Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 24 - July 27 - Another long windy day in Minnesota's cornfields

Day 24 - July 27 - Marshall, MN to Mankato, MN - 110.3 miles (177.5 kms); total so far -  1923.4miles  (2995.4  kms)

Distance: 110.3 miles ( 177.5 kms)
Total time: 9hrs 9 mins (including lunch and some sightseeing in Mankato) 
Average Moving Speed: 14.6mph (23.5 kph)
Maximum Speed: 28.7mph (46.2 kph) 
Calories burned: 5078
Elevation gained: 1211 ft (369 meters)

Weather:  Cloudy and cool in Marshall at 9am in the morning with temperatures about 55 degF (13C) with strong north winds at 15 mph (24kph) with gusts up to 20mph (32kph). It moderated quite a bit after 2pm but remained northerly all day.   Maximum temperature was 65F (18C) all day.

Powered by:  Breakfast - 3 pancakes, banana, egg and cheese sandwich,; Lunch of bagel chips and peanut butter, 2 bananas and some Fig Newtons (Fig Rolls), 1 large protein bar (Metx)  1 liter of water and 1 liter of Gatorade

Another cool morning with local forecasters talking about record low temperatures for the date and how the daytime temperatures are more typical of October, rather than late July.  I don't mind because, except for the wind, it makes for good biking weather. I can wear  a long sleeved undershirt under the bike shirt and it's fine.  The wind continues to be a nuisance, howling today till about 2pm, mostly from the north.  For me , it was a crosswind for most of the day and when it turned more to the northwest in the afternoon, it also weakened considerably.  Still, it was a tailwind for the last couple of hours.

About 90% of the route looked like this today; corn is about 8 feet (2.5 meters) high

Almost all of today's route was flat through corn (maize) and soybean fields.  The only elevation changes came when I passed through a couple of river valleys, at New Ulm and in Mankato.  With about a 300 foot (100 meters)  drop down to the river, the inevitable climb back up follows. The climbs make a nice change from the unending flat ride.  

The only animal I saw all day (it's the high school mascot)

A mystery - why do people in Morgan, MN park their cars in the middle of the street when there are plenty of spaces available on the sides?

No comment

A very German-like church, St. Mary's in Sleepy Eye. I could see the spires for about 8 miles across the cornfields

Clearly been no pix in Sleepy Eye for quite some time

The farm towns provide an interlude and I usually take a short detour off the highway which typically bypasses the center.   Most of the commercial centers are empty on Saturday but they hardly have a lot of traffic on other days.  Towns above about 1000 people usually have a closed and derelict movie theater on the main street.  Of the older buildings, only churches seem well-maintained and busy.  St.Mary's church in Sleepy Eye (the high school team are the Indians and town is named after Chief Sleepy Eye) looks like a German church and its spires visible across the fields for miles reminded me a bit of villages in Northern Bavaria.  The last 20 miles were accompanied by a re-broadcast of a July 1974 American Top 40 program with Casey Kasem;  listening to these songs, many of which I had heard for almost 4 decades, convinced me that there was a lot of bad music that was popular then. 

I've seen all kinds of causes related to races but not this one - may be worth returning to Courtland in August for this race.

My route through North Mankato was blocked by a street festival

Lots of Biking (sorry Viking) fans in town

Oh, just great - a 10% grade at the end of a 110 mile ride

Despite the long day, my legs were still energetic when I arrived in Mankato so I took the opportunity to ride around town and sightsee a bit.  Lots of Viking signs as the team (American football team from the Twin Cities) opened their summer training camp yesterday at the local university.  The route to the hotel was closed to cars but I rounded the barriers to be greeted by a short but steep climb of 10%.   The day ended at a brew pub with a dizzying array of beers on offer.    Tomorrow I head to SE Minnesota and the NE corner of Iowa as I take a direct route to Chicago.

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