July 16th: Long Prairie to Milaca, MN
July 16th Statistics – Long Prairie to Milaca, MN:
- Today’s Biking Distance – 78.4 miles
- Today’s Average Speed – 15.2 mph
- Today’s Time In Saddle – 5.2 hours
- Today Ascent – 1,201 feet
- Total Trip Biking Days – 25
- Total Trip Biking Distance – 1,981.4 miles
- Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 79.3 miles
- Total Trip Ascent – 57,038 feet
Almost a repeat of yesterday – I began biking about 6:30 am (while everyone else went to breakfast) as the forecast was for high(er) temperatures and humidity and we had a long ride (almost 80 miles). It was again a wonderful time to be on the road. The roads in general were very smooth – beautiful, if repetitive, scenery, and a gentle breeze. I had a few moments of shade while biking today which is a first since Western Montana and the Rocky Mountains.
I was sweating buckets starting almost immediately in the morning. For reference, I drank more than 150 oz of fluids on the ride today. I was so far ahead of the group today that I never saw the SAG wagon and arrived at the hotel in Milaca at 1:30 pm (before everyone else including the SAG wagon). I only took two short breaks at convenience stores to fill up on fluids and an energy bar. Doug was the second to arrive in Milaca about 15 minutes after I did. By late this afternoon it was 94 degrees according to the local bank sign.
Sound familiar (see yesterday’s post, including photos)?
I have come to the conclusion that the most important factor that impacts the enjoyment of each day’s ride is the road surface condition, not the distance, scenery, wind, temperature, humidity, traffic, weather, nor climb. While Minnesota clearly has the best roads so far, I still regularly bike roads for many miles with cracks every 5 to 20 feet (creating a very jarring thump/thump that gets very tiresome and increasingly hurts over time), loose gravel and debris I must concentrate on avoiding, rough surfaces that slow me down and vibrate the bike, and pot holes. I hope it gets better as I go east.
It is particularly fun seeing your pictures of Minnesota! Kirk’s father was from Mora MN, (about 1 1/2 hours north of Minneapolis), my mother was from Duluth. Kirk still has an aunt and many cousins living throughout the state. Keep your eyes sharply peeled for the world’s largest ball of twine in Cambridge, MN if you pass through there.
Everyone in MN has a house on a lake. Kirk’s aunt’s house is on Lake Eleven. I guess they ran out of names!
The people out there are really friendly and kind, but I think you already know that people from the middle of the country are an upstanding bunch – like you!
Glad the scenery is a (little) bit more diverse now. We miss you!
July 16, 2012 at 10:28 pm
I just Googled where you are, and realized you are 37 miles from Mora! LOL!! You can see the world’s largest Dala horse if you ride through Mora (a sad little town since Schoenhut toys closed).
July 16, 2012 at 10:38 pm
Hi Steve, Half-way to Maine, by my reckoning. Fantastic journey!
July 17, 2012 at 11:26 am
Hi Steve, Congratulations on reaching the halfway point! Even if it’s not clear exactly where that is!! By my calculation, you have 31 more days to go. Does that sound right?
July 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm