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July 17


Tuesday, July 17      Mankato, MN  to  Rochester, MN          90 miles


It was a long hard and extremely hot ride today. The temperature was 95 degrees when we rolled into Rochester this afternoon. The ride started out with a steep (but short) 12% grade hill right as we left the hotel this morning, no chance to get the muscles warmed up before the climb up that wall. The route today had lots and lots of turns so we had to be alert and made sure we didn’t miss a turn. I got confused and came up to a roadblock with a detour and couldn’t decide to go through and pass up the “CLOSED ROAD” sign or take the detour. Three of us followed the detour and ended up coming around to the right place, and our computers were only off a few tenths of a mile. Sure was glad about that so I didn’t have to refigure all the cues on the route map for the rest of the day.


Today there weren’t a lot a stopping places to have lunch or pick up good (except at the 2 SAG stops). Some of us went to a McDonald’s about 10:30 and had ice cream cones and filled water bottles. We drank a whole lot of water today. The humidity was the killer today. I would guess it to be 80 or 90 percent. Again we missed rain showers that could be seen off in the distance. Terrain is beginning to roll a lot more now as we get close to Wisconsin.


At 82 mile point, I was so hot I felt horrible – so when the ABB van came by I got in and sat for a while. I had to bring down my body temp!  I was feeling sick to my stomach. That could have been partly from a sugary sweet drink I was drinking that just didn’t agree with me.


          The treat at the end of a challenging day was to see Cindy arrive here at the hotel. She drove down from Inglers Grove, about a 70 mile distance. Wes couldn’t get a sub at the pharmacy so he wasn’t able to come. It was great seeing my dear sister-in-law. She is such a ray of sunshine and good cheer. She brought some yummy fruits and homemade cookies and a different kind of granola bar I have never tried. So I will have super goodies in my bike bag for several days. Cindy came to dinner with me. We had a terribly hot and humid room here at the hotel. No air conditioning – not very refreshing for we cyclists who were out in the sweltering heat all day! Cindy’s parting words for me were: Travelling Mercies. A nice blessing and good wishes for the final days of the journey.


          We will cross over the Mississippi tomorrow and enter Wisconsin.