by Kendall Thompson
Just after school started this fall, I took a six day bike trip. As you can see in the picture below it was a peddle bike - a 95 Schwinn. A couple of years ago I started at the head waters of the Mississippi River and rode for 6 days. I picked up where I left off and rode for another 6 days. This trip started a day's journey above the twin cities in Minnesota and ended up above the Iowa border. I took my sleeping gear and slept out each night. I did not take any matches for fire, but I got one hot meal a day and carried a few treats to hold me over. I went by myself so I could peddle at my own rate, stop and take pictures where I wanted to, and enjoy nature when and where I could. I rode on bike paths and side roads that followed the Mississippi River Trail. Part of the trip that was a little overwhelming was a section of the road that continued to climb up and wind around forever or at least it seemed that way.
I ended up stopping about 25 times to rest or push my bike until I made it to the last climb. Of course cars and trucks were whizzing by, but there was an 8' shoulder that was paved. To say the least, going down I did not peddle very much! Then unknown to me, the camp site that night had another long winding road that went up, up, and around once again! I did not take an air mattress with me, but I slept very well that night. I met a number of people along the way: one guy was walking around the world (Andrew’s Adventures), another was riding a unicycle and it looked like he had more gear then I had, I had breakfast with two guys and a dog that were canoeing down the Mississippi, then I had missed one of my campsites and as it was getting darker I asked a grey hair gentleman if I could put my tent up in his yard. He was cutting his grass and he said okay. Later his wife invited me in for warm tea and hot apple crisp with ice cream. I had checked my bike out mechanically before I made the trip and there were no issues on this trip. I ended up taking more gear than I needed as the trip before, but maybe next time I will lighten the load. By the fifth night I was kind of glad that my wife would meet me later the next day to end of my journey for 2014. I would encourage you to take short or long bike trip this next year.