Minnesotan to Ride 500+ Miles From Minneapolis to Chicago

Here’s the story of another area cyclist fundraising with his bike.
In June, Al Reszel of Richmond, Minnesota, will embark on a 500+ mile bike ride from Minneapolis to Chicago. After months of research and training, Al will traverse the miles on his quest to support his wife Terry and raise awareness and donations for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Al and Terry hope to raise a minimum of $10,000 in donations for the BCRF.
Terry’s story of survival began in 2000 when she received the first of many calls regarding her mammogram results. In 2001, after a courageous battle, Terry lost her cousin Cherry to breast cancer. From 2001 to 2009, Terry was forced to endure multiple biopsies and ultrasounds creating more and more cause for concern. Then in 2010, Terry was diagnosed with breast cancer. While waiting on test results of yet another biopsy, Terry received a call from her doctor, informing her of the breast cancer diagnosis. Soon thereafter, Terry underwent a bilateral mastectomy. Six years later, Terry counts her blessings and lives her life one day at a time. Through it all, Terry’s husband Al and family were there to support her each step of the way.
In 2016, that support continues as Terry’s husband Al sets his sights on a 500+ mile bike ride to honor his wife’s own courageous journey and to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Al’s ride is aptly named ‘Pink Pedals 4 A Cure | Terry’s Ride’. In early summer, Al will set off from Minneapolis traversing over 500 miles to Chicago. His goal, to raise awareness for breast cancer research by attempting to raise $10,000 in donations for the BCRF.
Al Reszel is 57 years old, is an avid bicyclist and outdoorsman, living with his wife Terry in Richmond, MN. Both Al and Terry have been residents of Minnesota for 22 years. Al’s love of two-wheels started 25 years ago. Short afternoon rides quickly became 50 to 100 mile each weekend. Of late, Al has participated in recent breast cancer awareness rides in and around the mid-state region. After 29 years as a business executive and trainer for companies the likes of Well Fargo and Great Western Bank, Al made a bold decision to leave Corporate America, go back to school and get his Masters Degree in Special Education. After earning his degree from Bemidji State University, Al began working as a Special Education teacher at Yellow Medicine East High School. Al has been teaching for five years now, loves working with ‘his kids’ and looks forward to many more years of working with his students. When Al isn’t teaching or riding his bike, he spends time with his wife, family and three precious grandchildren.
Click here to visit Al Reszel’s website.

Pedal for Project Impact changing

Pedal for Project Impact is going to be different this year.
The bicycle ride to raise funds for programs for children at Safe Avenues has been a weeklong tour in June for the past three years.
This year, PPI, which I help organize each year, will be a three-day ride during the last weekend of July.

JP Cola rides the Paul Bunyan State Trail during Pedal for Project Impact 2015.

JP Cola rides the Paul Bunyan State Trail during Pedal for Project Impact 2015.

Click here to link to a website with the details about PPI.
If you’re on Facebook, search for Pedal for Project Impact and that should connect you to a FB page similar to the website.

Ironman 2016
The ride that’s held no matter the weather may be tempting Mother Nature this year.
It’s usually held on the last Sunday of April.
This year it takes place a week earlier on April 24.
The last two years’ rides exemplify the extremes Ironman riders may experience.
The 2014 ride was wet, cold and miserable and was shutdown after several cyclists suffered exposure-related problems.
A year later riders were treated to a sunny, warm day.
Click here to link to the Ironman website,

And now for something completely different
The city of Willmar is applying for a grant to build a trail to close gaps in the community’s trail system.
Click here to link to the West Central Tribune’s story.

St. Paul Classic was a classic

St. Paul Classic riders arrive at St. Thomas University.

St. Paul Classic riders arrive at St. Thomas University.

Minnesota weather is always a surprise.
While it can shock us with feet of snow or stifling humidity, it sometimes amazes us with a wonderful day.
That’s what happened Sunday, Sept. 13, during the St. Paul Classic bike ride.
The thousands who rode could truly enjoy the city thanks to a sunny, not-too-hot day.
Of course the treats at the rest stops and live music added to the enjoyment.
Here’s a sample of the music by Brass Messenger.
If you missed the Classic, the Minneapolis Bike Tour is slated for Sunday, Sept. 20. Click here for more information.

