The end of September marks a tradition of riding in the Headwaters Bike ride near Papa’s cabin with my Dad and my brother, Dan. This is my 10th time in 11 years riding the 45 mile route. I missed the year Elinor was born since there was no way I was getting on a bicycle less than a month after giving birth. This year was also one of the few times we’ve had nice weather. Oftentimes it has been raining, sleeting and even snowing. It did start off rather cold and sunny, but we warmed up quickly.

Bundled up at the start of the ride.

At the first rest stop we all shed at least one layer of clothing. This stop always has good wild rice soup and chocolate chip cookies. I need to fuel up for the hardest stretch of the ride with lots of long hills.

At one point in this hilly area Dan waited for me and asked if I’d seen Dad. Nope. So Dan rode back to find Dad. Turns out he had turned back to find me, not realizing that I was ahead of him. We stuck a bit closer after that. Our next and final rest stop was in Nevis where Jolene and Justin joined in the ride.

The last 11 miles of the ride back into Park Rapids are on the Heartland Trail.

We stopped for pictures at the bridge over Lake Belle Taine. The bridge is actually on the far side of the lake from Papa’s Cabin. There use to be an old trestle-style wooden bridge at this location that my kids use to love climbing underneath. It was replaced two years ago with a concrete arch span.

  A few “staged” action shots as we neared Park Rapids and the finish.

Happy riders! Dad, Dan and I completed 45 miles. Justin and Jolene finished 11 miles. All were heroes!