Nothing Worth Mentioning Here - A Most Unusual Bike Trip (By Normal Touring Standards) - CycleBlaze

August 17, 2005

Nothing Worth Mentioning Here

Hastings, MN

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An interesting thing happened last night while I was listening to the Minnesota Twins game.  My team completed a three game sweep of its division rivals, the Chicago White Sox, but the highlight was somewhere in the middle of the game.  One of the Twins' radio advertisers has been running a promotion in which a listener's name is drawn at the beginning of an inning.  If the Twins turn a double play that inning, that listener wins a prize.  Well, last night the Twins play-by-play announcer drew the name of Paul B------- of Apple Valley, MN.  HEY!  I know that guy; he's a sales rep for the company I work for.  

A double play was not turned that inning so Paul was not a winner, but I made a mental note to give Paul a call when I got back to work in a couple of days.


There was no coffee, no reading, and no lounging this morning.  I was anxious to get home.  I packed up right away and was coasting out of Frontenac at 7:50. 

One last look at the Mississippi River.
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I was quite familiar with the route ahead of me so there was nothing new and unusual to report.  I could mention the breakfast I had, which consisted of a stale turkey sandwich that came out of a plastic container at a Red Wing gas station.  (My god, it was awful.)  And I could mention that it took a surprisingly long time to ride through that Mississippi River town.

I could also mention that I rode ten miles of the Cannon Valley Bike Trail between Red Wing and the Welch Village Ski Area, where I saw the Independent School District #196 men's and women's cross-country teams running on the hills.  They were working much harder than I was.   

I suppose I could mention the long, winding ascent away from the Cannon River on County Rd. 7, followed by an easy 12 mile cruise up Highway 316 to my hometown.

But I'm not going to mention any of those things.  What I DO want to mention is how triumphant I felt in completing this little trip.  And that feeling of triumph was increased tenfold by the greeting I got in my driveway from Kaylo and two neighbor kids.  They were more excited than I was and I almost cried.  [1]



[1] Okay, maybe it was slightly more than "almost."   

Today's ride: 40 miles (64 km)
Total: 159 miles (256 km)

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Keith KleinHi Greg,
Lots of memories for me in this ride. I’ve probably ridden every inch of it at one time or another. One of my favorite rides started in Cannon Falls and swung south on county roads before looping north to Welch to join the trail and eventually finish back where I started. My club used to do a loop of Lake Pépin every year, too. There was a great little cafe in Maiden Rock WI that we always stopped at for pie. 169 had nice shoulders, but as you know it’s rather busy.
Thanks for the tour, it was a lot of fun even if the protagonist was a bit naive.
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8 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Keith KleinA few years ago, a guy I knew invited me to go on what he called "The Pie Ride." He explained that every year he and a group of friends ride from Hastings, cross the St. Croix River at Prescott, and ride down the Wisconsin side to Maiden Rock, have a slice of pie, then ride back to Hastings on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River. I have to believe they go to the same place you just mentioned, and I have to believe that little town doesn't have more than one pie place, and I have to believe they must serve some pretty good pie.

I had other plans for that day or else I would have joined in--even though I don't particularly care for pie.

Thanks for reading,
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8 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Keith KleinP.S. I think that little settlement seen across the river in this page's only picture is Maiden Rock. In fact, I think I see the cafe. If I squint my eyes enough, I can look in the window and a guy enjoying a nice piece of blueberry pie. There is a fly on his hand. (Only the first sentence in this message is true.)
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8 months ago