On Wisconsin

User: dseattle
Dates: 17 Jun 2012 - 26 Jul 2012
Duration: 1 month, 1 week
URL: http://facebook.com/dseattle87

Embarking on an epic journey to ride my bicycle from my hometown Seattle back to Madison, WI. I'll finish at my the campus of U of Wisconsin, my alma mater. 2,750 miles over 5 1/2 weeks.

I'm riding with a group called Cycle America. There are about 50 people from all over the U.S., UK, Australia. Support vehicles, mechanic, food and water stops. We'll be camping, with a few motels as needed.

Daily we'll ride between 60-100 miles depending on elevation changes. 3 mountain passes. Ride 6 days a week, with an extra day the first week.
6/17 Leave Seattle
6/24 Missoula, MT (605 mi)
6/30 Jackson, WY (440 mi)
7/07 Devils Tower, WY (498 mi)
7/14 Pierre, SD (498 mi)
7/21 Northfield, MN (484 mi)
7/24 Madison, WI (225 mi)

I hope and plan to finish at the Abraham Lincoln statue on Bascom Hill at the U of Wisconsin on Tuesday, July 24th. See you there!!

Thursday 26 Jul 2012 13:40

I made it to Bascom Hill in the heart of the University of Wisconsin. Quite a feeling.

I went back through all the route sheets and tallied up the trip. It was 2,983 miles, and 105, 670 feet of elevation gain.

I think for me, the most daunting statistic was that we did this riding in 35 out of 39 days.

Posted: July 26, 2012, 6:40 p.m.

Thursday 26 Jul 2012 13:34

Finish line!! My goal was to ride from Seattle to the University of Wisconsin. 2,750 miles and I am through riding for awhile. Great celebration here and I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Posted: July 26, 2012, 6:34 p.m.

Thursday 26 Jul 2012 12:58

About 55 miles from Baraboo to Madison. Feels different to be riding on my own and I had to pay more attention to the map and road signs. Thankfully Ed, one of the Cycle America staff, had drawn out a detailed route for me that was exactly right.

Posted: July 26, 2012, 5:58 p.m.

Thursday 26 Jul 2012 10:23

Riding back roads down to Madison. Wisconsin is a beautiful state.

Posted: July 26, 2012, 3:23 p.m.

Thursday 26 Jul 2012 9:33

This is the Merrimac Ferry that gets you across Lake Wisconsin, a large widening of the Wisconsin River. What a beautiful day, but if feels strange to bike alone without the group.

Posted: July 26, 2012, 2:33 p.m.

Thursday 26 Jul 2012 8:27

Looping around Devil's Lake. Beautiful ride.

Posted: July 26, 2012, 1:27 p.m.

Thursday 26 Jul 2012 7:26

Devil's Lake.

Posted: July 26, 2012, 12:26 p.m.

Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 14:57

Made it to Baraboo. Said many goodbyes to fellow travelers and new friends. Had dinner with Malcolm, John Smith, and Greg. Will miss those three as we spent a lot of time together.

On to Madison.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 7:57 p.m.

Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 14:37

More hills and great countryside.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 7:37 p.m.

Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 14:26

Some very long hills today--one was 15% but survive to go down the other side. Love the Wisconsin farm countryside.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 7:26 p.m.

Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 13:24

Spenser and Sheila from Seattle.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 6:24 p.m.

Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 13:19

Picnic in Reedsburg, Wisconsin.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 6:19 p.m.

Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 8:00

1 mile long tunnel on Sparta trail.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 1 p.m.

Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 7:23

On Sparta-Elway bike trail.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 12:23 p.m.

Tuesday 24 Jul 2012 20:52

In Sparta, Wisconsin. Wednesday we ride 72 miles to Baraboo. It will be an interesting ride.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 1:52 a.m.

Tuesday 24 Jul 2012 19:43

The Smyth-Osborne guys from London. Robin is the Dad, Alex 25 and William 23. They are all strong riders and fun people.

Posted: July 25, 2012, 12:43 a.m.

Tuesday 24 Jul 2012 14:59

The rain broke at times, and then lightly rained the last 15 miles. Actually it was a beautiful ride on some picturesque Wisconsin byways. At the end three big hills of 1/2 mile each ...one 9%...one 11%...one 13%. I guess I'm getting stronger cause you just gotta get up the hills to get to camp.

Posted: July 24, 2012, 7:59 p.m.

Tuesday 24 Jul 2012 11:00

Picnic. 46.5 miles. A real miserable riding in the driving rain, soaked to the bone. Once you're wet, you just have to keep going.

Posted: July 24, 2012, 4 p.m.

Tuesday 24 Jul 2012 8:43

Driving rain. Fixing Jon's flat.

Posted: July 24, 2012, 1:43 p.m.

Tuesday 24 Jul 2012 5:31

Rainy thunderstorm last night. I need to take down and pack the wet tent, and get ready for an 89 miles ride to Sparta. Rolling Wisconsin hills with 2750 elevation gain. Rain today.

Posted: July 24, 2012, 10:31 a.m.

Monday 23 Jul 2012 12:41

Made it to Pepin, Wisconsin. The humidity is high and it feels very hot and sticky. Camping...good chance of thunderstorms tonight but I like my LLBean tent.

Posted: July 23, 2012, 5:41 p.m.

Monday 23 Jul 2012 11:15

WISCONSIN

Posted: July 23, 2012, 4:15 p.m.

Monday 23 Jul 2012 11:07

Crossing the Mississippi!

Posted: July 23, 2012, 4:07 p.m.

Monday 23 Jul 2012 10:52

Standing on the west side of the Mississippi, at picnic at mile 46.

Posted: July 23, 2012, 3:52 p.m.

Monday 23 Jul 2012 6:24

Getting ready to leave Northfield.

Posted: July 23, 2012, 11:24 a.m.

Sunday 22 Jul 2012 21:31

Ready to start week 6--my final week. I will ride with the Cycle America group for three days: Northfield, MInnesotanto to Pepin, Wisconsin ...to Sparta ...to Baraboo.

Thursday I will ride the last 50 miles to Madison to end my ride.

Monday we ride 72 miles with 1,610 elevation gain to Pepin, Wisconsin. I am looking forward to reaching Wisconsin, my home state at mile 44.

Posted: July 23, 2012, 2:31 a.m.

Saturday 21 Jul 2012 19:17

Ted is from Texas and he is a strong bike rider--I have to work hard to stay with him. He is 71.

Yesterday we rode with Christiana from Quebec. I did not get her picture but she is also a strong rider...and she's 76!!

