Day 49 – Bemidji, MN to Park Rapids, MN – 42 miles
It sure was hard to leave Bemidji this morning after the wonderful visits we had yesterday. Plus, we had a fantastic room right on the south shore of Lake Bemidji at the Doubletree Inn. We had considered staying several days, as we are in need of a rest day, however looking at the weather forecast, there is rain coming which would be a good time to take a rest day. So we rode out of town today.
Having rode into Bemidji on a rail trail, we were a bit surprised by the hills. But they weren’t too bad & each uphill eventually was rewarded with a downhill. At one point, as we were enjoying some speed, I spotted the Adopt-a-Highway sign for the stretch of highway that my cousins have adopted in memory of their parents. How cool! I wanted to get a pic but couldn’t get my camera out quick enough & we didn’t want to pedal back up the hill for the pic.
We rode into Lake George & had a wonderful lunch at a small cafe. The soup was fantastic! Riding out of town after lunch was a lot of uphill but before too long we were rewarded with downhills, followed by more ups & downs. It seemed that the wind was sometimes in our face but sometimes at our side and back too – funny weather. For the most part, we were protected from the wind by trees. We stopped for a snack break in Emmaville Population: 4. Had some conversations with several groups of friendly Minnesotans and one recommended a small motel in Park Rapids, so we set our sights on that place. About 4-5 miles from Park Rapids, we hopped on the Heartland Trail – another of these beautiful, fantastic paved rail trails in Minnesota – and enjoyed a quiet ride into town.
Rain is in the forecast nearly every day and evening lately, so we’ve been taking indoor accommodations lately. Tonight we took a room at the motel recommended by the guy we talked with in Emmaville. It’s a nice place, conveniently located in town for doing laundry and getting dinner.
Someone asked how we’re doing with all the flooding in Minnesota lately. We’ve had to reroute a bit – mostly it has been taking more roads and fewer trails. Luckily when we were near the Mississippi, it hadn’t crested – it is worse now than it was a week ago. The worst of the flooding is south of and in the twin cities. We’ve been watching the Red River, which runs thru Fargo, ND. The Red River runs north, so typically Grand Forks has more trouble than Fargo. So far, so good.
Someone else asked about the bike saddles we use and how we’re able to ride for so long. There are several factors in play here. First of all, we wear padded bike shorts. Next, we’ve both ridden with these saddles for years, so these are tried & true, comfortable saddles that seem to fit well to our anatomy. We take breaks every 45-60 minutes and get off the bike, stretch, whatever.
Lastly, a little lesson on bike saddles – notice I said, “saddle” and not “seat”. As Sheldon Brown said, “A seat is something you sit on and is designed to bear essentially your entire weight.” A recumbent bike has a seat. A conventional bike has a saddle. “A saddle is intended to carry some but not all your weight. The rest of your weight is mainly carried by your legs, and some by your hands and arms.” If you want to read more, see Sheldon Brown’s article titled, “A Comfortable Bicycle Saddle.”
How could we forget – yesterday, we officially went over the 2,000 mile mark for this trip! Woo hoo!!
Dinner in Park Rapids:
Leaving Bemidji, the first city on the Mississippi:
Glad we’re not camping tonight!