June 30

30 06 2009

Day 23:

Somedays the pedaling is effortless, the miles fly by, and everything goes as planned. Unfortunately, today was not one of those days. We left the lodge anticipating another 80 mile day, but after such a long day yesterday, today ended up being “just one of those days.” Starting on the sandy Mountain Bay trail got us off to a very slow start. While it was the most direct route, riding on that surface proved to be slow going and hard on the legs. We decided to get off the trail, have lunch, and continue on the main roads in the afternoon. The riding was easier, but the headwind was still making things difficult and we encountered more hills than expected in Wisconsin. As the afternoon wore on, it got colder, and we grew tired quickly. The problem with the rear wheels became frustrating on the big hills and we managed only 40 miles by 4 o’clock. We made it to Wasau where we stopped in the bike store for directions regarding the next few days. When we were leaving the store we ran into a local police officer who offered his assistance. He actually called a good friend of his to get better advice about getting to Minneapolis – his friend (Bill) even offered to host us at his house! Thank you Andrew – It was great talking with you. We had hopped to get in another 20 miles before we called it quits, but there was nowhere to stay within 40 plus miles so we decided to call it a day and check in to the Hampton Inn. As soon as we did the skies opened up and poured, good timing I guess. Though we only logged 45 miles today, it felt like a long day and we are very ready for bed. We will be up early tomorrow to hopefully log some big miles and still get to Minneapolis by Friday.

Happy 18th Kelly! Thanks for looking after Tracker too!

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June 29

30 06 2009

Day 22:

We were surprised and thrilled to wake up to a dry morning at the campground since the forecast had called for rain and thunderstorms through the night and into today. We said goodbye to Steve and finished packing up, but we ran into him again after our 7-mile ride to breakfast; he was leaving town and we were headed for Rico’s Family Restaurant where we enjoyed a great breakfast – banana nut caramel pancakes!! From there we headed out with the wind in our faces once again. We took advantage of our drafting techniques to make riding easier. 30 miles of rolling hills got us to Shiocton for a Subway lunch. Even with the wind we had made pretty good time; we hoped to take advantage of our early start and have a high mileage day. After lunch we took off for Shawano, another 25 miles away. It only rained a few times during the afternoon ride, and we lucked out weather wise today. But it was hard to keep the right gear on because it would down pour for 10 minutes and then the sun would come right back out and we would start sweating in our rain gear, and then back to rain. With a brief snack stop we made it to town around 4 o’clock but had to stop and repair a flat tire on Zach’s bike. We stopped by Joe BikeLer’s shop in town to have yet another spoke on Jake’s rear wheel replaced. Their service was great! Jim fixed Jake’s wheel, while Seth pumped our tires and gave us dinner recommendations, and Stana helped us find a place to stay at our destination and gave us some free snack samples! Once again, we are very impressed by the friendly people who are so eager to help. We headed downtown for dinner and decided to knock out the last 20 miles after dinner. With the sun setting we took off in our “sunset sprint” down the Mountain Bay Bike Trail towards Bowler. It was a pretty smooth ride once we got on the trail, and we were happy to be somewhat sheltered from the wind. The deer were in abundance and we must have seen at least a dozen run right in front of us or along side us during our ride. We were making good time and it looked like we would make it before dark, but when we reached town it appeared we had gone too far. Uneasy about trusting the GPS again, we were forced to turn on our lights and ride an additional 5 miles in the dark. Finally, after 84 miles, we arrived at the Konkapot Lodge in Bowler, WI. Showered and settled into bed after a long day, we are getting anxious about making it to Minneapolis and meeting up with Mom – We can’t wait!