Midwest in May Summary

"How many miles did you ride?"
Many people ask me how many miles I ride per day. Honestly, I have never really done a ride of this length before. I have done some three day rides at about eighty miles a day, but then I wasn't carrying my gear. I found that 75 miles was a decent distance for this trip. I wanted it to be a vacation, yet I did have an ultimate goal. There was never really a day when I was just dying to quit. I planned a little free time into my schedule and still arrived early. I recommend this pace for seeing the sites and covering the distance.

"How's the weather?"
Believe it or not, I think the weather is the most important thing going on a trip like this. Fortunately, I had good luck in this department. Many people travel west-to-east to take advantage of the prevailing winds. However, my goal was to the north (and west), so I got hit with some winds. Generally, May is a great time to ride through this area. One advantage of going north is that it gets a little cooler, while the days are getting warmer, so things balance out.

Where to eat lunch
I think it is kinda sad that North America is overrun with chains stores, hotels, and restaurants. Sure they are often cheaper, faster, and more efficient than the old mom and pop joints. I don't have anything against big companies, per se. I just think that some of the fun and adventure is gone in a world where you can always expect the same pizza at the Hut, or the same burger at Mickey D's. On this trip, I tried to hit some local joints in order to spice things up a bit. Generally the food was great and the people were friendly, even to an unkept biker punk with bright yellow clothes and a helmet.

Interesting Reading
Another thing that seemed to spice up the trip a bit were the signs. While riding along at about 14mph, I had time to take note of a lot of funny signs. I tried to get some
pictures of some, but they didn't always work out. The text, anyway, is recorded here.

Midwestern Towns
Riding around the Midwest, one finds a lot of cute little towns. I did go through a few medium-sized towns before ending up in the metropolis of Minneapolis. However, for the most part I went through the LeRoys and the Stockholms (
pop 89?) of the area. These towns are the heart of America to me. It is the classic turn-of-the-century main street, USA that inspired Walt Disney's Mainstreet USA (see Marceline, MO). When traveling the States, I recommend a couple stops at the local pizza joint of some random town (try "The Wounded Knee" in Lime Ridge, WI.

The Roadkill Report
Yeah, it may sound gruesome, but another highlight in a good spring bike ride is the road kill. I started keeping track simply because I was surprised at the number of dead animals I did see. Ya gotta feel a little sorry for all of the dead raccoons, deer, rabbits, snakes, etc. of the world. Luckily I did see some live wildlife too. I think I saw more than you would recognize from a speeding car.

You made my day!
Okay, it was not a non-stop party, but nearly every day, I did have something to be thankful for. A ran into many nice people, saw some beautiful nature, took some tours at tourist places, etc. I was able to exercise, socialize, and site-see all in one. I think biking is a great way to get out and see the world at a nice speed while communing with nature and cars.

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