Today was our last ride day from Baraboo to Muscoda. Due to logistics and time in getting back to Omaha after the ride we made an executive decision to have 2 people drive from the hotel to Muscoda (end of the ride) to pick up our other car and come back along the route to meet the rest of the riders – pack up and leave for Omaha. Everything worked out pretty well and other than one flat tire just after the ferry ride things went well. We met the riders around 10:00am and got on the road a little after 10:30am. We ended up skipping the showers at Muscoda and drove on to Dubuque where we found a YMCA and Dick got us in on his pass and lickety split everyone was ready to go. By then people where hungry (1:30pm) so we found a Panera Bread for lunch. We got into our Motel near the Omaha Airport around 7:30pm, unpcaked and went out for dinner in a very popular section of Omaha. Several people were disappointed in the route around Devil’s Head Lake this year (went to the other shore) but they were not disappointed in the hills.
All in All – it was a very good ride and the time went quickly.
No rain today. We did our normal 7:00 am start. It was a niice temperature when we started and gradually got warmer but it wasn’t too hot when you created a breeze while riding until the last few miles. We made good time and by my odometer we did 54 miles today. We normally come through the Dells, but today the route tooks us through Reedsburg and then to Baraboo.We had a nice stop for ice cream at a store along the route. It was a nice cooling break. The route today was much more hilly than before and there were a few pretty steep ones that tested our abilities. When we got to the edge of Baraboo we figured out that our motel was on a Monroe street and when we got on it there was a very nice bike lane. About a mile towards our destination the bike lane disappeared, traffic density increased and there seemed to be no parallel streets that we could ride on – and then we came to an intersection with an Interstate that we had to cross. It was not fun. Shortly later we noticed the bike route crossed the highway we were on and so we turned off to go on the bike route. It added some more miles to our trip but the safer roads were worth it.
Tonight we had dinner in a nice Italian restaurant in Baraboo and enjoyed it very much. (note more pictures of eating!)
We have not had any flats while riding, but we have had 3 flats in Hotel rooms after the days ride. Not sure if that counts or not.
Tomorrow is our last ride day from Baraboo to Muscoda. For various logistical reasons we are going to cut the ride short and shuttle people back to Muscoda from an intermediate point that we think will take about 3 hours of riding to get to. Then we will shower in Muscoda and driver back to Omaha where we will stay overnight, leave Martha to catch her flight back to Annapolis and we will drive back to Boulder on Sunday. Not sure if I will be able to blog tomorrow or not.
Today we tried our experiment of leaving at 6:30 (instead of 7:00) and eating on the road. We had identified a restaurant in Nekoosa to try but we switched to another one based on a locals recommendation. Unfortunately they were overwhelmed with the number of customers they had and it took us about an hour and a half to get breakfast. Then when we got back on the road the skies looked threatening and sure enough a few minutes later it started to rain. Most of us didn’t have our raingear with us so we flagged down our SAG car and got our raingear and started riding in the rain. It started raining at the 10 mile mark and didn’t stop until we got to 40 miles – 30 miles of riding in the rain. At least it wasn’t hot! Shortly before lunch time the weather cleared and were once again riding the the sun with scattered clouds. We stopped for lunch and debated on whether to make our lunch from our SAG wagon or purchase brats at the lunch stop. We chose to fix our food at a nearby park but the mosquitoes had other ideas and made us change our minds. The roads were pretty flat the rest of the way to Mauston so we made good time completing the 70 miles for the day. I didn’t get any pictures of us in the rain. At one point the rain got a little heavier and we decided to seek shelter – we were riding by a warehouse with 4 semi-trailers parked by it and so we parked our bikes under the trailers and sat under the trailers ourselves to stay out of the rain. Robin got a picture – but I don’t have it yet to upload it – but will eventually.
We ate dinner at the restaurant attached to our motel and enjoyed the food (especially the ribs).
Tomorrow we have a shorter day (55 miles) and plan to enjoy it. Hopefully it will be cooler and not rain!
This morning we had fog at the start – which gave an ethereal view to everything around us. The fog burned off quickly and wasn’t an issue for riding (at least when we started). It did get very hot later but earlier in the morning it was quite nice in spite of the high humidity We had several good hills along the way – where dick was proud of his ability to ride 3.0 mph and not fall over.
