Category Archives: 2017MNRide

2017 Central Minnesota Tour

A lovely day for a bike ride

IMG_0013Today we set off on the Lake Wobegon Trail from St. Joseph.  What a wonderful change from riding on the roads and highways.  All day we cycled without cars passing by (although many times we were within ear and eye shot of Interstate 94).

About half hour into our ride we were met by Pia and Rosemary who had started in Avon and biked out to meet us and ride along for awhile.  Soon Mary joined us also having started from Avon.IMG_8689  Now we were six with many more opportunities for conversation since the trail allowed us to comfortably ride side by side.  The miles seemed to fly by.  Paul from Austin, TX caught up to us on the trail and we joined in conversation for awhile as well.  On we went through Avon and Albany – where our new friends turned back for the day (after sharing a bite at the local bakery).  We continued through Freeport, Melrose and on to IMG_8695Sauk Centre where we met our friend Craig Neal who was visiting the area and came to visit while we ate our lunch at the beautiful band shell next to Sauk Lake. (Thanks to Bob for helping us find the trailhead where Craig was waiting for us!)

The weather continued to hold at a pleasant temperature with mostly cloudy skies that kept us not too hot and not too cold, but just right.  Yes, a beautiful day for a bike ride.

On we rode through West Union then stopped to stretch for Osakis as we were now over IMG_8701the 52 mile mark for the day.  There we met Ricky and had another enjoyable conversation – bikes, climate change, hope, living simply, health.  Off again through Nelson then turned off the trail for the last few miles to the home of our hosts Ken & Jean near Alexandria.

Now at our hosts we enjoyed refreshing warm showers and a pot luck dinner with friends old and IMG_8704new.  Then we were off to the library (a short car ride this time) for our evening conversation.  The group of about a dozen gathered in the library community room and shared successes, challenges and new ideas to talking with others about climate solutions.  A big theme of the conversation was helping people see the impacts of climate change all around them as many do not think they are impacted currently – we are working on our local climate stories.

Then back to our hosts for ice cream, cake and more conversation before we head off to bed to enjoy some more good sleep.

  • Mindy Ahler

See a bonus video on our Facebook page

Day 1 – Big Lake to St. Joseph

Day 1- Train, Trails and A Little Rain in St Joseph

On the road and it feels good to be pedaling…47.9

miles from 4244 Crocker Ave to St Joseph and the home of Jeny and Mike Meyer.

Met Michael Orange our LCC partner for the first 4 days and his wife Cynthia at the Northstar station near Target Field (photo 2). The train was nearly empty and we zoomed to Big Lake in a jiffy (with Wi-Fi for some last minute Little Falls connections and B-day invites to old friends.

High fives all around and we jumped on our heavily laddened bikes, first turn went the wrong direction as we snaked thru Big Lake neighborhoods. Thinking we’d be on highways all day we were pleasantly surprised to find gorgeous shoulders (8 feet wide and clean) and MRT signs (Mississippi River Trail) guiding us thru Monticello, Clearwater (Lunch at the Park) as we kept dodging the dark storm clouds all the way to St Cloud.

Fast forward to St Joes in the rain, checked in at the Minnesota Street Market (coop) and site for the evening Climate Conversation and a quick shower and clean up at the Meyers (met the wholw family, Max the runner, Jossie 9th grade Ultimate player and Tyler Jonnie and form Wind Chill player, the the pro Ultimate Team in MN….we were with the right family.

Michael got a flat in the rain, Jeny picked him up and brought him home…unparaelled service for sure and the start to a great evening with over 20 area residents including Susie Osaka- Holm from the SC CCL group and our travelling partner to DC for June’s CCL National Gig

Time to leave for Alexandria, photos to follow….bring on the Lake Wobegon Trail and 2 days with no cars…Jeanne Johnson here we come.

  • Paul Thompson


LCC 2017 first stop is St. Joseph, MN

We are excited to announce the first Community Climate Conversation of our 2017 LowCarbon Crossings bike tour.

Minnesota Street Market

27 West Minnesota Street, St. Joseph, MN 56374

7-9pm, Sunday, August 13

Thanks to Minnesota Street Market for hosting our kickoff conversation!

We will be trying something new with this tour using Ride with GPS (  They have a live logging feature that should allow you to follow along with where we are on the route.  You can search for our profile (LowCarbonCrossings) to become a friend if you use the application or watch the blog site and our Facebook page for updates from the road.

Our tour begins on Sunday, August 13 as we board the 10:40am Northstar commuter train in downtown Minneapolis heading for Big Lake.  Join us for a send off at 10:00am at the station.

LowCarbon Crossings August 2017 MN Tour

Plans are progressing for our Minnesota 2017 LowCarbon Crossing.  We are excited to make urban and rural connections with climate conversations in the communities we visit.  We are looking for volunteers to help with hosting in any of our destinations (organizing a community climate conversation, promotion / media, lodging, food, etc.) and riders to join us for all or a portion of the tour.  Contact us if you are interested.

Here’s the plan of dates and destinations:

Start End Est. Miles Day Date
Big Lake St. Joseph 41 Sunday Aug 13
St. Joseph Alexandria 60 Monday Aug 14
Alexandria Fergus Falls 46 Tuesday Aug 15
Fergus Falls Hewitt? 51 Wednesday Aug 16
Hewitt? Brainerd 45 Thursday Aug 17
Brainerd Little Falls 32 Friday Aug 18
Little Falls St. Cloud 38 Saturday Aug 19
St. Cloud Big Lake 33 Sunday Aug 20
Total 346

We could use help finding a place to stop on Wednesday, August 16 between Fergus Falls and Brainerd.  Hewitt is about half way, but we don’t have any connections there.  Know anyone in the area?

MN tour coming in August

Planning has begun for the summer 2017 LowCarbon Crossing. Stay tuned for details as they continue to form. Mid August we will embark on a week long bike tour of western Minnesota. We will connect urban and rural dwellers on our shared concerns and our differing perspectives. We will explore topics of climate change solutions, agriculture, citizenship and more in community conversations along the way. Join us for part or all of the tour. We’ll also be doing some half day fun rides leading up to the tour. Let us know if you’re interested in joining in to ride, plan, sponsor or volunteer.