Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 32

If it is possible to have a rest day while biking 88 miles, today was it.   Compared to the past few days, we had cool temps and overcast skies all day and either no wind or a slight tailwind.  It was a great day to go for bike ride.  I did not work very hard and still cruised. 

For the second day in row, I encountered a bicyclist coming toward me riding against the traffic or right at me.  Both times I yelled at the cyclist, in a very kind and sensitive manner, that riding against the traffic is very dangerous and a good way to get killed.  It also makes it less safe for other bicyclists who are obeying the laws.  I would like to see any cyclist riding against traffic get a ticket just like a car. 

The first two pictures are of views coming out of Rochester on a hill looking at fields and groves of trees and a cornfield.  With all the rain that has taken place, it was like riding in a greenhouse.  The next picture is of the first rest stop which was in a park next to a river.  It was one of those places, if there was time, to kick back and contemplate the meaning of life. 

We biked through part of the Root River Valley. The Root River Valley trail system is one of the original rails to trails in Minnesota and may be the best.  Kim and I have biked down here several times. The original bike trail runs from Fountain to Rushford City and follows the Root River most of the way.  We did a branch of the trail from Rushford City to Houston.  As the picture indicates, most of it was like riding through a canopy.  We have ridden through a lot of beautiful places and the Root River is one of them. 

In Houston the rest stop was next to a very neat coffee, pastry, sandwich shop.  Normally I do not eat lunch until the end of the ride, but a turkey sandwich sounded really good and it was.  Unfortunately, coming out of Houston we had a mile climb which seemed straight up.  In parts, it  was over 15 grade.  My sandwich seemed like extra weight the whole way up.  From then it was just a cruise to Wisconsin.   The last two pictures were of the enter Wisconsin sign and the Mississippi River. 

Minnesota was good  to us, or at least me.  Even though we had extreme heat, we did have tailwinds most of the time and we biked through Southern MN farm land in the prime of the growing season.  I am sure the rain had a lot to do with it, but it was green from the west to the east end of the state.  Driving through farm land is one thing, but biking gives a person a time to appreciate the magnitude of miles and miles of corn fields, shelter belts and farmsteads surrounded by groves of trees. 

On a different note, we have had two bike accidents the last two days.  Yesterday Adrian got her tire stuck in grove in the road and tipped over and today Barb had a mechanical problem and tipped over.  Both are fine, though a little banged up.  Both had cracks in their helmets which saved them from more serious injuries.  I have always thought that individuals who ride without a bike helmet must believe that brain damage from a head injury would not be much different from their current brain functions.  There is risk in bicycling or most activities for that matter, but for most of us the major risks in life include being overweight, smoking, drinking to an excess, not exercising, and living a life of stress.  Bicycling is one answer to most if not all of those risks.

After getting in I had two bottles of low fat chocolate milk and a dark chocolate Milky Way.  The closest thing I have ever had to withdrawal was giving up caffeine a number of years ago; however, when I am done with this, I am clearly going to have withdrawal when I have to give up my chocolate milk habit.

Tomorrow we have another 90 mile day with the chance of rain. 

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