Great ride to Deacon’s Corner today. The goal was to meet up with pastor Mel Letkeman who was riding from Saskatoon home to Steinbach, approx 1,000 km. We caught him close to Deacon’s Corner then stopped for breakfast at Chicken Chef in Lorette.
The pace was quick today as we had little wind and strong legs with 9 riders. Rod, Merle, Werner, Paul, Rob, Curt, Mel, Jac and Byron rode. Good stories and with new faces we played the Mennonite game, just so we knew were everyone fit in.
Great to be riding as we tell stories, feel the wind on our face, hear the hum of the tires on new asphalt and sharing the common bond of being on a bike.
The Woodridge Ride was again the hi-light it usually is. Joining Curt, Yvonne, Merle, Rob and Jac was Jimmy visiting his MIT buddies from Salmon Arm, BC.
The weather, wind direction, breakfast and stories all made for an outstanding ride. Was neat to see the burn out area with tree growth around 6 ft high. Finally getting in some hill riding even if it isn’t so big and hitting 60 km on the short down hill.
Breakfast is great at the Trails End Tavern in Woodridge with a bottomless coffee pot to go along with our 3 egg breakfasts.
Great to see Jim on his annual trek back to MB. Still has the engine that doesn’t quit as he pulled more than his share. And in typical Jimmy style the run into Woodridge began 5 km out…miss that.
The Richer bike route has been a staple in the MIT ride schedule. This Saturday was another classic as we pushed each other from the prairie farm fields around Steinbach leaving via Old Tom Road, thru the construction on highway 12 before turning east towards the peat bogs that sit before the slight rise to the boreal forest where Richer sits along the #1 hwy. The coffee & breakfast at Catsass was as always outstanding along with quality discussion on a variety of topics. New rider Byron joined Mark, Curtis & Jac.
NOTE: Ride change for August 19 to Woodridge as it is time to ride the longer route as we need to see how much the trees have grown in the burn area and test our legs on the one short hill.
Great Bruncher ride on Sunday July 30th. Thank you for hosting Ron & Noreen. Weather, hosting, food, route and fellowship was all outstanding.
Dawson Road paving project is complete. It will be great to add that to the Richer loop.
Introducing a Wednesday night ride for August. Likely an out and back. Decide at water tower at 6:30 pm each Wednesday evening.
It is evening and I am sitting on the deck of my cozy little cottage high above Coeur D’Alene Lake. The sun is setting on the water, the power is out for the entire region as the result of a rumoured fallen tree, the occasional tune from some unknown rock band is drifting across the bay and I am enjoying the cool breeze and the good feelings that come from spending time vacationing with my best buddy. Yvonne, energizer bunny that she is, has decided that an additional 5km walk down by the lake is necessary to complete the day; as for me, the 120 km ride along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene will have to suffice.
When I contemplate where I want to do a cycling vacation, rail to trail is hardly the first thought that comes to mind; too straight, too flat, too boring. Perhaps it is the 190 lbs I am packing around that made me reconsider the rail to trail option; for whatever reason Yvonne and I decided to check out the Trail of the Couer d’Alene. We have not been disappointed.
We decided to break up the trail into two days with out-and-backs from a place called Bull Run to Plummer on the border of Montana on day 1 and then from Bull Run to Mullen on the Washington border on day 2; this would make two consecutive 120 km days. The trail was built along the Union Pacific line and was a joint project of various governments, the railway, the Coeur d’Alene tribe. The Montana side of the trail runs through numerous mining towns including Wallace, from whose mines came 7 Billion dollars of silver. When the railway was built contaminated waste rock from the mines were used to build the rail bed. The rail to trail was in part an answer to the desire to build tourism, but also a solution to the contaminants leaching out of the rail bed. By covering the rail bed in pavement it help to seal in much of the toxic materials; the result is a fantastic ride that traverses the pan handle and creates a fantastic riding experience through absolutely spectacular scenery.
I have always enjoyed riding along water and the trail essentially follows the Coeur d’Alene River from where it begins as a small fast flowing mountain stream in Washington to where it enters Lake Coeur d’Alene with its many arms. All along the river there are backwaters and swamps filled with water cabbage, water lillies and the occasional moose. The trail can be divided up into four quarters with the western most quarter of the trail being industrial with mining and logging towns, second quarter is a great river for fishing and rafting, the third quarter is along the shore of lake Coeur d’Alene, and the final quarter is a beautiful ride up a mountain through the aromatic pine and cedar forest of the Plummer Indian reservation.
If anyone is looking for more information on the trip, I’ll be happy to share info about where to stay, how to access the trail, etc.