(Days 41-43 will be posted later)

Miles: 65.3

Total Elevation Gain (ft):  2045.8

Weather: Mostly Sunny, Warm

Hillbilly Insults: 1

Roadkill: 6 (3Birds, 1 Turtle, 2 Unknown)

Bugs Swallowed: 1

Mean Dogs Chasing: 1

Animal Rescue: 0

"There are two seasons in Minnesota, Jon.  Winter and construction, " said Marcia as I complained of the detour to her house the other day.  Roadwork detours were so frustrating today. I rode around in circles for 30 miles trying to escape the of metropolitan ring of Minneapolis.

Stillwater, MN is nestled along the river and is an inviting place to stay.

It was sweet relief when I reached the riverfront town of Stillwater, MN.  What a fantastic place!  It's bicycle friendly and I discovered not one, but two, café/bistro/bike shop/coffeehouses right across the street from one another.  I didn't discriminate and ate at both of them. Had a lovely couscous and quiche combination at the Bikery,  then met the owner of the Chilkoot Cafe and Cyclery, Lee Stylos.  An entrepreneur and mechanical savant, Lee was able to eliminate the annoying squeaking on the bike I've been dealing with for a 100 miles. It's been like Chinese water torture.  Much thanks, Lee.

Bike cafes and Lee working on the Fargo.

My goal today was to get into Wisconsin and determine which route I would take eastward to Manitowoc.  As I mentioned in my last post, I think  there is a more direct route than  what the Adventure Cycling Maps offer.  From Stillwater, I took County Road E to County Road A and stopped in New Richmond, Wisconsin.  I plan on connecting to County Highway 64E across at least half of the state. It appears that it's a nice road with little traffic, according to locals.

stopped at Walmart to get a few items still in cycling wear.  My road shoes are quite slippery on linoleum and concrete which makes shopping a hazardous task.  Fortunately, no danger would befall me as the discount gods bequeathed several available electric scooters in the shopping cart area. These retarded steeds are used mostly for voluntary invalids, malingerers and morbidly obese people.  I took the liberty of riding one and it exceeded all of my gleeful expectations of annoyance to other customers. 

It was a thrill to get hypocritical stares  from people clearly offended by my mode of transport.  Wearing full kit representing the now overpriced University of Iowa, cleats adorning my feet, I sputtered from aisle to aisle.  I'm no model of fitness, but it was clear that the "Little Buddy" I was driving wasn't necessary for an average middle-aged man. But hey, no one thought to give the stink eye to the guy weighing 413 pounds grabbing a case of cola when he stood up off of his. He could walk.  Nay, he should walk!  

If I got a dirty look, I would immediately hit the reverse lever on my three- wheeled tortoise which would initiate that beeping sound you hear on large industrial vehicles.  I would also try to "accidentally" bump into things, or people, and say, "Excuse me, I'm kind of new at this."

I've taken a solemn vow to always use the scooter when I Walmart from now on.  If Walmart is 'Merica, I want the full immersive experience.  I apologize in advance to my lovely wife and adorable children because of the trauma they'll experience when they need consumer crap from our nation's discount leviathan. 



07/15/2013 11:22am

Another "over-the-top" blog entry! Great stuff!

07/15/2013 12:36pm

This blog entry is perfect timing for a comment I have been meaning to post. You are tracking the hillbilly insults hurled at you along the ride, which seem few and far between, but where is the counter for every audacious observation you make out loud in every small town of America? And by no means am I defending the People of WalMart. I say, don't shop there!!

debra wade
07/15/2013 3:01pm

you should be very familiar with the Walmartians after growing up in the Midwest. For me it has been quite an experience as they are
NOT in NYC (nearby in Nassau County). Also have discovered while you can buy anything from chewing gum to guns they are not the least expensive store many times and their "lack" of employees
is pitiful. Those that are working there flee when they see you approaching or say that's not their department.

Jonathan Leahey
07/15/2013 3:03pm

Christine, the fundamental difference in my derision is that I'm not moving at 80 mph in tons of steel toward my targets...and I'm right.

07/15/2013 3:10pm

You crack me up! Still, don't shop at Walmart.

07/17/2013 9:17pm

Fantastic idea in Wal-Mart, I've had my share of these rides; and totally warranted in your state of bike clothing discomfort. Hilarious as well!


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