84 miles, 1306 feet climbed
We loaded quite early this morning at 6:15, all of us together rather than early and later groups, so that we could ride the Blue Water Bridge into Canada. They shut down the eastbound lanes for us, which is probably why we had to be on the road so early. The bridge has two expansion joints that have to be walked across. We weren’t allowed to take photos this time (like so many rules, some treated it as a suggestion), so I’m including some from 2004 below.
Continue reading “Day 40 – Port Huron, Michigan to London, Ontario, Canada”
90 miles, 1033 feet climbed
Another pleasant day, weather wise. I am revoking my praise for Michigan road surfaces, however. Today’s were some of the worst on the tour and a greater percentage of the day’s ride than any other day I can recall. I do have the general impression that they were not as bad as in 2004, but that is the kind of faint praise that only a narcissist would spin positively. No new crops along the way but some good frozen custard not a a Culver’s at the turn south near Lake Huron (along with pizza, of all things, thus the name Pepperoni Cow). And my first Boston Cream doughnut at Tim Horton’s.
Continue reading “Day 39 – Birch Run to Port Huron, Michigan”
75 miles, 449 feet climbed
Today was essentially flat. I can’t recall anything resembling a climb but my computer says there was that little bit. My camera was back in my pocket but there wasn’t too much new to see. The weather was, if anything, a little chilly to begin and quite comfortable throughout the rest of the day.
Continue reading “Day 38 – Mount Pleasant to Birch Run, Michigan”
113 miles, 3271 feet climbed
Coming after the ferry day and evening arrival at our hotel, this day had the potential to be a grind. Luckily it was not. Western Michigan seems to be less densely inhabited than Wisconsin. We began by heading pretty much due south, then turned to the east. The first third or so was lushly forested. Then we encountered open lands with more corn and soybeans, along with a bit of wheat.
Continue reading “Day 37 – Ludington to Mount Pleasant, Michigan”
7 miles (bike), 60 miles (Ferry)
Today was mostly rest, with a little casual bike riding mixed in. Not considered a real rest day by some in that they had deadlines to meet. We loaded luggage at 9 am but didn’t have to be at the ferry dock until 12:30 pm, leaving us with what we could carry in a backpack and on our bikes as our entertainment. I took advantage of the time to get closer to being caught up on these posts while my tablet PC was upgrading itself to the latest release of Windows 10. On the short ride to the ferry I grabbed a sandwich and soda at a convenience store and ate them on the dock while we waited to board.
Continue reading “Day 36 – Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan”
62 miles, 1788 feet climbed
An easy day, relatively speaking. Our hotel was on the south side of Fond du Lac, just within the city limits. In 2004, we were right downtown and even that was a long walk to see Lake Winnebago, but I did it, only to be late for route rap. Luckily ABB routed us up right by the lake on the way out of town.
Continue reading “Day 35 Fond du Lac to Manitowoc, Wisconsin”
96 miles, 2516 feet climbed
After a light catered breakfast (1 egg cheese omelet + meat + toast, or 2 eggs + meat + toast, 2 pancakes + toast–choose one). We headed off. Add that our first SAG wasn’t until the 40 mile mark and I was expecting to bonk. Instead, I did just fine. I even rode for a while with Jerry Springer (of Racine Wisconsin, not that other guy) for a bit. Jerry was riding a loop from his cabin in the vicinity.
Continue reading “Day 34 – Mauston to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin”
75 miles, 2493 feet climbed
This day was one of my personal favorites on the 2004 ride. Primarily because of the Elroy-Sparta trail, and secondarily because I got to get some pie from Gina’s Pies are Square in Wilton. I knew about it going into the trip because Bicycling magazine had highlighted it.
Sadly, Gina’s has closed and the trail is suffering from the effects of storms over recent years, including those this June. The maintenance budget is said to be minimal. My fear is that the trail won’t be rideable with road bikes in another 15 years and maybe not even with mountain bikes Very little of the trail resembled the medium gray decomposed granite surface that I recall from 2004. Instead, it was covered with sand and in a few spots, sandy mud. if this keeps up. In 2004 we rode the trail all the way from Sparta to Elroy; this year the second half was closed and we exited the trail in Wilton.
Continue reading “Day 33 – La Crosse to Mauston, Wisconsin”
88 miles, 3379 feet climbed
Pretty much just another day on the saddle. Weather was conducive, not too cold or hot. A nice bike path in the middle and crossing the Mississippi at the end.
Continue reading “Day 32 – Rochester, Minnesota to La Crosse, Wisconsin”
101 miles, 2421 feet climbed
These last two posts have been a couple of days late in part because I’m a little worn down but mostly because the hotel WiFi connections have been too slow to successfully upload the photos. I hope to catch up in a day or two.
Today’s ride followed 112 miles yesterday. I didn’t have the spring in my pedaling but keeping the pedals turning will eventually get you there. Another day of mild weather helped too.
Continue reading “Day 31 – Mankato to Rochester, Minnesota”