Mequon, WI: Day of Rest

 

You guys are really in for a treat today.   I have spent my “down” day hunting for the “secret” treasures of Mequon, Wisconsin.   Your objective is to look at the pictures and determine what they are or their purpose.   You get a point for all correct answers.   Compete with friends and family to become the Master of Mequon.

Because of the number of pictures I am going top to bottom by column.   Good Luck!

Pictures and answers:

  1. Chief’s power staff used for making decisions
  2. Copper Wine Press
  3. The famous actor “Wisconsin Dave”
  4. Copper clothes wringer outer (sorry, I don’t know the technical term)
  5. Copper coal carrier
  6. Copper liquid dispenser
  7. Intuit soapstone Walrus sculpture
  8. Copper railroad signal light
  9. Number of bed warmers (you would put hot water in ceramic container to keep you warm at night)
  10. Copper Milk Can
  11. Remington Statuettes
  12. Copper still (I am from Kentucky, I know these things)
  13. Copper Steamer
  14. MG in her Wisconsin Storage facility (if you miss this one after all we’ve been through then you lose five points)
  15. Inuit Hunting Mask
  16. Napkin Holder

How did you do?

Tomorrow MG and I reluctantly leave Meguon (where we’ve had such a great time of fellowship, fun and rest) to complete our mission.

Early tomorrow we will be on a high speed ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon where I start the two day journey to Ferndale.   The pictures tomorrow will be awesome!

Wishing you a wonderful evening!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauk City, WI to Mequon, WI

Pictures:

  1. Arrived in Mequon, Wisconsin tonight (a story in itself as the narrative explains).   As I pulled into Dave and Camille’s garage the first thing that I saw was this bumper sticker.   I am not trying to push a particular agenda but did love seeing this sticker.
  2. Are you tired of seeing MG (Miracle Go) at the doctor’s office.   I would like to say that she is fine and 100% but problem after problem has me being the skeptic.   Needless to say she is once again operational and I am hopeful that she is 100% – but she will have to prove it.

Summary: I do pretty well getting started and out the door on a regular basis.   As long as I am on my schedule I can typically do what I set out to do.  The problem comes up with the unexpected.   Here is today’s story!

Stayed at a motel that had breakfast.   The motel agreed to have the food set out at 5:30 a.m.   A couple of bowls of Trix, yogurt, Grape Juice, coffee cake and other delicious items set me up for a good day.

On the road with teeth brushed by 5:50, we were cookin’.   Ten miles, twenty miles, thirty miles with all all systems firing while enjoying gorgeous Wisconsin scenery which had all the makings of a great day.   At mile 30 I even passed up a bike store called the “Yellow Jersey” and thumbed my nose at it thinking, “tire is good we don’t need you” – boy was that a wrong thought.

At thirty five miles I felt something funny on the back of the bike and thought “oh no, another flat”.   I checked the tire at it was full pressure and thought I was imagining things.    As I started to get on the bike again and the bike rolled forward the tire caught.   I looked down and the tube had pushed the tire out of the rim.   Needless to say I was not a happy person.  I bought a bike to ride and not walk!

At this point I did something really out of character – I turned back.   If you know me then you should know was I start in a direction I continue in that direction till the objective is met.   This was the exception.   Given that I still had 65 miles to Mequon (with no guarantee that there was a bike store between here and there) and only 9 miles back to the “Yellow Jersey” which I knew was open, I chose to go back.   They quickly confirmed that the rim was shot (no really a hard diagnosis since the side of the rim was blown out (literally).    Three hours and a couple of hundred dollars later we are back on the road.

We passed the point where I stopped at 8:30 again at 12:30.   Updated my friend Dave that my anticipated 2:30 p.m. landing time in Mequon was delayed to 6:00 or 7:00.    He offered to pick me up but MG and I still had our pride.  We had to make a day of it and get some good miles under our belt.   We fought our way to Hartford, WI (20 miles west of Mequon) and called Dave to see if his offer to pick us up was still on the table.   It was and we were in Mequon by 6:00 p.m.   I figured that after doing 80 miles with a terribly late start allowed us to retain our dignity AND enjoy and early end to the day.

