2002 GRABAAWR – Day 6

It is hard to believe that this was our next to last day on our ride. We ate breakfast at 6:30 at the Devil’s Head Lodge (Picture 1) and were on the road a little after 7:00am. Ginni Hackney had a flat after 1.5 miles. (Picture 2) How many engineers does it take to change a tire? We rode 14 miles to get to the start of the ride in Sauk City. So while everyone else had a longer ride yesterday, we had it today. We crossed the river on a ferry (Picture 3) and got to Sauk City about 8:45am. We bought a bunch of banana’s and started off on the real course for today, and it started sprinkling. Several of us had checked the forecast and there was no rain in sight. It never really rained hard on us, but it had rained harder on some parts of the road we were riding, and we had to watch out for splash back from cars and other bikers. We had some surprise hills since we were on a route that none of us had been on before. In other areas it was very flat and we made very good time. We got to Spring Green and the Frank Lloyd Wright school where we had lunch prepared by Patti and Ruth. John Taska rode with us for much of the morning (see picture 4), and Patti Taska and Heidi joined us at lunch time. (picture 5)

Ingrid had a flat tire just as we started out after lunch. Picture 6 After lunch the cloud cover we had all morning disappeared and he temperature got markedly hotter. We figured we still had 30 miles to go to get to Richland Center. Luckily the rest of the route was very flat and we made good time. Part of the group went on an old railroad bed that has been covered with crushed limestone and packed to allow small tired bikes to be able to ride on it. We got some great pictures of some of the farms in the distance. (The other part of the group took the standard route. Luckily we all ended up at the same place – the White House Travelodge in Richland Center. After cleaning up we all went to eat at a nearby Mexican restaurant that was suggested by some locals. The food was great – some of the service was slow – but we had a good time. We have decided to eat breakfast here at 5:30am, leave at 6:00am and go to the end of the ride before we try to take showers. After we get cleaned up nd say our goodbyes, we will be driving back towards Colorado in a caravan. Nick and Martha will be heading to Annapolis, MD, and Herb and Ruth will be going back to Minneapolis, MN. We plan to overnight at a Day’s Inn near Council Bluffs IA tomorrow night, and then drive on into Boulder Sunday afternoon.

Tomorrow we will ride 64.7 miles from Richland Center to Prarie du Chien. The journal article tomorrow night may be very short. I hope you have enjoyed these capsules of our progress. There are many more pictures than I am able to send with these emails. If you are interested I could send you a CD to view the other pictures.

Picture 1

Picture 2

2002 GRABAAWR – Day 5

Happy Fourth of July! We all added small American Flags to our bikes or personal decoration today as part of our celebration of the day.

I got separated from the group and didn’t get as many pictures as normal, plus some of the narrative is second hand.

We started off at 6:00am – bright and early – with scouts out for the first open cafe that was serving breakfast. We saw one in Friendship that claimed to have the “Best Breakfast in Town” and the smells oozing from the building seemed to verify its claim, but it didn’t open until 7:00am. The next one was open and we parked our bikes and entered. One way we could tell it was open was that there were a bunch of other bikes parked out front. The food was great, the portions heaping. Those who ordered hash browns got mounds “twice as large as any human should need, but he ate them all anyway” according to Dick Burkley. (see picture 1) {{popup day5breakfast.jpg day5breakfast 1490×870}}Breakfast in Friendship

So we didn’t really get started on our ride until about 7:10. But for the first morning this week, the air was actually cool and some people actually put on long sleeve shirts for a while. Food must have been on our mind today, because about an hour and a half later, we spotted an ice cream delivery truck. We flagged it down and asked if we could buy some ice cream bars. He said the smallest amount he could sell us was a box of 24. John Jensen bought a box for $10 gave bars for free to our group and then sold the rest for $1 each to other riders who had stopped and cleared $5 on the deal. – Thanks John! (see picture 2) {{popup day5icecream.jpg day5icecream 1355×666}}John the Ice Cream Bar Man!

