Day 29 (58 miles)

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End Aug 09, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Monday, July 14, 2008

we got lucky with the wind again, today. a brisk tailwind practically blew us to the next town, and since we had a short mileage day, we made it to our church in just over three hours in the saddle.

the ride was a bit hairy at times. some folks had suggested an alternate route to cut on mileage, and it took us down a somewhat busy and really poorly maintained road. julie likened it to a video game because you had to constantly be scanning the shoulder for all the cracks and holes and darting your bike around them. she said she was singing the tetris song the whole time. fortunately, it was usually possible to keep to the shoulder when cars were driving by, but i had to come to a full stop once or twice in order to avoid hitting a car and/or a huge pothole. with the tailwind pushing us along, it was all the more interesting. when we arrived in little falls, brad commented on how strange it was that the terrible pavement hadn't given any of us a flat tire, and within a few blocks, i realized that in fact it had--my front tire was flat. another slightly scary bit was when we were going from little falls to the church where we'd stayed, which was just outside of the city limits. the pastor had given us driving (rather than biking) directions, and it put us onto a major four lane highway for about a mile. the shoulder wasn't so bad, but it got really tricky when we needed to make a left turn.

the most exciting item of the day: we crossed the mississippi river! i had no idea that it started so far north. at this point, it's still a pretty small river, but they do have a dam in little falls that generates enough electricity to power the town.

with so little riding, it was almost like we had a free day. we did all the usual "fun" free day things: laundry, internet, and bike maintenance. we also had packages waiting for us because this stop was one of our mail drops. there were boxes and boxes of cookies waiting to be eaten, a package from rei, and even a bag of goodies for each rider put together by one of the ladies in the congregation. in the evening, the pastor and his family put together a really great dinner for us with roast beef, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans from someone's garden, and one of the best apple crisps i've ever had. after dinner, i spent more time tweaking my bike (with the pastor's kids for an audience...they were really interested in learning more about the bike), and after a few hours of that, it was time to turn in and get ready for another day.
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