June 20th: Winona, MN to La Crosse, WI
July 20th Statistics – Winona, MN to La Crosse, WI:
- Today’s Biking Distance – 43.6 miles
- Today’s Average Speed – 12.9 mph
- Today’s Time In Saddle – 3.4 hours
- Today Ascent – 1,900 feet
- Total Trip Biking Days – 29
- Total Trip Biking Distance – 2,267.6 miles
- Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 78.2 miles
- Total Trip Ascent – 66,114 feet
Today’s ride may be the shortest of the tour. However, Dale and Diane wanted to be sure that we had time to sightsee La Crosse, WI which was a great idea. There are been certain towns on our tour that have been engaging and make me want to come back, i.e. Sand Point, ID, Whitefish, MT, Fargo, ND, Stillwater, MN, Prescott, WI, and Red Wing, MN, and La Crosse, WI certainly makes that list.
We had to find a detour about 20 miles into the ride today due to a road closure on Route 7 near Pickwick, MN. The detour we selected made the ride shorter than planned (40 miles), but was more challenging – we had a long 10%-11% grade climb to get to the top of the bluff. Fortunately, the weather was overcast which kept it from getting extremely hot. While I started the climb with my riding companions and easily made it up the top of the bluff (as judged by my heart rate), they were out of sight quickly – I estimate that they can ride about 3-4 mph faster than I on the flats and half that on the tough climbs.
However, several times on the tour I have had the opportunity to join them and make a foursome on the flats/short rolling hills by drafting. It was a great thrill and highlight to be cruising along at 20+ mph in a tight group of riders (on one occasion for 12 miles). I wish I had a picture of the four of us riding together.
The fact that Buzzard Billy’s was across the street from Pearl’s Ice Cream Parlor had no bearing on our choice.