop the Lake Festival Kicks-off Nice Ride

Malachi Petersen, Bemidji Pioneer Bemidji_loopthelake -1

(Above, Sarah Wilson, Scott Jorgensen, Graham Jorgensen (in trailer) and Finn Jorgensen (in red helmet) take off from the starting gate Saturday for the first Loop the Lake Festival, a 17-mile ride around Lake Bemidji. (Malachi Petersen | Bemidji Pioneer)

Mur Gilman, chairwoman of the Bemidji Loop the Lake Festival committee in Bemidji, said the ride exceeded expectations with 357 cyclists registering for the event. Gilman said organizers had only established a goal of 250 riders, so they were happy to see so many people turn out for the inaugural ride.

“I think it’s going good — the weather helped out a little bit,” she said.

Bemidji_loopthelake -2a_nice

 

 

 

 

(Above,  Mike Guyette, the president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield MN, helps Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht cut a ceremonial ribbon Sunday for the grand opening of Nice Ride. (Malachi Petersen | Bemidji Pioneer)

Gin Forseman, of Bemidji participated in the ride and said she was surprised at the turnout.  It’s great. I didn’t think there would be that many the first time, it’s good; good turnout,” she said.

The event was sponsored by more than 40 local organizations and businesses and was staffed by 50 volunteers. The riders included solo cyclists, duos, and households of three to six Bemidji Pioneer readers. About one third of the participants were from outside the Bemidji area.

The 17-mile route started at the Sanford Center at 8 a.m. with a rolling start. Bikers proceeded to cycle down Lakeshore Trail through downtown Bemidji. Rest stops at Ruttger’s Lodge and Lake Bemidji State Park were provided for a “rolling taste of Bemidji,” which included food, drink and live music. Cyclists finished the ride by looping back to the Sanford Center via the Paul Bunyan State Trail.

Bemidji_loopthelake -2_nice

(Above, Melinda Neville, manager of Nice Ride Bemidji, stands in front of a rack of Nice Ride bikes at the Diamond Point rental location. Bikes will be available at three locations starting Sunday with a fourth location opening in Bemidji State Park in July. Malachi Petersen | Bemidji Pioneer)

Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht, who also took part in the ride, praised the festival for its ability to rally people in the community to do something active.

“This is a great sort of festival and event to rally everyone who might think about biking or doesn’t bike regularly, or bikes all the time to get them out and to brush off their bikes and get them going,” Albrecht said. “It’s a way to get people out and make it easy for them. We always say that if you make the healthy choice; the easy choice people will take it.”

David Olson, a cyclist who stopped off in Lake Bemidji State Park for a short rest, said he and his sisters were riding the loop as part of a New Year’s resolution to live a healthier lifestyle.

“I think it’s great. I can’t believe how many people are out here doing this, this is fantastic” Olson said. “This is what the community needs to do; get more people engaged in fitness.”

The Loop the Lake Festival was part of a weekend Mayor Albrecht proclaimed as “Bicycle Days in Bemidji.” As part of Bicycle Days, the bike sharing and rental program Nice Ride Bemidji was hosted in an opening celebration ceremony at the Paul and Babe the Blue Ox statue at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, at the Visitors Center.

Bemidji_loopthelake -2c_nice(Above, left to right: Tony Desnick, the director of Greater Minnesota Strategies for Nice Ride, poses for a picture Sunday with Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht, Blue Cross and Blue Shield president and CEO Mike Guyette, and Executive director of Nice Ride Bill Dossett at the grand opening ceremony for Nice Ride Bemidji. (Malachi Petersen | Bemidji Pioneer)

Local civic leaders, including from the city and Bemidji State University, along with representatives from Nice Ride Minnesota and Blue Cross Blue Shield, held the grand opening Sunday for Nice Ride Bemidji, a bike-sharing program that is the first of its kind for a smaller city in outstate Minnesota. See more on Nice Ride Bemidji here

For visiting and biking in and around the first city along the Mississippi River, see HaveFunBiking’s At-A-Glance Bemidji article.