July 14th: Fargo, ND to Battle Creek, MN
July 14th Statistics – Fargo, ND to Battle Lake, MN:
- Today’s Biking Distance – 100.3 miles
- Today’s Average Speed – 14.6 mph
- Today’s Time In Saddle – 6.9 hours
- Today Ascent – 2,006 feet
- Total Trip Biking Days – 23
- Total Trip Biking Distance – 1,836.6 miles
- Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 79.9 miles
- Total Trip Ascent – 54,800 feet
Fargo was a great respite, but on to Minnesota. I skipped breakfast and left at 6:30 am (about an hour before the rest of the group) since we had a 90+ mile ride, high temperatures and humidity. I had forgotten what a peaceful and beautiful experience it is to be on the rode early in the morning (although historically my experience has been in a car) – I had the road to myself, a gentle breeze, and a comfortable temperature.
I crossed the Red River and entered Minnesota after 7 miles this morning. Immediately, the road surfaces became very smooth. In general, Minnesota clearly has the best roads for biking of any state so far – a real pleasure that can add 4 mph to my speed. The scenery changed almost as quickly with an increase in gentle rolling hills, more color in the crops, and many lakes (however, much of the scenery was the same as the last three days of riding). Often I could have been in Chester County near where I live.
By 8 am I was feeling the humidity. The group caught up to me by 10 am when we reach the town of Cormorant, a lake resort on Pelican Lake. Unfortunately, our route on Highway 9 was under construction and after a 1/2 mile of riding in soft sand (one of our riders fell), we gave up and walked the bikes back to a detour route we mapped (and added 5 miles). Then in Pelican Rapids our route was again detoured (including a gravel road) due to a city parade.
For the most part the very rural country roads were lightly traveled until we got to lakeside towns like Amor on Otter Tail Lake, where a college guy wasn’t looking at the road he was crossing but at a bikini clad female and walked into my path (I swerved and missed him). When I arrived in lakeside town of Battle Lake I immediately found the local ice cream pallor and had a scoops of licorice and Superman ice creams (well earned after 100 miles). Unfortunately, on the final mile to the hotel, a elderly gentleman in his 1960s pickup truck pulled out in front of me at an intersection, which having been re-energized by the ice cream I easily avoided. Our motel is across the street from West Battle Lake (very large). Dinner will be at the nearby grill/bowling alley.