RIDING DAYS: 28 SHOWS: 12 TOTAL MILEAGE: 1,145 ELEVATION GAIN: 37,884 ft FLAT TIRES: 1 (note: we've also had 3 valve failures due to oddly terrible tubes.)
This image is composed of our daily GPS maps for the tour so far.
This trip is going to be a long one, so we've set it up a bit differently than trips in prior years. Long term, fully loaded bike touring can wear you down if you aren't careful, and with our schedule being set in advance by tour dates we are essentially obligated to put ourselves up to enduring whatever timing we agreed to in the booking process. In years past this has meant some long days on our bikes, and even injuries.
So, on this world tour we knew from the beginning that it would be important to keep the mileages manageable and keep our stress level low. At the same time we wanted to have enough challenge and adventure to keep us motivated and interested in the trip. Fortunately new places, new faces, new roads, new places to camp and all of the serendipity and craziness that is involved with going a long way on a bicycle make for an experience that draws you out of your shell to see the world again and again. In short, we both feel very engaged with the trip, very happy and very healthy. We feel great.
As is evident from the photos, Wisconsin was terrible. We had a lot of trouble finding anything but the most ideal roads. We occasionally had to deal with a brutal tailwind. The natural beauty was persistent, seemingly due to the vast amount of state forest land that we often biked through. We camped at one of the most peaceful and quite campgrounds we've been to in ages, complete with beautiful, clear, crisp forest river for bathing, which effectively destroyed our protective coating of grime consisting of sweat, gnats, insect repellent and sunscreen.
In reality, the shows were great, the people were pleasant, and the only thing that gave us a hint that it wasn't a dream were the persistent mosquitoes and the swarms of biting flies.
That's all the time we have for words today. We'll have to let pictures say the rest for now.