After climbing Father Mernard’s Hill we were going down the other side when all of the sudden Rick who was in front of me stopped quickly and waved everyone behind him to stop also. Unfortunately a tandem bike didn’t understand the signal and blew on through. In front of Rick a 2nd year cub was crossing the road and we wanted a picture. The tandem scared the cub and it ran into the woods along side the road. No chance for a picture. Rick did get a picture of a turtle laying eggs along side the road. We have also seen deer and fox also. We made it to Wausau reasonably quickly – but we were hot and decided to have lunch at a restaurant instead of our normal picnic lunch. It took a long time to find a suitable spot but we finally did it and arrived at the hotel about 3:00pm. Those of us who hadn’t done laundry yesterday needed to do it today and did so.
Tonight we ate in a Chinese restaurant that we had eaten in before – but Ruth ordered for us and we had a feast.
Tomorrow we ride to Wisconsin Rapids with a total of 88 miles. It is supposed to be a little cooler tomorrow (Wednesday).
I am going to post a few pictures taken by others soon of things that I missed taking.
No falls, No flats (knock on wood)
This picture was taken just before we started Day 2 of our ride. Today was a scheduled 77 mile ride. My odometer read 65.5 miles and I drove 10 miles in the SAG vehicle. It had rained sometime before we started and so most people were wearing jackets or rain gear. The weather was cool and overcast but the clouds changed to high scattered and got warmer but not hot. We had lunch in Rhinelander next to the county courthouse. It was hilly for a while after v lunch and changed back to rollers similar to the morning. At the start we went by lots of lakes surrounded by lots of trees. As the day went on the number of trees reduced and open fields increased.
Several people have asked about how we handle driving for the SAG vehicle. We drew straws before the start to determine the order but most people take a turn each day to drive 10 miles along the route and then they have the option to ride back towards the group (riding towards them) or to just wait with the vehicle – also sometimes the SAG driver does errands for the group -or scouts out some information (like how to get to the motel) But in the main the driver parks at a safe place around 10 miles down the route. The new driver puts their bike on the bike rack, and then repeats. We have access to get equipment or water from the SAG vehicle and we use the 10 mile stop as a meeting place to exchange information, let slower riders catch up with the group and
many other variations.
Tomorrow we have a shorter ride 50 miles from Tomahawk to Wausau.
Note the bike pictures! We startted riding at our planned time at 7:00am and finished around 1:30pm. We were so early that our motel rooms weren’t ready. The weather was a little cool at the start but we soon shed our jackets and it didn’t get hot until after lunch (11:00am). The scheduled distance was supposed to be 79 miles but we skipped an out and back route and we eventually rode 68 miles.Tomorrow will be another 79 mile day and we don’t think there are any out and backs to skip.
The ride was well supported with plenty of water and food stops and mostly well marked. We thought the out and back routes should have been marked better. We had lunch around 11:00am PB&J sandwiches, grapes, and cookies. Because we finished so early our motel rooms weren’t ready – so we went swimming and rested until they were. We met a number of interesting people while we were riding. The other riders are from all over the US. Colorado has the 4th largest representation in the ride. No flats today – this is good!
Tomorrow we plan to start at 7:00am again and we end up at Tomahawk, WI
Last day before the Ride. We had breakfast early and drove to Muscoda WI which will eventu ally be the end of the ride next Saturday. We unpacked our gear from Ricks truck and moved it to long term parking. Five of us rode the bus to Hurley and three rode in John’s SUV which will be our SAG vehicle on the ride.We are staying in a Days Inn near the start. Hurley is very near the state border with MI and we actually ate in Michigan for dinner. Herb, Ruth and Leslie joined us from Minnesota.Tomorrow we ride 79 miles from Hurley to Lac Du Flambeau. Since we haven’t ridden yet there have been few pictures of bicycles. If you look carefully at the pictures on Flickr there are some. See:
Another long but good day of driving from Blair NE to Richland Center WI. It rained during the night 1.25 inches and was cloudy early. We met at the Maple in Blair for breakfast with Bill and Betsy to send us off. (thanks Mick for breakfast). and then headed east towards Des Moines IA. We turned north towards Marshaltown, and then on to Waterloo IA for lunch at the Broadway Deli. Then on northeast to Prarie du Chien WI and up to Richland Center for dinner at Mellem’s Fish House and overnight at the White House Ramada Inn. The weather held but looked threatening several times and varied between sunny and cloudy and all between. Tomorrow we head to Muscoda for registration and bus ride/drive to Hurley where we will start the ride on Monday. We will meet Herb and Ruth tomorrow also and have our full group together.
We had a great day for driving through CO to NE and on to Blair where we are staying overnight. We picked up Martha at Eppley field Omaha nearly on schedule and got to see Bill and Betsy’s house. We had a wonderful dinner at the Blair Marina wiith our hosts Bill, Betsy, Gail, and Abby. Tomorrow we head through IA and into Muscoda, WI where we will register for the ride and stay overnight and then travel to the start at Hurley.