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Club News

Begin 2005

Welcome all current and new Cycle Mesabi members to 2005, our 16th year!

For the past 15 springs, summers, and falls, Cycle Mesabi has run its biking season on generally the same schedule each year. First called The Wednesday Night Bike Club, we rode only on Wednesday nights. Duh. At the beginning of our second year, 1991, we changed our name to Cycle Mesabi, and a couple of years after that we added the Tuesday night rides. Up through 2004, that schedule has generally remained the same. This year, on a one-year trial basis, some new twists will be added.

Welcome all current and new Cycle Mesabi members to 2005, our 16th year!

For the past 15 springs, summers, and falls, Cycle Mesabi has run its biking season on generally the same schedule each year. First called The Wednesday Night Bike Club, we rode only on Wednesday nights. Duh. At the beginning of our second year, 1991, we changed our name to Cycle Mesabi, and a couple of years after that we added the Tuesday night rides. Up through 2004, that schedule has generally remained the same. This year, on a one-year trial basis, some new twists will be added.

New for Beginning Riders - Monday Nights

In response to an ongoing argument about speed and distance often voiced by the beginning, family, and solely recreational riders, a MONDAY night ride will be started later in the year. Lori Palumbo, who guided our Tuesday night rides last year, has offered to lead the new riders on Monday nights. It is hoped that word about the new ride night can reach the ears of everyone who would like to begin riding, but are intimidated by the pace and length the Tuesday and Wednesday night riders usually ride. A notice about the new night should have appeared in the pages of the Daily Tribune by the time you read this.

This beginner's ride will happen only on fair weather nights, somewhat difficult to predict up here, where all riders will gather at Hardee's on the Beltline as usual at 6:00PM. The riders themselves will decide the ride route there and then, but the ride length should stay in the 5-7 mile range. All riders should stay together as one group, and a rest stop or two should be incorporated into each ride. The pace of the ride should be slow and easy and quiet streets, low-trafficked back roads, and the Mesabi Trail should be utilized for the majority of the rides. This is a trial basis type of deal; if the riders show up in sufficient numbers, it will be a go. If not, it will be dropped and perhaps tried again next year. I'm asking the current members to pass the word out to those people they know who would enjoy such an outing. The first Monday night ride should begin in May when the weather, hopefully, has stabilized.

Intermediate Riders - Tuesday Nights

The Tuesday night rides will remain the same as past years, and will begin on TUESDAY, APRIL 19th AT 6:OO PM AT HARDEES ON THE BELTLINE. There will be 25 scheduled Tuesday night rides in 2005. Two transport rides: The Swan Lake/Pengilly Loop, and the Mesabi Trail Ride. The days of those rides will be determined by the Tuesday night riders two weeks prior to the events. Again the Tuesday night rides should stay in the 17-20 miles range with shorter distances ridden on the early season rides and as we lose sunlight in the Fall. There should be one rest stop midway on the ride or at the turn around point. An effort to stay together is encouraged. I would like a volunteer to take over for me as ride leader on Tuesday night as I would like to wean myself away from the responsibility of having to show up every Tuesday night for sign-in duties whether I am riding or not.

To no one's surprise, the Tuesday night riders have grown into very accomplished cyclists whose average mileage, abilities, and number of riders each night have grown every season. My congratulations to you all!

Advanced Riders - Thursday Nights

Now for the second and possibly biggest change in the 16 years of Cycle Mesabi's tenure: Again on a one year's trail run, and due to some growing concerns about numbers and ability to "get out" two nights in a row, Wednesday's ride night has been change to Thursday night. Often I have heard that riding two nights in a row just is not an easy task for many members due to family, work, church, or other obligations. So beginning this year, we will ride on Thursdays beginning THURSDAY, APRIL 21st AT 6:00 PM AT HARDEE'S ON THE BELTLINE. I have scheduled 2 Thursday night rides, including FOUR transports rides this year. Thursday night rides are generally in the 25-35 mile range, and riders are on their own after the start. There should be one rest stop at the half way or turn around point.

To run down a couple of basic details for any new or current
members, please observe the following: All Cycle Mesabi rides, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights, will begin at 6:00pm with the exception of the transports rides which, will begin at 5:30PM. In addition, all rides on ANY of the nights after September 1st will also begin at 5:30 PM. Any current or new member can ride any of the Cycle Mesabi ride nights, but everyone must follow the general rules concerning each night's ride level.

Mesabi Trail Update

On to other news. New additions and repairs to the Mesabi Trail scheduled for 2005 include: Marble to Pengilly will be re-graded and paved as soon as the weight restrictions are lifted off the highways. The stretch is 6-8 miles long, I think, and will offer some spectacular climbs and views. Work on the Pengilly to Nashwalk segment should begin this summer, and with luck be finished by fall. This is not set in stone, but it has a better than average chance of being done this year. A spur from downtown Mountain Iron to the Parkville section of the trail will also be paved after the weight restrictions are lifted this spring. This two mile or so stretch will allow riders access to the Parkville link without having to travel on the highway. The new spur runs between two old mine pits and has a great descent if you
are going the right way; if not, shift down. Something that has been tied up in squabbles for two years has finally been settled, and the repairs on the Kinney end of the Kinney to Mountain Iron section will be finished in June. For those of you riding from Gilbert to McKinley on the trail, you will find curtain fencing along the trail separating it from the OHV trail and the majority of rocks and debris usually on it.

As a member of the Mesabi Trail Work Group for 15 years, I strongly urge that you purchase a $12.00 season pass for your use on the trail. In 2005 two major biking events are scheduled for the Mesabi Trail. The TRAM (The Ride Across Minnesota for MS) will use the trail on three of its five days when it travels from Grand Rapids to Giants Ridge. The TRAM riders will overnight in Hibbing's Bennett Park on Monday, July 25th, and I encourage all Cycle Mesabi members to come out and volunteer that day in any way you can. There will be nearly 1,000 bikers and 600-700 support people in town that day and evening. Let’s show them our town’s best side. On August 13th The Great River Energy and Mesabi Trail Ride will ride the trail from Giant's Ridge to Ironworld where a music and food celebration will be held following the ride. An individual $35.00 entry fee gets you free admission to Ironworld, showers, food, and music. You may ride any length of the route from the Ridge to Ironworld with free shuttle service back to your vehicle.

2005 can be a banner year for Cycle Mesabi and cycling here in Hibbing and throughout the Iron Range, so let's jump start the season with great turn outs next week and all through the season. I hope you achieve personal bests in all aspects of your cycling season. Biking is a great sport, let's try and make it open for everyone. Have a great year, and thank you.

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