Posted: July 22, 2012, 12:17 a.m.

Saturday 21 Jul 2012 19:01

Saturday night is the one night a week you can relax with others in the group and laugh about what happened.

Posted: July 22, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Saturday 21 Jul 2012 18:07

Northfield MN is a college town--St. Olaf and Carleton College. Really cute town. A BIG step up from Pierre, South Dakota!

Posted: July 21, 2012, 11:07 p.m.

Saturday 21 Jul 2012 14:43

Made it to Northfield, Minnesota, and finished week 5 of the tour.

Day off!

Posted: July 21, 2012, 7:43 p.m.

Saturday 21 Jul 2012 13:59

What a tough ride the last 25 miles. Rolling bills and wind, but I like seeing the Midwest farmlands. Feels like going home. This is at about 90 miles.

Posted: July 21, 2012, 6:59 p.m.

Saturday 21 Jul 2012 10:33

Started riding at 6:30 am with Jon and Rob. What I thought was going to be a routine century ride today to Northfield, turned more difficult due to a wind shift--yes, into our face. Despite this, we made the first 50 miles by 10:15. Here is picnic at Belle Plaine.

Posted: July 21, 2012, 3:33 p.m.

Friday 20 Jul 2012 17:01

Saturday is the 6th ride this week. We have a 101 mile ride into Northfield, Minnesota. About 2100 feet elevation gain.

I've done so many century rides but they always feel long. Good news is that a hotel room with air conditioning awaits!

Pray for me to be able to finish next Thursday.

Monday we ride Northfield to Pepin, Wisconsin. Tuesday to Sparta. Wednesday to Baraboo.

Thursday I ride alone to Madison.

Posted: July 20, 2012, 10:01 p.m.

Friday 20 Jul 2012 17:00

Made it to Hutchinson, Minnesota. I usually take a picture of the city sign but I think I must've missed it. You can see on the bulletin we made it!

Posted: July 20, 2012, 10 p.m.

Friday 20 Jul 2012 10:31

Picnic at Olivia, Minnesota. The corn capital of the world.

Jon, Rob, and I skipped breakfast and started riding at 5:50--to beat the heat. We stopped in a bakery in Clara City. We made great time today.

Posted: July 20, 2012, 3:31 p.m.

Friday 20 Jul 2012 9:32

Riding with Jon, a Mortician from Idaho Falls who is 58, and Rob, a retired banker from Philadelphia who is 63. Rob will ride about 10,000 miles this year. Both are going coast-to-coast.

I am riding stronger this week. I've been in my 3rd ring 99% of the time and we're in the 15-17 mph range, although it is flatter with only rolling hills.

Posted: July 20, 2012, 2:32 p.m.

Thursday 19 Jul 2012 18:50

Camping as a middle school. More hot and humid, trying to sleep.

Friday it's a fairly flat ride of 84 miles. Jon and I are leaving at 6 am and skipping breakfast to ride in the cooler early morning.

I look forward to Sat night in a hotel in Northfield, MN and a day off Sunday. Saturday is a 100 mile ride.

Posted: July 19, 2012, 11:50 p.m.

Thursday 19 Jul 2012 13:38

Made it to Montevideo, Minnesota. The first 50 miles today went by quickly but the last 30 was hot and humid. Welcome to the Midwest.

Posted: July 19, 2012, 6:38 p.m.

Thursday 19 Jul 2012 9:42

MINNESOTA.

Posted: July 19, 2012, 2:42 p.m.

Thursday 19 Jul 2012 8:38

Making great time. Beautiful day.

Posted: July 19, 2012, 1:38 p.m.

Thursday 19 Jul 2012 6:25

Up at 5:00 to pack up the camp and gear. Waiting for breakfast at 6:20 with Jon.

Today we have 81 miles and only 750 feet gain. We going to Montevideo, Minnesota.

See you there!

Posted: July 19, 2012, 11:25 a.m.

Wednesday 18 Jul 2012 21:23

Thursday we ride 84 miles of flatter terrain. Only 600 feet gain. Tough ride due to the heat and also construction zones.

I am looking forward to crossing the Minnesota state line and feeling like we're really in the Midwest.

I lived about 10 years in Minnesota. I got a Masters of Engineering from the University of Minnesota ...then worked 7 yrs as an engineer in Minneapolis. Then I changed career fields and got Masters in Industrial Relations (human resources)--same school--which was my ticket to the Pacific Northwest.

Will be glad to ride into Minnesota.

Posted: July 19, 2012, 2:23 a.m.

Wednesday 18 Jul 2012 11:58

Made it to Watertown SD. Got in at noon as it was only 59 miles with only rolling hills.

Malcolm and I found a Starbucks and felt human for a few hours.

Posted: July 18, 2012, 4:58 p.m.

Wednesday 18 Jul 2012 11:19

Making great time with Jon.

Posted: July 18, 2012, 4:19 p.m.

Wednesday 18 Jul 2012 9:37

I'll be glad to get through eastern South Dakota.

Posted: July 18, 2012, 2:37 p.m.

Wednesday 18 Jul 2012 8:27

It's Cycle America traditional to stop at this elder care facility for the morning water. They baked us treats and visited with the folks.

Then back in the saddle.

Posted: July 18, 2012, 1:27 p.m.

Tuesday 17 Jul 2012 19:37

Wednesday is a shorter 60 mile ride to Watertown, SD. Only 1100 feet gain.

But the wind will Benin our face all day, and very hot.

Getting closer or Minnesota-- we cords state line Thursday.

Posted: July 18, 2012, 12:37 a.m.

Tuesday 17 Jul 2012 14:24

Made it to De Smet, South Dakota.

I struck up a conversation with a staff person at the school, and he offered to drive Jon and me over to the DQ.

Posted: July 17, 2012, 7:24 p.m.

Tuesday 17 Jul 2012 11:02

Picnic at mile 46. Today was a really tough bicycle ride due to the wind out of the east. In the morning we faced winds in our face at 10 mph and the wind increased to gusts of 15-20 mph in the afternoon. I think I'd rather climb a mountain pass than face a headwind.

I rode with Rob from Philadelphia and Jon from Idaho Falls. We drafted together as a team all day. You get into a routine and it takes focus as you're 2 feet behind the bike in front of you, and you have to carefully watch the bike. It takes choreography. The front guy cuts the wind for one mile and then he swings out and the line moves up and the tired guy joins at the back of the pack. We did this all day to overcome the headwind.

Posted: July 17, 2012, 4:02 p.m.

Tuesday 17 Jul 2012 7:11

At the start of the day we reached a milestone: 2,100 miles.