Dave and Camille welcomed me into their lovely home and fed me dinner that kings would have envied.   Again, friends old and new, are treasures that we should all be very thankful for and never take for granted.

Tomorrow will be an official “rest” day.   MG has been working extremely hard and with all of her recent surgery she needs to recover and I want a day when I can just STAY OFF the bike.   I do plan on getting some pictures of Mequon for tomorrow’s post but trust the mileage attainment for tomorrow will be zero.

I have a couple of favorite actors and one of them (no, not John Wayne) would say, “I can only stands so much and I can’t stands no more”.    Most of you should recognize this quote coming from “Popeye the Sailor Man”.    That is how I felt today with the latest tire blow out.   I don’t care what it takes I just want MG back to fighting strength.   I think we are there now and the road home should be clear of all obstacles!

Remember that your life is yours to direct.   Are you guiding your life down the path that you want?   If not, why?

 

 

Elkader, IA to Sauk City, WI

Pictures:

  1. When I first arrived in Wisconsin I was greeted by this puny little sign.   I was thinking Wisconsin could do a bit better.   Note the heavy clouds in the background in this picture and most of the others.   I was sure at some point I was going to get dumped on – it never happened!
  2. Crossing BACK over the mighty Mississippi was VERY exciting for me.   I remember the excitement going the other way was due to a real sign that my adventure was starting.   Crossing back over the Mississippi means I am going home – much more exciting.
  3. Picture of the Mississippi when I am halfway over the bridge.
  4. A much better welcome ae sign into the mighty state of Wisconsin.
  5. Given the high changes of rain over the last week I feel forced to sleep in motels.   It also makes it so much easier to get WiFi and gadgets charged.

Today was one of the most interesting days of my trip.   Interesting because we had a huge thunderstorm (with tornado watch) last night, rains continuing throughout the day, many rolling hills, cool temperatures (64 degrees at 1:30 p.m.), the expected winds, simply gorgeous scenery and a crossing BACK over the Mississippi River.   It doesn’t get any better than that.

Left the motel this morning with wet pavement, cloudy skies and ominous clouds.   I just had to go a block down the street to get some breakfast so I was going to watch the weather and decide what to do.   Elkader is in a valley so I figured that maybe, some of the clouds had just settled to the lower valley and it would clear up as I got to higher elevations.   If you checked out the pictures you will note that I was wrong.   The yellow bag covers you see on MG are directly related to the drizzly rain that we experienced much of the morning and early afternoon.

Something I didn’t know was that Eastern Iowa and Western Wisconsin are fairly hilly.   The hills weren’t huge and I enjoyed the change of path.   Kansas, Nebraska and most of Iowa was flat and straight – where is the fun in that.

I was on WI-60 East most of the day (after leaving Iowa of course) which is a Wisconsin Scenic by-Way.   Unexpectedly this is my favorite scenic by way to date.   Even though the sun wasn’t out, the magnificent trees, lush grass, plentiful water (60 parallels Blue River), and the hills acting as a backdrop made the ride fun and interesting.

The most exciting part of the morning?   It appears that MG no longer has a persistent leak in the back tire.   The guess that the rim had a defect and tape covering it appears to have fixed the problem.   Still not 100% sure that this is the case but boy it is a great indicator when I am not by the side of the road pumping air.    This may be a HUGE win for the good guys!

In spite of the good day I was sucking wind the last 20 miles.    I may have eaten too much energy “replacement” food in the beginning of the ride (first 40 miles) and not enough the last 60 miles (did 104 miles today).    The reason for this is simple.   I don’t have a lot of food stores at this point and what I have most of is Welch’s Fruit Snacks (‘made with 100% real juice’).   I just don’t like the gummy bear like texture and decided I would rather starve than eat any of them.   I paid the price.

In Sauk City my first stop was Piggly Wiggly for two boxes of “Sweet and Salty Chewy Granola Bars”.    I won’t crash again.

Really excited about tomorrow.   When I decided on returning via a “northern route” I wasn’t really sure what I was going to target.   A week or so ago dear friends asked if I would like to stay with them and I jumped at the opportunity since it is on the northern route was was an ideal stopping point.   Tomorrow’s ride will take me to Mequon, Wisconsin (never been to that part of Wisconsin) which is 96 miles away.   I am real excited about the trip and anxious to get started.

Forgotten Item: I meant to tell you and forgot, the Lincoln Highway is a scenic by way in Ohio with part of it up by my house.   I crossed signs for this highway throughout the West.   The other day I saw a sign that said, “The Lincoln Highway crosses 13 states and goes for 3398 miles”.    If you are looking to cruise the highways this might be a route to check out.

Nature’s Weird: Red-winged Blackbirds have well populated the sides of the highways.   What I noticed is that they typically have a couple of “guards” up on the telephone wires with additional guards in the tall cross.   What I noticed is that when I go by their territories they will launch by ones or twos and fly in formation over me clicking with a tone that is warning me away.    Occasionally they will pass me off to birds on down the road.   I find this hilarious.   If I were to stop what are they going to do, kick me?   Little creatures are too funny.

Rest Stops: There are rest stops on the scenic by ways.   Usually they just have the grass cut, nice shade trees and a picnic table.   I think of the big rest stops on the interstates and how rushed and crowded they can be and compare them to these simple rest stops.   Given the choice I would go rustic every time.   Strongly recommend that you consider taking “…the road less traveled” to see how you might enjoy the change.

May the start to this new week be the best ever!

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!

Blair, NE to Clarion, Iowa

Pictures:

  1. A son said I should have more pictures of “me” and that he thought people would like to see me in action.   Here I am doing the post in Clarion, Iowa.   Don’t I look thoughtful?
  2. Sign welcoming me to Clarion, Iowa.   If you look at a map I did 180 miles today.   Well that is not quite true which is explained below.
  3. If you look carefully you will see that MG (Miracle Go) is under the scalpel.   Gene, the doctor at “The Bike Store” in Fort Dodge Iowa is doing his best to give her a “bike lift (face lift for bikes)” .   This is also explained below.

The saga continues and if you remember MG had two flats going into Blair Nebraska and the cause for her recurring “flats” was unknown.

Also, as background information, a bike’s wheel should always be “true”.   That means when it revolves around the axle in should not wobble side to side.  This wastes the pedalers energy and produces a wobble as the bike goes forward.    When a spoke breaks the wheel can no longer be “true” since you now how an odd number of spokes applying unequal forces to the wheel.   Now for the story . . .

When I went to bed last night after replacing both the tire and tube on MG I felt okay.   I couldn’t find anything to puncture the tube on the rim, the tube and tire were new, I completely removed all of the broken spoke, and I had ridden the bike without issue for a couple of miles.   With all that being said, I still didn’t feel completely comfortable because the back wheel has been trouble.

This morning I took off at my usual 6:00 a.m.   I kept looking at the tire and stopped at the 2, 6, and 10 mile points to check tire pressure.   The wheel did have the expected wobble since I was missing a spoke but it was much less that the wobble going into California weeks before and I felt it would get me to Wisconsin.

I went through Missouri Way, Logan and was pulling up a hill in Woodbine when the familiar “pop” broke through the tranquil morning (had 45 miles on my bike at this point).   The pop, upon checking the tire, actually was strong enough to break the tire not just the tube.   While I had a spare tire and tube I was tired of patching the problem.   I needed to get the spoke fixed.    The bike couldn’t even roll at this point since the tire wouldn’t stay on the rim.

I talked to a couple of people in Woodbine and not only was there no bike store in Woodbine, they didn’t think there was a bike store within 100 miles.   Not wanting to retrace my steps to Omaha I started hitch hiking for Fort Dodge about 90 miles away.

This is where hero #1 comes into play.   Jeff was hauling a bulldozer to Minnesota and stopped.   He is an entrepreneur that has many business interests.   He had me lay MG up on the trailer (hated to see her laying on her side and not tied down) stating that she wouldn’t fall and started out.    As we were discussing this and that he decided he could take a side trip to Fort Dodge (even though he had several commitments and was expected to be working till 3:00 a.m. tomorrow morning).   He drove MG and I straight to the only bike store in 100 miles.   How can I ever express my gratitude to this gentlemen?   My expectation was a day or two of hitch hiking at a minimum.

The name of the only bike store within 100 miles and located in Fort Dodge is called “The Bike Store”.   The man in the picture is Gene.    He started working on MG immediately.   He replaced the one spoke I knew about and found another that had come off as well.   He replaced the tire and tube.   I had stretched the chain beyond its tolerance levels (remember the big mountains) and it needed to be replaced.    He then trued the wheel so that it is so straight that you can’t see any “out of alignment” at all.   Lastly he replaced the carriage (gears in the back) since the chain’s elongated state also wore down the carriage.   Bike was back together and ready to go at 2:00 p.m.   I had a choice to stay in Fort Dodge or continue to add some miles.   Adding miles was the decision and we finished the day with 80 miles.   I would consider this a full day.

Thought of the day: If you are on your “bike of life” and not pedaling and steering somewhere then are your really going anywhere?

Navy Pilot Tie In: Many years ago I was a Navy Pilot.   One of the things they teach you is to Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate and in that order.    I think this has a lot of applicability to our lives.   I feel you must:

Aviate: Accomplish all those standard functions to ensure that you can live.   This would include paying the bills, taking the kids here and there, getting the car fixed, getting a house or apartment and making the payments and all other items that just allow you to live on your piece of the earth.

Navigate: This step requires that you know where you’re going and have plans on how to get there.   This would include working for a promotion, moving to a more favored company, figuring out how to impress a man or lady that you might want to get to know better, or any other long range objective.   Remember that if your “long range objective” is to far out there you should have intermediate objectives to measure your progress.

Communication: Last but certainly not the least important.   This is the step that allows you to discuss where you are going and what you want to do with others.   This might be your parents or a trusted friend or mentor.   Ultimately collecting information from others that have been there and done that may have a key piece of information that allows you to confirm the path you’re on and modify your plan accordingly.

In any case some of my ideas are redundant and the intent is to through the ideas in your direction to do with as you think appropriate.

Hoping you took a great day (today) and made it better!

Central City, NE to Blair, NE

No pictures tonight . . . I was talking to a son yesterday and he said I should get some pictures of myself.   In the process of trying to turn the camera’s lens around to take a picture of myself I inadvertently turned on the video component which won’t do.

Tonight to only have my comments but they should be entertaining.

Have you ever had one of “those” days?   Without a doubt this was one of “those” days for me.

Last night I was doing a post in the lobby of a Rodeway Inn.   I was going to submit the post and then find a place to stay within my price range.   While writing the post the weather channel was talking about the severe weather coming with high winds and potential hail.    Being a big chicken I booked a room.

The next morning the weather channel was again forecasting gloom and doom and their statements were backed up by lightening that was flashing all around me – even though Central City was still dry.   I ate breakfast and had a decision to make.   I could wait at the hotel until 9:00 a.m. when the percent chance of rain would fall from 60% to 20% or I could head out.   It wasn’t terribly cold and I figured the storms were moving East so if I got wet at least I would be pushed in the right direction – sucker!

Today’s 116 mile right quickly became a battle of wills.   I was bound and determined to make  Blair, NE and the wind was determined to blow in my face, directly, until I gave up.   Typically the winds or road will shift several times to give me a rest.   Today was different since all 116 miles were to the East and the wind continued to come from that direction.   The 11.5 MPH average over the 10 hours was punishing and I stopped at an extra store or two for my orange juice and chocolate milk energy boosts.   By noon I was 20 miles behind my typical benchmarks.

