2002 GRABAAWR – Day 3

Well today was a little cooler, a little shorter, just as hilly, but overall a good day. We got started shortly after 6:30, rode the 3 miles from where we were staying to near the start, used the same route we used last year for a few miles, and then eventually joined up with the rest of the riders about 6 miles out of town. We had no flats and no spills, so that made it a good day too. We skipped the lunch stop that most people went to, and had our lunch just beyond a cheese factory about 9 miles later in the ride. Patti and Ruth did their normal excellent job of providing lunch fixings – and lots of good things to eat. As we neared Stevens Point, some people were anxious to finish the ride and went directly to the Motel. Some of us chose to go a longer way and go swimming in the lake near Steven’s Point. We had dinner at a restaurant called Sky Coach near Steven’s Point. It specializes in some Cajun dishes, and was very good. Terry Hackney’s brother and his wife joined
us for dinner tonight.

Tomorrow we bike from Steven’s Point to Adam’s Friendship. The temperature should be about the same and the distance is 60.3 miles.

It has been pointed out to me that some of you that are new to this list, may not know what GRABAAWR stands for. You can read much more about it at www.bikewisconsin.com

It is Great Annual Bicycle Adventure Along the Wisconsin River

The pictures are:

1. {{popup day3gettingready.jpg day3gettingready 1330×727}}Getting ready first thing in the AM
2. {{popup day3lineup.jpg day3lineup 1119×660}}picture after completing 1 mile of gravel
3. {{popup day3roundbarn.jpg day3roundbarn 1186×746}}picture by a round barn
4. {{popup day3waterbreak.jpg day3waterbreak 1378×624}}water break

We hope for cooler weather soon.


2002 GRABAAWR – Day 2

Well today was a really hot one! We started early at 6:00am to beat the heat, and it worked for most of the morning, but not for the afternoon. We went over 80 miles today from Crandon to Merrill. We had one flat tire (me), two minor falls, four miles of gravel road that we didn’t like very much, and too much sun. The temperature was supposed to get to 85, but we saw thermometers that said 98, and the humidity was very high. At one point with only 15 or so miles to go most of us went swimming in the Wisconsin river (picture 4). That allowed us to cool down our core body temperature, that was elevated more than we would like. The first picture is of people getting ready just before 6:00am in Crandon. The second picture is lunch at Tomahawk, where Patti and Ruth outdid themselves once again with a scrumptious lunch. Because of the heat Martha Sagged from lunch. I think several of the rest of us wish we had also. Picture 3 is a water break part way up a hill just before we went swimming. Some people ate locally in Merrill. Eleven of us went in the vans to Wausau about 17 miles south of Merrill, and had dinner at a very nice Chinese restaurant that we had eaten at last year.

Tomorrow we bike to Stevens Point. It will be a shorter ride, (62.5 miles) and should be cooler, but time will tell.

Pictures from Day 2:

{{popup day2lunch.jpg day2lunch 1008×766}}Day 2 Lunch
{{popup day2reststop.jpg day2reststop 1240×651}}Day 2 Rest Stop
{{popup day2start.jpg day2start 1083×561}}Day 2 Start
{{popup day2swim.jpg day2swim 1172×374}}Day 2 Swim

2002 GRABAAWR – Day 1

Today was the first day of the 2002 GRABAAWR ride. We decided not to do the 100 mile century ride, since we were invited to go to Ingrid’s sister Ruth and her husband David’s cabin in the afternoon. The ride went well, although it got a little warm in the afternoon. Today was only about 50 miles so it was shorter than most of the days will be, but it was a good way to start. After the usual first day logistics of getting our bikes ready for use after their 3 day cross country journey, we got started about 7:40, only a few minutes later than planned. The first picture is of the whole group of bikers, but it doesn’t include Patti Guilford or Ruth Lauritzen who are key members of our group.

We had no major mechanical or physical issues, other than Dick Burkley, who broke a chain, and got a surface cut on his leg, while repairing the chain. I am happy to report that with Dick’s chain tool, and Terry Hackney’s repair expertise, we were able to repair the chain and not need the services of a Sag vehicle.

Patti and Ruth prepared a scrumptious meal for lunch, which we ate in the shade by the side of the road, and used some picnic tables provided by a homeowner in the woods. We had delicious sandwiches, juice, fruit and cookies. Our setup looked so inviting that another biker stopped and tried to buy a banana from us.

