Congratulations to Bill Toninato and the Twin Cities Victory Riders on their 10th Annual Grand Rounds Ride on October 12, 2014.

40 bikes and 55 people participated in the ride held on October 12th.  The first ride was held on October 2, 2005 with 11 bikes and 15 people.

The Grand Rounds ride starts and ends at the Victory Memorial in Minneapolis, and takes you through the Minneapolis Parkway system. It’s 50.1 miles of scenic roads. For more information on the TCVR and historical data and route directions on the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway keep reading in the following post “2013 TCVR ANNUAL GRAND ROUNDS RIDE”

The ride starts with a brunch at Fritz’s in Eagan.  After a hearty breakfast the riders who  met there travel through the City to NW Minneapolis to meet the other riders at the Victory Memorial.  Minneapolis is a beautiful city and at times you would think that you weren’t in a City at all, but riding through the countryside.

At the Victory Memorial all 55 people gathered at the monument for a group picture.  While many of them had been riding together for years there were new people and new friends were made.  (The flag on the memorial is flying at half mast in honor of Fallen Firefighters.)

With the kick stands up it was time to travel the 50.1 miles of Minneapolis Parkways.  Within these 50 miles you will be truly amazed at its beauty and at the fact that the forefathers of Minneapolis had the foresight to keep City Lakes and parks public.  They are a refuge from the busy, concrete world we live in.


The ride includes a bit of downtown and of course the stone arch bridge and the Locks and Dam 1. 

If you own a Victory Motorcycle and live in the Twin Cities area be sure to check out TCVR’s other events at


If you were out and about on October 13th enjoying the beautiful Fall day and found yourself anywhere along the Minneapolis Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway you might have encountered a group of 38 Victory motorcyclists.   These 38 Victory riders are members of the Twin City Victory Riders and they were participating in the 9th annual Grand Rounds ride.   The Twin City Victory Riders was founded July 4, 2000 for Victory bike owners to “…share their passion for their bikes.  Help others with their machines and organize to ride, ride……. ride.” Their first ride consisted of two bikes and three people and their latest ride had 38 bikes and 52 people participating.

The TCVR Grand Rounds ride was the brain child of Bill Toninato,  founder of the TCVR.  Bill (Sparky) also organizes and leads this ride each year to promote Minneapolis’ amazing parks system and Victory motorcycles.   Appropriately their ride begins and ends at the Victory Memorial Drive monument.  Victory Memorial Drive commemorates the Hennepin County Servicemen from World War I.  Beautiful trees and memorial markers line Victory Memorial Drive.

Minnesotans have Theodore Wirth to thank for designing and developing one of the top ranking City park systems in the United States.  Wirth who accepted the position of Superintendent of Parks in Minneapolis in 1906 believed that parks ought to be used by the residents. His goal was to provide a playground within a quarter mile of every child and a complete recreation center within a half-mile of every family.  That was a lofty goal considering even back then there was high demand by individuals wanting to own property along the river and lakes.  Ted Wirth, during his 30 year tenure, expanded the park system from 1810 acres to 5241 acres.  Parks constitute 14% of Minneapolis’ acreage.  The parks on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway are visited daily by residents and visitors.

The Grand Rounds Scenic Byway is 50.1 miles and follows boulevards through parks, by lakes and beaches, rivers and falls, band shells, golf courses, flower gardens, outdoor recreation areas, and wildlife preserve.

The Wirth Byway which is 4 miles long takes you through Theodore Wirth Park which, at 38 acres, is the largest park in the Minneapolis park system.  Eloise Butler’s Garden is filled with wild flowers and is gorgeous during the summer months.   Across the road you can spot wild life at Birch Pond.   You can swim at Wirth Lake in the summer.  Wirth Lake does have life guards.  During the winter months there is cross-country skiing and snow tubing.

The Chain of Lakes is amazing and offers 12 miles of  paths for walking, running, biking, rollerblading, and skiing during the winter months.   Sailing, kayaking and canoeing are popular activities.  Some say the fishing is pretty good too.  The lakes are Lake Calhoun, Brownie Lake, Lake Harriet, Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles.  Each one is surrounded by parkland and many have wonderful sandy beaches.

Lake Harriet has a beautiful band shell where you can catch a concert or watch an outdoor movie from May through Labor Day.  There are also a number of amenities including a playground and concession stands.

While the Chain of Lakes logs 5 million visits annually, it comprises such a large area that it never seems crowded.   Whether you go for the activities or just to find a beautiful, peaceful place to read a book, you will find the setting you are looking for here.

The Minnehaha Byway district is one area where you’ll want to get off your bike or out of your car.  A walk along the Minnehaha Creek to the Falls is especially nice in the spring when the spring flowers are blooming.  This is also a great place to stop for a picnic.

From the Minnehaha Byway to Downtown Riverfront the byway runs along the Mississippi River.  The views are stunning, particularly when Fall foliage has peaked.

The Downtown Riverfront is fascinating and really tells the history of the flour mills and the Great Northern Railroad.  There is so much to see in this area. Visit St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge, Ford Lock and Dam, the old mill ruins and more.  As you ride along the Riverfront you will have a great view of these sites and others.

It is in the Northeast byway district that you will find the barges, trains and trucks that “deliver raw materials and finished products that make the Twin Cities a world class work place.”

Whether it’s Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall; and whether you’re traveling on a bicycle, motorcycle, or a car you will be amazed at the beauty of Minneapolis – beauty in the landscape, the architecture, and the industry – found in this thriving world class city that is progressive and continues to grow while protecting its history and keeping sacred the People’s Parks.


  1. Excellent right up, now I need a map of your ride. Sounds like a fun one. Always looking for a new place to go or a new way to get there.

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