Would you believe, dear reader, that the human and I are being accused of being fast? Heehee…makes me laugh just thinking about it. But, yep, on this trip, we’re fast! Hard to believe, but, it is all relative. Traveling with PAC Tour, we bring up the rear; travel with this group and we (sorry, hard to type this) we have to wait and give the rest a head start and we still finish an hour ahead of them.
But it is a good group of riders with us on the trip. New riders that don’t give up — and that is really neat to see. While we’re out toodling and enjoying what for us is shorter rides, the others are seeing a challenge and, best of all, meeting the challenge. They also thought Minnesota would be flat and easy….but we’re seeing some good-sized hills, even on the bike trail.
Which, brings me to the trail…so, what do you do when the iron ore is gone and your landscape is blighted with open pit mines and tailing piles? Apparently, you reshape the land, bringing in top soil, planting birch and aspen. Then you pull up the rail beds and put in bike trail, but to make it interesting, sometimes you take the trail up, over and around the tailing piles. Tailing piles that have been shaped, topsoiled and planted so that unless the rider looks closely, they don’t know it.
Swing that trail through as many little towns as you can along the way and what do you get? 130 miles of paved bike trail that winds through forest, past lakes (some built by Mother Nature; some the result of mining) and, surprisingly, absolutely gorgeous.