Some folks have been asking when we're going to do a Lake Pepin ride again. May is a great month to do it, so I'm proposing Sunday, May 24. I chose that date to avoid potential scheduling conflicts with some other bike events. It's Memorial Day weekend, however, and that initially caused concern, as holiday weekends tend to increase traffic, notably of the exceptionally loud and boisterous motorcycle variety.
Rather than be intimidated into inaction, we should take this opportunity to explore some of the wonderful back roads and side streets in the vicinity of the lake. If we get off the main highways, we'll be treated to some quiet roads, a few challenging hills, some barely civilized gravel, self-guided botany lessons, spectacular views, and of course, high adventure. For the food-centric among us, I'll be sure to make room in the itinerary to visit the best bakeries, coffee houses, and eateries in the area.
If you're going to do this, I recommend a bike with some low gears and larger tires (28 mm or bigger). Lots of us have done some of these routes on 50-year-old 3-speeds, so it's more than doable on a modern touring bike, cross bike, roadified MTB, or what have you. If your only bike is 17 lbs and fits at most 25 mm tires, you are seriously missing out and should contact me with your credit card number or a wad of cash as soon as possible. (On the other hand, a less than optimal bike would add to the challenge...)
I should mention that this is an informal ride, completely unsanctioned by anybody, and unsupported. We'll probably ride as a group, more or less, and help each other with whatever happens, but please be responsible for your own safety, equipment, tools, food, etc. And bring some money in case you want pie or some coffee. Distance is probably going to be about 90 miles, but we'll take our time and ride at an easy pace with plenty of stops. Also, I'm leaving room for flexibility in the route, so we can adjust for weather, fitness, moods, etc.
Let's meet in Red Wing at the east parking lot at Bay Point Park, and plan to roll at 8:30 AM. Those who want to car pool are encouraged to meet at HC at 7 AM and we'll try to fit everybody in to a minimum number of vehicles.
Here's the route I have in mind.
And the cue sheet.