Explore the Missippi River
A Bicycle Tour of Lake Pepin

RULES SAFETY & FAQ


Who can participate in the Tour de Pepin?

The Tour de Pepin is a non-competitive tour (NOT A RACE) of the Lake Pepin area.  The event is open to all ages; however, an adult must accompany children under 15 years of age.  Bike trailers are not allowed in the tour.  Tour de Pepin is primarily on state highways and it may not be suitable for less experienced riders if they do not follow proper riding etiquette.

Please review our rules and safety link, as well as this website for more information www.sharetheroadmn.org. Contact us ahead of time if you need special accommodations.

What should I bring?

A helmet is required to participate in the Tour de Pepin. Wear bright clothing, and dress in layers appropriate for the weather. Bring a water bottle(s), a tire repair kit, an I.D. and medical insurance card, and an emergency contact number. It's a good idea for at least one person in your group to have a cell phone.

If I register for the 72 or 100 mile tour, and then change my mind--can I still take the Pearl shuttle?

No.  Due to the limited number of passengers and shuttles, you will be required to have a Tour de Pepin Shuttle wristband to ride back to Lake City on the Pearl.

When can I use my free tickets for the boat excursion?

Tickets may be used at any time this season.   For the Pearl's schedule, visit www.pearlofthelake.com or call 651-345-5188.  

When do the shuttles leave?

Shuttles begin at 11am and run until 4:30. When you register for the 32 or 50 mile touring option, you will select your preferred shuttle time. When you check-in for the event, you receive a wristband that is color-coded with the corresponding time.

Can I pick up my packet early?
There will be early packet pick up on Friday, June 6th,  from 5pm to 8pm at Ohuta Park in Lake City.  

What time can I start?

Check-in and day of registration will run from 7am to 9am on Saturday, June 7th at Ohuta park in Lake City. You may start anytime after you pick up your packet. Cyclists choosing the Lac Plein (72-mile) or Siècle (100-mile) routes should plan to depart prior to 8:00 a.m. and those choosing the Milieu (32-mile) or Demi-Siècle (50-Mile) routes should begin no later than the 9:00 a.m. close of registration.

What if it rains?

Tour de Pepin will take place rain or shine. In case of inclement weather or high winds, riders may be shuttled by bus.

SAFETY

Will there be safety and support vehicles during the Tour de Pepin?

Yes, you can call the day-of hotline number for rider support. The number will be given out at check-in.  Penn Cycle and Wheelhouse Cycles will provide rider support throughout the day.

Ride Right = Bring the Right Attitude
RIDE RIGHT is a bicycling common sense, safety, and etiquette campaign developed by RAGBRAI. By practicing these rules of the road, you set the example for other riders to ensure that the Tour De Pepin bicycle tour is safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Obey the Legal RIGHT

  • Obey traffic laws.
  • Ride no more than two abreast.
  • Share the road with motorists.
  • Stop completely at stop signs and stop lights.
  • Ride to the right of the centerline.
  • Signal when turning, slowing and stopping.
  • Communicate when passing: "On your left!"

Bring the RIGHT Attitude

  • Be considerate to motorists and your fellow riders.
  • Cooperate with officials.
  • Respect property of others.
  • Don't litter.
  • Create and rekindle friendships.

Safety is Your Responsibility

  • Ride as far to the right as is safe to ride.
  • Ride a straight line - don't weave.
  • Maintain a safe distance - don't draft.
  • No headphones!
  • Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
  • Avoid road hazards: debris, cracked pavement, & potholes.
  • Stop off the road surface.

The RIGHT Stuff

  • Helmet absolutely required: certified, fitted, and fastened.
  • Bike well maintained.
  • Wear bright clothing for visibility.
  • Dress in layered clothing appropriate for the weather. Synthetic clothing is best.
  • Recommended items: 2 water bottles, flat tire repair kit, spare tube, frame pump, rear view mirror, warm clothing.
  • Carry proper identification, medical insurance card and emergency contact info.

Bicycle Tips:

Group Riding Techniques and Etiquette
by Liz Sands

While this material does not cover pacelines, it does help prepare riders for riding in a group (close to other riders)

Be Smooth and Predictable

  • No sudden accelerations or slowdowns!
  • If a gap opens in front of you, try to close it gradually
  • Sharp braking should be used ONLY in emergencies
  • Do not move out to pass the rider in front of you without checking to be sure that you don't have another rider in your 'blind spot' (coming up behind you on the left)
  • Riders should verbally communicate upcoming stop signs: "SLOWING", "STOPPING"
  • If you're getting too close to the rider ahead:
    • Shift into an easier gear
    • Soft pedal
    • Sit up higher to catch more of the wind
    • Move over slightly to catch more of the wind (but don't overlap your front wheel with the next rider's back wheel, and again, watch out to be sure there is not a rider coming from behind who you would be cutting off)
    • Try not to coast, when the riders behind you see you coasting, they will slow down too and cause an accordion effect
    • If all of the above do not slow you down enough, feather your brakes
  • It's better to roll over minor obstacles like small holes or sticks than to make a sudden move over or slam on your brakes.