For the coast-to-coast riders this is the 1/2 way point for their 4,200 mile ride.

For me it's 2,100 of the 2,750 miles to Madison. I can't believe I've made it this far.

Posted: July 17, 2012, 12:11 p.m.

Monday 16 Jul 2012 19:50

Camping at the local high school. It is so hot. Most people ate camping in the gym which has no AC. I put up my tent and and hoping that when the sun goes down it will have some breeze enough to manage sleeping.

I could tell people were praying for me today...The ride went remarkably well. Had a great day of riding with Jon Wood and we will ride together again tomorrow.

Tuesday we ride 79 miles to De Smet, SD, one of the homes of Laura Ingall Wilder.

It is relatively flat--1,190 feet gain. Again, the heat is the challenge.

Posted: July 17, 2012, 12:50 a.m.

Monday 16 Jul 2012 13:40

Made it to Miller SD.

Posted: July 16, 2012, 6:40 p.m.

Monday 16 Jul 2012 13:11

There was a DQ as we entered town. A perfect end to a long hot ride.

Jon Wood is in the middle, yellow shirt.

Posted: July 16, 2012, 6:11 p.m.

Monday 16 Jul 2012 12:25

81 miles. My cycle computer reads 109 degrees.

Posted: July 16, 2012, 5:25 p.m.

Monday 16 Jul 2012 11:32

I rode with Jon from Idaho Falls today. We averaged about 15 mph. We were trying to beat the afternoon heat. Here we stopped at the only has station in the 90 miles we covered today.

Posted: July 16, 2012, 4:32 p.m.

Monday 16 Jul 2012 10:30

Making good time but very hot!

Posted: July 16, 2012, 3:30 p.m.

Monday 16 Jul 2012 7:27

Up at 5 and rising by 5:45. Mile 20.

Posted: July 16, 2012, 12:27 p.m.

Sunday 15 Jul 2012 18:57

We're getting instructions on how to survive the heat. Stay hydrated. I am leaving at 5:45 am to save the hour spent on breakfast. Will be in the 100s.

Posted: July 15, 2012, 11:57 p.m.

Sunday 15 Jul 2012 17:13

The big challenge this week is HEAT.

Only 7520 feet gain. Big challenge is 100 degrees temperatures. Saturday was the first time I ran out of water during one stretch.

Pierre to Miller SD 88 mi (1770 ft) to De Smet SD 78 mi (1190) to Watertown 60 mi. (1090) to Montivideo, MN 84 (750) to Hutchinson 86 (600) to Northfield 100 (2120)

Pray for my ability to deal with the heat. Have 11 days of riding left!

Posted: July 15, 2012, 10:13 p.m.

Saturday 14 Jul 2012 20:38

Made it to Pierre, SD. Hot and very windy.

Toward the end many of us had to sag in due to the wind gusts--20 mph in your face. It feels like you riding standing still. When I got on the van it was full and a friend could not load, so he rode on 5 miles more and waved down the last van. I was considering staying with him and he waved me on. The wind was so strong it ripped off the bike rack on top of thar van and threw his bike off--total loss. Had I gone on this van instead my bike would've been thrown off as well. This is quite the adventure.

Looks like more windy days ahead. Pray for a westerly wind.

In the picture: we went to a great steak house to celebrate the 4th week. Right. Robin from London. Greg from Santa Barbara. Robin's two sons Alex and William. Peter and his wife (forget her name) who are newlyweds from Zurich, Switzerland.

Posted: July 15, 2012, 1:38 a.m.

Saturday 14 Jul 2012 11:58

A beautiful ride but very very windy. The first 40 miles the wind was at our right side blowing us across the road. Then we turned due east and faced a 20 mph head wind. Struggled to make it to picnic at 54 miles.

For the first time in this trip I had ran out of water the last 10 miles. It's an adventure.

Posted: July 14, 2012, 5:58 p.m.

Saturday 14 Jul 2012 10:19

Turned here and got out of the head wind.

Posted: July 14, 2012, 4:19 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 20:35

John Smith and I getting our bikes ready for tomorrow.

Saturday we ride to Pierre, SD. 90 miles and 3,040 feet elevation. Only a couple climbs, mostly just rolling hills. Will be 90-100 degrees.

This will be the end of the 4th week. After tomorrow we've ridden 25 of the last 28 days.

Timothy from Scotland rode his bicycle all day today without a seat.

Posted: July 14, 2012, 2:35 a.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 13:46

What a tough ride to get from Wall to Philip, SD. The last 20 miles there was a gravel top called chip seal that they put on top of the asphalt. On a trip like this it is always something--5 people in the group broke derailors due to the stones.

I made it to Philip and I am staying in a motel with John Smith.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 7:46 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 12:25

Our destination today and Saturday.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 6:25 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 11:03

At the famous Wall Drug in Wall, SD. 30 miles into today's ride.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 5:03 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 9:21

The final big climb to the top for 0.7 mile at 10%. What a view from the top.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 3:21 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 7:46

8 miles and another climb for 0.7 mile. Worth the work to see this.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 1:46 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 7:34

Badlands on the morning. 1/2 mile climb at 6% to wake us up.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 1:34 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 7:27

We are pulled up to take this picture my left clip stuck and I fell. Ok but sore bottom and feel stupid. But...great view.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 1:27 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 7:13

On the way, 5 miles.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 1:13 p.m.

Friday 13 Jul 2012 7:05

Starting through Badlands National Park. Stunning.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 1:05 p.m.

Thursday 12 Jul 2012 18:44

Friday we ride 63 miles to Philip, SD.

The highlight of this segment is riding through Badlands National Park. We do have three steep climbs, one at 10%, although not as long as previous.

Then we ride to Wall, SD and east to Philip. It is supposed to be around 100--Hot.

Pray for my riding in the heat for next 10 days. Thx.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 12:44 a.m.

Thursday 12 Jul 2012 18:34

This is Timothy, a 25 yr old entrepreneur from Scotland. We're having the group dinner at 5:30.

Timothy has a very sore bottom--I'll spare u the details. But he's so determined to keep going that he took off his seat and today he's going to stand all day to ride his bike. I'll post a report later if he made it.

Posted: July 13, 2012, 12:34 a.m.

Thursday 12 Jul 2012 13:20

Made it to Interior, SD. I was able to get the last motel room adjacent tithe camp soluble and shared if with John Smith from England. You'd probably think this is a shabby room but air conditioning is the pinnacle of society.

Lived to ride another day.

Posted: July 12, 2012, 7:20 p.m.

