Day 1, Pedal For Project Impact 2014

There were some clouds in the sky and it was already warm at 9 a.m. as we gathered to begin Pedal for Project Impact 2014.

Bob, from left, me, Gary, Daven, Tom

This year there are five riders: Gary Peterson, Daven Kokkila, Tom Meium, Bob Hines and yours truly. We’re riding pretty much the same route as last year — from Willmar to Bemidji and back — with stops in Long Prairie, Park Rapids, Bemidji, Pequot Lakes and Albany.

And, as the ride’s name indicates, we’re still raising money for Project Impact, a program for children at Safe Avenues, the shelter house in Willmar.

This year is also different because we have a support vehicle, Tom’s van, which he drove for the first 30 miles of today’s ride. Then I took over and then Bob drove.

As the rest of us pedaled down the Glacial Lakes State Trail, Gary said, “This is about as good as it gets.”

Although much of the sunshine had faded, it was warm as a tail wind pushed us toward Long Prairie.

The sky was significantly darker when we arrived at the Pizza Hut in Sauk Centre.

As we ate. I kept mistaking the noise made by passing semis for thunder.

There was no thunder, but, as we left the Pizza Hut, it was raining.

And the rain did intensify.

But it was warm, the rain never reached storm stage and that wind kept pushing us toward our destination.

The last eight miles were wet but we made it.