Ride for Project Impact was a lot of fun
On Friday afternoon I checked the forecast on my iPhone and it said thunderstorms would start moving into the area around 6 a.m. Saturday, about the same time I would be getting up and riding my bike 60 miles for the Safe Avenues Shelter House "Pedal For Project Impact." I fully anticipated getting soaked, but when I got up Saturday, I looked out the window and saw the sun rising on what looked to be a nice day, and it sure turned out to be. A total of 65 people participated in the ride, with 12 of that number, including myself, opting for either the 40 or 60 mile rides. I started out with Nick Davis, the 26-year-old son of Q102 morning man Chris Davis. All went well until about mile 18 when I got a flat on my rear tire on County Road 5, just north of County Road 27, about 10 miles from New London. I whipped out my tire changing kit and patched the tire, and support volunteer Gary Miller arrived with an air pump so I could be back on the road again. Karl Saint from Willmar joined Nick and I and we sailed into New London on the sunny, mostly wind-less morning. In New London volunteer Greg Vandersteig and his wife were there in an RV with food, drink, and a bathroom for us to use. At that point Nick and Karl decided to take the 40 mile route and headed back to Willmar on the Glacial Lakes Trail. I was committed to 60, so I headed east on beautiful County Road 40, north of Spicer. I can't remember having ridden that route before and it was gorgeous. Then it was south on County Road 4 to Diamond Lake. By then it was starting to cloud up, and when I turned west on County Road 26 it was getting breezy. That last 10 miles or so were less-than-pleasant, battling some hills against the wind, but the end was in sight. Eventually the riders were to have taken the final 4 miles on the Glacial Lakes trail back to the Minnwest Campus, but there was no sign, so I took the busy, hilly, unprotected County Road 9 back. A harrowing way to end it, but was welcomed with a couple hot dogs and an ice-cold Sierra Mist at the Minnwest Cafeteria. I was the last one to finish, just like when I finished the Habitat 500 two years ago. Hats off to everyone involved with the Pedal For Project Impact...it was a lot of fun and I hope you join me next year.