Thursday 12 Jul 2012 12:29

A long road ahead.

Posted: July 12, 2012, 6:29 p.m.

Thursday 12 Jul 2012 11:01

It's up to 110 and I really need to push through. Beautiful scenery but when you can see down the road 2 miles it can seem like you're bicycling slow.

Posted: July 12, 2012, 5:01 p.m.

Thursday 12 Jul 2012 10:44

An almost forgotten twin called Scenic, SD. The town is for sale. We had picnic here. Its very hot--like 100.

Posted: July 12, 2012, 4:44 p.m.

Thursday 12 Jul 2012 8:47

30 miles. Rolling across the South Dakota plains. This am I made great time. Feels good to be out of the mountains.

Posted: July 12, 2012, 2:47 p.m.

Thursday 12 Jul 2012 8:22

Mile 24. Making great time, trying to beat midday heat.

Posted: July 12, 2012, 2:22 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 20:26

Now the mountain climbing is over. The next challenge is the heat. Tomorrow we ride 80 miles and only gain 1,140 feet elevation gain. (last Thursday we gained 9,000 feet).

We will head to Interior, SD and it will be hot there.

I had the mechanic put on new tires and liners son I can hopefully get over this string of flat tires. Imagine standing on the prairie by yourself in the hot sun and the only way you can get your bike going again is to fix the tire. You get pretty good at it.

Posted: July 12, 2012, 2:26 a.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 15:44

Made it to Rapid City, SD. Still 6 miles to the school where we're camping. Temp sign says 100 degrees.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 9:44 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 13:18

Keystone, SD. Picnic was on the far side of town.

After a morning of climbing about 4,000 feet you'd like to eat and kick back.

But we still had a tough 18 mile ride. I got a flat tire in the parking lot as I went to leave. I also had a flat tire in the morning on the Needles Highway. You just fix it yourself.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 7:18 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 13:13

Posted: July 11, 2012, 7:13 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 13:03

Closer of Mt Rushmore.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 7:03 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 12:54

Made it to the top after an amazingly hard climb. I rode at 4-5 mph to just climb the pass. Looking east to where we're heading.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 6:54 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 12:44

Posted: July 11, 2012, 6:44 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 12:36

Posted: July 11, 2012, 6:36 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 12:33

View of Mt Rushmore.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 6:33 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 12:32

On the Needles Highway. The most scenic highways to bicycle (and very hilly-steep climbing.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 6:32 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 11:45

View of Mt Rushmore at mile 35.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 11:33

Hot. When you see a sign like this--road closed in the winter, it means a steep mountain pass. :(

Posted: July 11, 2012, 5:33 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 8:09

In background, where we were yesterday.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 2:09 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 8:06

Posted: July 11, 2012, 2:06 p.m.

Wednesday 11 Jul 2012 8:02

Climbing. 8 miles.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 2:02 p.m.

Tuesday 10 Jul 2012 22:12

Staying in Custer, SD. John and Malcolm walked up triton town and had grub.

Wednesday is the last day of "mountain climbing". We are traveling on the Needle Highway in the Badlands. Go ahead and Google it. So it's a great experience but tone of climbing on a bike.

5450 feet over 64 miles. And it will in 90s tomorrow. For example, this means well climb a 6% grade for 1.1 miles, and again...again

Lots of tourist cars so pray for safety please.

Last day of mountain climbing for me.

Posted: July 11, 2012, 4:12 a.m.

Tuesday 10 Jul 2012 14:24

Made it to Custer, SD, don't know how I did it. Everyone in camp is buzzing with how difficult today was.

Posted: July 10, 2012, 8:24 p.m.

Tuesday 10 Jul 2012 12:14

  1. Today was only 62 miles but it was so hard. It was like 50 miles of large rolling steep hills at 6%.

For the Everett crowd, today's riding was like climbing the Mukilteo Ferry hill from the bottom to the Taco Bell, then turning around and going back down, and repeating this 25 times. Really.

Tomorrow we have another hard mountain day...then Thursday supposedly we leave the mountains and come down into the Midwest rolling hills. Next week well see Minnesota corn fields--can't wait.

Posted: July 10, 2012, 6:14 p.m.

Tuesday 10 Jul 2012 11:48

Just beyond picnic. Badlands of South Dakota. Today was hard riding but stunning beauty...until the last 15 miles.

Posted: July 10, 2012, 5:48 p.m.

Tuesday 10 Jul 2012 11:03

Picnic at 35 miles. This is just off the main road--you can see the tent.

Posted: July 10, 2012, 5:03 p.m.

Tuesday 10 Jul 2012 10:35

Had a 10 mile gravel stretch that I survived 4 miles. Beautiful area. Greg came along with van and sagged me to end of gravel. Really hard riding. Today is turning out to be one of the hardest of the trip. Inclined 6-7% all day.

Posted: July 10, 2012, 4:35 p.m.

Tuesday 10 Jul 2012 10:34

Great riding with lots of steep hills. Little town for water stop. Local store lady giving out free apples.

Posted: July 10, 2012, 4:34 p.m.

Monday 9 Jul 2012 21:40

Here is picture of our travels this week across South Dakota.

Mon - Wed are the big climbing days. Total of 458 miles and over 21,000 feet climb. Later this week and next we get into the rolling Midwest hills with no more mountains. yah.

Posted: July 10, 2012, 3:40 a.m.

Monday 9 Jul 2012 20:30

Arrived in Lead, SD. Tomorrow is a 64 mike ride with 4,510 climbing. We are getting through Bad lands and tomorrow we'll see Mount Rushmore.

I am feeling better and think I might be at full strength.

Posted: July 10, 2012, 2:30 a.m.

Monday 9 Jul 2012 11:34

My stomach flu put a crimp in my riding. You learn how to get hydrated and nourished on this trip. It took a 24 hour chunk out of my routine. I was throwing up until 7 last night.

This morning I was so tired and low energy, so I had to ride sag wagon the first 30 miles at the 2nd water stop. I tried to hydrate myself in the van. Then I rode the bicycle about 35 miles and just ran out of energy at Spearfish, South Dakota . Had to ride the van in the last 15 miles.

Hoping this is a 24 hour thing and Tuesday 8 can get back in sync.

Posted: July 9, 2012, 5:34 p.m.

Monday 9 Jul 2012 6:10

Sunday morning I enjoyed this Church in Hulett, Wyoming. Nice people. Very welcoming.

As Sunday progressed I got a bad stomach flu and spent the day throwing up and diarrhea. The stomach flu is going around the group. I am riding the sag wagon for a little way this morning to see if the sickness has past and to get my fluids replaced.

