Day 21 Austin, MN to La Crosse, WI

Posted by cgiblin2 on July 16, 2011 in Day 21 |

Day 21 Austin, MN to La Crosse, WI
Riding time today: 9:53
Riding time total: 127:44
Distance today: 119.04 mi
Distance total: 1,528.26 mi
Average speed: 12.0 mph
Top speed: 30.2 mph
Average cadence: 70 rpm
Max cadence: 101 rpm
Calories burned: 5,649

This morning I woke up thinking that I would be riding in the rain again. To my surprise, the weather in Austin was sunny, with temperatures in the 70s, nice! The plan for today was to make it to Preston, or perhaps somewhere nearby.

When I started riding, I encountered some of the strongest headwinds so far on the tour. They blew all morning and it was getting really annoying! Who likes traveling at 8 mph? Later I noticed that a giant wind farm was up ahead and I was approaching it from behind. All of the turbines were spinning quickly, hence the strong eastern headwind. Luckily, around 3:00 the wind died down and I was able to get back up to 14 mph.

I made it into Preston at 4:00 and was starving! I rode through town and noticed The Pedal Pushers Cafe. This was perfect, a restaurant that is very bicycle friendly! I parked the bike, walked inside to a large empty room and stood. And I stood a little longer. The chef saw me walk in. One of the waitresses who apparently was on her break saw me walk in. Another couple minutes go by and then a second waitress tells me that I can sit anywhere I’d like. She brings me a menu. I glance it over for a few minutes, then place it at the edge signaling that I am ready to order. I waited 10 minutes, with every few minutes looking back to try to get her to come take my order. Meanwhile, a family walks in and immediately they are greeted, seated, told the specials, and were given much friendly service. So much for this place being friendly towards cyclists. I left and went over to the BP station and got a burger from them. At least the cashier was friendly!

I was getting some bad feelings about eastern Minnesota. I felt like I needed to get out of this state. The situation became even worse as I started out riding on Hwy 16 from Preston. Trucks and SUVs would blare their horns at me as they would whip around the tight corners without pulling over to get me a little room. This road is without a shoulder for many sections. Some of the drivers missed hitting me by just six inches or less!

That was it! I made up my mind that even though I had another 50 miles to get into Wisconsin, I was going to make it. I’ve had it with Minnesota, and I don’t I’ll ever go back to that state again, ever!

I didn’t take too many pictures as I was preoccupied trying not to get hit! I did take a picture of one of the swamps off the side of the road, as I felt there was a lot of symbolism between a swamp and the state of Minnesota.

I arrived in Houston and called my aunt Bernie and uncle Tom letting them know that I would be coming a day early. They were fine with that. I kicked up a pace a little bit in order to avoid riding in the dark. Around 8:35 I made it to La Crosse, WI , then crossed the bridge over the Mississippi river and there was my uncle on the other side.

It was great seeing them as it had been over 10 years. We went out to dinner then back to their new home in Onalaska.

Tomorrow I knew that I was going to be sore for cranking out almost 120 miles today!

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Location:La Crosse, WI

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