Imagine how excited I was at 3:00 p.m. when the wind did start to abate a bit.    I didn’t have the energy to make up any time but I was able to push my speed up by a mile or two.    Then disaster (this is a bit of an overstatement).    MG’s  (Miracle Go) back tire started to go flat 3 miles shy of Blair.   Tired, hot, and ready to rest meant nothing when the tire went flat.   I took the back wheel off and checked the tire.   There was no object in the tire so I figured that I hit a sharp rock that caused the tube to tear.    I replaced the tube and continued to Blair.   There was a nice big beautiful hit that was taking me quickly toward Blair when I heard a sharp pop and again the tire when flat.   The tire still didn’t have any foreign objects embedded in it so I figured the bad spoke (if I didn’t tell you about this earlier, I discovered a bad spoke yesterday.   It wasn’t broken but it also wasn’t doing its job) was puncturing the tube when it took any stress.   I cut out the spoke but left the tip in the rim since it no longer had any pressure on it.  I again replaced the tube and again enjoyed the downhill when, you guessed it, the second and final tube went flat.   I couldn’t use the tube repair kit I had since the hole was more of a slice.   As embarrassing as this is to say, I walked and hitchhiked toward Blair (so much for the downhill that I wanted to enjoy).

Stopped at a car dealership and found out that Blair has no bike store so I was on my own.   I continued to walk to a Walmart.   I bought a new tire and a new tube.   I took out the spoke end from the rim and reassembled everything.   I had MG in Walmart’s lobby doing all the “fixing”.   It was amazing how the little kids coming in with their parents kept asking about “what the crazy man in the corner was doing”?

I can say that the bike was able to take me to a Rodeway Inn about a mile away and there I stopped for the night.   I was still hot, tired, and ready to rest.   I am hopeful that the bike is fixed but I will need some miles under my belt before I will have such confidence.  If this doesn’t work I don’t know what else to try and will have to navigate to the closest bike store which may be in Omaha.    Wish me luck!

This was a long day.     I tried to think deep thoughts but typically all thoughts came back to holding my body and bike together to make it to Blair.

One thought did come to mind with respect to the Bike/Life analogy.   You know that you are on a good bike/life/path when you:

  1. Wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is the sunrise.   If you get up grumpy you are not on the right path.
  2. Wake up next to someone or something you love (pets count).   If you don’t this isn’t an indicator that you don’t have a good life but means you are probably still searching for a missing piece to your life.
  3. You are energized to do things that provide meaning.
  4. You have a list of things that you want to get done full well knowing you can’t get everything done in 1 day.   You are okay with this because you always have tomorrow.
  5. You pay yourself first (good food, good sleep, and exercise sometime during the day) to ensure you have the energy to do great things.
  6. When you review your day you have made the world a better, more happy place.
  7. You made at least one person important to you smile at least once.
  8. You try to “Pay it Forward” at least once a week.
  9. You go to bed each night knowing you have done your best.

A further thought.   At birth everyone is given their own bike or life.   It is unique to that person in that it can be different colors, bigger, smaller, more sporty, more expensive (face it because of DNA, environment, and nature we are going to be different).   The thing that people forget is once you’ve accepted your bike as yours (parents have to turn you loose sometime) you can customize it to your hearts content.    Yes you may be limited in the short run but goals and hard work can change it to be the most beautiful bike in the world.    My realization?   It seems that many people forget this fact and quite trying to improve.

And remember . . . every mile you do today is one less mile you have to do tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alma, NE to Central City, NE

Pictures:

  1. Welcome sign to Central City Nebraska.  The city has everything except a cheap place to stay.   One place wouldn’t take a credit card but the price was right.   The other would take anything but the price was too steep.   There are storms in the area so tonight’s place of residence may be interesting.
  2. The Central City Fire Station was open so I took these pictures while looking for someone in charge.
  3. Another picture of the neat Central City antique fire truck.   When I couldn’t find anyone at this fire station I went to the older station.   By the time I got back to the first station it was locked up.
  4. My wife, Jill, is in South Carolina visiting son and grand children.   How I wish I was able to join this merry group!
  5. Most of the towns I have stopped in have a “neighborhood” restaurant filled with antiques and personality.   This is “The Station” at Alma.