Today is the 3rd hardest ride so far--89.5 miles and 5,610 get climb as we climb into the Badlands. Because I stayed in a motel this weekend I had already done 10 miles of the route at the end of Saturday night. There is a long 18.7 mile climb at mile 63.

Posted: July 9, 2012, 12:10 p.m.

Saturday 7 Jul 2012 20:07

The group had a party Saturday night to celebrate the first 3 weeks. The group camped at the base of Devil's Tower.

Posted: July 8, 2012, 2:07 a.m.

Saturday 7 Jul 2012 15:31

Hulett, Wyoming. A few of us swam in the river next to the motel. We stay in places you would choose if you driving. We are 9 miles from Devil's Tower. Half the group is camping at a KOA campground and half at this motel in Hulett.

We have ridden bicycles 19 of 21 days.

Posted: July 7, 2012, 9:31 p.m.

Saturday 7 Jul 2012 15:30

Arrived Hulett, Wyoming. I made a mistake, we are still in Wyoming. I like Wyoming but it was tough to bike across the state and I admit I'll be glad to get through the state. It was a long tough ride across the state.

Posted: July 7, 2012, 9:30 p.m.

Saturday 7 Jul 2012 13:26

Posted: July 7, 2012, 7:26 p.m.

Saturday 7 Jul 2012 12:37

Long hills today. Beautiful prairie.

Posted: July 7, 2012, 6:37 p.m.

Saturday 7 Jul 2012 10:29

On way to Devil's Tower.

Posted: July 7, 2012, 4:29 p.m.

Saturday 7 Jul 2012 7:07

John Smith, a new friend I met from the UK. We rode a short ways together but he usually takes off as he is a strong rider. He's been a great to hang out with.

Getting ready for the Saturday ride.

Posted: July 7, 2012, 1:07 p.m.

Friday 6 Jul 2012 20:57

Saturday we ride from Gillette to Devil's Tower, South Dakota. Yes, I'll Benin the Midwest. Actually I'll be in a motel in Hulett, SD.

Saturday night is a party to celebrate the first three weeks--the hardest of the 9 week coast to coast trip. About 60% of the total hill/mountain climbing coast to coast is in the first 3 weeks.

Tomorrow we ride 77 miles and climb 2,130 feet.

I mentioned Kathy who fell today--a metal piece flew up and jammed her tire and she was thrown off. She broke some bones and is in hospital. It's hard to convey the "peril" that we face--wind, heat, humidity, bugs, thunderstorms...appreciate your prayers for continued safety.

Posted: July 7, 2012, 2:57 a.m.

Friday 6 Jul 2012 14:20

A welcome sign to see--means you've found the camp ground and you are through for the day.

Posted: July 6, 2012, 8:20 p.m.

Friday 6 Jul 2012 14:20

A staff member goes out a day in advance and marks the route like this. We have written route sheets but you soon learn to watch for these marks to stay on the route

Posted: July 6, 2012, 8:20 p.m.

Friday 6 Jul 2012 13:56

Made it to Gillette, Wyoming. Lots of rolling hills.

Posted: July 6, 2012, 7:56 p.m.

Friday 6 Jul 2012 11:51

43 miles into the ride to Gillette. We rode the interstate--it's the only road east. I had 3 flats today--you lose time and get out of sync. The day seemed to drag on though only 72 miles.

Kathleen, one of the group, fell hard today. I came on her and administered first aid until the group van came. They took her to the emergency room, have not heard yet.

Posted: July 6, 2012, 5:51 p.m.

Friday 6 Jul 2012 7:29

Saying goodbye to the Big Horn Mountains. 6 miles toward Gillette.

Posted: July 6, 2012, 1:29 p.m.

Friday 6 Jul 2012 5:19

After mega ride Thursday it will be good to have an easier ride today. We ride 72 miles to Gillette, Wyoming with 2800 elevation gain, mostly rolling hills. Interestingly, we are riding the I-90 freeway almost the whole day as that is the only way to travel east.

I look forward to getting through week 3 and across Wyoming. Wish we could just stop and rest, but we always have another day.

Posted: July 6, 2012, 11:19 a.m.

Thursday 5 Jul 2012 19:23

Finished the epic ride into Buffalo, Wyoming. The group agrees the hardest ride anyone has ever done. The group is in a celebratory mood, though tired.

Across the street from our dinner location is the Occidental Hotel, and they have a country jam open Mic every Thursday night.

Posted: July 6, 2012, 1:23 a.m.

Thursday 5 Jul 2012 13:38

Made it to the summit of Powder River Pass, elevation 9,666. An amazingly difficult climb, can't believe I was a able to get there.

Of course we need to account for the 3 miles in the van so today I did about 8,500 feet gain and 89 miles.

Thanks for praying, it was cooler on the mountain.

On the way down was a harder cycling experience. You make the top summit and think you can cruise down...then there were a series of 7 smaller climbs...so you come down and then climb back up again, come down and then climb again. A very long day!

Posted: July 5, 2012, 7:38 p.m.

Thursday 5 Jul 2012 12:24

These 3 guys are the elite riders in our group. On Saturday they rode the peak twice--riding up and over and then coming back up the other side.

In this picture they had already rode up the the 9,666 elevation peak, and then they rode back down again for a second lunch so they can repeat the climb.

Mike is an IBM sales from NY. Theo is from Holland. Erin is from Seattle.

Posted: July 5, 2012, 6:24 p.m.

Thursday 5 Jul 2012 11:51

  1. For the first time on the tour I has to ride the sag wagon. My petal clip would not click in so I rode 3 miles to picnic for lunch and the mechanic. Received grief for this do wish I had just kept going.
Posted: July 5, 2012, 5:51 p.m.

Thursday 5 Jul 2012 10:44

Mile 40, 6528 elevation. Hard climbing at 6-9%. We have a 20 mile continuous climb to the summit.

Posted: July 5, 2012, 4:44 p.m.

Thursday 5 Jul 2012 9:46

36 miles. This will be a long day.

Posted: July 5, 2012, 3:46 p.m.

Thursday 5 Jul 2012 7:42

  1. Long climbs getting us up to the Bighorn Mountains.
Posted: July 5, 2012, 1:42 p.m.

Wednesday 4 Jul 2012 20:20

Thursday is the mega ride that we've been looking ahead to.

We climb across Powder River Pass 9,666 ft. A long climb with total elevation gain of 8,895 feet and a total of 92 miles. This is the most difficult climb in any Cycle America bike tour in America. This is a big milestone for everyone in the group.

