Rochester Active Sports Club (RASC) is a nonprofit club based in Rochester Minnesota, designed to promote nordic skiing, mountain biking and road biking in SE Minnesota.
Tall Tales but True
Here you will find reports of bike trips, ski trips, kayaking adventures, and other trips and adventures of RASC members over the years! If you like to bike/kayak/run when you travel, you should also check the travel page for helpful places to keep active when you are on the road. 

To the Snows of Kilimanjaro (2013)
In March of this year, Martin Fahje and Sharon Kaufman recently completed  one of their long time goals - climbing Kilimanjaro. Knowing the glaciers would be gone possibly within the decade, this year they took the leap and started serious planning. At over 19,340 feet, altitude would be an issue. A friend of their's who had attempted Kili several years ago climbed the stairs in the Mayo Building every day for training. That seemed  like a good idea. So they started climbing the stairs in the Gonda Building every day, all 553 of them. Within a couple of weeks, they were waiting until the end of the work day, changing clothes, and doing 3-4 laps of the stairs, some running, some laps at two steps at a time, with single laps during the day on non-workout days. Sooo... click here or above to read the rest of their adventure!!


Dave Greymont rode the 2012 RAGBRAI ride in Iowa and posted the following report. RAGBRAI is sponsored by the Des Moines Register newspaper and stands for the “Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. It is a 7 day bike tour (not a race) and attracts 10,000 riders. Each year the RAGBRAI committee selects a different route to ride across Iowa. This year I and 10,000 to 15,000 of my closest friends started in Sioux Center, Iowa and finished at Clinton, Iowa. By tradition, riders dip their rear tire in the Missouri River at the start, and their front tire in the Mississippi at the finish. This year, the start was quite a few miles from the Missouri so we didn’t “dip”, and our meeting place at the finish was only about two miles from the Mississippi but I was so fried by then that I didn’t bother to add the extra few miles to the river and back for the “dip”. For the full story see the pdf file below.

Report of RAGBRAI 2012

Two RNST Coaches are the 2012 Birkie Warriors

Congratulations to Barry Knapp, Darald Bothun, and Kristin Bothun! These three Birkie enthusiasts will take on the roles of the two Warriors and Inga at this year's 39th annual American Birkebeiner. Barry and Darald will assume the roles of Torstein and Skervald, the Birkebeiner warriors who rescued Prince Haakon during the Norwegian Civil War in 1206.  Kristin Bothun, Darald's daughter, of Mankato, MN, will ski as Inga from Varteig, mother of Prince Haakon.  You can read the full article about their selection as Birkie Warriors on the Birkie web site.

RAGBRAI 2011 and 2010

RAGBRAI is sponsored by the Des Moines Register newspaper and stands for the “Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. It is a 7 day bike tour (not a race) and attracts 10,000 riders. Many riders complete the full 7 days, but riders also have the option of getting day passes and doing just part of the ride. Many of the riders are just “Joe citizen” riders of all ages from young to old and ride ordinary bikes. But, there are also serious riders on very nice bikes that hammer across Iowa in pace lines. You see about every kind of bike from the Banana Man bike to a tandem bike of 6. For a set of photos on the 2011 RAGBRAI, click here (photos courtesy of Dave Greymont). A report of this year's ride from Dave is posted here: 

Report on RAGBRAI 2011.

Report on RAGBRAI 2010.

Red Cross Heroes Campaign - May 2010

Paul Scanlon did his usual ride for the Red Cross, riding his bicycle from St. Paul to Duluth (162 miles) on May 22nd as his personal challenge. Below you will find a travelogue describing the trip in all its gory detail. The Red Cross Heroes Campaign supports local operations of the SE MN Chapter of the American Red Cross. They provide key supports in the community including local disaster relief, safety training, and Basic Life Support training. Paul and his daughter, Kelsey are co-chairs of the campaign this year.

Report : St_Paul_to_Duluth.pdf


Birkebeinerrennet 2010

Six Rochester skiers experienced the 2010 Norwegian Birkebeinerrennet on Saturday, March 20, 2010. What started as an improbable idea turned into a memorable adventure skiing over the Norwegian highlands between Rena and Lillehammer. Read all the details here:  norwegianbirkie.pdf.

Grand Canyon backpacking trip (2009)

Author’s note (Barry Knapp): This article describes two backpacking trips in the

Grand Canyon. The first hike was in 2005 down a south rim slot canyon named  Royal  Arch  Canyon  . My three companions were Tom Costello, John Edwards, and Jay Lawrence (all current or former IBMers from the Rochester  area). The other trip was 2009 down another slot canyon from the north rim, named  Saddle  Canyon , and this time, Jay Lawrence and I did the trek.

