Sacrificing a Virgin to Beg the Sun Not to Leave
There's enough interest in this ride, so here goes with an event:
As I’m sure you know, the Summer Solstice is June 20, after which we mourn diminishing day lengths. And because of the importance of sunlight to life (i.e. bicycling), it seems appropriate to have a ritual to plead with the sun to stay.
The Longest-Day Ride begins Saturday June 24th, 6:30 AM, at the Union Depot Station in St. Paul. We'll load bikes onto a trailer that my wife Jill has graciously agreed to pull with her SUV, then catch the 8 AM Amtrak to Red Wing. Jill will meet us with the bikes in Red Wing at 8:54, then SAG and carry lunch and dinner for us as we ride Red Wing to Wabasha, across the river into Wisconsin, and down to cross the river again into Winona. We’ll catch the 7:47 PM train back to St. Paul, arriving at 10:03, where Jill will meet us again with the bikes. The bike route totals 69 miles and 520’ vertical on roads that are considered “bike friendly”.
I will have a rack for the bikes on my small open trailer. I believe this will carry 12 bikes, so that’s the target size for the ride. It’s possible to bring a bike without a box in a special place per train, but it seems to be limited to six bikes at a cost of $40 round-trip per bike if I understand the pricing correctly. The train tickets are only $32 total per person. Food and gas for the SAG wagon should be around $25~$40 per person. In the past, this Amtrak route has not been reliable because it does not have priority over freight trains. But, the drop in crude-oil prices has made the Bakken uneconomical resulting in fewer oil trains, so maybe Amtrak will be on time. In case it is not, it would be helpful if a couple spouses/friends with 6-passenger vehicles would be at the ready to rescue us from Winona if needed.
PS: We need a virgin—alternate facts are acceptable in this case.