If you're praying, Thursday is a big day in my journey and I want to make it. All the previous climbs has been training for this--hope I can just work through it.

Hot with 40% chance of thunderstorms. We start earlier at 6 am to give us more chance to get across.

The destination tomorrow is Casper, Wyoming. Saturday we will be at Devil's Tower, and next week we ride in South Dakota.

Thanks!

Posted: July 5, 2012, 2:20 a.m.

Wednesday 4 Jul 2012 15:55

Arrived Worland, Wyoming. It seemed like a longer ride than 92 miles, but the ride through Wind River Canyon was spectacular. There is a cumulative effect from riding every day that wears at you. But it is always satisfying to see the town sign.

Posted: July 4, 2012, 9:55 p.m.

Wednesday 4 Jul 2012 13:05

Mile 68...25 to go.

Posted: July 4, 2012, 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday 4 Jul 2012 11:19

Picnic at 53.

Posted: July 4, 2012, 5:19 p.m.

Wednesday 4 Jul 2012 11:18

Beautiful canyon ride. 43

Posted: July 4, 2012, 5:18 p.m.

Wednesday 4 Jul 2012 10:17

  1. Flat tire.
Posted: July 4, 2012, 4:17 p.m.

Wednesday 4 Jul 2012 9:26

21 miles.

Posted: July 4, 2012, 3:26 p.m.

Wednesday 4 Jul 2012 8:33

21 miles. Head wind. Hard riding.

Posted: July 4, 2012, 2:33 p.m.

Tuesday 3 Jul 2012 19:31

Camped in Riverton, WY. It was 109.6 in last couple hours of riding today. The heat is becoming the challenge. I started early today to beat heat and plan to do it tomorrow.

Wednesday we ride to Worland, WY. 93 miles and about 2,500 elevation climb. It will be hot.

Pray for a cold spell to sweep through the Midwest. I'd take some rain to cool things off.

Posted: July 4, 2012, 1:31 a.m.

Tuesday 3 Jul 2012 14:30

It was 109 for last hour or so, but here I am in Riverton, Wyoming. 82 miles more along the road.

Posted: July 3, 2012, 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday 3 Jul 2012 9:43

Picnic at 41 miles.

Posted: July 3, 2012, 3:43 p.m.

Tuesday 3 Jul 2012 9:18

Great riding. Making good time.

Posted: July 3, 2012, 3:18 p.m.

Tuesday 3 Jul 2012 7:22

Riding east. 6 miles.

Posted: July 3, 2012, 1:22 p.m.

Monday 2 Jul 2012 20:33

Tuesday we ride to Riverton, Wyoming. It's a moderate day for us with 82 miles and 1,345 elevation gain.

The challenge for tomorrow, and for the next few weeks, is the heat. The wind is also a varying challenge.

We are trending east so every mile gets me closer to Wisconsin.

Posted: July 3, 2012, 2:33 a.m.

Monday 2 Jul 2012 18:05

Arrived in Dubois, Wyoming. I won't be moving here soon although I am sure houses are cheap. Got the tent up and had the group dinner at a local eatery. Hot.

Posted: July 3, 2012, 12:05 a.m.

Monday 2 Jul 2012 14:13

I think this pass is Togwotee Pass, elevation 9,150 feet. This was a another climb and I am so glad I was able to do it.

If you see the clouds, I had the feeling people were praying. It was 102 on my cycle computer on the way up and we had this bank of clouds go through which caused the temp to drop 20 degrees at the top for the last climbing.

Posted: July 2, 2012, 8:13 p.m.

Monday 2 Jul 2012 13:13

Mile 63. 102 degrees.

Posted: July 2, 2012, 7:13 p.m.

Monday 2 Jul 2012 10:52

Picnic stop at 53 miles. A welcome sight.

Now we need to start a big climb.

Heading to Dubois, Wyoming.

Posted: July 2, 2012, 4:52 p.m.

Monday 2 Jul 2012 9:59

About 30 miles into a 103 mile ride. Great day.

Posted: July 2, 2012, 3:59 p.m.

Monday 2 Jul 2012 8:43

Tetons. Great weather and riding this am.

Posted: July 2, 2012, 2:43 p.m.

Monday 2 Jul 2012 8:43

We've already crossed the Tetons.

Posted: July 2, 2012, 2:43 p.m.

Sunday 1 Jul 2012 21:25

Tomorrow night we camp at the high school in Dubois , Wyoming.

At the end of this week we will be cmping at Devil's Tower .

This picture is Avi from Israel who is in Microwave , and Jon from Idaho Falls who runs a couple funeral homes.

Posted: July 2, 2012, 3:25 a.m.

Sunday 1 Jul 2012 21:11

Here is a picture of the week ahead. Overall 6 days:

Mon - 102 miles - 5140 elev gain Tues - 82 - 1345 Wed - 92 - 2340 Thurs 92 - 8995* fri 72 - 2800 68 - 2130

Total 505 miles and 22,660 elev gain. Monday and Thursday are the killer climbs. Try to blow up The picture of the week.

Posted: July 2, 2012, 3:11 a.m.

Sunday 1 Jul 2012 12:28

I had considered stopping my trip after both after Week 1- Missoula, and Week-2 Jackson. Roughly half of the group is doing only a week or two at a time. Some do a few legs of the 9 total to cross.

I guess in retrospect I should've tried a week or two first to acclimate myself to the rigor of the road. In particular these first 3 weeks are the toughest of the 9 week cross country--the tour leader told us we've now climbed 1/3 of the total climbing and after this 3rd week we'll have much more done.

It is a really difficult trip. Saturday's climb was unbelievably difficult. This week we have big climbs on Monday and Friday.

I'll hang in there, one day at a time. Many people have ridden In the sag van for part of the day due to tired, injury, fatigue. We've had 3 people go the the ER.

I have been able to ride the entire distance so far. So far I part of the EFI riders, as they say it. Let's see if I can maintain that.

I going to try to get through week 3 which is equally tough. After this we enter the Midwest with South Dakota and Minnesota. Prevailing winds should help us as we turn east.

Posted: July 1, 2012, 6:28 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 17:18

We're finished for the week and at a motel in Jackson, Wyoming.

What an exciting life we lead--doing laundry. This trip is an expedition that takes a lot of work to sustain the trip. You need to sort out your clothes and gear, check and clean your bike, pack your bags and stay organized.

I am in a hotel tonight for first time. Totally exhausted of course. Have slept average 5 hours a night for two weeks!

