Day 41 – Winona, MN to Red Wing, MN

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Day 41 – Winona, MN to Red Wing, MN – 67 miles

This seems to be becoming a pattern. We wake up early, ready to go and the radar tells us to stay put. The radar is once again showing a big blob of green, yellow and red, indicating potential for severe weather. So after another wonderful meal made by our Warmshowers host, we’re sitting inside watching it rain outside. This trip sure would be a lot easier if we could just go when we wanted to – oh, and if we could order tailwinds on demand.

We had decided that no matter what (well, within reason), we were going to get going at 11. It’s not so bad if you’re out riding & it starts to rain (gently), but it is another thing to leave the dry comfort of a house & go out in the rain. But we left shortly after 11( our latest start on the trip) in light rain – and it wasn’t so bad! The temperature was in the mid-60’s and there was no thunder or lightening – just light rain and a glorious tailwind!

We had a good distance to cover in a shorter amount of time than usual, so we got serious about getting our miles in. We weren’t sure if the weather would hold out but figured we’d do what we could and hopefully make it the 67 miles to our Warmshowers host in Red Wing. We took only 1 quick break in the first 33 miles, just standing by the side of the road eating fruit & nuts. The road was a highway but we had a nice wide shoulder and traffic was light. We rode on gently rolling hills with views of the Mississippi on the one side and the huge bluffs on the other side. We had very light rain, off and on – and did I mention the tailwind? Really very nice riding!

We stopped in Wabasha for lunch & afterward went to the local bike shop to use their hand pump to check the inflation on the tires. The guy in the bike shop told us we’d have more rolling hills until Lake City and then it would be flat going into Red Wing. It was mid-afternoon by now and the wind had picked up, so we were getting quite the wind assist! We quickly made it into Lake City, got a snack at the Kwik Trip & got back on the bike, with a wary eye on the sky. The more ominous clouds were off to the south of us, but it was getting gloomy out. There was some thought of staying in Lake City, in case the storm flaired up. But, we lived on the edge this day and made the run to Red Wing! The flats after Lake City is where we really rocked – great cruising at an easy 20+ mph. No storm issue at all! We can be superstars on flat roads with a tailwind!!

We rolled into Red Wing, Minnesota (which Jim thinks is the coolest town name so far, HS mascot: the Wingers, cool on top of cool!) at a little after 5pm. We met our warm shower host Jim (WS Jim, as opposed to Jim the rathbike rider) as he was working on a bike (yup, had to be the right house!). We talked about the trip and WS Jim showed us around their beautiful Craftsman style house. We showered up and talked as WS Jim prepared wonderful salads for dinner. Later, WS Jim’s wife, Jennifer showed up and we had a wonderful evening of conversation around their dinning table. Another wonderful evening spent with new Warmshower friends!

Brain Meanderings:
-why, in the middle of no where is there a 658th Street (!?!?!) – were city planners counting explosive growth in Minnesota? What happens if an unexpected new road is put in? Renumber.

– we really love (ok just Jim) Kwik Trip gas stations! They always have Bananas at 38 cents a pound! I know they are drawing in customers just for their bananas!…

-but Kwik Trip does not have Payday Bars! Whadup wit dat?? The nut rolls are an acceptable alternative, but they used peanut leftovers, bits and pieces. Obviously the Payday is your superior bar.

– what was the bikeshop assistant whispering to the bike mechanic while I was borrowing their pump? I’m sure they were talking about us!!

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A turtle, laying her eggs on the side of the highway:

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