Friday, July 20, 2018

Day 33 - La Crosse to Mauston

We did 75 miles with 2,260 feet of climbing, did I mention, it was a wet one today.

Some pics:

When in Rome:

When we go by a SAG truck and all is good, we are supposed to put our arm out.

We saw some cows up close today:

We took a trial to the tunnels discussed below:

We went through two tunnels today.  One of them was a mile and a half long.  We were required to walk through the tunnels.  It was dark, and it was dripping like rain.  We turned all our lights off and it was very eerie, complete darkness, you could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I lost my balance a bit.  If you watch Stranger Things, you will know when I say I felt like I was in the "up side down."

After the last SAG stop, it really got wet out there; this was the worst rain we experienced since the trip started.  We have been pretty lucky.  I probably would have quit with seven miles left to go, it was just not fun.  But Satish really wanted to finish.  A couple of clips in the rain.

Day 32 - Rochester, MN to La Crosse, WI

New state today, Wisconsin, we were in Minnesota just a few days.

Today's ride was 87 miles, 2,700 feet of elevation gain.  I thought MN is supposed to be flat, SURPRISE.  Rain was threatening all day.  I started to sprinkle from time-to-time.  At the first SAG today, I decided to put on my rain suit.  However, as the day went on, I slowly shed it.  It only seemed to start raining in the evening, after we were back to the hotel from dinner.

A downhill, but not from the killer climb I discuss below:

We were on a bike path for over 10 miles.  It was really pretty nice.  After the path, we had lunch at Baristas Coffee House.  Then we had about an 8 mile ride to the big climb for the day.  It was only a mile, but the grade is what killed me.  The steepest grade was almost 13%.

Welcome to Wisconsin:

The Mississippi River:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Day 31 - Mankato to Rochester

100 miles, 1,800 feet of climbing.  Back-to-back centuries, never did this before.

Lot's of corn and soy.  Only video from today. 

One of the other riders got upset at me today, he became a little unhinged, ugh.  That's life.

We were pretty steady today, John started with us, but he dropped off after the first SAG.  Pretty much, Satish, Jeff and I made the whole ride.

Couple of pics from yesterday:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Day 30 - Worthington to Mankato

112 miles and about 1,250 feet of climbing.

Overall, although it was one of the longer rides, I would say it went pretty well.  Did not see too much.  Here is a wind turbine; there are many of these all along the route.

Just a couple of clips:

In this clip, you can see a bit of the MN. chip seal (new).  Much easier to ride over this compared to new Oregon chip seal.

This is the Red Jacket Trail (a rails to trails project).  This is a video of the down hill.  Then we took a killer trail up hill.  Then they had one more killer uphill, so we pulled out our phone to bypass the killer up hill and we were successful.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Day 29 - Sioux Falls, SD to Worthington, MN

Completed 73 miles with about 1,100 feet of elevation gain.  Great ride today, light winds and nice lunch at a local Chinese restaurant at the end of the ride.

We stopped at a Cenex Station/Convenience Store and we were eating ice pops in the store about 15 miles outside of the town we were staying in.  We started talking to the girl behind the counter (Danielle) and she the Chinese Restaurant is pretty good.  So that is where we went and indeed iyt was very good. 

We had a nice ride along the Big Sioux River heading over to Sioux Falls; here are a couple of clips

The Big Sioux south of Sioux Falls is much more polluted with E. coli, fecal coliform, and suspended solids.  It seemed like as we were riding along the river, it kind of smelled like crap.

NEW STATE TODAY, hello Minnesota!

Interesting how the scenery seemed to dramatically change almost as soon as we crossed the state line.  Just seemed like the greens were darker and the vegetation more lush.  Still lots of corn and soy growing on both sides of the road today.  Also, the condition of the roads seemed to be much better in MN vs. SD.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Day 28 - Sioux Falls

Rest day.  We hit the half way point in South Dakota somewhere.  And we moved into a new time zone in this segment, the central time zone.

This is where I am by the numbers:

Total trip miles:  3,690
Days of trip: 50
Miles completed so far:  1,904 (I have lost about 30 miles from the total trip; due to weather and a                                              mechanical problem with the bike)
Percent miles completed:  52%
Percent days gone:  55%
Total climbing so far:  72,395'

Day 27 - Mitchell to Sioux Falls

About 74 miles and 1,300 feet of elevation gain.  Fun ride today!

We had very little wind and a pretty level ride today; a lot like riding at home.  Jeff started riding with us at about 16 miles in.  We were doing half mile pulls then rotating to the rear.  The first SAG stop was at 32 miles.  Then we started riding again and stopped at a Sinclar station/convience store at about 50 miles.  The next SAG was at about 56 miles.  

Herman and Ada, who are from the Netherlands, pulled into the SAG right behind us.  Herman and Ada ride a bit faster than us.  However, Satish asked if we could ride in with them.  Ada took the front and Herman took the rear.  The final 15 miles were almost a blur, just a lot of fun.  On a couple of hills, Herman actually pushed Jeff up the hill.  

Herman, Satish, Hugh and Ada

Then we stopped at the Thirsty Duck for lunch and those who wanted some had beers.  After lunch, we rode the final couple of miles to the hotel, only to have to wait an hour and a half for our room.  Long story there, but mostly can be summed up with two words, poor service  at the Sioux Falls ClubHouse Hotel and Suites.  Here is my Yelp review: