Day 31 July 18, 2012 Mankato, MN to Rochester, Minnesota

Leaving Mankato …

WOW !  Another long day  … breakfast @ 6:00 AM and luggage load @ 6:30 AM.  The breakfast buffet was excellent.  A HUGE pot of oatmeal and a large bowl of fresh fruit … with the typical eggs, bacon …  Two blocks from our hotel we ascended a hill like Stillwater hill except about a mile.  That woke the legs up!  I have actually decided I like hills.  I bike much better on days with varied terrain than those with flat, flat and minor ups and downs …It was very humid and my gloves were saturated by the end of the climb.  The hill caused most of our group to be together so we biked in and out of various groups.  Ended up with TJ and Keith until the first SAG @ 32 miles.   I was ready for the SAG and break and was wishing the miles away,  The sun was hot and it was definitely the most humid of our biking days.  Drink  …drink … drink …  The nice thing about that is there is little need for “nature calls”  … we were sweating it all!

The next section of road was more corn & soy beans .. flat and boring.  The sky was becoming a bit hazy but the sun was still intense.  We had finished our two water bottles by the time we arrived at our next SAG at mile 69 (11:30 AM).  HUMID!!

West Concord, Minnesota SAG Stop # 2 69 miles in …

So when we left this SAG stop we knew we had about 30 miles to bike. Definitely do-able.  The clouds continued to move in and soon it was entirely overcast and cooler. SOmeone told me it went down to 71 degrees.  It certainly was more comfortable.  SO despite my new seat irritating me, I had to be grateful for this “almost rain.”  It was wonderful and cooling after the morning heat and humidity. Out only complaint otherwise was about 20 to 30 miles before and after the SAG stop that “ker thumed” every two pedal strokes. Hard on your butt if you sit, or hard on hands and legs if you stand!

So we made it through the last 30 miles despite rain threatening – we stopped at two stores on the way into the hotel on the bike path (did not find what we wanted) – dinner was here at the hotel.  Thank goodness because the rain finally came about 5:00 PM.  Dinner was here at the hotel and quite enjoyable.  We stopped in the bar for a glass of wine .. fun chatting .. and now tomorrow!  Another new state (Wisconsin) and the Mississippi River!! The days are flying by now  … “Only” 89 miles!  we are ready!

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