Illustration by michael hoeweler
Two days, 255 miles. Those numbers marked my first marathon bike ride with my dad. Years ago, we rode from my hometown of Plymouth to Ely, where he grew up.
We left the house at 6 in the morning, and by midday we were in Hinckley. We could have stopped overnight, but Dad decided we should surprise my grandparents by making it in two days instead of three. So, we continued to Cloquet and covered 145 miles on the first day.
“The next day, undeterred by a thunderstorm, we rode another 110 miles. Toward the end, we had to climb a lot of hills, and as my own little show of rebellion, I walked most of them. Arriving in Ely in late afternoon, we were welcomed by my grandpa’s big open arms and my grandma’s famous Slovenian sour meat and homemade noodle soup.
That trek was the first of many “Jaunts with Jim”—and the first of one of my many favorite memories biking across our state.