what better way to spend my birthday weekend then a good bike ride down south to support the Minneapolis biking community. The Almanzo Gentlemens Ride was held in spring Valley, just south of Rochester. As with any trip the goal is to enjoy the time of now and share some comradeship with what ever group of friends who have joined in the quest for radness. I had gotten an invite about a month or so ago but with family issue our team had to cancel. It was a suggestion to do a bike tour of 120 miles down and 120 miles back. I had only ridden a century once in my life which was about a month ago and agreed to my soul to execute another one this month. I had limited equipment for camping and threw out a request online to borrow a tent and sleeping bag to gain some positive support about my choice to tour. Ginnie Marie Herman had suggested that I ride with a companion and others asked to join but as the day arrive we had others fall out and could not ride. So Ginnie and I started our trip at Freewheel in midtown around noon. I could not have picked a better riding partner as her energetic and loving spirit opened my heart for another amazing person to join in. We had moments of spiritual awakening as our talked of a god concept on a dirt road while a double rainbow formed. After the rain had settled we turned down road 360 to a view of corn field, barn house excepting the dramatic light of early evening cloud separation. We were stopped dead in our tracks to expect the nowness of perhaps a divine being speaking to us? this is what bike tours are made of. Those moments I could not capture with a camera, but to breathe and smile. As we approached the small southern towns the sun slowly departed after each gravel hill. As we we began our dark descent to Rochester. About a 3 hour gravel ride throw the darkness leaving a start shot down through the Douglass trail. Which made up for the gravel time and made it very pleasant on the legs. about a couple hundred yards of biking the clouds parted and revealed the fullness of the moon and add a creepy nuance to the extremely visual trail we had embarked on. As scary thoughts and scary movies seemed to roll around in my head I had to create some sort of conversation to keep my mind busy and happened to utter what is the scariest movie you have ever seen? haha anyways we make it to Chris Skogens backyard in Rochester and my first impressions were a great one. As a glowing red bicycle and a royal 162 sign and other various ride your bike signs places around the house. We rest from our century ride. Then next day we awaken to riders Jeff O’Neill, Drew Bama, Bryan Dougherty and Kyle Davis and at this point do not remember any conversation . My stomach screamed for breakfast as we continued our last destination. We had a couple hour to spend at McDonalds and searched for the healthiest options. While we rested and drank coffee I had a moment as to the essence of our trip. Bounding with new friends and had elaborated with Ginnie about my journey in life. As we ended our conversation with some tears and enjoyment of our friendship we begin to realize how crazy our trip had been. We were making good time till my hurt knee from a week before had been injured in a cycling accident it became harder to pedal and the more we when down county roads the more it pained me. But with Ms. Herman’s amazing spirit we both made it the last 20-30 miles(who knows). As we made it into Spring valley we rest and welcome the gentlemen as they finish 60/100 mile trail. We also ran into our Minneapolis cohorts and were invited to camp a few miles away. Due to the leg injury it would be a short trip as we were short on time to get back. I have to give it up to this community and their support to help others out. The rest of the night Partied with The Hub Team and Juice Box. I must say that they was not a single dull moment of the night. In the end I have built this fortress of amazing friends and we share our passion for the same love. The biggest thing about the cycling community is that it can grow and if you just show up that you will be welcomed with open arms. Here are some photos to my second century trip.