Accidents like local bicycle-motor vehicle fatality becoming more common

The July death of Bruce “Leo” Kehrer-Schneider in a bicycle-motor vehicle crash — as reported in the West Central Tribune article posted below — is a type of accident that’s becoming more common.
A recent report on National Public Radio indicates how common. Here’s a link to that report:
As More Adults Pedal, Their Biking Injuries And Deaths Spike, Too

Man killed in crash biked to work for years



NEW LONDON — Bruce “Leo” Kehrer-Schneider was an avid bicyclist and a “wonderful individual” who will be missed at the Little Crow Country Club where he worked.

Kehrer-Schneider, 62, of rural New London, died July 21 in a bicycle-motor vehicle crash in rural New London.

Kehrer-Schneider was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to a release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff ’s Office.

The vehicle was driven by Michael Schammel, 35, of rural Spicer, who was not injured.

(TO RUN WITH STORY BY TOM) Tribune photo by Bill Zimmer (081705 leo Schneider 1-5) Leo Kehrer-Schneider rides his bike from his home in New London to work at the WRTC in Willmar.

Leo Kehrer-Schneider is shown in August 2005 photo riding his bike from his job at Prairie Lakes Youth Detention Center in Willmar to his home in New London. Kehrer-Schneider, 62, died July 21 in a bicycle-motor vehicle crash in rural New London. Tribune file photo

The crash is still under investigation, according to a release from the Sheriff ’s Office.

Kehrer-Schneider and his 20-mile bicycle commute to work was the subject of a feature story in the West Central Tribune in 2005.

At the time, he pedaled the 40-mile round trip to and from Prairie Lakes Youth Detention Center in Willmar as much of the year as he could. He was director of transitional living for youth at Prairie Lakes.

Kehrer-Schneider had already been commuting by bicycle for nine years when he was interviewed in 2005.

Since 2008, he had been a fulltime seasonal employee of the Little Crow Country Club, said manager Sam Drodofsky.

Kehrer-Schneider took care of greens at the golf course. “He took great pride in making sure the greens were in great shape,” Drodofsky said.

Kehrer-Schneider was a friendly guy who was popular with the golfers and others at the country club, he said. “He’s going to be missed.”

In 2005, Kehrer-Schneider said, “It is a good way to treat the earth nicely,’’ when asked why he started biking instead of driving.

An environmentalist first of all, Kehrer-Schneider said he began his bicycle commute to avoid spewing vehicle emissions into the air. He also felt he served as a positive model for the young people he worked with each day.

While he used trails to get to work, he said in 2005, he often returned home on paved county roads, which offered more hills and a better workout.

Pedal for Project Impact, Day Seven

Day Seven
Sunday, June 14
Albany to Willmar
Mileage: 49.43 miles

Ride time: Four hours, 50 minutes
Looking out at the long hilly stretch that is Stearns County Road is what JP called a “soul sucking” sensation.
We saw as we rode out of Albany a sign stated that it’s 14 miles to Roscoe. All of those miles and steep climb out of that town make up the most challenging portion of the final ride of this year’s Pedal for Project Impact.
Bob got up and was making coffee by 5:20 a.m. according to JP, who shared a room with him.

JP heads down Stearns County Road 10.

JP heads down Stearns County Road 10.

He was on the road an hour before us with the goal of mowing the lawn and heading out with his wife, Carla, for Indiana where their daughter and family live.
That left four of us: JP; Gabby, my daughter; and Daven, Gabby’s fiance.
Gabby said she’d drive our gear to Willmar and pedal up the Glacial Lakes State Trail and meet us, She said she was our Uber.
Daven, who races for an amateur team in the Twin Cities, took off as if he was in a race.
That left two of us.
Once we climbed out of Roscoe, JP and I rode Highway 23 to Paynesville where we took a connecting path to the Glacial Lakes Trail.
An hour later we met Gabby and Sofia, my wife, in Spicer.
As we continued down the trail, JP and I were soon about a quarter mile ahead of Sofia and Gabby.
At the trailhead, JP and I shook hands as he headed home and I waited for the pair behind us.
The three of reached home at about 1:45 p.m. bringing another Pedal for Project Impact to a close.

Pedal for Project Impact, Day Six

Day Six
Saturday, June 13
Pequot Lakes to Albany
Mileage and ride time varied

Bob rode his third 100-mile ride of the week today and JP wasn’t too far behind him rolling into Albany with at least 93 miles on his odometer.

Daven and Bob replace an inner tube on Bob's bike.

Daven and Bob replace an inner tube on Bob’s bike.

