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.