Early in the afternoon we stopped at a lake along side the road, took off our shoes and went wading in the lake. It was very refreshing. See picture 2. We also met John Taska who John, Ingrid, and I hadn’t seen in over 20 years from when we lived in Illinois. We overcame the heat and hills and got to Cranden, WI and to the Main Street Inn where we are staying for the night. After showering and resting, we used our Sag wagons to drive to David and Ruth’s cabin on a lake nearby and had a pleasant afternoon enjoying the view and their hospitality. The 3rd picture is of Ingrid and Ruth at their cabin on the lake. Afterwards we went to dinner. The first restaurant had an air conditioning problem, so we went to a nearby golf course for a very
enjoyable dinner. All in all it was a good first day. Tomorrow we are starting at 6:00 am to try and beat the heat.

Pictures from Day 1:

{{popup day1lineup.jpg day1lineup 1134×466}}Day 1 Lineup
{{popup ingridruth.jpg ingridruth 1023×764}}Ingrid and Ruth
{{popup wade1.jpg wade1 836×615}}Wading

2002 GRABAAWR – Day -1

Today was the big bus ride from Prairie du Chien to Eagle River. We first registered, and got our race packets, that contain all our maps and the rider number assigned to us to attach to our bike and to our luggage. We then loaded our bikes on the moving van’s where they were packed with movers blankets. (See picture 1)

We then loaded our luggage in the bus and got on the bus for the 6 hour ride to Eagle River. See pictures:
2. John and Ingrid Jensen, Terry and Ginni Hackney
3. Dick and JoAnn Burkley
4. Ken Switzer and Bob Boylan

Robin and Patti Guilford and Nick and Martha Shuck drove our Sag wagon, and didn’t have to ride on the bus.

Some of us had a picnic on the bus. We stopped at Stevens Point for a 45 minute rest stop/lunch.We got to Eagle River about 3:30pm and checked in to the Day’s Inn which is very near the School where we start the ride tomorrow. We met up with Herb and Ruth Lauritzen and so now our group is complete.

We went to a very nice restaurant for dinner, and everyone started out very refined.
We were seated at 2 tables (see pictures 5 – 6), but after while things disintegrated (see pictures 7 – 8)

Tomorrow we start day 1 of the ride!


2002 GRABAAWR – Day -2

After a good night’s sleep at the Super 8 motel in Blair, we drove downtown to the Maple Restaurant on Main street and joined Mick and Gail, and Betsy and Bill for a great Blair Breakfast. After picking up my camera, we were off to I-80 to continue our trek towards Prairie du Chien. We have a caravan of 4 vehicles all carrying bicycles. We have CB radios for communication with FRS radios as backup. We use the radios extensively to coordinate stops for gas, rest stops, and general navigation.

We had lunch in Waterloo IA, at a deli decorated to look like the 50’s. There was a band playing in the city center park when we parked and it just finished playing when we were ready to go on. This was the same deli we had eaten in last year. We had planned to take a group picture in front of a large strawberry we remembered being in a town called Strawberry Point. Unfortunately we couldn’t find the sign. We are now checked into the motel in Prairie du Chien. We were joined by Nick and Martha Shuck today. Tomorrow we will join Herb and Ruth Lauritzen and our group will be complete. Tomorrow we will checkin to the GRABAAWR and ride the bus to Eagle River, where we will stay overnight and the start the ride on Sunday morning. Tonight we ate dinner at the Barn north? of Prairie du Chien. The picture is outside the restaurant after dinner. John and Dick Burkley were inside the restaurant still admiring a marble light dimmer.


2002 GRABAAWR – Day -3

This is Ken Switzer’s email and photo journal of the 2002 GRABAAWR ride across Wisconsin. I had planned to attach a picture of the lineup at the start of the day in Boulder, but I left my camera at the house of John Jensen’s. brother in Blair Nebraska and will have to send it tomorrow.

Addition: {{popup bike1sm.jpg bike1sm 560×336}}Click here for group photo

We had a good weather day, (partly cloudy) and an uneventful trip from Boulder to Blair, Nebraska. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant in Paxton, NE, called Ole’s. The restaurant serves great food and has lot’s of stuffed big game animals on display. We stopped at Mick and Gail Jensen’s house for appetizers, and then went to the Driftwood restaurant right on the bank of the Missouri for dinner.

We – refers to the Colorado contingent. It includes John and Ingrid Jensen, Dick and JoAnn Burkley, Robin and Patti Guilford, Terry and Ginny Hackney, Bob Boylan from Aspen, and me Ken Switzer.

We are staying in the Blair Super 8 motel tonight and will get up early, have breakfast in Blair, and head out for Prairie du Chien, where we will be tomorrow night. We will meet up with Nick and Martha Shuck, and Herb and Ruth Lauritzen tomorrow night So altogether we will have 14 people doing the ride (across Wisconsin) together.

More tomorrow.
Ken Switzer

Off to Cozumel

We are off to Cozumel and hopefully will be more prompt on an update and pictures when we get back!