But the day didn’t start out that well.
Bob had a flat tire within minutes of taking off from our hotel.
We rode the final 25 miles of the Paul Bunyan Trail, through Brainerd to Highway 371 on our way to Little Falls,
At Brainerd, Daven Kokkila, who joined us Friday night with his fiancee, and my daughter, Gabby, He left us in search of some gravel roads he wanted to try out.
Those roads turned out to be on Camp Ripley where Daven couldn’t go so he met up with us later in the day.
Gabby met JP, Bob and I at a steakhouse in the tiny town of Fort Ripley.
Then she and I drove the long and winding route to Albany where we left everyone’s luggage at the hotel and headed down the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail to Bowlus for pie with our fellow riders at Jordie’s Trailside Cafe and then to Blanchard Dam.
From there we headed back to Albany for dinner and some rest.

Pedal for Project Impact, Day Five

Day Five
Friday, June 12
Bemidji to Pequot Lakes
82.74 miles
8 hours, 21 minutes
JP and Gary meet the Manitobans

As regular readers know, Bob kind of rides circles around JP and I.
We’re just trying to get from point A to B while Bob pedals off and explores.
While we were riding to Pequot Lakes, Bob went to see Cass Lakes (that place has been sort of a obsession for him the past couple days).
The thing is, he got to Cass Lake last year, he just didn’t remember.
So he took off, leaving us in his dust, once we were back on the Paul Bunyan Trail.
We met up in Laporte where there’s a brand new rest area shelter near a grocery store where we usually stop for coffee and snacks.
Bob announced that he was heading down the Heartland Trail where it split with the Paul Bunyan and riding toward Cass Lake.
I remember following him along that same trail last. It took us past Cass Lake and added several miles to our trip to Bemidji.
Sure, we rode along several picturesque, but you can’t toss a dead cat in that area without hitting a picturesque lake.
We told him we’d stop in Hackensack for lunch and wait for him there.
Then Bob was gone.
As JP and I rode toward Hackensack, we encountered a group of women cyclists.
One of them pointed at me and said: “Hey you’re with that guy we met yesterday, You’re in the same jersey.” Bob and I have been wearing Pedal for Project Impact jerseys we had made a couple years ago.
I replied: “And I bet you’re from Manitoba.”
Several of them said, as they passed by us, how much they enjoy our trails and that they don’t have anything like them back home.
We were down the trail a few seconds when JP said it would be good to have a photo of that group.
I turned around headed a short distance to find the group had stopped at a rest area.

Members of FARC, a women's bicycle club from Manitoba, pose Friday for a photo along the Paul Bunyan Trail.

Members of FARC, a women’s bicycle club from Manitoba, pose Friday for a photo along the Paul Bunyan Trail.

As they gathered for a group photo, some of them told me that they call themselves FARC, which stands for fat a– cycling club.
They continue to call themselves FARC even after they discovered that a Colombian narco-terrorist group goes by the same name,
They bike together to get out on two wheels instead of four, one woman said.
What about the sisterhood, another asked.
While had a variety of reasons for being FARC members, they all agreed and repeatedly stated how much they enjoyed Minnesota’s trails.
I bid them farewell and caught up with JP.
When Bob joined us in Hackensack, he said he had met his friends from Manitoba again too.
He also realized once he pedaled up the trail toward Cass Lake, that he had been there before.
It was a discovery that added about 25 miles to his day’s riding and this wasn’t a day to do a lot of extra mileage.
We discovered the first time that we rode from Bemidji to Pequot Lakes that the Google Map distance estimation was about 10 miles less than what we actually rode.
That detail meant that Bob ended up riding 107 miles today.

Pedal for Project Impact, Day Four

Day Four
Thursday, June 11
41.71 miles
4 hours, 14 minutes

Today was our rest day.
That means Bob rode only 50 to 60 miles and JP and I did considerably less.
Bob wanted to ride around Lake Bemidji and possibly explore a trail to Cass Lake.
I said I’d go along and JP decided to stay to make some repairs to his bike and, maybe, ride a bit later.
Mine and Bob’s ride didn’t get off to an auspicious beginning,
Bob said he’d meet me outside the door at the end of the hotel hallway.
While he meant the exit near our rooms, I understood that he meant the door at the opposite end of the hallway.
We both waited for several minutes before realizing what was going on.
Once we found each other, we actually made it to the trail without having to ride the sidewalks along Paul Bunyan Drive, the heavily traveled street where our hotel is located.We found a way.

Bob studies a map posted on the trail around Lake Bemidji.

Bob studies a map posted on the trail around Lake Bemidji.

