Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lake Pepin ride UPDATE

A few tidbits pertaining to the Lake Pepin ride on Sunday, March 28.

The weather forecast is volatile. One minute it's going to be be 38F and rainy, and the next it's 51F and sunny. I'm monitoring the situation closely, but in the end I'll probably do the ride in any weather. If it's cold and wet, we can laugh about it later.

It looks like the Cannon Valley Trail will likely be closed because of snow, ice, and perhaps flooding. If you or anyone you know is planning to ride the CVT on Sunday, I'd suggest forming an alternate plan. The roads around Lake Pepin are not exactly in the lowlands, so I think they'll be above water.

I have mapped a 107-mile route around Lake Pepin that incorporates many invigorating hill climbs descents and some topographically impressive gravel roads. The 107-mile option is basically the 75-mile main-road loop with a bunch of detours up into the hills in search of gravel and exercise. There will be many opportunities to get back on the main roads (less steep, more direct) if you decide that it's a bit early in the season to push yourself so hard.

Some have asked me the usual questions about how fast the ride will be. Personally, I'd prefer a social pace and to keep the group together. If some people want to go fast, it's a free country, but my priority will be to keep the main group together, which means not abandoning slower riders (I may be the slow one). When planning these things, I always assume a pace of 10 mph, including stops. Obviously, riding speed will most likely be faster than 10 mph, but I don't plan to rush through pie or lunch or coffee, etc. I love riding my bike and I'm not in a hurry to be done riding my bike. If I have to use lights by the end of the ride, that's ok. Oh yeah, you should bring some lights.

Also, remember that this is an unsupported ride. Just a social gathering on bikes. If we get halfway around the lake and you decide to bail, there is no sag wagon. On the other hand, if you're riding next to me and your tire goes flat, I will help you fix it (at the very least, I'll offer a bunch of annoying "advice" on what you're doing wrong as you struggle to fix it by yourself).

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