July 12th Statistics – Cooperstown to Fargo, ND:
- Today’s Biking Distance – 93.1 miles
- Today’s Average Speed – 13.7 mph
- Today’s Time In Saddle – 6.8 hours
- Today Ascent – 496 feet
- Total Trip Biking Days – 22
- Total Trip Biking Distance – 1,736.3 miles
- Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 78.9 miles
- Total Trip Ascent – 52,794 feet
Today we faced most of the same issues as yesterday, long (actually longer) ride, high temperatures and humidity, and 60% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. I decided to skip breakfast and leave at 6:30 am while the others had breakfast at the motel (my companions did not get going on bikes until after 7:30 am). For me it was a wonderful time to ride – sun low on the horizon, very comfortable temperature and humidity, almost no traffic – the road to myself, soft wind blowing from the side so I could ride relatively fast (15-18 mph), and a calming scene of muted green and yellow crops – mile after mile. Of course as the day went on it became hot and humid and the headwind increased to 15-25 mph after 11 am.
I was shocked shortly outside Cooperstown to see a sign pointing out a missile silo (see Mile 7 photo below and photo above) – I would have thought missile silos would be hidden. It turned out to be a historical site. The rest of the day was uneventful although for a short stretch of the ride (10 miles), the road had cracks across the entire road so that every 5 to 25 feet I felt a hard thump – thump (each one felt more jarring than the last).
I arrived in Fargo at 3pm to find a very clean and interesting city. On the way to the hotel I stopped by the local bike store to drop off my bike for servicing. It was one of the most unique bike store I have seen. An expresso and gelato bar was incorporated into the store which was located in an old train depot (later in the evening I saw live entertainment outside the store). It was spotless and busy as can be. They were extremely friendly and very willing to change their schedule so that I could have my bike completely cleaned/serviced and available the next day. When I picked it up, it felt even better than it was when I arrived in Seattle.
The Radisson Hotel where we are staying is clearly the finest hotel of the trip so far. It is the second tallest building in North Dakota, my room has a “Sleep Number Bed” (I am a 60), and the views from my 10th floor room are very enjoyable as I look over the Red River to Minnesota. For my “Dinner On Your Own” evening, I went to TripAdvisor and found the 2nd highest rated restaurant (out of 97) was a block from the Radisson and perfect for me – JL Beers, which specialized in gourmet hamburgers and beers. It was exceptional. After dinner I started walking downtown to find that all the art galleries were open until late evening for a 3 times/year “Corks & Canvas” event. Every gallery was serving wine and appetizers while artist were showing off their art. I am impressive with the limited part of Fargo I toured.
On the rest day in Fargo I first had to do laundry, then mail two boxes (20 lbs) of unneeded winter biking gear back home, get my watch band fixed (it broke in Seattle), exchange $15 of change for bills (to further lighten my load), and pick up my bike. It was hot, but the humidity today wasn’t too bad.
Tomorrow is another 90+ mile day with forecast of hot and humid conditions and thunderstorms. We are leaving at 6:30 am and will grab a quick breakfast at McDonalds rather than waiting for a sit-down. Fortunately, no headwinds are predicted. Till tomorrow.
July 11th Statistics – Devils Lake to Cooperstown, ND:
- Today’s Biking Distance – 80.6 miles
- Today’s Average Speed – 10.9 mph
- Today’s Time In Saddle – 7.4 hours
- Today Ascent – 1.017 feet
- Total Trip Biking Days – 21
- Total Trip Biking Distance – 1,643.2 miles
- Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 78.2 miles
- Total Trip Ascent – 52,298 feet
Today’s ride started at 7 am due to need to take alternate route (regular route had many miles of gravel due to construction), length (80+ miles), heat (high 80s), headwinds (10-20 mph) and threats of afternoon thunderstorms (60%). Everything was as expected except thunderstorms which did not develop. The roads were good and lightly traveled – beautiful, if repetitive, scenery. Very slow ride and long day in the saddle. Excitement of the day was that I almost biked into the middle of a family of raccoons (mom and 3 cubs) sitting in the middle of the road. I yelled and mom ran off, but the cubs hissed at me as I swerved into the on-coming lane (no traffic for last 30 minutes) around them. Very tired and glad today’s ride is over. Red bull at end of the ride helped too.
July 10th Statistics – Rugby to Devils Lake, ND:
- Today’s Biking Distance – 84.3 miles
- Today’s Average Speed – 12.8 mph
- Today’s Time In Saddle – 6.6 hours
- Today Ascent – 1,247 feet
- Total Trip Biking Days – 20
- Total Trip Biking Distance – 1,562.6 miles
- Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 78.1 miles
- Total Trip Ascent – 51,281 feet
A long and hot ride with headwinds. Beautiful scenery with good road surfaces. A highlight of the day was dinner – The Ranch – outstanding. I had filet mignon Sinatra style (port wine reduction and blue cheese crushed). Robert ordered a baked potato and was delivered a 9 inch, 1.5 pound record breaker – none of us have ever seen a larger one. You could have ordered a bottle of Opus One if so inclined.