Clarion, IA to Elkader, IA

Pictures:

  1. Going East today fighting the wind there wasn’t much to laugh about.   At one point I saw a hand drawn sign that said, “Rest Stop, Exit 33”.   I thought this was funny since the county road didn’t really have an exits.   Two miles later I saw the rest stop and exit 33.   Perhaps you needed to be there but it did make me laugh.
  2. Most small towns have memorials commemorating events, soldier, leaders, or other memory pertinent to the town.   This memorial honored fallen warriors.  Just to the right, out of the picture, is a tribute to Vietnam Veterans.    Always gives me pause to realize the many Americans that have fought to protect our freedom.
  3. This is “Mit’s Hamburgers” stand in Elkader.   He has been in Elkader for 20 years selling his fare.   His claim to fame is boiling his onions prior to putting them on his hamburgers.    They kinda’ had a White Castle favor that I found delicious.
  4. Dam in Elkader.    After a long, hot fight against the wind I was very close to jumping off the bridge for a refreshing swim.
  5. Most small towns have memorials commemorating events, soldier, leaders, or other memory pertinent to the town.   This memorial honored fallen warriors.  Just to the right, out of the picture, is a tribute to Vietnam Veterans.    Always gives me pause to realize the many Americans that have fought to protect our freedom.

Alright, Rob Goodwin versus the wind round two (don’t forget I claimed victory yesterday) occurred today.   The winner is in dispute so I will let you be the judge.

Typically I am on the rode accumulating a couple of extra miles about 5:45 am.   This morning the only place that opened early was a Hardee’s that opened at 6:00 a.m.   This is later than I like but I need breakfast.    I was at their door at 5:50.   I was looking hungry at 5:59 and when the guy was still getting the coffee pots working at 6:03 I tapped on the door.   I wasn’t trying to be rude but I needed to go.   He didn’t even look in my direction.    So I left and went to a service station and had chocolate milk and cookies.   Not the breakfast of champions but I was on the road at 6:15.   At 10:00 I stopped at a second Hardees in Hampton and had my breakfast.    This set me behind another half hour.

Here is where the battle royale began.   The morning was heavily clouded with evidence of rain in puddles everywhere.   Once again I escaped the rain.    I wasn’t able to escape the wind.   It hit me for the next 90 miles (my target today was 129 miles).   All through the morning I watched my schedule get further and further in the dumper.   However I remained undaunted and was determined to win round two.

All morning I kept checking the tire.  It looked like it was leaking but every time I checked it seemed okay – until mile 32.   It was low and I filled it back up.   At this point since everything else was fixed the only outstanding possibility was that the rim had an imperfection that would put a hole in the tube over time.    I figured if the tube leaked “real slow” then I could try to address this tonight in my room.    At mile 55 I had to fill up the tube again.   Five miles from this point I passed a motorcycle repair shop.  This shop was on a country road with no commercial enterprises so I dropped in.   I met the nicest couple and they assisted with finding the leak, agreeing that it was probably caused by the rim and then tapes the offending rim imperfection.   Neither one of us was sure the problem was fixed but it is working thus far.   I made two glaring errors.   One, I didn’t get the names of these wonderful people or get a picture of their motorcycle repair shop.  If you guys read this paragraph please send me your names!

At this point I started off again.   It was about 2:00 pm. and I still have 60 miles to go – really behind schedule.

The wind and I continued the battle mile after mile.   It could claim I was making much progress but it couldn’t argue that progress was being made.   I was exhausted at mile 90.   There had been no convenience stores and I was rapidly going through the snacks I carry with me.    Finally the sign I had been waiting for – Maynard, 3 miles.   About a mile out I saw a car with two bikes on a rack turn in front of me.   I wished my bike was on the back of that car (this is a true story).   A mile later I pulled into the convenience/gas station for a quick resupply.   I couldn’t dawdle since I still have 40 miles to go and the way I was going I wouldn’t get to Elkader until 8:00 or 9:00.   At this point a guy (who I learned was Ted) said there is a tornado watch can I give you a lift.    Ted delivered me to Elkander.   When Ted took me to his car I immediately noted that this was the car I had seen a mile up the road.   Ted is another avid bike rider and couldn’t leave a “brother biker” out in the way of a serious storm.   Another hero that entered in my life.   I don’t travel with my phone “active” so I was unaware of the tornado alert although I was monitoring the ominous clouds as I do every day.

So what do you say?   Did the wind win since I got a ride, did I win because the wind couldn’t break me and the tornado watch stopped the match, or was it a draw?

Thought of the Day: “I have a gear for that”

Life is not consistent and the various problems that are encountered daily can’t be handled in the same way with the same tools.  On my bike if the wind is at my back or if I am going downhill I use the gear that will drive me upwards of 25+ MPH.   If I have an uphill (problem) I will down shift and going slower and I navigate the problem with lots of gears in between.    What gears do you have and do you have enough gears to handle the problems that you encounter?   How would you get more gears?

It is 7:30 p..m. and the sky just exploded with rain and thunder – Ted THANKS for the lift!   I would still have 30 minutes to town.

Today I passed the 1000 mile mark on my return trip.   Wisconsin here I come!

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