Summary: This morning I was up early (which is typical) and left at 5:15 to go to a cafe that was confirmed to open at 5:30.   I saw lightening in the distance and Weather Underground said rain was going to hit all around me at 7:00 p.m.    I suspected the lightening was not coming my way.   It was already muggy and I started sweating immediately.   It seemed like a good day in that the sun would be behind clouds most of the day and as long as I was able to get  bed by 7:00 p.m. I should stay dry.   The cafe was open right on time and I started out on my bike at 6:00 a.m.   I did 127 miles from Alma to Central City.   Five of these miles was going back and forth looking for a hotel and somewhere to submit today’s post.  At the time of this writing I am sitting at a Rodeway Inn to get the post done and then will go find somewhere to sleep the night.

This has been a terrific week (one week again tonight I was boarding a train).    I averaged 112 miles per day and this was hampered by my first day of 63 miles, low due to being on the train till 1:00 p.m.   The time is really flying although while on the bike the time drags by with me thinking about various things.

Systems Continued: It dawned on me that the greatest systems ever created are the “bodies” of all living things whether optimized for thinking (humans), flying (birds), or swimming (fish).   The human body does miraculous things when it gets food, sleep, and exercise.   I find it incredible that the body automatically does those things that we don’t want to think about like breathing or making the heart beat.   You look at the athletes that break records,  the thinkers (Steven Hawkins) that push science past all reasonable limits, and those that perform herculean tasks when faced with adversity.   Bottom line, are you getting the most bang for your buck?   It just takes the right food, amount of sleep, and a little exercise and you too could be a super human.

For me, I find it amazing that my body can drive a bike for mile after mile.   I don’t really know a lot about nutrition so I just throw food down my throat.   The body figures out what it needs and repairs the muscles and stores the food where it will be needed the next day.   Thus far there have been no cramps and no major problems.  How the body can do this is beyond me.    Since I don’t ride in the dark I am getting more sleep than I ever have and exercise at this point is no problem.

The Bike of Life:  Today as I was riding my bike I thought of an analogy that makes sense.   Let’s pretend that when we are born we are given a bike that represents our life.   In the early years you will have people that show you how to ride the bike, take care of the bike and make sure you make good decisions regarding the bike.   At some point the bike becomes yours and from that point on whatever the bike does is your responsibility.

Stay with me as I jump to my bike ride today . . . I am heading toward Wisconsin – that is my goal.   The path I’ve chosen goes North a little bit and then East a little bit.   My “ah ha” moment was that when going North the wind was at my back and the pedaling was easy while every time I turned East the pedaling was difficult because of the wind.

Here comes my conclusion, I realized that life is very much like my ride to Wisconsin.   I could, since I am totally and wholly responsible for my bike, change my objective and just head North.   My pedaling would be easier, a new destination would be reached, and I wouldn’t have to struggle – life would be grand.   Or I could go straight East and fight the wind every step of the way – life would be no fun.   My path is a mixture of both and gets me to the destination that is right for me.   My life will neither be easy or overly hard.  It is going where I want it to go.

Bottom line is we are all on a bike and we are in charge of it.   We have others that help us on our way and provide advice that we can ponder but the journey is ours (and let’s be honest we usually have a trusted adviser that is on our tandem bike).   Be wise in your life’s objective and don’t stop till it is acquired!

The Greatest Evil: One last thought is that over my lifetime there is nothing that I hate remembering more than those times where a thoughtless word or unthinking action on my part “hurt” someone else.   In my defense, and it is a weak defense indeed, the hurt that I caused was due to immaturity or a since belief that I was doing the right thing.   When I am back home (and I can barely wait for that day) one of the things I will do is contact people and try to make up for my actions.   Life is way to short to have misunderstandings in the way of a glorious life.

Sorry for the long diatribes and heavy thoughts.  As an explanation the heat and humidity got to me!

Wonderful day to one and all!