Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MRT - Biking Day 2

Hastings, Minnesota to Fountain City, Wisconsin

Time: 4:40:19

Distance: 69.407 (+10.5) miles

Average Speed: 14.8 mph

Max Speed: 35.2 mph

Calories Burned: 2373.0

Fat Burned: 284.0 g

We woke up this morning to rain. Being the resolute bicycle tourists we are, we headed out in our rain gear. Our morning had a couple of good climbs, followed by descents which I learned are pretty awful in wet weather. Giant rooster tails of water shoot off your back tires five feet in the air and your front tire splashes you in the face with road gunked water. This made it pretty difficult to see, so going downhill was a little scary. Definitely a strong argument for fenders.

We rode just over ten miles and stopped at the most wonderful roadside oasis, Nesbitt’s Nursery. This place is perfectly positioned at the peak of a hill, so people riding the MRT from either direction will be happy to find this place on their route and take a break. The food here was fantastic (I had a breakfast quiche and lemon pie) and the people were super friendly. I highly recommend stopping here. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture, even though I meant to, due to rain.

I don’t have cycle computer data up to this point because I managed to put my front wheel on backwards this morning. Luckily, I figured out my mistake and turned it around here.

We continued along the Great River Road (Highway 35). We had a couple more significant climbs, one of which featured an elk farm where we saw a small family of elk doing elk things. I also saw some llamas. We rode along Lake Pepin, a naturally formed lake on the Mississippi with beautiful bluffs on the other side. I really enjoyed this section of the ride. We stopped at Gelly’s Pub and Eatery in Stockholm, WI for lunch where I had grilled cheese with bacon and tomato. Delicious. The men’s room is apparently a sight to see as well. Something about a velvet lady with a parasol. :)

Antique store at the base of the big hill

Scenic overlook at Lake Pepin

My favorite section of road

Rental bikes outside Gelly’s in Stockholm, WI. Population 97.

Stockholm Pie Company. I thought about going there for lunch to keep with the pie trend, but unfortunately, they were closed.

After lunch, the ride was flat and fast. John and I broke off into a little paceline and we were hammering along at 22-24 mph on some stretches and made excellent time. The last ten miles or so though, I kept hearing a weird foomph, foomph, foomph noise that I could never quite figure out what it was. Also, my derriere was really starting to be uncomfortable.

Bluffs and fog, possibly in Nelson, WI

Other sites along the way

Locks and Dam

We rode straight to our motel in Fountain City, which was a pretty cool little place. My room had a hunting theme, complete with little stuffed ducks on the bed. The owners were really awesome and let us dry our wet stuff in their dryer. Awesome, awesome place. Unfortunately, while I was taking a shower, I discovered that the uncomfortable feeling in my bike shorts was essentially diaper rash. I do not recommend wearing wet bike shorts for many, many hours. Fortunately Jack had some ointment to help with such ailments and I have a newfound understanding and empathy for babies suffering from this affliction.

My room

We had dinner at The Monarch Public House, which is a traditional Irish pub sort of establishment. I had a cup of Irish stew, which wasn’t as hearty as I expected. So I also got the fish and chips, which was wonderful. I also had this amazing concoction called the Celtic Dream, because after riding 80 wet miles and developing diaper rash, one can really use some ice cream and an alcoholic beverage. This had both. And, in fact, it was so good, I’d order it again even without some lame I-just-rode-80-miles-and-my-butt-hurts excuse. :)

Overall, despite the weather, I really enjoyed today’s ride.

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