Mileage: 111 miles
Weather: Upper 60s to start. Low 80s to end. Winds out of the SSE.
Highlights of the day:
The rain found us this morning. We all studied the radar, both past & future models on numerous forecast apps & sites. We knew it was coming. We were going to get wet. There was some small hope that we would actually out run it but, alas, it was a hope that wasn’t based on any kind of meteorological fact. Our early rollers almost made it to the SAG stop before it started. Second loaders dashed to a gas station around mile 18. We do indeed ride in rain. What we won’t ride in is rain accompanied by any lightning in the area. That’s what we had this morning. We watched it approach. There was a “shelf cloud” (per our retired science teacher, Paul) that stretched across the sky marking the leading edge of the front. It was really beautiful and rather motivating for those who were just in front of it. SAG STOP OR BUST!
SAG Stop #1 was a grand example of the perfect use of a carwash on a rainy day. Who washes their cars when it’s raining? No one. But they make a perfect place to set up a SAG table & get the riders out of the rain. The riders waited very patiently, for anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on where they were on route, as the worst of the storm moved through the area. Threats of more rain later in the day never materialized. I think we were all ok with that. This evening there was a lot of bike cleaning, drivetrain lubing, and shoe stuffing (with newspaper for drying).
The one big benefit of the rain was continued lower than normal temperatures. We kept seeing “excessive heat warnings” scrolling across the top of our weather.com apps. It’s still there. We are still scratching our heads in confusion. Lots of cloud cover kept the temperature down in the upper 70s & low 80s. The wind, mostly of the cross variety & not necessarily favorable, also assisted in keeping the relative temps very moderate. Moderate temperatures in Minnesota in mid-July? We’ll take them and say thank you (again).
The towns between Worthington and Mankato are small town Midwest with tree lined streets and green lawns. Between the towns are miles and miles of corn and soybean fields. Each town has a grain elevator, which we could see from several miles out, marking our next destination. Wind power is prevalent in this area. At one point we counted over 40 turbines on the horizon.
Time on a tree sheltered bike path at the end of the ride was a welcome change. Then it was into downtown Mankato before we headed uphill to our hotel. We have another long one tomorrow. It’s “only” 102 but that makes for 2 back-to-back centuries. Fuel up. Sleep well. Get up and do it again!