Monday, August 20, 2012

Tour de Fargo: Day 1 & 2

Over the weekend I received several updates from Talleiv "Tolly" Vollen, our Tour de Fargo cyclist, about his 250 mile bike trek from Minneapolis to Fargo, the site of the Innovative Leadership Conference and 2012 International Convention. As you may recall, Tolly was inspired to use his bicycling for a charitable cause, raising funds for the Sons of Norway Foundation’s Helping Hands to Members Fund, Oslo Summer School Scholarship (OISS) Fund and for Trollheim 1-511’s Scholarship Fund. To donate, click here.

We'll be sure to update you on his progress and arrival in Fargo, but in the meantime, be sure to take a look the first two stages of his journey below! 

Day 1 : Minneapolis to St. Cloud

It was a mildly challenging Day 1 of the Tour de Fargo from Minneapolis to St. Cloud. The send-off from Sons of Norway Hdqtrs. was fantastic, with a large group including Eivind Heiberg, Linda Pederson, Cindy Olson, Ingeborg Sorensen, and Herb Morganthaler, along with my wife, Karen, and son, Eric.

The challenges were the twists, turns, and streets and highways one has to use in lieu of a direct bike trail, isolated places.  I basically followed West River Rd to Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Dayton, Otsego, and to Monticello.  A flat tire in north Mpls. added a small challenge, stopping at a McDonald's made it safer and easier with facilities, water, etc. The north, northwest, and sometimes northeast wind was the biggest challenge, even though it may have topped out at 12-15 mph, it adds considerable resistance when going 15 mph or so.

At Monticello, I was treated to a great, refreshing lunch by Trollheim members Bert and Ruth Dibley.  Their hospitality was one of the highlights of the day. A rest stop on the north side of Clearwater was great, lots of shade and time to recharge under the large oak trees overlooking Clearwater Creek.

Arrived in St. Cloud shortly after 6 p.m. after biking 82 miles. Four of those miles were made backtracking in Mpls. to pick up my two flags-American, and Norwegian-that had fluttered out of my saddlebags. I got to see some of Mpls. going SOUTH anyway, briefly watching a double barge of gravel being pushed upriver by the powerful riverboat/tugboat.

All in all, a good Day 1. Now off to Alexandria tomorrow morning with a paved bike trail all the way from St. Joseph to Fergus Falls.

Rolling along,

Talleiv "Tolly" Vollen

Day 2: St. Cloud to Alexandria

The second leg of the Tour de Fargo went very well from St. Cloud-Alexandria, a distance of 65 miles. Riding with me part of the way were Trollheim members Mary Millard and Jon Vollen, making for time passing rapidly and Jon, riding to Sauk Centre was "lead biker", with yours truly riding in his draft. Makes a world of difference, saving energy for later.

The westerly wind picked up but was no problem--arriving in Alexandria a little after 2 p.m.

The Wobegon Bike Trail begins 5 miles w. of St. Cloud at St. Joseph and continues all the way to Fergus Falls, the last 2/3 being the Central Lakes Trail. Bike trails are a tremendous aid to safe biking, health, fitness, and in some cases commuting. Countless roller bladers, roller skiers, walkers, joggers, etc., also use the trails. One should always strive to support the expansion, construction of new bike trails.

Staying tonight with Heidi and Chad Bergerson, co-owners of The Scandinavian Gift Shop in downtown Alexandria.

On to Fergus Falls tomorrow (Sunday) with a planned rommegrot/lefse "feed station" in nearby Garfield, provided by District One President Barbara Olson and friends from Vining.

Rolling along,
Talleiv "Tolly"

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