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Dave and Cindy Reedy bicycle around Lake Michigan - June, 2009

Note: This blog is split into weekly segments. Links to the other weeks:  FAQ   Week 2    Week 3   Week 4

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Day 6: Sunday - June 7, 2009
Two Rivers to Green Bay, Wisconsin
40.01 miles (Cumulative: 263.94 miles)
Route: NW on Rte. 147, then County Rd. R, into Green Bay on Hwy. 141
Terrain: Mostly flat with three real hills near the middle
Weather: Heavy overcast, upper 40s all day, sprinkles near the end, NE wind 10-20 mph

Farm near Green Bay.

Our ride today was short but windy. We left at 9 this morning in order to beat the rain and we almost made it; I felt the first drop around 5 miles from our destination. The rain was very light with the heavy stuff due in tonight. Our ride was through dairy country with neatly maintained farms and cows everywhere.

Green Bay’s downtown on Sunday afternoon is deserted. Like other old Midwestern cities (St. Louis comes to mind) there appears to be a big municipal attempt to revive the downtown with new sidewalks and streets but still lots of vacancies.

We checked into a fabulous hotel in the heart of downtown for two days - our nicest room yet. The weather tomorrow is predicted to be terrible with thunderstorms and heavy wind plus tomorrow is our 41st wedding anniversary. We were married at St. Norbert College just a few miles from here in 1968. Life’s journey is interesting to say the least.

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Day 5: Saturday - June 6, 2009
Two Rivers, Wisconsin
0 miles (Cumulative: 223.93 miles)
Weather: In the 40s all day, intermittent rain

View from Lighthouse Inn's dining room.

After four days of riding I think we both needed a rest. Right on cue the weather turned from perfect to hostile. The wind changed from south to north, the temp dropped 25 degrees overnight and it started raining. All of the above make a good excuse to hole up, read a book and get some rest.

Our motel is the Lighthouse Inn right on the lake shore. It has breathtaking views from the dining room and all the essential amenities including laundry. It looks like there may be a break in the rain tomorrow morning, in which case we will scurry up to Green Bay.



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Day 4: Friday - June 5, 2009
From Belgium to Two Rivers, Wisconsin
57.89 miles (Cumulative: 223.93 miles)
Route: Ozaukee County Interurban Trail, Sauk Trail Rd., County Rd. V,
     12th, 8th, Broughton, and North thru Sheboygan
     Lakeshore/County LS and a wonderful trail along Hwy 42
Terrain: Flat with occasional moderate hills
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees at start, partly cloudy low 70s at end, SW wind 10-15 mph

View of Sheboygan beach from Broughton Dr.

I can’t imagine a nicer day than today. The weather was sunny and breezy. When breezy is at your back, breezy is good. Our roads and trails today were right on the lake so the vistas were to die for.

This is day four and my quads are starting to get tired but surprisingly not sore. My neck and shoulders seem to be getting used to being on a bike for six hours a day. We were wondering today how many calories we were burning each hour. I have no idea but it is more than what we did last week.

I am always struck by the immensity of Lake Michigan. They call it the inland ocean and for good reason. The great lakes are the largest body of fresh water on earth. I have sailed across the lake and been awed by its power. Riding around the lake I am awed by its immensity.

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Day 3: Thursday - June 4, 2009
From Milwaukee to Belgium, Wisconsin
53.67 miles (Cumulative: 166.04 miles)
Route: Oak leaf Trail and bike route thru Milwaukee,
     north on Rte. 32, Port Washington Rd. and County Hwy. LL
Terrain: Mostly flat with a few minor hills and one "biggie" in Port Washington
Weather: Sunny, 50 degrees at start, 65 degrees at end, SE wind 5 mph

After a day of rain and a day of head winds, today was sunny with a slight tail wind and with the lake in sight off our right shoulder for part of the day. This was what we hoped for when we planned this trip.