Biking to the Midnight Sun - June 2009

Between June 7-18, 2009, Paul Scanlon rode his bike from Fairbanks, Alaska, to beyond the Arctic Circle, as part of his Red Cross fundraiser. 

Report: Biking_to_the_Midnight_Sun

America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride – Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe (in my opinion) is one of the prettiest places in America. I’ve always wanted to do a bike ride around Lake Tahoe but was, quite frankly, afraid to do because of the high volume of vehicle traffic, the lack of bicycle lanes, and steel guardrails along the edge of the road with no margin of room to get off the road if needed. Last fall I discovered that there is an organized group ride around the lake scheduled the first weekend in June and again in September. It’s billed as “ America ’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride (AMBBR) and I agree that it certainly is. See: for more details. There are several different distance options: 35 mile, 72 mile, and 100 mile. My younger son and I rode the 72 mile, and my older son and his wife rode the 100 mile route as a fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Of the 3300 participants, about 1300 were raising funds for the LLS. Just for this event alone, they raised 6 million dollars! In the ~20 years that LLS has been in existence, through events such as this they have raised a total of about 1 billion dollars. They have a program called Team in Training for people who are interested in events for the LLS. The teams have a coach who assists them in achieving their goal for participating in the various LLS event(s).See: The ride itself is simply a great experience. It’s pretty much flat for about the first 10 miles, and then you come to the first of two significant climbs. There were some riders who couldn’t handle the climb and needed to walk up, but, nevertheless, I give them credit for being out there trying. Then the second significant climb was about 10 miles from the finish. In the second climb, we started at lake level of 6275 feet elevation and climbed to Spooner Junction at 7044 feet. Fortunately, there was a water stop about half way up to give me a break from the grind. In between these two climbs, it’s relatively flat with a few rollers. Total ascent for the 72 miles around the lake was about 2860 feet. Even for a geezer like me, I wouldn’t say that it was a very difficult ride. I truly enjoyed it and would encourage others to do the ride. This ride is not a race and my son and I stopped frequently to look at the scenery and take pictures. We drove a total of 3750 miles to Lake Tahoe and back home again to ride 72 miles, but it was well worth it.  

Dave Greymont

Roller ‘Ike’ from St. Paul to Duluth (2008)

After last years Border to Bluff rollerski marathon that took O'Connor and Walker from Lake Hendrick to Red Wing over 3 hot days in summer, they were looking for something shorter, easier and definitely cooler. So this year we decided on a 2-day rollerski from St. Paul to Duluth in October (when weather was cooler). Below is a full report of the rollerski event.

RASC Member completes 3 1200K'S in 2008

CONGRATULATIONS to Mark Olsen for completing three 1200k's in 2008. Most riders would consider qualifying, for and riding one per year to be an extremely full and active year. Mark completed the CASSCADE 1200 out of Seatle, the ROCKY MOUNTAIN 1200 out of British Columbia, and THE LAST CHANCE 1200 out of Colorado. He is one of the few riders to receive a special award from BC RANDONNEURS for completing at least one 1200k in both Canada and the USA in the same year. Mark has set a new standard for us all in Randonneuring. Also to note, his brother Bill Olsen completed four 1200k's in 2008 and rode with Mark for three of them.

We also had three other RASC members who ride our brevets ride 1200k's this year. Rob Welsh , Michael Fox, and Jeff Hofstede  Rob did the ROCKY MOUNTAIN 1200 out of British Columbia. Michael and Jeff rode the CASCADE 1200. CONGRATULATIONS to all!

Click on stories below to read about their rides and what they thought about each. Very interesting reading.

Running Minnesota - Joey Keiller (Feb 2007)

Click  above for a link to a great article on running by Joey Keillor  in the Running Minnesota blog series.

Border to Bluff Roller Ski - 2007

In 2007, Michael O’Connor and Henry Walker managed to roller ski over 70 miles a day completing the three-day ski across Minnesota. Goal was to rollerski across Minnesota from Lake Hendricks to Red Wing. Photos courtesy of Aoife O'Connor and Jeff Robertson. This was a fundraiser to support the SE Minnesota Red Cross and especially people affected by the floods in the northern part of the state. Full details of the event and photos can be found below.


Photo set

Photoset #1 - Day 1 Lake Hendricks to Redwood Falls

Photoset #2 - Day 2 (Redwood Falls to Le Sueur)

Photoset #3 - Day 3 (Le Sueur to Red Wing)

Long Day for a Good Cause - May 22, 2007

Bike ride for the Red Cross - 2007. Paul Scanlon did his usual ride for the Red Cross, riding his bicycle from St

. Paul to  Duluth ( 162 miles) on May 22nd as his personal challenge.

Paul Scanlons' 150 mile bike ride

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