Thursday, July 5, 2012


Text only post today. Im in the middle of no where (Lakewood,Wi) and the Internet service here is tethering my phone to the computer. So no pics. Maybe tomorrow. Today was the hardest day on two wheels for me. I cant remember suffering more.
So I decided not to abandon by thinking WWJD. (what would Jens do). What I did do is dump all the camping gear and due to the heat decided it was going to be all hotels so I can recoup better at nite.  No way was I going to sleep in a 90+ degree tent and sweat while a slept. And thats a bummer to me as I love to tent on a bike tour. Ive got some pretty expensive stuff and love to use it.
Things started good as I left Depere. Mom packed me some sammies so I was good to go. I knew it was going to be slow going and I planned two routes. One 50 miles and one 70. After a few hours and 25 miles I decided it was the short route. I did not need to be a hero in this heat. Once I stopped at a wayside and the garmin said 104 degrees. So I set my sights on the short route for sure. However, my plans were about to not work out.
Got to my short stop. Suring, WI. No rooms. Crap. Next town is Mountain,WI. About 10 more miles so 60 miles is not too bad. Got to Mountain, no rooms. Then, the nice girl at the hotel called places for me. I think she could see I was suffering. Many calls. All full. Here it is, 4pm and Im wiped, its 100 plus degrees and I cant find a room. Then, she found one. Just a few miles past Lakewood,WI. And that was another 22 miles. No way. But I have no choice.
Off I go. Already 60 sunburned miles in. I hydrated for the 5th time in an hour.  The start of my hardest ride of my life. Touring is dangerous if you push hard. My body asked me nicely to shut down. You can deny that only so long before your body shuts down for you. Im pretty sure I came dangerously close to that today. I was in pain. Everywhere. The last 3 miles I was down to 5mph and was swerving like a paperboy. Not good going down State Hyway 32.
The mental aspect is maybe worse. You look at the garmin constantly only to see its only one mile more than the last time. You hope to see the town line over the next hill. Only over the next hill is another hill. You swear out loud. You feel beaten down. You talk your self up and continue. Only to have this happen several times. I can only take this mental punishment so long and was close to tears several times. After swearing out loud.
After 82 miles in 100+ heat I have a room. Its a crappy room but a room. Air conditioner is working overtime and is not keeping up but I hope it will overnight. Tomorrow I will start making calls before noon for a room.  I believe I will be able to hit Eagle River in stage three. Lot of hotels there. Goona be a pinch cooler. Hopefully some clouds. Its the sun that has hit me hard. My face is quite sunburned. On the road there is no hiding from the sun and its been out every minute that I have been riding.
So as hard as it was today, it was mostly due to poor planning on my part. I will do better tomorrow.


Wendy said...

Wow, Dan, that's definitely a tough day on a bike! Good for you for making wise adjustments along the way. Hope you got some good rest in your crummy hotel room. Today should be 10 degrees cooler, with the following days in the 80's. Keep hanging tough!

Jay said...

Wow Dano that sounds like a adventure that put you to the limit. Glad to hear that you made it safe and that you are resting. Good Luck on the rest of your trip.

Anonymous said...

That's really a shame, Dano, to have historic record highs on your tour... But you made it and that is AWESOME! Motels/hotels have their place. I have another friend who took all of July off to tour to West Virgina--haven't heard from him (he may have abandoned). I love biking and touring, but this weather is too much. Happily writing this from my air conditioned office! Ride on and stay safe! ~ Margaret Reisenauer