Day 02: June 15: Sparta to LaCrosse WI: 25 miles

Each adventure of my life has dealt some sort of new challenge or experience. Heat, cold, mechanical failures, hunger, draught, injury, or even problems with wildlife. Weather and road surface is always an issue, but today the combination worked against us in ways I have never faced. It rained all night, and all day. The bike trail was eventually soft enough to limit us to a crawl. The gravel became mud, and everyone slugged onward at a snails pace. After 2 hours, we had only progressed 10 miles.

None of our raingear kept the rain out today, but it did help keep us warm.

In the interest of optimism, lets focus on the great people at Breakers in West Salem. The people were friendly, the room was warm, and they were not bothered at all by 5 cyclists dripping on their floor and running around barefoot for an hour or so. We dried off as best we could, to make a push for LaCrosse. We achieved a pathetic number of miles, but it was not due to a lack of output. This was one of the hardest cycling days of my life. We loath the bike trail so much that we are changing routes tomorrow and skipping over to Minnesota before heading north. Nobody wants to attempt the Great River Trail, which is unfortunate because it is beautiful.

We admitted defeat at Super 8 in LaCrosse. Before taking our bikes inside, Laura taught us how to clean them with our camelbacks. It worked quite well.

The poverty stricken youth that cannot afford fenders speant their time cleaning sand out of their gear. The rest of us mostly had to deal with drying stuff out.

We got all 5 bikes in the room, along with all 5 of us. Tight fit!

We called it quits at like 3pm when the weather forecast showed more of the same. This allowed us to do laundry, and not wipe ourselves out making such slow progress. We can switch to the Minnesota tomorrow and try to improve our progress.

Perkins provided great meals for the older crowd, benefiting TJ and Katie when none of us finished our food. Roger ate too much salad to finish his dinner.

It was a very long day; spirits are amazingly high considering how horrid the day was.

We warmed our bones in the hot tub, and are ready for bed. The weatherman will hopefully bring us a better day tomorrow when we turn north.

25 miles (70 total)