Tour d’Twin Cities 600k September 13-14, 2014

With some excellent fall weather, the first edition of the Tour d’Twin Cities 600k hosted 29 riders, including 13 out of state visitors.  Composed of two loops, the route did a circuit of the Twin Cities first, then a second shorter loop through the western suburbs and rural areas.  Out of 29 starters, 23 completed the route.  Weather overall was very good, with lots of sunshine, some cool temps on Saturday morning and a south wind which was a friend and a foe at times.

We had 13 riders from out of state, a new high for one of our rides.

The following 14 riders reached Super Randonneur status for 2014 with this ride:

John D’Elia                     Connecticutt

Norman Ehrentreich       Minneapolis

Jerry Hofmann                Minneapolis

Bob Kingsley                  Apple Valley

George Larson                Michigan

Mark Liebig                    North Dakota     First SR

Jonas Nygard                  Minneapolis

Eric Petersen                   Illinois

Alex Piotrowski             Wisconsin            Second SR in 2014

Hall Sanders                   Minneapolis

Stanley Shreve               Rochester

Glenn Sturchio               Rochester           First SR

Dave Weber                   Rochester           First SR

Julie Zierke-Clark          Iowa

Denis Kervella, from Austin, Texas, rode his first 600k this weekend.

Special thanks go to our volunteers for supporting our riders and making this ride possible:

Gary Bakke         New Richmond-Lunch stop, Brooklyn Center-Bike Inspections, route developer

Bill Hague          Hastings-snack control, route developer

Lisa Kingsley     Brooklyn Center-registration

Joel Sandberg    Brooklyn Center-check in

Brent Seager      Brooklyn  Center-check in

Cristina Seager  Brooklyn Center-check in

Glenn Seager     Brooklyn Center-check in

Steve Anderson Brooklyn Center-check in

Monica Larson   Brooklyn Center-check in

Jeff Rhodes        Brooklyn Center-check in

Norman Ehrentreich   Route developer

Kit Oslin            Route developer

Rob Welsh         RBA, route developer


George and Bob - 6a Sunday

George Larson and Bob Kingsley ready to go on Sunday morning 6:00a



Craig, Bob, Glenn, Denis, Julie, Randy, Hall at the finish!

Dave Weber at Finish

Dave Weber at finish – celebrating his first 600k

Jerry Hofmann - eating his cue sheet

Jerry Hofmann studying his cue sheet

Bob - Craig - RUSA boys

Bob and Craig, the RUSA boys

Lunch in New Richmond

Lunch in New Richmond

Norman Ehrentreich’s Ride Report/Commentary

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Another 600k and a Super Randonneurs series in the books (#6). I wish I would have had taken some pictures from the ride – it was the most gorgeous brevet I’ve ridden this year! Beautiful scenery and the weather was gorgeous.

Some had surely dreaded the forecasted temperatures for Saturday morning – mid to lower 30ies. Where in the world were all those long cycling pants, gloves, and ear warmers hiding that we wore an eternity ago? Summer had definitely come to an end in Minnesota.

