I know that there are people out there who would argue with me but I personally believe that today is one of the most beautiful rides on the tour. I have been looking forward to this day for several weeks.
We started the day with a hardy breakfast in the St Oalf Cafeteria. There was just about every kind of breakfast food you could think of on the buffet. The cafeteria didn’t open until 7:00 so we got to sleep in to boot. The ride today is only 68 miles and Greg had told us that he would be delayed getting in to camp so don’t rush down to Pepin. This gave us extra time to have a second cup of coffee before hitting the road.
The ride is really two parts the first part before lunch is a short spin down to Cycle America World headquarters in Cannon Falls and the bike path. After a quick tour of world head quarters and a refill of water bottles I was on my way down the bike path. The Cannon Falls bike path is a 17 mile rails to trail ride down to the town of Redwing. It is beautiful paved path with a green canopy of mature trees over it. Most of the path is a gentle down hill which follows the river. You could roll along at `5 mph with barely a pedal stroke.
The path ends in the town of Redwing where picnic was. Picnic was in a beautiful green park on the Mississippi river. Redwing is famous for the Redwing boots. Jos is a big fan of Redwings and rode over to the factory and got a tour. I sat down in a chair over looking the river to finish my lunch and promptly fell asleep. When I woke pretty much everyone had left.
After picnic you cross the Mississippi River and enter Wisconsin. The second part of the ride is along the river and then the river widens and forms Lake Pepin. The road is gently rolling and has a beautiful smooth shoulder. There is very little traffic and hardly any trucks. You pass through several quaint little summer cottage towns which over look the lake. It is so pretty along the lake it is easy to see why there would be lots of summer cottages. Naturally some of the summer cottages look more like summer mansions.
Being I left picnic late I didn’t get into camp in Pepin until 2:30. By not it was pretty hot. My bike computer showed 101 F however I saw a lighted sign which said 89F. However Greg was not yet set up. So I stopped at a gas station with several other riders and ate donuts and drank iced tea.