(Days 41-43 will be posted later)
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.
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.
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.