Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pedal Day 32 - Century.3

"Find out where your fears live and exterminate the nest."
-Quote in the men's restroom at Pier 4 Cafe in Alma

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
-Franklin Roosevelt

"For God has not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
-2 Timothy 1:7

What a day! No rain! We pedaled from Fountain City to Hillsboro, 102.9 miles. We didn't get in until 9:50 P.M. which means we rode part of the way in the dark. But . . . we rode on connecting bike trails all but about 22 miles of the way. We rode from Trempeleau to Onalaska on the Great River State Trail, from Onalaska to Sparta on the La Crosse River State Trail, from Sparta to Elroy on the Elroy-Sparta State Trail, from Elroy to Union Center on the 400 State Trail, and from Union Center to Hillsboro on the Hillsboro Trail. The trails are packed gravel and really aren't too bad. I did crash one time when Jonathan and I were looking for the Hillsboro trail in the dark. I hit a sandy patch, lost the front wheel in about four inches of that soft stuff, and boom! All is well!
When we got to Fountain City this morning we were almost immediately welcomed by Steve Prosser and his dog, Bailey. We told him what we are doing and he asked if he could join us for part of the ride this morning. He told us to come to his house which is about a block away. We did and before we started pedaling he insisted that we eat some rhubarb crisp. That was some good stuff and we even had a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it. I later told Margaret, "See, I'm not the only person who will have ice cream for breakfast!"
Steve did ride with us through Perrot State Park and on to Trempeleau where he bought us lunch at the Trempeleau Hotel. Margaret joined us and the four of us had a great time and great food. Steve is an engineer at Trane and works in La Crosse. He cycles, kayaks, and runs. He sure added a morning surprise and made our day more special. By the way, on a bike the guy is a machine!
We stopped at an old train station in Sparta, the Bicycling Capital of America, and met Laura. She gave us some advice about the tunnels ahead., "You do need flashlights and you have to walk your bikes through the tunnels." She also sold us trail passes for using the trails tomorrow.
I feel that you ought to know that Norwalk, Wisconsin is the Black Squirrel Capital of The United States. Hmmmm. That's almost the equivalent of being the Wharf Rat Capital of The United States, isn't it?
Anyway . . . Jonathan and I decided on one thing this evening. We voted and it was unanimous, we'll never do this ride-in-the-dark thing again. The more we rode the dimmer Jonathan's light got. My light died in the first tunnel! When his light got to where it was not too bright we realized we and his light had something in common. That's when we voted.
In the semi-darkness I kept thinking about Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path." What we needed tonight was two lights: one for seeing where our wheels were, which would have kept me upright, and one to see where we were going, which would have made the riding a whole lot safer. It's important to see where we're going but it's just as important to see where we are. If we're not careful about where we are we may never get where we see ourselves going. One surprising patch of something could put us off the trail for a while or even off the trail permanently. Almost been there, almost done that.
Walk in the light (1 John 1:5-7).

I will post a revised itinerary tomorrow for those of you who asked about it.
Also . . .  I hear thunder rumbling through the sky and rain on the roof. Tomorrow may be a rest day. Sure sounds good to me!


  1. Congrats on another hundered miler. Are you planning on riding through any state that does not require you to be dressed like it's January during the day? I was sad to learn of your rain soaked ride several days ago. It has been sunny and 85 here all weekend. I did not get soaked except for when I was at the pool where it was 85 and sunny. I am glad you are in black squirrel country. Please bag one for us. If I was going through that tunnel in the picture, I would scream very loudly, "Around the world and home again, that's the sailor's way!", just like in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when they go into that tunnel on the boat ride.

  2. The "black squirrel capital of united states?" Sounds to me like you have lots of "speed bumps" to hit ahead! I'm so proud of you for going 100 miles. Also, be careful going through those tunnels in the dark. Maybe you should have packed batteries for those lights. Thats usually something you dont forget on the packing list. Hope to see you soon! Love you!

  3. I'm beginning to hate deer like you hate squirrels. They avoid our electric-fenced garden, but eat our annuals in the yard at night:( As someone said, "Deer are rats with antlers." Bambi these aren't!

  4. Do you have the skills to ride and shoot at the same time? I'll bet you do! But did you remember your b.b. gun? hmmmm.

  5. Ok, it just registered that you might skip Iowa... also known as Lowa at our house... what are you thinking? Skip the Hawkeye state? Whose chief product is hogs. Come on, you know how you feel about them. Also, might I encourage you to remember the Music Man. You might meet someone who calls it Io-way not Io-wuh. Harold Hill might even make an appearance. He might even have an accordion to sell to you with the band uniform. John Wayne was born there. Along with Glenn Miller, Fred Maytag, Jacob Schick and Herbert Hoover.
    Just take a minute to process those facts before you re-route. As if that weren't enough, consider this quote from a famous Iowan.
    "I realized that all the really good ideas I'd ever had came to me while I was milking a cow. So I went back to Iowa." Grant Wood.

  6. I am so excited!!! The first thing I saw when my sloooooooooow internet service starting pulling
    up your blog was CENTURY!! That is so awesome. I
    am really proud of you all. The next thing I saw
    was another added follower. God is definitely
    using you to touch new and old friends. I am in the later category and am very thankful that I
    have been a part of your lives for 25 plus years.
    God is so good and is blessing me daily as I follow your blog. Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us. Be safe and know I am praying for all of you daily.