Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ride Day 121

Today was Frontenac State Park to La Crosse Wisconsin 92 miles and a couple thousand feet of rolling hills in bright hot sun with light wind and light traffic. I started my day at the same cafe as yesterday's dinner. They were all very friendly and had apparently been talking about me since everyone in there was pumping me with informed questions. I enjoyed their candor and they were just curious about this stranger in their cafe. I managed to get my breakfast in and hit the road. The ride went fine at first. I met another rider, Mike, that was doing a ride for charity with his wife in a support vehicle. He was fun to talk to. Almost immediately after I got back rolling I got a flat tire from a shredded piece of steel belted radial tire. The fine wire they use for the steel belt is a perfect ballon tire popper. I very carefully changed the tire so that I could line the leak up with the wheel to find the cause of the flat. I found the wire and pulled it out with my pliers, then I carefully checked the rest of the tire and found nothing so I put a new tube in and was off. 10 minutes later, I got another flat. Same routine with the same result. This time I turned the tire inside out to look for more wire pieces but found none. I installed my last tube and was off again but my get up and go had gotten up and left. I was feeling as flat as those tires and was lacking energy to ride. I stopped at a McD to do some internet and cool down. I could not get on the net. I got pissed off and climbed on my bike again. I rode hard for a bit but then I melted again from the heat. I ran into another biker that told me about a detour ahead and guided me around it. There was only one problem, it involved riding 3 miles on the interstate. I took off and it was a disaster. The interstate was funneled down to one lane with no shoulder and lots of construction going on, no room for a bike at all. I tried walking my bike along the shoulder and a MHP officer stopped to ticket me. I pleaded ignorance with him and he let me go after a long discussion about bikes on interstates. He told me bikes were never allowed on interstates and I pointed out that actually they are in many states and that I had just ridden from Missoula Montana to Fargo North Dakota. He escorted me off the freeway in the end with a warning. A few miles later I was in Wisconsin so it makes no difference. I was seriously deflated now so I stopped in La Crosse and ate a big lunch but after eating I just could not ride anymore. After looking around for a campsite I gave in to a cheap hotel yet again. After resting I went out looking for a tire and some more tubes but struck out after a few bike shops. Guess I need to get them when I arrive in Madison next week. Tomorrow I hope to ride bike paths toward Madison which should take me a couple of days since it is just under 200 miles. Pics later cause this wifi sucks...

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