Posted: June 30, 2012, 11:18 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 14:51

Both Beth and Martin got flats on the way down. Some people fly down the hill--someone got to 52 mph. I take the safe approach and stay around 25 mph.

Posted: June 30, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 14:38

On way down. You can see how steep it is.

Posted: June 30, 2012, 8:38 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 14:17

At the top of Teton Pass--8150 feet. This was the hardest climb on this trip. It was 3 mph on the lowest gear.

Posted: June 30, 2012, 8:17 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 12:46

Climbing.

Posted: June 30, 2012, 6:46 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 12:42

On the way up Teton Pass at 6500. Need to get to 8150.

Posted: June 30, 2012, 6:42 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 10:46

Picnic at 38 miles. Great weather. Big climb starts at mile 51.

Posted: June 30, 2012, 4:46 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 8:50

This is Beth on ahead. The world is not flat and when you drive your car you miss these hills. Beautiful scenery.

You can see the Tetons ahead and we need to cross it.

Posted: June 30, 2012, 2:50 p.m.

Saturday 30 Jun 2012 8:50

Mile 15. I always start slow in the morning. Some big rolling hills that stretch on.

Posted: June 30, 2012, 2:50 p.m.

Friday 29 Jun 2012 21:15

Saturday we cross Teton pass.

We ride to Jackson, Wyoming to finish week 2...another really tough ride. Sorry that i keep saying this.

The reward for tomorrow is a hotel room in Jackson, the first on this trip.

We climb 4,995 feet to cross Teton Pass at elevation 8456. Total miles is only 68. For .6 miles we climb at 6-7% grade and the last 1.3 miles is at 8-10%. I need to work the hill at 200 feet club, stop and get my breath, and then just keep going. This is one of top "worse" climbs that Cycle America does. Please pray for me.

Good news is I've done 3 similar climbs in last 12 days. I can do it if I persist.

Once you get to the top, it's a 5 miles descent at 10% grade!

Posted: June 30, 2012, 3:15 a.m.

Friday 29 Jun 2012 17:28

Arrived Ashton, Idaho. Today was 63 miles and and some large rolling hills after lunch. Hot- high 90s or 100. I wish was had more days like this.

Tomorrow is a killer day as we climb the Tetons and end up in Jackson, Wyoming.

Posted: June 29, 2012, 11:28 p.m.

Friday 29 Jun 2012 12:21

Picnic at 49.6

Posted: June 29, 2012, 6:21 p.m.

Friday 29 Jun 2012 11:38

1000 miles! Up and over so many mountain passes in 12 days.

Malcolm from Australia Greg and John from England.

(Malcolm has severe ankle pains and feels overall sick today.)

Posted: June 29, 2012, 5:38 p.m.

Friday 29 Jun 2012 10:46

2nd water stop 34.

Greg from Windsor, England

Posted: June 29, 2012, 4:46 p.m.

Friday 29 Jun 2012 8:36

Second time crossing the Continental Divide!

Had a small fall on way up-lost my chain when downshifting-abrasions on knee and elbow. :(

Posted: June 29, 2012, 2:36 p.m.

Friday 29 Jun 2012 6:19

Friday we ride 64 miles and gain ONLY 1420 feet. We have a climb at start of day where we cross the Continental Divide again. Then downhill mostly to Ashton, Idaho.

But the wind is supposed to Benin out face again--it is so hard to ride into the wind.

Posted: June 29, 2012, 12:19 p.m.

Thursday 28 Jun 2012 16:31

What a tough ride. 102 hot and wind in our face.

Sign shows our destination tonight and Friday's destination, Ashton, Idaho.

I am so exhausted.

Posted: June 28, 2012, 10:31 p.m.

Thursday 28 Jun 2012 14:43

Posted: June 28, 2012, 8:43 p.m.

Thursday 28 Jun 2012 14:01

Posted: June 28, 2012, 8:01 p.m.

Thursday 28 Jun 2012 12:30

View from our lunch stop. We came up that road.

Posted: June 28, 2012, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday 28 Jun 2012 11:45

Just before lunch at 44.

Posted: June 28, 2012, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday 28 Jun 2012 9:16

First water break 22.7

Posted: June 28, 2012, 3:16 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Jun 2012 20:17

Finally arrived Ennis, Montana. Totally spent from the wind resistance. Climbed a mountain pass but the wind really sucked the energy. Really difficult.

Thursday we ride 73 miles and have 3,520 feet uphill. The same wind is in the forecast so I hope I can get through it. Plan to start as early as I can after breakfast as winds pick up in afternoon.

Hope to be in East Yellowstone, Montana tomorrow night. A bunch of us have tickets for a western melodrama at 8:30 on.

Friday was supposed to be a lighter day like 65 miles. Saturday is a killer day where we climb one of our hardest climbs...but the reward is a day off Sunday. We will surpass 1,000 miles total for the trip at Jackson, Wyoming.

Posted: June 28, 2012, 2:17 a.m.

Wednesday 27 Jun 2012 14:40

The last part to today's ride was really challenging.

Posted: June 27, 2012, 8:40 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Jun 2012 13:34

Climbed a pass that was 4 miles at 7-9% grade. It was so hard for the last part because we had head winds into our face gusting to 20-30 mph.

I think I am getting stronger with climbing the mountain passes but the head winds is so demoralizing. You feel like you're pedaling hard and standing still.

Posted: June 27, 2012, 7:34 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Jun 2012 12:26

26 to go.

Posted: June 27, 2012, 6:26 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Jun 2012 11:32

47 miles. 4 mile hill I just climbed.

Posted: June 27, 2012, 5:32 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Jun 2012 10:49

41

Posted: June 27, 2012, 4:49 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Jun 2012 8:57

First water stop at 21 miles.

Posted: June 27, 2012, 2:57 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 20:17

Tomorrow we ride 77 miles to Ennis, Montana. 3 big climbs and we have elevation climb of 3630 feet. It is a little less miles so that is good. My goal is to be in Jackson, Wyoming Saturday night.

Posted: June 27, 2012, 2:17 a.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 19:46

An answered prayer.

At the start this morning we rode into a hard wind for 15 miles. It was so draining. After awhile I found myself praying for God to please lighten the wind.

Just after that a couple on a tandem cruised by and told me to draft behind them. (When you draft behind people it cuts the wind resistance.) Thus, the wind was taken away.

I was thinking later how much I tell God what to do--take away this wind..and not just share my need and let Him solve it.

