Twin Cities Tandem Club: The Loons
The Twin Cities Tandem Club is a group of tandem enthusiasts from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding area. We get together once or twice a month from May until November to ride tandem bicycles. We like to ride tandems for many reasons. We are a social or touring club, as opposed to a racing club. While many of our members do ride fast, the main purpose of our rides is to enjoy each other's company, and a "bite to eat" at the food stops.
I am sure if you were to ask the club members why they like to ride a tandem, you would receive many different answers. The following list is not all inclusive, but it does reflect what I have heard various people say over the years:
- Riding a tandem is a shared experience, and we enjoy the sense of team work that it brings.
- Riding a tandem allows two partners of unequal strength to ride together.
- Tandems have some aerodynamic advantages. While you have the effort of two people, the frontal profile is only that of a single person. So usually, a team's speed on a tandem is slightly faster than their average speed on individual bikes.
All of these reasons are in addition to the usual benefits of bicycling -- exercise, fresh air, and just plain fun.
Even if you are just considering a tandem bicycle or interested in tandems, you are welcome at our rides.
Loons Rally in Walker Minnesota
September 7 & 8, 2018
A Loons Rally in Walker Minnesota is being planned for Friday September 7, and Saturday September 8, 2018. Folks that are interested in attending should act now to make their hotel reservations.
A Loons Rally in Walker Minnesota is doable if people act now to make their hotel reservations. Here is what members need to do right now:
1. Go to booking.com and set up reservations at the Walker Hotel in Walker MN on Friday September 7, and Saturday September 8, 2018. This should be a direct link to that location on the web, but be certain to re-check the dates: Booking.com: Choose the Walker Hotel
The cost should be $106/night. There is free cancellation, but it must be done by 11:59 PM on September 5.
If they run out of these $106/night rooms, members could opt for more expensive rooms. Of they could go to the Country Inn about two miles away. They had two rooms at $120, and then it went up from there.
CAMPING: When I think of camping, I think of tent camping. It has been our experience that arranging tent camping for groups in this area is both difficult and expensive. Here is a link to the campgrounds in the area provided by the chamber of commerce: http://business.leech-lake.com/list/category/campgrounds-93
Friday September 7, late afternoon ride: Traditionally, the Loons Rally has had an afternoon ride on Friday. This ride will begin at the Walker Hotel at 3:00 PM. The ride will go out and back on the Heartland Trail to Akeley about 12 miles away (24 round trip). The route is very flat, and most of the route goes through the woods. A very nice ride!
Option B: We have a second idea for the Friday night ride. If we choose to do Option B, it will also leave from the Walker Hotel at 3:00 PM.
Friday Night Supper: Benson's Eating and Drinking Emporium about four blocks from the hotel: http://bensonsemporium.com/ . It's a fun place with a great reasonably priced menu, and a glass table built above a large canoe.
Saturday September 8 ride: The base course is 38 remarkably easy round trip miles from Akeley to Park Rapids and back. It's flat! It's mostly in the woods! Every time we do this route we can't figure out how it can be just as easy to go one way as the other, even with a wind.
The route can be shorted to twenty-five miles by starting at Nevis. Shorted to fifteen miles by starting at Dorset. Elongated to fifty-six miles by starting at Walker. AKELEY, Dorset, and Nevis are all interesting (well spaced on the trail) small towns. Weather permitting, this is going to be a great ride!
We discovered that Park Rapids is a really nice destination with lots of interesting shops, and a great restaurant that is well suited to our needs.
Saturday Night Banquet: We are uncertain of the location for the banquet at this time. It's a matter of choosing between three different places. We will have a banquet, complete with the grand prize drawing. No advance money necessary. It will be off the menu ordering (we think).
Sunday September 9 ride: We check out of the hotel and move by car toward the Twin Cities, stopping at Nisswa. The route for the day is an out and back scenic twelve mile route between Nisswa and Pequot Lakes. Nisswa is a very nice little tourist town with two distinctive features. It has a pizza restaurant that is consistently rated as having the best Pizza in Minnesota. Another place of business is consistently rated as having the best ice cream in Minnesota. And guess what! They are the same great pizza and ice cream shops we have enjoyed every year when the Loons Rally has been held in Cross Lake! So, if you want Nisswa to be a fresh experience for you on Sunday, don't stop there on your way up to Walker.
The ride to Pequot Lakes and back is flat, and more out in the open. Pequot Lakes has a landmark feature that the riders won’t want to miss.
We will provide you with another update later on.
John and Helen Mattsen