Boats, trains, buses and bicycles will be making their way from the Quad Cities in Iowa and Illinois, to the twin cities in Minnesota. The event that begins Friday is called the “Grand Excursion 2004.” The Grand Excursion 2004 celebrates the Mississippi River in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. It features the largest flotilla of steamboats in 100 years and is modeled after a similar excursion in 1854. Tom Bolton, the coordinator of the bike ride, says the event also features cyclists from all over the country. He says he has cyclists coming to the Quad Cities by train to be a part of the ride and he says the cyclists will take part in the events on the steamboats. He says the bike events and the steamboat flotilla are coordinated so everything works together. He says the cyclists will spend overnight at the communities where the boats are staying and the major events will be there while the cyclists are there. For more information, surf to