KEYC - Mankato River Ramble Pairs Cycling and Fall Festivities for All

Mankato River Ramble Pairs Cycling and Fall Festivities for All Ages

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Mankato, Minn.-- Minnesota is a great place for cyclists but Mankato's thriving bike community still remains relatively secret.
"Kind of feel like we're a hidden gem with our paved bike trail network that we have and quiet county roads." said Justin Rinehart, owner of Nicollet Bike Shop.

The Mankato River Ramble starts at Land of Memories Park and is a non-competitive event with three routes to choose from: the 12 miles Minneopa Falls Loop, the 26 miles Pie Run and the 42 miles Lake Crystal Loop. 

"Really helps showcase Mankato as a great place to be outdoors." said Tom Engstrom, co director of the Mankato River Ramble.

All the rides pass through Sibley Park and feature lovely scenery, food and beverages, rest stops, live music, and ride support. One cyclist and mechanical engineer volunteered to do just that.
"You get to repair stuff along the way and people really really appreciate it." said Bob Kunze, volunteer ride marshal.

The routes are not extremely challenging.

"Low stress, very welcoming to anybody kind of event and that is how the sport grows." said Rinehart.

But there are good riders of all ages.

"I'm 65 years old and I can still bike pretty darn well." Kunze said.

The local pies, bands and bike gear on display are enjoyed by everyone that comes out, no matter how far they decide to ride.

Biking can be a hobby, a means of transportation or a competition, but helping others experience the joy of riding is the key aspect of the River Ramble.
"Being able to share my love and passion of riding bikes with so many other people." Rinehart said,  "Sometimes when you're by yourself riding you wonder if there's other out there like you. Events like this make you realize that there are."

Even with all the enthusiasts, no one seemed to be able to pin down why Mankato is so bike friendly.

"Just a great way to stay healthy." Engstrom concluded.

--KEYC News 12