A year ago, I was almost 1,000 miles into my ride across the US. I miss that a lot, even more than that. But Einstein was right again when he wrote, “Life is like riding a bike. You lose your balance if you look back too long.” So instead of looking back to last year, I explored and enjoyed another bike ride with my favorite outdoor group, The Minnesota Rovers.
This time, we pedaled though some wonderful parts of Wisconsin, for 60 miles. The pictures show much more than I could tell.
I like to joke that ice cream is a critical part of cycling. I’m not kidding. On this ride, we enjoyed two rounds, once with some homemade peach-blueberry pie.
I admit that some of the hills were tough, but memories and lessons from last year nudged me along. One of them led to a change in my bike. It now has a very low “granny gear.” Not many parts of me resemble a granny, but I do like that low gear. With it, I can spin the pedals up hills instead of pushing and grunting on each down-stroke, something I learned when I wrote the post “The Ozarks have hells not hills.”
Another part of yesterday’s ride in Wisconsin is a bit cliché, but it’s still important. The people you meet are always the best part. The smiles say it all, and most of these happened after some serious hills.
I’m already looking forward to my next cross-country ride, but those rides take a few months. It’ll be a while until I can afford that again. Yesterday’s ride in Wisconsin showed me just how much there is to explore nearby. There are other “directions” to explore. One of them is the classes I’m teaching that introduce people to bike touring. An especially fun “direction” there is staring people out with kitty-litter pail panniers. I love how far bikes can take us, in many directions.
Looks like you were pretty close to my ancestral “stomping grounds.” (I saw the framed poster for the Stockholm Art Fair in the background in the photo of the group in the ice cream shop so figured you had to be pretty close to those parts. And if I’m not mistaken, that could be Lake Pepin in the background of another photo?) Anyway, it was fun to read your post. And we’re glad your out exploring and reporting. Keep it up! Oh. And I like your resourcefulness using those kitty litter containers as luggage carriers. Good idea!
Great to hear your comments on your old stomp’n grounds Karl. It was great to see the place again. While we cycled, I told some stories of fun memories from there, but it also felt great to be making great memories in that beautiful place.