Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rough Riding at the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour

Imagine a two-day cycling event which has no entry fee, doesn't allow lycra, requires no training (but lots of good attitude) and features riders in 1930s era "street" clothing who stop at every single scenic overlook, roadside historical marker, and café they encounter, while riding old British 3-speed bikes that are commonly seen offered for a few bucks in garage sales. This is the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour and it's the coolest, most fun, most enjoyable, and perhaps the most thought-provoking bicycle event I've ever attended. The fifth annual edition was held May 18-19, 2007 and we were there for the fun.

As Rough Riding is a way of life and state of mind, it can be done on any kind of bicycle. Thus, when the opportunity presented itself to explore a "dead end" dirt road on day of the Pepin Tour, we seized the chance. Likewise on day two when a hilly dirt road provided an alternate to the only busy highway stretch of the whole event. It wasn't "gonzo" or akin to singletrack, but on 26x1 3/8" old 3-speeds, it added an extra element of fun and out-thereness. Here are some links, followed by some pix.

-Chris Kostman

Above, day one: Oh, how we love those kinds of signs!
They usually tell us just exactly where we should go!

Above, day two: "Heading out to where the pavement turns to sand." (or gravel)

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