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Peterson gears up for Gammel Dag

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jun 4th, 2012
Posted in Peterson Features

Stephanie and Sandy, of the Fit Tourist will guide bicycle tour participants on one of three routes Saturday, June 16, during Gammel Dag festivities. Photo by Kirsten Zoellner

Who hasn’t heard someone complain about missing the good old days? Luckily, Peterson has a solution to the nostalgia with its 31st annual Gammel Dag (Norwegian for “Good Old Days”).

Scheduled for Friday, June 15 through Sunday, June 17, the celebration is packed with something for everyone and then some. New this year is a multi-faceted bicycle tour and a bike clinic. The event is in three-way partnership with HaveFunBiking, The Fit Tourist, and Wahoo! Adventures, all Twin Cities-based organizations that encourage exploration in the out of doors, especially by bicycle.

The clinic begins Friday, at 1pm, and continues again Saturday morning, at 9am, prior to the tour. “For those interested in getting back in the saddle, the ‘Have Fun Biking...Again’ clinics are designed to reintroduce and help you find joy in bicycling,” says Stephanie, The Fit Tourist. “Do you remember how fun it was to ride a bike as a kid and that sense of freedom you had?  Do you see people biking on the trails and wish that could be you?  If you are not already riding confidently, we will help you get back on your bike!”

The clinic will provide minor bike maintenance and adjustments for proper fit, including seat, handlebar, and brake adjustment. Safe bicycling rules and hints will also be discussed. The cost of either clinic is $15 and will include a short bike ride. Clinic participants will meet at the historic Peterson Station Museum, located right on Mill Street. To pre-register for a clinic, go to: Registrations will also be accepted prior to the clinic start.

Following the clinics, The Fit Tourist and Wahoo! Adventures will take participants on one of three guided bike tours. The distance options include 15, 35, or 65-mile routes. Refreshment stops and sag support (for those whose biking nostalgia catches up with them) will be provided along each route. Upon returning, participants will enjoy a dinner and mouth-watering pie served at Judy’s Country Kitchen, just off the Root River State Bike Trail. As an added bonus, riders choosing either the 15 or 35-mile routes will have the opportunity to ride their bike in the Gammel Dag Grand Parade before peddling out of town.

The Fit Tourist, now in their 2nd season offering group and private walking/biking tours, and Wahoo! Adventures, who specialize in customized tours, coordinating all details of the adventure from beginning to end, will lead the various guided tours. The cost for the tours, including dinner, is $30 per participant. Registrations placed after June 6 will be $35 each. Tour participants will gather prior to the tour start at 205 North Church Street. Those wanting to partake can pre-register at: 

Tour participants will also be entered for one of three prizes of “buy one evening, get one free stay” for Peterson’s finest lodging; Geneva’s Hideaway, the Wenneson Historic Inn, or The Crossing B&B.

Other highlights of the weekend festivities include:

•Friday night music provided by DJ Dewey and Karaoke

•Men’s Softball Tournament Friday and Saturday

•A 25-mile Tractor Ride and a Tractor Barrel Race

•Norwegian artisan demonstrations and the Nordic Dancers of Decorah, Iowa

•Kubb Games and Tournament

•History Storytelling

•Amish buggy rides

•The Grand Parade at 1pm, Saturday

•Saturday night street dance

•Various craftsmen, vendors, kids’ rides, and scrumptious food

For more information or a complete schedule of events, visit

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