I suppose I better get a post up for those curious whether I made it home or not. I’m currently enjoying some time off the bike at home before I start the 2nd half of my ride. The ride from Madison to Mantorville, MN exceeded my expectations. I got a lot of great river bluff and Mississippi backwater views along with plenty of rolling hills to and from the river.
Day 54, June 22nd – Madison, WI to… Madison, WI
I think in the last post I said I was actually going to get some miles in this day… Well by the time I closed my computer it was 4:30 PM. Instead of riding 30 miles out of town I decided (after Travis extended an invitation) to hang out at Trav’s for the night. And get a fresh start in the morning. I picked up a few groceries and watched the USA vs. Portugal World Cup with Travis and Lavilla. We busted out the board games for the rest of the evening.
Acts of Kindness: 3 – Breakfast at Eric’s; Travis and Lavilla let me stay at their place before heading out in the morning – Trav whipped up some tasty salads with dinner.
Day 55, June 23rd – Madison, WI to NW of Reedsburg, WI
Said farewell to Travis and Lavilla this morning and walked out with Travis as he left for work. I was thinking a couple of rest days would have me really cruising today. Well, unfortunately about 5 miles into my ride I found my IT band tightened up so much that I could hardly pedal. I called my personal physical therapist (my sister) to get some advice. After thoroughly stretching, rolling my leg up against my bike frame, and stretching some more I got back on the bike to find myself in the same pain about two miles down the road. I repeated the stretching and rolling and found the same issue another mile or two down the road. This time, too stubborn to stop, I decided to ride on and hope that it would work itself loose. Eventually it did, but this activity chewed up a good chunk of my morning riding.
As I got further out of town and passed Sauk City (almost stopped at the gym for an afternoon workout) I started to find some fun rolling hills on the way to Reedsburg. I stopped for dinner and looked up camping options. I settled on a place NW of town about 14 miles. On the way out of Reedsburg I connected with the “400” State Trail which is a biking, walking, and equestrian trail (in some sections). Little did I know was that this trail was part of a the 4 Trails system which is 101 miles of bike trails all the way to Marshland, WI which was where I would pass from Wisconsin into Winona, MN.
I got to the campsite with enough time to get a shower in a setup camp before nightfall. I did so quickly because the mosquitos are getting vicious!
Acts of Kindness: 2 – Free physical therapy consultation by Krista, Travis borrowed me a pair of headphones so I could listen to some podcasts on the ride home.
Day 56, June 24th – NW of Reedsburg, WI to Perrot State Park (north of Lacrosse, WI)
Today I was determined to put in high miles to prevent an especially long ride tomorrow. Luckily I got to do all of the riding on the 4 Trails system which was excellent riding and a nice break from automobiles. The trails are part of the first “rails to trails” project converting an old railroad line into a walking/biking/etc trail. The old railroad tunnels were very cool (literally and figuratively). If your ever looking to do a small weekend tour in the area I would highly recommend giving these trails a shot. The trail has very good accommodations along the way so you wouldn’t need much gear. Walk-in campgrounds too!
I took a break in Elroy at a trail stop where I met three cool ladies (Ricki, Hollie, and Shelly) who were there to cheer on a runner who was running the entire trail system in two days to raise money for a good cause (I believe a food shelf). I gave him a shoutout as I passed him a few miles up the trail. They asked about my trip and chatted for a bit.
Didn’t I see you in Port Byron, IL?? I read into it… The one in Port Byron was a recreation of this one in Sparta. Port Byron constructed it in tribute to it’s local trails and also hopes to be a popular biking spot.
Acts of Kindness: 1 – Free protein sample from Ricki, Hollie, and Shelly.
Day 57, June 25th – Perrot State Park, WI to Mantorville, MN
On the road early today with the plans of catching breakfast in Winona, MN. I stopped to relax for a bit at the Acoustic Cafe which my sister suggested for good coffee. Good sandwiches too! Back on the rode, today’s ride was filled with familiar towns and landscapes. I rode into my Dad’s office in Rochester around 6:00 PM not long after my Mom had caught me in her car on my ride into town.
Just as I reached the bridge into Winona I met Kit. Kit on his way BACK to Maine after biking down to San Diego Last summer. He spent five months escaping the cold enjoying some coastal rays. His trip will end up totaling about 10,000 miles! He had some great stories to share about his experience with generous people along the way and how great it is to see our country at a leisurely pace on the seat of a bike.
Acts of Kindness: 1 – Made it home! Parents letting me raid their cabinets for over a week 🙂
Day 58 through 63, June 25th June 30th – Mantorville, MN (rest week+)
So I made it home… approximately halfway point of my trip. With 3000 miles in, I’m thinking my original trip estimate of ~4600 miles is far from accurate. The last couple weeks have been a good change of pace. It’s nice to hang out with familiar faces and have some conversations that don’t solely revolve around my trip. I’m enjoying my time at home and helping work on some projects around the folks place. Stocked food pantry, a regular bed, regular shower, and good company isn’t so bad! I’ve picked up replacement parts for the bike that I will be working on before I depart again. Some of the replacement gear includes new tires (1.75″ instead of 1.5″ for a plusher ride hopefully), new handlebar grip tape, new chain and brake pads.
I think I need to get back out on the bike today for a good joy ride (monday, June 30th)! I’m finding my legs cramping up continuously throughout the day, probably from lack of use. Happy Monday! Looking forward to hanging out with friends on the 4th of July!
Dad and I have been working on building a hops trellis. After a long morning/afternoon at Menards and Home Depot we hashed through several designs on scrap paper. Our design quickly grew to become more complex and esthetic. As a result we ended up with way more lumber than we originally anticipated. Engineering problems.
Working on the trellis. As soon as we got concrete in the holes the rain came. Working through the pouring rain, Aunt Lori was pouring concrete powder while I kept the poles level. Brad Douglas filled the holes while my dad packed the dirt. In our hurry we somehow we managed to get them all in straight.
Photo cred to Jeff Ryan
Acts of Kindness: ? – Aunt Lori came to visit which included kayaking, ice cream, and beer!; Lance bought burgers downtown; I’m blanking… I know there’s more.