This year was my 5th year participating in the Headwaters 100 Bike Ride out of Park Rapids, MN (http://www.itascatur.org/bike.shtml). The ride is a beautiful fall ride in northern Minnesota that winds through the lakes country around Park Rapids, Itasca State Park, Lake George, Emmaville, Nevis, and Dorset. Typically fall colors are starting to peak with vibrant hues of orange, red, and yellow along with the contrasting greens of the pine stands.
Unfortunately this year the colors took a back seat to battling the rain.
The ride consists of three routes-42, 75, and 100 miles. The first year I rode 75, the second 70 with intention of 100
damn flat tires, the third and fourth 100, and the fifth wait for it 34 miles. It literally rained pretty much all morning and afternoon. I decided the 42 mile option would be best for me as I wasn't going to force myself to be miserable all day trying to do 100 miles in the rain. Boy, did I make the right decision. The first rest stop was 16 miles in and it was downhill from there as I became very cold, wet, and just plain tired of the rain beating down on me! Needless to say my friend Jen and I found a shortcut off the route which got us back to Park Rapids in 34 miles instead of 42! Yippee! It was wonderful getting out of the wet clothes and taking a warm shower. Since we were done much earlier than expected I even got an afternoon nap in at the hotel!!
There was a contingent of 13 cyclists from the Central Minnesota Bike Club riding. A variety of distances were rode, from 25 to 100 miles! Wow 100 miles in those conditions-that deserves an award!
Regardless of the weather the weekend was a blast with tons of laughs. On Friday, before the Saturday ride, Jen and I also did a bike tour of Itasca State Park and hit the main tourist attractions there. It was a beautiful day to explore the park and we managed a total of 17 miles that day.
You can't tell by the picture but I am completely soaked from head to toe after 34 miles!
This shirt was great for the weekend!
The crew post ride! Notice the interior decorating we did with a bike tire and the clock!
Headwaters of the Mississippi River