William Dodd Road Ramble

This is a past ride.
Jun 01, 2024

Caribou Coffee, 14638 Cedar Ave, Apple Valley, MN

Ride Distance:
Rob Welsh

The William Dodd Road Ramble traces parts of the original wagon road from St. Paul to St. Peter, built by Captain William Bigelow Dodd in 1853.  For some background from the Minnesota Historical Society on this famous figure and his road go to:

 William Dodd Road History 


Our brevet route focuses on the sections of Dodd Road still remaining from Apple Valley to near Le Center, all on paved roads.  Dodd Road was an important transportation link between St. Paul and St. Peter, particularly during the winter and spring when the Minnesota River was frozen or impassable.  It was used for freight for less than 20 years until the railroads were built along the Minnesota River Valley. The Jesse James-Younger gang used this road to escape after the famous Northfield bank robbery in 1876.

This route is generally rolling with lots of lakes, farms and fields.  As you ride along, try to imagine how Dodd and his crew of 10 men and horses were able to build a 75 mile useable wagon trail in 109 days.  In general, he tried to stay on the ridges to ensure a solid track for the wagons, but had to hack through several forests and stay away from low marshy areas. Dodd only lived a few more years, a casualty of the early stages of the Sioux Uprising in 1862. The area NW of Faribault is a mini Lake Country, with numerous small lakes, cabins, some resorts, farms and really nice roads.

We will still need to update the route to have the start location at the same place as the 300k and 400k rides that day. Sorry for the 5am start, but the longer options that day determine the starting time. You'll have other 200k options available ove r the course of the year with more agreeable start times.


Control Ratings

This ride has some really good control stops with several options for healthy (or not) foods and beverages.

Lonsdale (mile 28 and 98) is attached to Mackenthun's Fine Foods which has a deli and full produce and other grocery items.  There is also a Subway across the parking lot.

Faribault (mile 48) is the HyVee C-store, which is adequate, but a full HyVee is next door and there is a Subway a few stores down the frontage road.

Le Center (mile 76) is a Casey's which is adequate.

Electronic Ride Waiver

We have worked with RUSA on an electronic ride waiver that we are now rolling out for all of our rides. This will replace our paper waivers at the start. We will still bring some as a backup. You can click here to go to the MN Randonneurs SmartWaiver page. Please fill out the form there with all the requested information. Once you click submit, an email with a download link of the electronic waiver will be sent to you, to the Minnesota RBA (Norman Ehrentreich), and to the RUSA insurance account. After that, you will be sent back to a landing page on the mnrando.org site that you can close.



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Current Rider List
Rob Welsh
Duane Franklund
William Watson
Tim Marino
John Murphy
Keith Larson
Sam Carroll