Chris Heffel's blog

Sorry about the lack of posts

I want to apologize for the lack of posts the last few days. We went 3 days with no internet access and almost no cell phone coverage. The heat has been exhausting.

We have been very tired, and very unable to summon the energy for biking to the nearest internet hotspot.

I added photos to an older post, and added a new post. I am still a few days behind.

Thank you to everyone for your support. I appologize to those of you who were trying to get a hold of us.....

We survived the heat wave, and are still having a great time.

Our mileage is pathetic, but the terrain and weather have both been rough. We have also had some mechanical difficulties which you will surely see photos of later.

Off to bed.

Day 03: June 22: Genoa to Prairie Du Chien WI: 42 Miles

We made pancakes for breakfast in the hotel room because everything was closed. Good thing I had pancake mix packed. They were sub-good. Late start.

Chuck fixed his rear fender, which broke on our 2008 tour.....he had been hauling the new bracket for a while.

There was a lot of road construction.

Day 02: June 21: Sparta to Genoa WI: 49 Miles

We woke up a bit before 7 at our Sparta hotel, the girls were cold already. Katie borrowed Laura's air mattress even though she only used the top third.

We had a nice breakfast at Country Kitchen in Sparta and hit the road. The waitress suggested a shortcut that would entail a dirt path down steep slope, and picking our bikes up over a fence. We took the long cut.

Prepping Bikes..... June 18, 2009

Today Laura, Katie, and I gave our bikes a thorough cleaning and tune-up. Laura had a good time removing the 'goo-balls' from the cassette on her bike. Everything is cleaned, lubed, and ready to roll. Chuck's bike will get it's makeover tomorrow, Roger's was done earlier in the week.

Packing has begun..... June 16, 2009

Everyone has begun packing, and nerves are setting in.I know this because my phone keeps ringing, and my emails are piling up.

We have a very organized spreadsheet showing what each person is responsible for.....however the last minute jitters question every decision....

How many pairs of socks do I need? 3 pairs? 4 pairs? 3.5 pairs in case I lose a sock? Every decision comes with a weight and bulk consequence. How often do I want to do laundry?

Day 3 - August 4, 2008 - Abbotsford to Phillips - 66 miles

Today was a special day for us. A few miles into the day Taters hit her 1000'th touring mile. There are not too many 14-year olds who tour, and even less that would continue after her cycling accident.

To celebrate, we stopped for a snack at The Uncommon Ground in Medford. Amazing food. Great people. If you die before trying some of their deserts, you have not lived.

My Packing List.

Here is my fairly standard packing list. Am I missing something?

** 1 railrider shirt
** 1 railrider pants
1 short sleeve shirt
1 t-shirt
2 pairs shorts/swimming-trunks
3 pairs socks
3 underwear
biking shoes
walking shoes (sometimes sandals)
Baseball cap
*rain jacket
Balaclava / gloves

**Tent (3 lbs) (trying new cheapo $20 tent instead of hammock)
Sleeping pad, Blanket, & Inflatable Pillow
Stove/Fuel (chuck has it)
Pot/Pan, Mess kit & silverware (Laura has it)
Enough food for a full day in an emergency.
pocket knife & Scissors (chuck has it)
**mini travel towel

Camera / Charger / Batteries / Extra Memory
Laptop / Charger (huge, need a netbook)

The Idea, MRT is born.

Back in high-school, a teacher asked me to create a list of goals. He suggested that I write down a list of ideas which seemed extreme but exciting. He suggested that a persons goals need to be in writing or else they will be forgotten. I made this list, and forgot about it. After college I moved back to New Lisbon and found the list. On the list....."Ride your bike across the country...". Laura thought I was nuts, like always. We both began biking more together and eventually the idea of touring grew on her. We began discussing taking such a trip together "some day".

The Route.

Mississippi River Tour - 2009

We plan to ride 1500-2000 miles starting June 20th, 2009. Our destination is projected to be New Orleans, but our goal is simply to have an adventure.........the journey is our true destination.

Our route is not the straight road, it is not the highway. We are taking the backroads and seeing the country at 15mph.

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Check back often for updates.

This will outline most of our daily blog posts.

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