all images by Jerry Hass
The 2017 Tour of Saints was on Sunday, July 9. What a great ride!
We’ll see you in 2018!
It’s not a race. It’s a heavenly little ride. From cities across Minnesota and neighboring states, each year 1,000 or more cyclists gather in St. Joseph to wend their way along quiet byways and rolling hills, savor treats at rest stops and relish the verdant summer morning. Join the tradition. Make this the year you ride the Tour!
ABOUT THE RIDE
Check-in runs from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
After checking in, you may begin riding any time between 6:30 and 8:30. Our rest stops and finish are geared to this schedule, so please plan to start no later than 8:30 a.m.
Start at the College of Saint Benedict
(Coming far? Stay overnight at the Tour start! Learn more here.)
The tour starts and ends at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. The course traces 35 undulating miles of scenic byways, with 18-mile and 50-mile options you can choose along the way. Riders enjoy rest stops with food and drink spaced along the scenic course.
Sinful treats at the rest stops
Cold Spring, the first stop at 12 miles, is home to the popular Cold Spring Bakery. Their crew offers fresh pastries, fruit, cool water and energy drinks. The second stop at 27 miles is at Collegeville Orchards near Saint John’s Abbey and University, set at the edge of woodlands and lakes. Cyclists enjoy fresh fruit, drinks and sinfully good Cold Spring Bakery cookies.
Help along the way
If you and your bike need a lift during the tour, you’ll be able to call the St. Cloud Amateur Radio Club (WØSV), and they’ll send one of the Gilleland Chevrolet support trucks roving the course to pick you up. Bike shop mechanics offer help at the food and rest stops.
Stop to smell the flowers
Look for native wildflowers as you pass the Saint John’s Arboretum — oak savanna, wetland and a prairie that hosts 4,800 plants and flowers. The staff manages 2,500 acres of land stewarded by the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s Abbey.
Feeling strong? Go for 50!
At 31 miles, riders choose the short course to the finish for a 35-mile day or follow the 50-mile course. At Avon’s city park next to the Lake Wobegon Trail, 50-mile cyclists are welcomed with fresh fruit, candy bars and cool drinks at the last rest stop.
Ah! A fine finish!
Reunite with friends and family at the finish in cool comfort at the College of Saint Benedict, where you can slurp on watermelon and sip lemonade. Showers are available (bring a towel).
2017 Tour of Saints shirts are dark heather gray. Unisex, womens, and longsleeve are pictured below. Performance-style shirts are also available in dark gray.
Here is a detail of the art designed by Minnesota-based artist Amarilys Henderson: