73.63 Miles / 2155.38 Total Miles
1316 Ft. Elevation Gain / 74,394 Ft. Total Elevation Gain
News Flash: We passed the half-way point of our tour, today. Whoo Hoo!!!
When we started riding, this morning, it was 59 degrees outside. I thought I was going to freeze, but I toughed it out and put my mind to peddling, and I warmed up pretty quickly. There was very little wind at the beginning of the day, so this was the time to knock out some miles, before the wind picked up, and that’s what we did. A few hours later, that all changed, and we had a southeasterly wind, which was a headwind, because that was the basic direction of our route for the day. As the day wore on, the wind picked up speed, and we slowed down. And on top of the wind, we were dealing with rolling hills, again, and they too wear you down. I’m not trying to be a complainer, but these are not my favourite riding conditions.
Before I get going on my next topic, which also could. be construed to be complaining, I need to explain our routine, in case you haven’t figured it out. We try to be on the bikes by 7:00 or 7:30; ride for two hours; stop for second breakfast or at least a cold beverage (chocolate milk for me); ride for another two hours; stop for lunch–either at a diner or convenience store, or flatbread sandwiches we prepare; then ride till we get to our final destination. I have a feedbag on my top tube, with trail mix, cookies, crackers and/or Skittles that I graze from every 10-15 minutes–all day long, and four 23 oz bottles of Crystal Lite Lemonade that I suckle from every 10-15 minutes.
When I said I was going to explain our routine, I’ll bet you thought it had something to do with riding the bike, but it’s really all about eating and hydrating.
And I explained it, because today, our route was devoid of any place to stop at the 2 hour point. Our maps showed food and beverage establishments in most of the little towns, but town after town, we were disappointed. We kept moving on to the next town, and then the next, and then the next. The towns were all so small that they either don’t have a diner or shop with food or their little diners went out of business during Covid. At the 38 mile point, we were over 3.5 hours into our ride and needing something–anything–to eat or drink.
We pulled in to Stark, and there were two bars across the street from each other. One was closed permanently and, according to GoogleMaps, the Full Moon didn’t open till 2 PM. There were two cars in the parking lot, so I had a glimmer of hope, as I tried all the doors. The back door opened, so I popped my head in the door and hollered out, “Anyone here?” And luckily, someone responded. I stepped inside and asked if they would be willing to sell us a couple of soft drinks, even though they were closed, the guy behind the bar said yes. I went out and got Ed, and we bought a couple of cold cans of soda pop and sat out on the covered patio to finally take our much needed break.
When we were ready for lunch, we had the same problem. At the cafe below, in the historic village of Sunrise, we learned that all the businesses that deal with the public were closed. The drought has brought the water level down on rivers and lakes, so the tubing and kayak operation was closed for the rest of the season, and this eatery had to follow suit. We sat down at the empty picnic tables to prepare our flatbread sandwiches and eat our lunch.
Changed my mind. This sign was the highlight of my day. After spending the entire day not finding food or beverages, and a good part of it riding into a headwind, it was so nice to see progress. Goodbye Minnesota. Hello Wisconsin!
Oseola”s a tourist town, with a good vibe and interesting shops. I was thinking that after my shower, I’d like to come back and walk through the shops, then get a bite to eat, but our hotel was down a long hill (strike 1) and at the far end of town (strike 2). And it was situated right next door to a popular restaurant, with a fetching menu (strike 3), so we never went back into town. Instead, I took an amazing, long, much needed nap.