Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 35 - Fond du Lac to Manitowoc, WI

Today: 56.03 miles, 1794 feet of climb
Cumulative: 2630 miles, 91622 feet of climb

Morning load at the hotel in Fond du Lac

Back at home, I consider a 56 mile bike ride as a full fledged workout. Last night at rap, our ride director Mike Munk referred to our ride today as a “rolling rest day”. A 56 mile long rolling rest day? Can that be possible? It’s true we have 2600 miles of riding behind us, and have been riding an average of 90 miles a day for the last several days. But calling it a “rolling rest day”?

We took a bike path to get out of town in the morning

OK, it was an easier day’s ride than we’ve had in a while. But it still required over three and a half hours of pedaling and the burning of 2600 calories. We also had a headwind coming off the lake that required extra effort on our part. But it was an enjoyable ride with the expectation of a “real rest day” tomorrow.

A farm road along our route today

The weather was picture perfect today. Blue skies and warm with a cool lake breeze, albeit in our faces, as we rode towards Lake Michigan and Manitowoc. I was a bit tired after sixteen consecutive days of riding and decided to take it easy. So I rode mostly on my own, though I wound up near Mark K. and John for the second half of the ride. The route was east to the lake and then north to Manitowoc on country roads after an initial bike path leaving Fond du Lac. And we were again on an alphabet soup of different country roads. As we approached the lake, the lake breeze picked up and you could feel the temperatures drop a bit.

One of the farms along our route

Rolling hills, farms, and silos as we get closer to Lake Michigan.  We're also seeing more trees.

The terrain today was rolling hills for most of the day. We saw more dairy farms than in prior days, but still saw many corn fields too. The corn here doesn’t seem to have matured as much as to the west. The stalks were not as high and the ears of corn on the stalks seemed smaller.

After heading east as far as we can go on County Road X, we reach Lake Michigan.

It was an earlier arrival at the hotel this afternoon which gave me a bit of time to relax in my room after stopping off for a Wendy’s Vanilla Frosty. It was a small sized Frosty though. Oh yeah, I had another brat too. Tomorrow we will have a late departure from the hotel with a very short bike ride down to the lake and a mid day ferry departure for Ludington, MI. Since we only have a total of seven miles to ride tomorrow, regular clothes are in order and the biking jersey and shorts will stay in the suitcase for once. Seven miles is what I would call a rest day. It is a lengthy ferry ride across the lake, so we get to the hotel in Ludington late, plus we lose an hour going back to Eastern Daylight time. I’m looking forward to our “cruise” tomorrow.

A final pictorial of alphabet soup roads

Today’s route:

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