Saturday, September 10, 2016

Today was the day Cathy earned the title of domestique extraordinaire.  For those who do not watch grand bike tours, the domestique is the person (a rider in a bike race) who supports the other riders.  This means he drops back to pick up things from the team car and then rides back up to the team and distributes them among the members.

To enable her cousin Sharon to join me for part of the ride, this was what my wife did:

Drive both of us 90 miles from Darrell's to the start point in Brainerd.  Drive 60 miles to Clearwater to meet Sharon, then put her bike on our car and drive up the road 12 miles to St. Cloud where I would meet them on my ride.  Then while Sharon and I were riding to Clearwater, drive back to Clearwater again so that we could all go to dinner together.  At the end, she did manage to get in a short bike ride with Sharon while I was getting cleaned up.

My day started from Brainerd nearly and hour later than we had originally planned.  Consequently, I felt some time pressure to get to St Cloud and not keep Sharon and Cathy waiting too long.  Fortunately, I had a favorable wind most of the day.  I was retracing about 6 miles from Thursday's ride because I had seen a trail I could ride on instead of US 371 right out of town. I especially appreciated the wind when I later had an 11 mile stretch on US 371 that had very little ambience.  I also did not take many pictures.  One place I wish I had felt I had time to stop was near the bridge where Cathy had picked me up on Thursday.  Then I was on the highway; this time I was on the trail.  As I came around a bend, I found a cluster of about a dozen people and a couple of balloons.  As they moved aside to let me through, I heard one say "This concludes this birthday celebration".  I would loved to have asked them the significance of the location.

Once I left 371, I had many miles of rural roads, many of which closely followed the river.  This is what it looked like coming into the town of Little Falls.  The annual art fair was going on.  It is a really big deal and I'll bet the population of the town doubled.  Every street was lined with vendor booths and people and the air was filled with odors of caramel corn and cinnamon rolls.

I elbowed my way through throngs of pedestrians to get to the bridge to take this shot.  The caption is "Getting wider".

Charles Lindbergh was born in Detroit but grew up on a farm near Little Falls. The town maintains a small museum here and is a designated historic site.

I also found this interesting.

I also had one near catastrophe.  That bike mount for my phone I was so proud of--now looks like this
On one typically bumpy county road, it suddenly snapped off.  Fortunately, it was tethered to my backup battery.  Otherwise, I might have found out how good was the case and screen protector for my phone.
The rest of the ride to join Sharon was pretty uneventful.  I had fun crossing the river twice coming into St. Cloud where Cathy and Sharon were right where we agreed to meet.  This is before my ride with Sharon.

This is after
I should have waited until the drinks were on the table :)

1 comment:

  1. Yay for Cathy the domestique and co-cyclist Sharon! Looks like fun. Hope you are enjoying Minnesota Bill!