Communicate

  • Hand signals and verbal signals
  • Right turn, left turn
  • Slowing, stopping
  • Pointing at obstacles and calling them out (you need to point before going by the obstacle or you are not giving the rider behind you enough warning)
  • Car back
  • Move over for obstacles ahead (example, "Walker up")
  • Be considerate of other riders in the group. If the entire group doesn't make it through a stoplight before it turns red, slow down to wait up for those who didn't make it through. This will also encourage lawful behavior, in that riders won't feel so pressured to run a red light if they know the group is going to wait up for them.
  • Let other riders know when you are passing them. Avoid passing on the right.
  • Watch out for squirrelly riders in the group and increase your following distance. Conversely, learn who is a "steady wheel" and try to position yourself behind those riders.
  • Don't use aerobars when in a group. You need to have good control of your bike and have your brakes within close reach.

Hills:

  • The front person should pedal on downhills, or else everyone behind will be catching up to them too fast.
  • The group may need to slow down after uphills to allow slower riders to catch up.
  • Be careful when standing to climb when riding in a group, this can jerk your wheel back into the rider behind you (good to give a verbal signal:"Standing")

Skills Practice

  • Riding in a straight line.
  • Drinking while riding in a straight line.
  • Checking behind for traffic while riding in a straight line.
  • Riding with different hand positions (on top of handlebars, on brake hoods, in the drops) and being able to change hand positions.
  • Drafting - practice riding with your front wheel 1-3 feet behind the rider in front of you.
  • Riding side by side - practice riding side by side with one other rider as close as you can. Try touching shoulders or elbows if you are comfortable with that.

Safe and efficient cornering technique

  • Lean into the turn
  • Outside foot down
  • Do not start pedaling when you are in the leaned over position (you might hit the pavement with your inside pedal)
  • Hold your line going through the turn; there may be other riders to your right or left who you don't want to cut off
  • Be more cautious if conditions are wet or there is gravel in the corner

Safe braking techniques

  • Figure out which brake handle controls which brake (usually Right = Rear, but not always)
  • Never use just the front brake
  • In an emergency stop, apply more pressure on the rear brake and shift your weight toward the back of the bike to keep from going over the handlebars

SUGGESTED TRAINING TIPS FOR LONGER RIDES EASY BASICS

  1. If you are out of shape or just getting started in cycling, begin slowly. Initial rides, whether outside or on an indoor trainer, should be limited to 20-30 minutes, 3 days a week. Pedal briskly, but don't get out of breath. As fitness increases, begin riding 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes, and progress from there.
  2. Indoor trainers are a good way to maintain a degree of cycling fitness in winter, but you'll do better to ride outdoors as much as possible. This way you'll develop important riding skills such as keeping a straight line, cornering, descending, etc.
  3. Even a new rider who has no racing ambitions can benefit from a weekly program that includes both speed and distance. In order to firm your legs, lose weight and be healthier, use a program with:
    • MODERATE DAYS. To lose weight, forget about the stopwatch and ride medium distances at a comfortable pace. This will burn fat, as opposed to the carbohydrates that fuel short, intense efforts.
    • ENDURANCE DAYS. To improve your stamina, go on one long ride every week. Don't worry about time just complete the distance.

TIPS ON ENDURANCE RIDING

  1. The average cyclist can ride at least 3 times longer than the average training ride.
  2. Try to do at least one long training ride a week.
  3. Your goal should be to increase your rides by 5-10% each week.
  4. Stand up and stretch on your bike at least once every 30 minutes. Pedal standing for a minute and then coast moving your hips forward and arching your back. Sit down and finish by rolling your neck and shrugging your shoulders.
  5. Change your grip in the handlebars every few minutes. This helps to prevent upper body fatigue.
  6. Eat lots of carbohydrates for 3 days prior to the Bike Tour.
  7. Start snacking during the first hour. Snack throughout the ride; don't wait until you get hungry.
  8. Drink before you become thirsty; if you wait to drink until you are thirsty, you are already dehydrating. Drink from your water bottle every 10 minutes.
  9. Wear comfortable clothing. Snug, padded cycling shorts and padded cycling gloves are recommended.
  10. Your feet may swell. If you feel discomfort, loosen your shoes.
  11. Wear sunglasses to avoid squinting, which could cause headaches.
  12. Divide the day's ride into 3 segments. Ride below your ability the first segment; ride your normal pace the second segment; you should be fine on the final stretch.
  13. Use the rest stops to get off your bike, stretch, eat a small snack and refill your water bottle. Try not to stop for more than 10 minutes or it may be hard to resume your pace.
  14. Ride with someone of similar pace. It will make the ride go more quickly.

This information was taken from Bicycling Magazine's pamphlet "Ride Longer and Stronger"