Cycling Date: Thursday 17-July-14
Mileage: 88 miles
Weather: Cool and sunny. Upper 50s to start. Low 70s to end. Winds out of the SSW.
Highlights of the day:
The weather. Again. Sunny and cool. In Minnesota. In July. Seems it might follow us into Wisconsin as well. Attempting not to sound like a broken record and failing. Attempting to just enjoy it and not question it. Work in progress…
SAG stops were great and worth mentioning today. Location, location, location. SAG #1 – shaded picnic table next to an icy cold stream with a little falls. SAG #2 – Bistras Coffee House in Houston MN. Smoothies, frozen coffee drinks, sandwiches, and raspberry cream cheese croissants. Both stops provided the standard break for the riders to refuel and top off water bottles but with the added scenery and gourmet treats, they also gave the riders something to talk about after the ride today.
On the bike, riders were treated to more two-lane country roads through farm land. We added a new olfactory note to our repertoire – turkeys! Yes, they were indeed most fowl. The farms are looking more eastern than western. What do I mean by that? Rolling terrain covered in corn and soybean. Large red barns next to two or three dome-capped silos. Images worthy of jigsaw puzzle status.
We had another very nice bike path. Described by riders as mostly downhill, tree-shaded, and in great condition. The only complaint was the bugs. Seems there was hatching today. Little tiny black flying things all over the place. We rode through cloud after cloud of them. One rider said he just had to keep his mouth shut & keep pedaling. Good advice!
Off the bike path, there were the hills. You might have heard that the Midwest is flat. Not so much. The rivers & streams did a fine job cutting into the landscape. Ridges flank roadways winding along the river. Our big climb of the day was on a road that went up, along, and then back down a ridge to the Mississippi River.
The Mississippi River is the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. I heard tale that Jeff had to be bodily assisted out of Minnesota, his home state. He just didn’t want to leave. But we all did, crossing over our 5thborder and into our 6th state. We celebrated with cheese curds, courtesy of a rider’s wife. This rider happens to be a Wisconsin native. He and his wife know good cheese curds – the really fresh ones that squeak.