Pedal Pilgrimage planned for feast of the Assumption

The 10th annual Pedal Pilgrimage, a prayerful 23-mile bike tour starting and ending at the Assumption (Grasshopper) Chapel in Cold Spring, begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption.  

“Pilgrims will ride their bikes along country roads and trails making stops in Richmond, Jacobs Prairie and Rockville before returning to the chapel in time for outdoor Mass at 7 p.m.,” said pilgrimage coordinator Mike McNeil. “While the prayer during the pilgrimage will be in a Roman Catholic style, the pilgrimage is open to people of all faith traditions. Due to the coronavirus, pilgrims will not pray inside the churches along the ride this year.

Bicyclists participate in the 2015 Pedal Pilgrimage, a 23-mile bike tour along country roads and trails. (photo submitted)

“It’s an interesting combination of biking and prayers,” he explained. “We pray a modified Liturgy of the Hours during the stops. It introduces people to the psalms, readings of the day and the style of prayer of the Church. And, I share some of the history of Assumption Chapel and the miracles attributed to St. Mary that are associated with it.”

Those who wish to participate should arrive early to register and unload their bikes. Participants are asked to park in the Park and Ride lot on Highway 23 and then gather at the foot of Chapel Hill on Pilgrimage Road off Maple Hill Road, south of Highway 23 in Cold Spring. 

“A team of six volunteers help pull this pilgrimage together,” McNeil said. Some “drive behind the bikers to signal to traffic that there’s a pilgrimage ahead or are there to help pilgrims with bike or other issues. Anywhere between 12 and 30 bikers have attended each year — some in their 70s to children who are 3 or 4 years old, pulled behind their parents’ bikes. Every year it’s really fun.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 250 people may attend Mass at the Assumption Chapel and only two people will be allowed in the chapel at one time. No public rosary will be prayed. Those who wish to attend Mass must register at (see “Reserve Your Spot”) or call 320-204-1111. (In case of inclement weather, Mass will be at St. Boniface; masks are required inside the church.) Bring a lawn chair or blanket, mosquito repellent and bottle of water for Mass at the chapel. 

After Mass, pilgrims and their families are welcome to an optional $7 pizza dinner at Marnanteli’s in Cold Spring.

Registration information for the bike ride, sponsored by St. Boniface Parish in Cold Spring, is available at Registration becomes official when a signed registration and liability waver form is accepted with a $10 fee. Registration may also be completed the day of the ride. A Pedal Pilgrimage T-shirt is available for $10 if ordered before Aug. 5. Bikers should wear a helmet. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, contact McNeil at


Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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