Thursday, 22 July 2010

Day 32. Rochester to La Crosse (Wisconsin)

The weather forecast wa spot on and it was persisting down when we woke to the alarm at 06:00.  Breakfast was a somewhat subdued affair but we loaded on time and set off.  The rain got heavier and while my waterproof jacket and shoe covers did their job in keeping it out, I still got soaked from the heat I was generating inside the jacket.  This continued for about 2 hours and was complemented by strong headwinds.  Oh joy.
The first SAG was at the following picturesque destination.
I lost my way a bit and asked this farmer for directions but he wasn't very helpful.

After leaving the SAG I ws faced with a steep uphill climb followed by a downhill and another uphill after which there were miles of big rollers.  I felt a decided lack of energy so 16 miles later in the town of Rushford, I joined Tom and Skeeter for a bite to eat.  Two chicken wraps later I felt much better though it may have been the flat terrain on the bike path  to Houston that did it! Skeeter rides a recumbent bike.  I asked him what it was  like and how it compared to a normal bike and he said it was very comfortable but harder on hills, at which point I dropped my interest!!!

We made good time to the second SAG on the path, enjoying the smooth surface. As I left, I think I encountered the biggest field, either side of the road that I think I have ever seen.

You guessed it, corn in both fields!
A few miles later we had the climb of the day which was a full mile long and a bit steep!!
This was just the start, the steep bit was further up.

Here is a picture from part way up of one of the lushest places we have cycled through.
When I got to the top, Karen said to me and I quote "Piece of cake Ian"? To which I replied, "Yes Please, that would be nice". After that we cycled on a fairly flat road and stopped to discover what this farmer was storing.
Surprise, surprise, corn!!!
We were flying along by now and soon got to the 90 mile mark and our sixth State, Wisconsin.
Not long after, we crossed the Mississippi and I tried to take a photo of Katie taking a photo of the sign but she turned round just a bit too early!
I got to the hotel at 4.40 pm having left at just after 7am so it was a pretty long day which started off badly and finished superbly which is a lot better than the other way round. We have another 90 miles tomorrow which should prove to be interesting as we will encounter the Elroy Sparta Trail which involves cycling through unlit tunnels.  This avoids cycling over hills so I am very much in favour of it and have my flashlight at the ready!!!
Today's Stats. 
Mileage - 91
Climbing - 2850
Time In Saddle - 8hrs 25 mins
Average Speed - 10.75 mph

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