Day 1

Saturday, 7 Jun 2014
  St. Paul, MN to near Hersey, WI
51.3 miles, 4h14m, 12.1 mph
Elapsed Time: 4h57m, Max speed: 37.6mph
Total Climbing: 3038ft, Max elevation: 1263ft
Total mileage: 51.3

Copyright 2002
        DeLorme. Topo USA. Data copyright of content owner.

Ugh. What a day. Not a super start to the tour.

Linda and I landed in Minneapolis on Friday and drove to the Omnium Bike Shop to get my bike. Everything was ready and they did a great job. They even had the handlebar bag mounting bracket on right. We drove on to our hotel looking forward to getting started on Saturday. The forecast called for scattered thunderstorms with a 50% chance of rain. Little did we know we'd be back to Omnium two more times before we could get out of town.

That night I put the front rack on the bike and made all the little adjustments that needed to be made. I put on my new cyclo-computer, and noticed that it didn't seem to be working. Great.

We were up early on Saturday, and hit the breakfast buffet when it opened at seven. It had rained overnight, but the streets were drying. From our room we could see that there was a storm off to the west.

But when I went out to start the ride, it was nasty. Thunder, lightning, pouring-ass down rain.

I decided that it would suck way too much to start now. So we waited.

We watched TV for a couple hours. Then we went out to the Science Museum, but we didn't go in because there were too many children there. Then Linda had the idea of going back to the bike shop and have them look at the bike computer. The guy couldn't figure it out either--apparently it just failed after a total of 26 miles of use. So I bought a cheap computer that doesn't have the altimeter or thermometer features. All my climbing stats for this tour will come from TopoUSA--which tends to exaggerate.

Anyway, after a nice lunch across the street from the bike shop, the rain had slowed enough to try for a start. So we drove down to the capitol. But when I went to put on my cycling shoes I noticed that I was not wearing the new shoes I bought for the tour--I was wearing my old, holey shoes. WTF? How did I manage to bring the wrong shoes? Not a huge disaster--I can wear the shoes--but they don't have any cleats. Back to the bike shop for the third time. Buy cleats. Back to the capitol. 


Spent a lot of time here.

We finally took the start photos at about 1pm. It seems that my rain jacket has shrunk. Somehow.

The original plan was to ride about 85 miles to Eau Claire. And even with the late start I for some reason thought that I could make it. Maybe with a tailwind and no hills. I had neither.

It didn't take long to get out of Minnesota. And the sky seemed to get a little brighter. But that might have been because I took off my sunglasses.

Wisconsin was a lot harder. It was much hillier than I expected. The wind was from the north. Mostly a crosswind.

It stopped raining at about 3pm. But then about 5:30 it started again. And about 6pm I gave up. I was not going to reach Eau Claire
before dark, so I called Linda and had her pick me up at a truck stop along the Interstate. Tomorrow I'll have to ride an extra 35 miles in order
to get back on schedule. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, and the wind shouldn't hurt me. Shouldn't be a problem if I get an early start.


"Old Northwest Tour 2014" Copyright 2014 By Bob Clemons. All rights reserved.