Cyclists take on the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour

Riders in this year's Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour were treated to a view from a new bridge constructed on the route.

Riders in this year’s Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour were treated to a view from a new bridge constructed on the route.

More than 700 bicycling enthusiasts turned out to participate in the 14th annual Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour on Saturday, Aug. 4, despite rainy conditions.

All four routes of the tour crossed the new Highway 53 bridge in Virginia, Minn., offering cyclists a scenic view of the Iron Range from 200 feet up, which event coordinator Ardy Nurmi-Wilberg said was a big attraction for participants. Also a draw for participants was the event’s accessibility to both serious riders and families, allowing cyclists to choose from four different routes ranging from 11 to 71 miles.

“For the first time in 14 years we had rain on tour day, but most of the day weather was good for biking: overcast with moderate temperatures,” said Nurmi-Wilberg. “We may have gotten wet, but spirits weren’t dampened. Folks crossing the finish line were still smiling and had a great time on one of Minnesota’s premier trails.”