The 2012 Midwest Rivendell Rally is over, and nothing remains but the suntans and the stories. All in all, it was a glorious adventure with perfect weather and excellent company. We had, at different times, 12 participants with four Rivendells among them. I don't currently own a Rivendell, so next year it'll be a "country bike rally" to be more inclusive of the other great bikes that people ride in adventurous mixed-terrain settings. Anyway, here are a few pics.
An over-the-shoulder shot of Ted riding the strada bianca on his "travelo".
Ted again, after crossing the gate into the wilderness.
I've been leaning bikes against this tree in Cannon Falls since 2005.
Jim M and I found an unofficial campsite above Red Wing. This was the view from near the spot where we slept.
And an accidental flash photo of the campsite that turned out interesting.
Twilight clouds as seen from my tent.
Day 1 of the rally included this road near Maiden Rock, WI, which is one of my favorite cycling roads of all time. These guys are working hard because the grade is steep.
I read maps a lot, which gives me lots of ideas about where to ride.
The city of Wabasha let us pitch our tents in one of their parks, which was partly flooded. The flood waters rose overnight, but none up us were swept away.
My trusty steed (Curt Goodrich All-Rounder). I've tried to sell this bike in the past, but had no luck, so I had it powdercoated and put a SRAM 2x10 mountain drivetrain on it. It was perfect on the sketchy gravel climbs and descents even with most of my stuff crammed into a pair of full-size Ortlieb panniers on the front rack. I really like it and I'm glad nobody bought it from me when it was for sale previously.
Day 2 of the rally was more fun roads, but on the somewhat more settled Minnesota side of the river. Instead of the thickly vegetated, rocky bluffs and canyons of the Wisconsin side, we enjoyed the winding country roads on the Minnesota side.
This is a neat surprise view of Lake Pepin from several miles away and hundreds of feet above along CR10. The man in this photo is exceedingly desirable.
More gravel fun.
I guess this is pumpkin country, within which my bike performed flawlessly, with me riding it.
The last major accomplishment of the day was Hill Avenue out of Frontenac. This road features one of the most thrilling descents on loose gravel that I've ridden. This time I passed a guy on a Harley on my way down.
In Red Wing, most of the remaining riders scattered in the wind. Jim M and I found a campground overlooking the Cannon River a few miles up the trail near Welch, MN. The campground didn't seem fully operational, but it didn't seem abandoned either. Nobody was around, so we procrastinated a bit before setting up our tents. Rain spatters forced us into our tents shortly before 9 pm. I fell asleep pretty quickly. Around 11 pm, the proprietor of the campground kicked us out because he apparently lost his license to operate the campground. Jim and I were not bothered by the licensing issue, but the guy had some suspicions that we were undercover agents who would get him in even more trouble with the law. Reluctantly we rolled up our wet tents in the middle of the night and made off down the trail in a drizzle.
During our time at the campground, I noticed that my drivetrain had lots of white dust on it.
Jim and I settled in under a picnic shelter in Cannon Falls just after midnight. Of course, camping in such a public place is asking for trouble. Accordingly, the local police visited us at around 4am. We assured them that we were just there for the night and were not planning to permanently reside in the picnic shelter, and tried to get another hour of sleep before sun-up. We were the first customers of the day at this nice little coffee shop/deli. I left town feeling good about Cannon Falls, which had never impressed me much before.
Back up the road to Minneapolis.
I hope we can do this again next year.