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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Gitchi Gami Got Me

I love the experience of riding new bike trails in Minnesota and last weekend's Gitchi Gami ride was a heart pumping extravaganza.This years ride consists of a 12 mile round trip peddle along the Lake Superior coast from Gooseberry State Park to Beaver Bay.... and back.The route between Gooseberry State Park and Beaver Bay ride is really the heart of this trail.

It's only the beginning.

Let's not forget the 21 mile Co. Rd 4/ Lax Lake Lochness Monster / Silver Bay Pain Hill/ loop that included oxygen stops in rural Finland, Silver Bay, and eventullay Beaver Bay. Once again, our trail club dedication proves that Northern MN excels in a high quality trail ride experience.

Biking the complete 55 mile ride left me rather winded, but certainly not speechless. For most of this trip I heard " Are you Ok?", "Is everything allright?", "Man, this next hill goin to drop you". There's always the silent bike rider's glimpse- mouth open, tongue displaced, a leap for air- and the shared riding code, "we're all in this together".

Thankfully, there were a few simple rest stops where one could hydrate and snack... and chat. I was following a really sweet group of riders up to Finland, but by the time I reached Eckbeck campground, I began to think I was part of the sag motorcade.

More hills and hills too. Keep peddlin.... Usually I get stronger throughout the day and so far no cramps.

More peddlin leads to some jive chatter, I'm feelin' ok now. Cut to the taconite railroad haze.......

All I remember is a long, painful bike climb out of Silver Bay en route to the first and last Beaver Bay rest stop.

I know this seems goofy, but I still recommend this trail ride to amaeurs, families, and even serious gear-heads. The north shore is one of the few areas in Minnesota that you can experience the "bikers climb", yet be blessed by Lake Superior views and tales and visions..........why will He come back? My Innocence Mission.

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