However, that cold morning treated us with fog over the Mississippi. Dew and even frost clinging to the still tall standing grasses were forming big white carpets on the meadows that were glistening in the morning sun. Later on, we had the reflections of white clouds in the 43(?)  lakes that we passed, a stop at Vermillion Falls in Hastings, perhaps 100+ miles of bike path riding and many more scenic views.
I wish I would have taken some pictures with the camera that I bothered to bring. But first my fingers were too cold to handle a camera while riding, then I struggled to keep up with the faster guys, and later on my brain stopped telling me that I even brought a camera.
As usual, my insufficient training led to me suffering early on. Fifty or sixty miles seem to be the distance after which I start paying for any attempt to hang in there with the nowadays faster guys. Randonneuring was a lot easier before my son – who just turned four – was born. Early indications have it that he too will love cycling, though.
Miles 50 to 150 were really hard for me. I don’t remember much from the scenery except for the I-94 crossing, the Hastings bridge, Vermillion Park and a long stretch going through Apple Valley. Even though I struggled to keep up during that long stretch, I either seemed to have gotten a second wind after that, or, more likely, most of the riders had finally rid themselves of their excess energy. The speed became more civilized for my taste. So I could enjoy the sunset and riding at night. Nonetheless, I briefly lost contact again on the section to Waconia and came in a few minutes later just too see all the warm food gone at the Kwik Trip (Broccoli-Cheddar soup, brats & hot dogs, pizza, hash browns). That’s why everybody cranked up the speed. As it turns out, the Kwik Trip carrot cake isn’t bad either. I hope the riders coming in behind us had warm food again as I told the clerk to prepare a few more brats and soup.
The ride into the Twin Cities on the Luce Line Trail was a blast. Unfortunately, our large group split into several smaller ones due to some mechanicals before we hit the Luce Line Trail entrance. I had pre-ridden this at night the week before and realized at that time that the unlit and unmarked entrance to the trail was very hard to see at night. So I was hoping that not too many riders were getting a few bonus miles at this point. Even though that night time section was one of my favorite parts of the ride – I rode this on auto pilot – we will probably change that in next year’s version of the Twin Cities 600k, perhaps by using the Dakota trail for going back to the starting location. Knowing all the twists and turns on the Luce Line trail once we got closer to the Twin Cities saved our group probably more than a few minutes as we didn’t need to check the cue sheet at all. We arrived at the control around 1am. Jonas and I were lucky to live nearby and skipped the hotel. Going back home on the bike increased our total mileage for the day to more than 240 miles, but it shortened the second day by 5 miles for us.
After three hours of sleep, Jonas and I were on the bike by 6am, enjoying the early morning ride down the Dakota trail to St. Bonifacius. We were surprised that no one had shown up yet when we left the control, even though I took the time to eat two brats, chips and a banana. Eat while you can, it may not last for long and then it’s back to Perpetuum. The first half of the second leg to Cokato was nice, still on the trail, still sheltered so we didn’t notice the westerly wind. That changed on the second half, definitely the hardest part of the day. Very windy. We were just waiting to turn North and later to the East. I couldn’t each much in Cokato, so when the first tail wind sections came I wasn’t really faster than on the early morning sections. So we had an unplanned stop at the McDonalds in Annandale where I forced down a Filet o Fish meal. After that we went off to Monticello, going up to 25mph at times. It didn’t look like we had more than 350 miles in our legs at that moment.
We were surprised again that nobody had caught up to us during our final break in Monticello as we were thinking how Mark Olson was plowing down the last 60 miles on the 600k Munger Bungo ride last year. Jonas and I finished around 5:30 pm and it felt good. I definitely felt better on the last miles than at mile 80.
Being responsible for the first and last section of Day one, I have been thinking about what we could change in next year’s version of the Twin Cities 600k brevet. I personally enjoyed my two legs very much, but I concede that it was difficult to navigate the way home at night. We could make it easier by using the Dakota trail and thus skipping out on the unpaved Luce Line Trail.
Rider Results
Rider   Name Time SR Notes
Craig Aamodt 36:11
Randy Bailey 36:11
Robert Booth 151 Derailleur
Brian Clark 232
John D’Elia 36:52 X
Thomas Ehlman 37:27
Norman Ehrentreich 35:31 X
Bob Elias 36:11
jim flesch 192
Mike Fox* 38:13
larry hayes 39:46
Jerry Hofmann 31:40 X
Ed Jacobson 269
Bruce Jones 39:46
Denis Kervella 36:11 First 600k
Bob Kingsley 38:13 X
George Larson 38:13 X
Mark Liebig 38:43 X First SR
Richard Miller 232
jonas nygard 35:31 X
Mark Olsen 38:43
Eric Peterson 35:49 X
Alex Piotrowski 38:20 2 2nd SR in 2014
Hall Sanders 36:11 X
Stanley Shreve 37:27 X
Glenn Sturchio 36:11 X First SR
Dave Weber 35:59 X First SR
Keith Willard 232
Julie Zierke-Clark 36:11 X