Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Lake Pepin

Biking Pepin

with 4 comments

It was about as pleasant a day yesterday as we’ve had lately for bike riding, with minimal wind and plenty of blue sky. Just perfect for a training ride that was planned to help us get some miles in before the Tour of Minnesota next month. Five friends that I met years ago on the annual week-long biking and camping adventure, back when it was led by Jim Klobuchar, gathered in Red Wing to spend a few hours pedaling around Lake Pepin.Lake Pepin

The lake is basically a wide spot in the Mississippi River, 22-miles long, with a good number a sloughs in the areas where bridges cross on either end.

You might think that a 22-mile long “lake” would allow for somewhere around 44 miles of riding to circumnavigate. I wish. After only one brief ride of 13 miles this spring, I logged almost 75 yesterday.

That was enough mileage to sap most of my functional stores of energy.

We left Red Wing mid-morning and headed over the bridge into Wisconsin, riding toward a grueling 2-mile hill in order to face it with fresh legs. We stopped at one of many turn-outs and posed for a picture in front of the Lake Pepin sign. A lone motorcyclist who pulled off for a break at the same time as us obliged us with snapping the photo.

IMG_iP1376eRG

Notice how fresh we all look? It was early in the ride.

We took our time on the way to lunch in Wabasha, pausing often to keep the group together and fill water bottles. The day turned out a bit warmer than I am used to and required purposeful attention toward staying well hydrated. By the time we reached our lunch destination, it was almost 2 o’clock. Our first two cafe choices were closing.

Funny how that makes being hungry for some fuel feel a bit more significant. We needed to find a restaurant, and NOW! The kind woman closing the restaurant that was our second choice offered directions to Slippery’s Tavern, made famous by the movie “Grumpy Old Men.” This took care of my hunger pangs.

It didn’t do much for refreshing my energies. That meant the second leg of our trek was going to be a lot more work than the first. It occurred to me that our chosen direction of travel also meant we were now riding upstream. Logic would have it that it might also generally be uphill, what with the flow of the water always moving down.

Rich assured me it was mostly flat, which makes sense since the river widened into a lake there. My tired legs still noticed there were more inclines than declines. Toward the end, as I was standing up to get off the saddle and give my butt a break, both thighs instantly reported they weren’t interested in that additional exertion. I was running on reserves.

Back in the saddle, with Steve as a precious companion to distract me, we eased our way back to Red Wing at the dinner hour.

Lake Pepin had been circled and I was done.

 .

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

May 22, 2016 at 9:07 am