Twelve in 2012Chad’s bike is a Trek hybrid — a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike — with big tires. My bike is a Giant road bike with thin wheels that allows me to fly. The two bicycles are perfect because they allow us to bike together at the same pace and both get a great workout.
By: Carolyn Bray, The Republican Eagle
Chad’s bike is a Trek hybrid — a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike — with big tires. My bike is a Giant road bike with thin wheels that allows me to fly. The two bicycles are perfect because they allow us to bike together at the same pace and both get a great workout.
When Chad takes his bike to races like the Wingman Triathlon or the Minneapolis Duathlon, he always gets a lot of comments about how well he bikes on such a slow bike. His bike should be rollin’ through the hills on Memorial Park and not competing against the other speedsters during races.
But on July 8, Chad didn’t receive a single comment about his bike. That’s because his bicycle was very ordinary at the 32nd annual Tour of Saints.
The event was race No. 7 in our goal of 12 races in 2012.
We had competed in the event two other times. The website clearly states, “Not a race. A heavenly little ride” when describing the event. In fact, there’s not even an official start.
You can start the ride anytime between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. and you can select between distances of 18, 35 and 50 miles. All rides start and end at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn.
It’s hard to understand the event until you see it. There are people — and bicycles — of all shapes and sizes. There are grandmas on old, squeaky bikes with big baskets, Lance Armstrong wannabes with aerodynamic helmets, young kids on banana seats, couples on tandem bikes and everything in between.
Now, you can understand why Chad’s bike doesn’t even warrant a second look.
There’s no timing clock and more people probably come for the food than for the biking.
The course is filled with rolling hills and winds through Cold Spring, the Collegeville Orchards near Saint John’s University and even gets on the Lake Wobegon Trail. The rest stops look more like family picnics than race water stops. Each stop has water, energy drinks and tons of fruit. But there are also stops with donuts, caramel rolls, muffins, cookies and candy bars.
It’s easily possible to consume more calories during the ride than you actually burn off.
Chad and I biked for a total of 2 hours and 35 minutes — not including the rest stops. We decided to do the 35-mile route. We had done both the 35-mile route and the 50-mile route previously. The cool thing about this event is that you don’t need to decide until you get to the 31-mile marker. At that point you either go straight to finish the 35 miles or turn left for an extra loop to make it 50 miles.
We were two of more than 1,100 cyclists that enjoyed the “heavenly little ride” that day and continued our tradition of making an overnight weekend out of the event.
We are staying close to home for our next events, however. Chad will be running in the River City Ramble on Aug. 4 and I will be tackling my first obstacle run — the Dirty Girl Mud Run at Welch Village. There are already over 4,500 women signed up for the female-only event.
Interested in learning more about the crazy mud run? Go to www. godirtygirl.com.