The next town was the Wisconsin Dells. The 4th of July traffic was heavy, but the route this year got us through town and back out in the country faster than last and soon we were at Mirror Lake state park for lunch. Patti and Ruth picked a lovely spot near a swimming beach, with running water and facilities. Bob Boylan and John Taska joined us. Patti Taska and their dog Heidi arrived before we all finished. It was a nice, restful, delicious lunch, but when we started out again the temperature was no longer cool. Twelve miles later we were in Baraboo, where we had planned to stop for ice cream. I looked all over for the place but didn’t find it. The rest of the group did find it and said it was as good as last year.

Next we climbed up and down into Devil’s Lake. Some people went swimming at the South Beach. Then we rode a few more miles to the Devil’s Head Lodge where we are staying tonight. By staying here we cut 12 miles off our ride today of 77 miles, but we will add 12 miles to tomorrow’s route. It also moved our ferry crossing from today to tomorrow. After showering many of us went swimming at the Lodge’s pool. I wish I had gotten a picture of the laundry drying area. It was quite a site to see everybody’s biking attire hanging out to dry. At this point we are all washing each day to have something to wear and hoping we have something that is dry. Many of the riders had on red, white, and blue jerseys or some other decoration to help celebrated the 4th. {{popup day5bae2.jpg day5bae2 1176×904}}Ingrid and Martha show one example in the 3rd picture.

We had a great dinner in the main dinning room of the lodge. John and Patti Taska joined us. Tomorrow we will have breakfast here at 6:30am and try to be off by 7:00am. It will be a 79 mile ride tomorrow to Richland Center. It seems amazing that we only have two days left. Hope you all had a great Fourth of July!

2002 GRABAAWR – Day 4

This was the best day yet. The weather was a little cooler, sunny, but with high thin clouds that made the sun less of an issue. We had no flat tires, no falls, the wind was mild or to our backs. We started nearly on time (6:30am) , went longer between rest stops, had fewer hills, averaged a higher speed, so in every way it was an excellent day. The early riders got to the destination around 2:00pm which is the earliest so far this week. I guess I reported the distance today incorrectly. It was planned for a distance of 69.5 miles

The first picture is at the start of day 4 and has everyone but Bob Boylan of the riders in the picture. Left to right we are : Robin Guilford, Terry Hackney, John Jensen, Dick Burkley, Martha and Nick Shuck (Annapolis, MD), JoAnn Burkley, Ginni Hackney, Ingrid Jensen, Ken Switzer, and Herb Lauritzen, Ruth Lauitzen, and Patti Guilford were also not in the picture. The second picture is at a paper mill along the route, where they were unloading logs from a train car. The person in the picture is not from our group. The third picture is of John Jensen and Dick Burkley demonstrating their strength with Terry Hackney and Nick Shuck looking on. The fourth picture is of us at lunch where Patti and Ruth laid out a wonderful buffet in a park along the route.

We were saddened to hear that a 12 year old boy, riding with his grandfather from Kansas, was killed yesterday on the outskirts of Wausau when he hit a patch of gravel and fell in front of a logging truck.

Tomorrow we are scheduled to go from Adams-Friendship to Sauk City, but instead we are going to the Devil’s Head ski lodge where we stayed last year. It cuts a little bit off the predicted distance of 79.8 miles, but we will add it the next day when we have to go further to the start. During the day we go through the Wisconsin Dells, and the town of Baraboo. We will be getting back into hills and so our time will take longer.

I had some computer trouble yesterday, so I was very tired when I sent the email and appologize for any mistakes. Some of ourluggage got wet in the sag wagon and it affected the battery on my computer. Once I figured out that was what the problem was everything was ok. I was very nervous until it was all resolved, because I had just erased all the digital photoes in my camera, and wasn’t sure if I could get them all. Anyway it is all better now.

