Day 22 La Crosse (Onalaska), WI to Ontario, WI

Posted by cgiblin2 on July 16, 2011 in Day 22 |

Day 22 La Crosse (Onalaska), WI to Ontario, WI
Riding time today: 5:23
Riding time total: 133:07
Distance today: 55.34 mi
Distance total: 1,583.60 mi
Average speed: 10.3 mph
Top speed: 30.2 mph
Average cadence: 63 rpm
Max cadence: 215 rpm
Calories burned: 2,639

After going out to a big breakfast with my uncle, I was off to conquer the day. I thought that since Onalaska was off of the 16, that it would be the ideal starting point in order to progress eastward. It began to rain as I started out on the 16. There was only one small problem. The shoulder virtually disappeared as I was climbing one of the hills. It also didn’t help that Hwy 16 was a busy 4 lane highway. I reassessed the situation and decided to ride into La Crosse to talk with one of the bike shops about which route they would recommend. I road over to Smiths and spoke with Erik, the shop manager. He was very helpful and took a lot of time to show me the routes that he would recommend. Hwy 33 was a much better option due to having far less traffic, and being very scenic.

The 33 began with a long and arduous hill climb. It was not the right time for this giant hill as my legs were still recovering from yesterday. Eventually, I made it to the top and had some spectacular views of the valleys, farm land, and historical buildings.

People in the countryside in Wisconsin, without exaggerating, were 100 times friendlier than those in Minnesota. Everyone that I waved to, waved back to me. There were no honks, no forcing me off the road, and no drivers flipping me off (as did happen a few times in Minnesota.

However, I did have two problems. One, my legs were not cooperating with me. I simply didn’t have the power that was required to cruise at a decent pace. Two, since I wanted to spend a little extra time with my extended family and then again at the bike shop, I got off to a very late start. My hours were limited and I needed to start thinking about where I was going to stay for the night. On the 33, there really aren’t too many options to choose from, as most of the towns are farming communities, that don’t have motels.

I passed Cashton without any success, and road for another 30 minutes when I realized that I was traveling on the wrong road! That may have explained how I wound up in this big Amish community. I road past a dozen of those horse drawn buggies and they were giving me looks like, what are you doing way out here? But, all of them were friendly and waved to me. I guess we had something in common, and that was we were both riding a zero emissions vehicle.

I looked on my GPS and saw a connecting road that would shortcut the distance back to the 33. It would be a risk because it could turn into a gravel road partway through. But, it was a risk that I was willing to take. Luckily for me, it was paved the entire way, and soon I was back on the 33! I road into Ontario, and they ended up having a motel. It was the smallest one I have stayed in to date, only 7 rooms! I got a room, and was relieved that I wasn’t going to spent another night sleeping on a bench somewhere!

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Location:Ontario, WI

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