Was almost exactly 9 months ago... I rode down highway 14 to Winona and wound my way back to Rochester, hitting Whitewater State Park on the way. It was painful and very slow for the last 35 miles or so. It gave me the confidence to sign up for the Almanzo though and things have grown from there.
Today I rode out at 7:15 and hit up Perkins right away for some Potato Pancakes prior to following the Almanzo course out to St. Charles. Quick bike/weather details: monocog 38x18 free (the tomicog made the trip to the Arrowhead without me), 24-30 degrees, 8-14 mph winds coming up from about LaCrosse. I left the Almanzo course after crossing 90 in St. Charles and headed east to check out some gravel roads leading out into Amish country that I've been meaning to ride for a few months now. I was pleased with the roads, but couldn't figure out how to link them to anywhere worth going beyond the distance I did ride (they dead ended pretty close to mile 53 from my house). The picture above was taken in a sort of cool place pretty far out there though...
I hit up the pizza buffet in St. Charles for about 45 minutes with 65 miles on the odometer (of note my "metric" was well under 5 hrs today). Then continued back towards Rochester on the Almanzo route but took some different turns and flew through Dover and some back roads in that area that are in no way a part of 'the course'. Finally I rode into town on the shoulder of cty 9 and back home.
I ended up at 107 miles in just less than 8 hrs on the road (almost 10 hrs elapsed though if you count my early Perkins stop, otherwise 8:50 elapsed and 101 miles) The entire ride was most notable for not really being notable... i felt pretty good, made good time and all in all it made for a boring story. Here's something more exciting... takes place here all the time-
My brother goes in for surgery at 9:15 tomorrow
I've been enjoying reading all the recaps of the Arrowhead
couldn't be more excited for the Cheq 100- boy am I ever glad I didn't just go to sleep like I wanted to after my ride today (I'd have missed registration!). My 3.5 hrs of work I had to do tonight might have been tougher than the actual ride... sooo tired.