Uphill into the Wind
I still have not seen much of that rain that they promised would come. This is some strange weather, but no rain. I covered my only stretch of eastbound road this morning, and wouldn't you know it- there was a nice strong wind out of the east. I don't know how I get so lucky. To top it off, there was a nice big hill coming out of New Glarus on County W. I still managed to keep a good pace over the rolling hills. Before long I was in Brooklyn.
I have met a lot of nice people in the little markets and restaurants so far. However, everyone seems a little apprehensive. They don't know exactly what to think of me. To be sure, I don't dress quite like them. I rotate between my fluorescent yellow shorts-jersey and some black biking shorts with a fancy white Greg Lemond jersey (both courtesy of my brother). I don't imagine that I look or smell to great either, but if you see the bike, you would think it would all make sense. Anyway, the woman in the local store here was pretty cool. She told me a nice backroad that would take me into the suburbs of Madison. I also generally confuse people when I ask them where I can recycle the drink containers that I just bought from their store. Perhaps it was because Brooklyn sees a lot of strange bikers from the city, but this woman was surprisingly nice and helpful. A couple people on the street stopped to chat as well.
By some bit of luck I ran into the lake and soon found the bike path that encircles it. I saw many people out for a Saturday stroll or ride as I made my way toward the capitol to the north. Seeing downtown Madison from the shores of Lake Monona is really quite a site. There was still a brisk wind lapping waves against the north shore as I passed through the recently completed city-county building. It is a Frank Lloyd Wright concept that was completed posthumously only a year or so ago. Quite impressive.
I was already more than a day ahead of schedule, so there was no rush in my morning pace. I was getting a little concerned about a sunburn from the increasingly steamy weather. Just as I was about to find my way, a man at a gas station kindly pointed me in the wrong direction. I made a grand 3 or 4 mile circle before I arrived back at the gas station where I had started. I vowed this time to follow the directions my brother had given me. Before long, I was resting on the couch in his living room, slurping up some warm ramen.
Five days from Champaign to Madison does not seem too bad. I never would have guessed it was so easy. You find that many things are quite do-able if you just get out and try. I will rest here and visit with Michael and Vanessa a couple days before I move on.