On the trail, Bob determined by studying the maps that are posted along the way that he was looking for the portion of the Mississippi River Trail that extends to Cass Lake.
The Mississippi River Trail is a network of roads trails that combine to create a route for cyclists to ride from Bemidji all the way to New Orleans.
We rode along a county road from Lake Bemidji to a golf course about 8 or 9 miles away. There some golfers told us it was another 12 miles to Cass Lake.
We decided we’d gone far enough for our day off, bought bottled water at the course club house and headed back to Bemidji.
Did mentioned we got lost on our way back to the hotel?

Pedal for Project Impact 2015, Day Three

Day Three
Wednesday, June 10
Park Rapids to Bemidji
65.93 miles
6 hours, 54 minutes
Bob and the Manitobans

I think JP would agree with me that Bob has at least the energy of both of us combined.
While JP and I were still eating breakfast at the hotel this morning, Bob had already pedaled off toward the Heartland Trail.
When he called as we were preparing to take off, I was surprised to hear him report that the trail was barricaded due to construction work.
I asked the women working at the front desk and ended up talking to one woman’s son who works at the local bike shop.
And I checked the Department of Natural Resources trail website.
Bob reported that he talked to a cyclist who had ridden in from her home four miles away and seen no sign of construction work.
After more conferring, Bob and I agreed that he should go around the barricade, ride down the trail toward Bemidji and report any construction work to us.
As JP and I pedaled toward the trailhead, we noticed signs warning of road work ahead.
As we approached the trail, we saw no barricade.
That’s when I realized that Bob had ridden past the turn to the trailhead and gone to a bridge over a pond that connects to the trail a quarter to a half mile down the road. That site was in the midst of the road work and was probably blocked for that reason, not work on the trail.
JP and I didn’t hear from or see Bob for a couple hours.

Bob Hines "eats" some Goo in preparation for a challenging stretch of Wedneday's ride.

Bob Hines “eats” some Goo in preparation for a challenging stretch of Wedneday’s ride.

We caught up with him at fork in the trail as he was eating (drinking?) some tubes of Goo, an energy “goo” for runners and cyclists.
Rather than taking the more direct trail to Walker and onto Bemidji, Bob was taking a rolling route full of sharp turns and steep climbs.
We agreed to meet in Walker for lunch.
When he joined us at the Piggy Barbeque in Walker, Bob said he met a group of 11 women cyclists from the Canadian province of Manitoba.
They told him they were in Minnesota to bike the “wonderful” trails in the area.
When they asked him what he was doing, he told them about Project Impact.
One of the Manitobans gave Bob $20 and said he was riding for a good cause.
After our lunch at the barbeque, the three of us rode back to the trail where Bob headed back to the trail fork where he’d left his trailer so he could ride the challenging trail segment without the added weight.
JP and I headed toward Bemidji challenged by a wind that wasn’t directly in our faces, but still slowed us down.
At dinner in Bemidji, Bob said he met two more Manitobans later in the day.
The couple also said they were visiting the area because of the trails and planned to return to Minnesota in July to bike in another part of the state.
Had Bob ever heard of the glacial trail, they asked.
Did they mean the Glacial Lakes Trail, Bob asked.
That’s it, they said.

Pedal for Project Impact, Day Two

Day Two
Tuesday, June 9
Long Prairie to Park Rapids
75.93 miles
6 hours, 44 minutes

There was a cool breeze to our backs as we rolled out of Long Prairie and back onto U.S. Highway 71 at about 7:20 a.m.
During the day, the temperature rose to near or slightly more than 90 degrees.
So it was a little warm but the weather wasn’t today’s challenge.
It was JP’s tire.
As we pulled into a convenience store in Bertha, he noticed that his bike’s front tire was flat.
When Bob pumped some air into to it, we could hear it leaking back out.
The inner tube had to be replaced.
JP got out his repair kit, removed the punctured tube and replaced it with a new one.
Getting the tire back on proved nearly impossible.

Bob Hines, left, and JP Cola repair JP's flat bike tire Tuesday at a convenience store in Bertha.

Bob Hines, left, and JP Cola repair JP’s flat bike tire Tuesday at a convenience store in Bertha.

At times all three of us were fighting the tire in the struggle to force it back on the wheel rim.
When we finally succeeded and Bob began pumping air into the new tube, we could hear the hissing of air leaking out.
We had punctured the new tube as we installed it.
Fortunately JP had a second tube and, as he installed it, the tire slipped without any struggle at all.
What can often be done in 10 or 15 minutes took nearly an hour.
JP was nervous for the rest of the ride because, if he had another flat, he was out of spares and would have to attempt to patch the leak. Also, his bike takes a less common size tube that not all bike shops keep in stock.
But the shop in Park Rapids does carry them so we’re good — on that score at least — for tomorrow.