Each day, however, has its dramas. Today we started out at the airport and went to the lakefront hooking up with our trip map. In the middle of going north along the Oak Leaf Trail we were supposed to follow the bike route through downtown Milwaukee. Confusing to us. Then a bridge that we were supposed to cross was closed. After an hour or so of wandering I saw a cop waiting for a bus. I asked him how to get to the art museum downtown. He pointed and said take this street for a mile and a half turn right two blocks and you’re there. Always ask a cop.

Once we got going on our route again the path out of Milwaukee was beautiful and then the road through the North Shore mansions was magnificent but we were behind our schedule because of our “scenic detours” in the morning. As we finished climbing our biggest hill of the day in Port Washington we stopped for a break and ran into a woman crossing guard who said, “You guys look tired.” We told her we were planning on going to Sheboygan but we thought we might like to stop a little short and did she have any suggestions. She gave us three alternatives and their distances. We stopped in Belgium (one of her suggestions) at a motel with one car in the parking lot. I checked in and asked if there was a liquor store in town even though there was no town in sight. She said there is a hardware store a couple of miles down the road that sells liquor. There is only one way to see America, on a bike.

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Day 2: Wednesday - June 3, 2009
From Zion, Illinois, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin
51.93 miles (Cumulative: 112.37 miles)
Route: Mostly north on Rte. 32 (called Rte. 137 in Illinois) with two beautiful exceptions:
       the Pike Bike Trail in Kenosha, and
       the Milwaukee County Oak Leaf Trail into Milwaukee
Terrain: Flat with a few minor hills
Weather: Partly cloudy giving away to sunshine, high in low 50s, NNE wind 10-20 mph

Cindy on the Oak Leaf Trail in Milwaukee County. Dave on the Pike Bike Trail in Kenosha.

Evening of day two and I’m beginning to rationalize the trip. How does one eat an elephant? Answer: one bite at a time. This trip has 20 legs of 50 to 60 miles per leg and we just bit off the first 2. When I was running marathons I always played the mental percentage game, which was after 2.5 miles I was 10% done then 5 miles 20% done and so on. It took my mind off the elephant and let me focus on the bite. It let me smell the roses along the way.
Today had some hard riding into the wind but we smelled some roses along the way.    -Dave

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Day 1: Tuesday - June 2, 2009
From Chicagoland to Zion, Illinois
60.44 miles (Cumulative: 60.44 miles)
Route: North and east on suburban streets for ~ 20 miles
       North on the North Branch Trail from Howard
       Trails (mostly Robert McClory) and some suburban streets
       East on Wadsworth to Illinois Beach State Park
Terrain: Flat
Weather: Rain in the morning, cloudy afternoon, high in low 60s, NE wind 10 mph at strongest

View from Illinois Beach State Park Resort.

The weather forecast on Monday night for Tuesday was possible showers. We said to each other if it’s not raining at 9 AM we are leaving. I got up at 7 and it was raining and I was very disappointed. The rain came and went and very light so when 9 arrived and it was not raining we took off. It started drizzling about a 100 yards from our driveway and we both hoped it would subside, but no. The rain picked up and we rode through a steady down pour for the next 20 miles. There were times that I was questioning my sanity as I could see my breath in the 50 degree temp with rain pouring down and 60 miles to go.
Today, however, was a tale of two weather systems. We rode 60+ miles and around 30 the weather broke, the sun came out and it was a very pleasant ride to the Lodge at Illinois State Beach Park.             -Dave

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Monday - June 1, 2009
0 miles (Cumulative: 0 miles)
Weather: Rain with occasional severe thunderstorms

Raindrops in the pond photo.

It looks like Day One is really Day Negative One. Yes, those are raindrops in the pond. I wasn't able to photograph the lightning or the hail.

We probably won't get started until Wednesday when the weather is predicted to clear.

I hate to use up two of our ten rain days before we start, but not as much as I'd hate to start in the rain.

- Cindy



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