My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 31 -- July 21st -- Mankato, MN to Rochester, MN

Miles Ridden: 101.5
Avg Speed: 15.4 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 116 bpm
Climbing: 2,595 ft
Calories Burned: 2,330 (need to recalibrate)

Another Century ... "Turtle" ... more rollers ... relaxed pace ... home of the Mayo Clinic

Today' route and map -- Garmin Connect is down ... will post when available
Our second century in two days had us up early for a 6:00 AM breakfast (french toast, eggs, and bacon) and 6:30 load.  While yesterday's record setting 100 miles was pretty flat, today had over 2,500 feet of hills including a "wall" to get us started.  Leaving town we climbed a little more than 1/2 mile and 300 feet.  The grade was mighty steep and hit 14% at one point.  I geared down and grunted it out.  Had to stand toward the top and boy I was huffing ... no time to warm up and a belly full of food!  After cresting the hill, we approached a traffic light and I was feeling quite light headed.  My foggy head caused me to not clip out of my pedals in time ... that means "I fall down" (again, my 2nd mishap in three days ... oooy gavalt).  This is also known as turtling or doing an Artie Johnson (from Laugh-In) imitation.  I took a few minutes to collect myself (and my bar end plugs ...  thanks to Sarah and Toronto Mark for assistance) and clear my head.  Another boo boo on my right leg ... this time it is higher up, just below my hip.  Adventures in cycling!  It hurts a little,  but as my Dad always said "I will live to fight another day." 

An Early Morning Wall Causes a Turtle

The next climb was just a few miles later and it was equally exciting.  No one was hurt, but a few of us got to see quite a spectacle.  As Carol (CA) and I were ascending a car pulling a rickety trailer started to swerve and the trailer was swaying from side to side.  The car was having major trouble staying on the road and not too soon after passing us went off the road.  Luckily it missed us and Tom (WA) who has a bit behind us.  Scary stuff.  The ride settled in and so did I after that.  Lots of rolling hills past lots of farms and lots of corn.  The roads were not the greatest, but they were relatively free of traffic.  I made it to the first SAG (32 miles) in Waseca in about two hours.

Rolling Farms Abounded

As Did Farm Equipment

Neat Shadow Shot of a Field Taken by Andrew
My roomie Dave and I headed out from there and spent the remainder of the day together riding at more relaxed pace.  The rollers continued as did the farms and crappy roads.  We ducked into a store at mile 50 in search of chocolate mile, but had to settle for Gatorade.  The next 20 miles to the final SAG (69 miles) had a climb and more rollers.  The SAG was in the town of Concord.  They had a neat mural on the side of one of the buildings.  In the store (which had chocolate milk 2 for $2) I talked with a group of older locals.  Folks are always so in awe of what we are doing and where we are going.  One guy asked if anyone had a dog along ... not too safe, I said.

Concord Building Mural

Actual Town of Concord Today

Crop Duster (The White Speck in the Middle)

A Typical Farm Along our Path

A More Interesting Farm (Barn) Along Our Path
Horses For Sale
The heat started to pick up in intensity as we treked the final 30 miles into Rochester.  Several turns finally got us on some tolerable roads, but the rollers were more constant.  Finally, we had a nice descent around mile 80, but several more rollers were required to bring into Rochester.  The city seemed to just appear from nothing.  Rochester is a highly rated community that is home to the Mayo Clinic. It has a nice downtown area and bike path that follows the river as well.

Rochester Bike Path Along the River

The Approaching Skyline

Downtown Rochester
After what seemed like forever on the bike path, we arrived at the hotel around 2:00 PM. Showers and R&R were the modus operandi until around 4:00.  I spoke with my Dad and then tried to coordinate a trip to the Gift of Life House downtown.  The house is a wonderful facility for transplant patients.  I have come to know several folks who have had lung transplants at Mayo that stayed there.  I was not able to make the visit happen as my contact was out for the afternoon.

Libby's Corn Water Tower
Dinner was a ho hum hotel affair that required a DQ run for dessert.  We passed a Libby's plant with an interesting water tower.  I was finally able to locate some Minnesota post cards for Leah.  Heading to bed ... another 90+ tomorrow.  The forecast is for rain.  We cross the Mississippi and enter Wisconsin (our 6th state).
Good night moon ... good night back to back centuries ... good night klutz (no that's Koltz) ... good night Kathy Hogan (and all the other folks waiting on new lungs) ... good night Mike (keep up the exercise) ... good night Rocky (sounds like you had a big day at the vet) ... good night Dawn and Kari (see you in a few days)