Some mud and misery

I set up camp in the rain. I woke up and broke down camp in the rain. Pedaling out again into the downpoor, I realised this might be the reason why people have fenders. I have ridden through a lot of rain so far, and had no problems… but on a muddy track, everything changes. My panniers got covered. My just cleaned shoes got soaked. My beautiful bike got slammed. Everything was very very wet and muddy. I wrote a phone message to a friend, “It’s muddy and I’m miserable!”. He told me that when it rains, he just ‘tries to enjoy it’. I realised I hadn’t actually  given that a go yet, so I got back in the saddle and saw the beauty. It was so green and lush. Cool long black bike tunnels with no lights. I met a family of cyclists who gave me pizza for dinner. I set up camp in the rain.

Making it to the Mississippi felt like a milestone though and rolling into Winona was a pleasant ride. Another tourer had just arrived at my Warm Shower’s hosts place, Paul, a 53 year old guy who is riding from Florida to Seattle. We took a day off to enjoy the happy little town, swim in the mighty river and play with the kittens. The next day we cycled off together, and made it to Red Wing. It was such a beautiful ride. A perfect day of sunshine, rolling hills, chance encounters… one of those ‘blissful biking’ days.

I set out again from Red Wing the next day, alone, and suddenly the tables had turned. The wind felt stronger, the hills seemed steeper, and the roads I rode were highways and carways. It was ridiculously hot and I went through 2 litres of water every hour. It took me 8 hours to make it 60 miles, and when I finally found my way into the city, I was close to tears, questioning how much more of this I want to do, and whether it’s all worth it.

A swim in the lake, and the beautiful Minneapolis parks and bike-lanes soothed my soul a little though. Turns out this is THE bicycle capital of the USA. They beat PORTLAND this year! I had no idea! Bikes everywhere, and it’s nice to be here resting a while. Some time off to plan my next move.

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2 thoughts on “Some mud and misery

  1. Hey kiddo, I’m glad to hear you made it safe and sound. I spent the night in Minneapolis but I had to boggie the next day, of the 12 emails I sent out no one responded to me in time so I left. When you start heading this way again stop in Dalbo, Mn. There is a free bunk house to stay at on just outside of town on 47. The address is 38485 hwy 47. The owner is a great guy and turned me on to a few short cuts to Fargo that will save about 3 days travel, best of all over 100 miles of it is on traffic free paved trails.

    Best of luck in your travels

    Paul

  2. Glad to see you have made it to Minneapolis. I’ve never been there, but I have heard many good things about the area. I have been caught out in the rain many times and I usually don’t mind it so much unless it is a major downpour. I admit I have had my share of muddy days, but I like the feeling of riding in the rain….not sure why, but it might have something to do with the cooler air…

    I wish you continued safe travels and thanks for sharing the pictures.

    George

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