I want to keep all email with pictures that I send under .5 Mb in size. Last night when I was so tired, I wasn’t paying attention to the size and sent an email that was over 1.1Mb. Because of the size, some of your mailboxes are filling up and I am getting email rejected mesages when your storage is exceeded. For those people I will send you a text only email, and when you free up enough space you can email me to switch you back to the email with pictures. If there are other people you want me to include email me their address, or you can forward them yourself.

We wish everyone a Happy and Safe 4th of July! Keep thinking cool!

Pictures from Day 4:

{{popup day4logs.jpg day4logs 691×549}}Day 4 Logs
{{popup day4lunch.jpg day4lunch 1270×621}}Day 4 Lunch
{{popup day4muscles2.jpg day4muscles2 1008×785}}Day 4 Muscles
{{popup day4start2.jpg day4start2 1265×587}}Day 4 Start

2002 GRABAAWR – Day 3

Well today was a little cooler, a little shorter, just as hilly, but overall a good day. We got started shortly after 6:30, rode the 3 miles from where we were staying to near the start, used the same route we used last year for a few miles, and then eventually joined up with the rest of the riders about 6 miles out of town. We had no flats and no spills, so that made it a good day too. We skipped the lunch stop that most people went to, and had our lunch just beyond a cheese factory about 9 miles later in the ride. Patti and Ruth did their normal excellent job of providing lunch fixings – and lots of good things to eat. As we neared Stevens Point, some people were anxious to finish the ride and went directly to the Motel. Some of us chose to go a longer way and go swimming in the lake near Steven’s Point. We had dinner at a restaurant called Sky Coach near Steven’s Point. It specializes in some Cajun dishes, and was very good. Terry Hackney’s brother and his wife joined
us for dinner tonight.

Tomorrow we bike from Steven’s Point to Adam’s Friendship. The temperature should be about the same and the distance is 60.3 miles.

It has been pointed out to me that some of you that are new to this list, may not know what GRABAAWR stands for. You can read much more about it at www.bikewisconsin.com

It is Great Annual Bicycle Adventure Along the Wisconsin River

The pictures are:

1. {{popup day3gettingready.jpg day3gettingready 1330×727}}Getting ready first thing in the AM
2. {{popup day3lineup.jpg day3lineup 1119×660}}picture after completing 1 mile of gravel
3. {{popup day3roundbarn.jpg day3roundbarn 1186×746}}picture by a round barn
4. {{popup day3waterbreak.jpg day3waterbreak 1378×624}}water break

We hope for cooler weather soon.


2002 GRABAAWR – Day 2

Well today was a really hot one! We started early at 6:00am to beat the heat, and it worked for most of the morning, but not for the afternoon. We went over 80 miles today from Crandon to Merrill. We had one flat tire (me), two minor falls, four miles of gravel road that we didn’t like very much, and too much sun. The temperature was supposed to get to 85, but we saw thermometers that said 98, and the humidity was very high. At one point with only 15 or so miles to go most of us went swimming in the Wisconsin river (picture 4). That allowed us to cool down our core body temperature, that was elevated more than we would like. The first picture is of people getting ready just before 6:00am in Crandon. The second picture is lunch at Tomahawk, where Patti and Ruth outdid themselves once again with a scrumptious lunch. Because of the heat Martha Sagged from lunch. I think several of the rest of us wish we had also. Picture 3 is a water break part way up a hill just before we went swimming. Some people ate locally in Merrill. Eleven of us went in the vans to Wausau about 17 miles south of Merrill, and had dinner at a very nice Chinese restaurant that we had eaten at last year.

Tomorrow we bike to Stevens Point. It will be a shorter ride, (62.5 miles) and should be cooler, but time will tell.

Pictures from Day 2:

{{popup day2lunch.jpg day2lunch 1008×766}}Day 2 Lunch
{{popup day2reststop.jpg day2reststop 1240×651}}Day 2 Rest Stop
{{popup day2start.jpg day2start 1083×561}}Day 2 Start
{{popup day2swim.jpg day2swim 1172×374}}Day 2 Swim