Posted: June 27, 2012, 1:46 a.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 15:49

The end of a long day.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 9:49 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 15:05

Great ride to Helena--a perfect 20 miles. In Helena we experienced heavy winds that gusted to 30 mph. Some rider bailed and called for the sag wagon. Martin, Beth, and I decided to carry on and is was a challenge getting through Helena--once the wind pushed me/bike over a lane.

Check out the picture of the capital and see the flags in the wind.

We actually did the 40 miles from Helena to Townsend with the wind at our back--averaged 20 mph which is racing speed to me.

Hit some head wind just before Townsend. 93 total miles.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 9:05 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 14:24

Montana wind storms.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 8:24 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 10:34

Canyon Creek. Chocolate milk. 60 miles to go. It was a great ride down from the pass to this store.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 4:34 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 9:27

Bicycle heaven-downhill.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 3:27 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 9:27

Top of the Continental Divide.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 3:27 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 9:04

See the road below. We came from there.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 3:04 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 9:03

Climb

Posted: June 26, 2012, 3:03 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 8:38

Climbing

Posted: June 26, 2012, 2:38 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 8:23

First water stop at 16. Now climb to 6150 ft.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 2:23 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Jun 2012 5:16

Up at 5 am and getting ready. I am apprehensive about this ride as the wind is so strong today. My tent is flapping in the wind. Please pray.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 11:16 a.m.

Monday 25 Jun 2012 20:47

I've had a few people comment how much fun i must be having. I thought I'd say this trip is not fun at all. It is 150% work--a real stretching adventure.

I know the meaning of the phrase "one day at a time". Two guys have got heat stroke, and a handful of people have already dropped.

This is a cross country tour and to make it across in 9 weeks they have to go at a fast pace. I am hoping to stay with them for 5 weeks but I have to go with their schedule. It really is challenging.

Some of this is out of my control--I depend on my bicycle to keep working, not get hit by a car, weather, etc.

And this is not a hotel trip. We are camping at schools and lugging our own gear.

I am hanging in there. Everyone is tired and bleary eyed. It is a boot camp kind of experience where you try to survive to the next day. It feels good to succeed each day, but then you gotta go to bed and get ready for the next day.

In the photo; each day we get a route sheet for the next day.

Tuesday night we'll be in Townsend, MT.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 2:47 a.m.

Monday 25 Jun 2012 20:32

Arrived in Lincoln, Montana around 4:30. Another tough day. Pitched my tent and ran down to Post Office to mail back stuff. it is so much work to lug your gear and clothes, so i am minimizing.

Each night we get a route sheet like the picture which details the next day bike ride.

Tomorrow we have a very tough ride--92 miles but we climb the Continental Divide--I misspoke about the last climb, tomorrow we climb the Divide at 6150 feet. They say it will not be as tough a climb as the 3 climbs last week. But tomorrow will be a very tough ride.

You can see the board--we expect wind gust of 20-35 MPH.

Tonight we are supposed to get a thunderstorm so wet tents in the morning.

Pray for me--this is a big climb tomorrow--7 miles at 6-10%.

Posted: June 26, 2012, 2:32 a.m.

Monday 25 Jun 2012 14:44

Tired riding into wind.

Posted: June 25, 2012, 8:44 p.m.

Monday 25 Jun 2012 12:59

Bike problems for Martin at mile 50

Posted: June 25, 2012, 6:59 p.m.

Monday 25 Jun 2012 10:28

Bicycle heaven.

Posted: June 25, 2012, 4:28 p.m.

Monday 25 Jun 2012 10:09

Blackfoot River.

Posted: June 25, 2012, 4:09 p.m.

Monday 25 Jun 2012 8:58

20 miles on a Monday morning in Montana.

Posted: June 25, 2012, 2:58 p.m.

Sunday 24 Jun 2012 20:08

This shows the week. Hoping To be riding into Jackson, Wyoming this Saturday, with day off Sunday.

440 miles and 19,945 elevation gain, riding 6 days.

(Last week was 26,210 elevation gain and 630 miles--in 7 days.)

Posted: June 25, 2012, 2:08 a.m.

Sunday 24 Jun 2012 20:01

This is Greg the tour leader. Well organized and focused on the goal to get everyone down the road. Each night he gives us a briefing and shares expectations to keep everyone in step.

Posted: June 25, 2012, 2:01 a.m.

Sunday 24 Jun 2012 19:59

Every night we have a briefing where we hear about the ride the next day.

Monday we ride from Missoula to Lincoln, Montana. 80 miles and 2,915 feet elevation gain. Will be hot.

Posted: June 25, 2012, 1:59 a.m.

Sunday 24 Jun 2012 19:57

This is Malcolm from Australia. We cleaned bikes and got ready.

There is a huge organizational process to do a bike tour. Quite a learning curve. You got to know where everything is and have it at the right time. It's your bicycle and you have to manage the ride--but the mechanics and staff are great and very willing to help.

Most days we have to strike camp and pack everything so we can eat at 6:30 am. You throw your two bags on the truck and you need to have all the bicycle gear you need for that day. At the end of a long day on the bike you need to set up your tent and reorganize.

Posted: June 25, 2012, 1:57 a.m.

Saturday 23 Jun 2012 16:43

Made it end of 7th day-what a week. We did 103 miles today. It was very hot and one rider from WI got heat stroke. I made it in tired.

We are staying in dorms at University of Montana and Sunday is a day of rest. I plan to sort out my gear and try to nap. I've averaged about 5-6 hours sleep all week.

Posted: June 23, 2012, 10:43 p.m.

Saturday 23 Jun 2012 14:09

Very tired.

Posted: June 23, 2012, 8:09 p.m.

Saturday 23 Jun 2012 11:32

53.4

Posted: June 23, 2012, 5:32 p.m.

Saturday 23 Jun 2012 10:35

Mile 40. Great road.

Posted: June 23, 2012, 4:35 p.m.

Saturday 23 Jun 2012 9:21

Great weather. Rolling hills. Made first 25 miles.

Posted: June 23, 2012, 3:21 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 22:19

Ride Saturday takes us to Missoula. MT. 103 miles and 2950 elevation gain. Raining here as thunderstorms are expected tonight and tomorrow.

This week we will have done 600 miles in 7 days with 5 centuries. Someone just pointed out that our total gain of 29,000 feet is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everett.

Not all bicycle tours are this strenuous-some average 350 to 400 per week. CA does this first week so difficult to get us over the mountains in the first week. Yes I think I signed up with the toughest tour unknowingly.

Sunday is a day off.

Posted: June 23, 2012, 4:19 a.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 19:12

Thunderstorms in Thompson Falls and Missoula, Montana tonight and tomorrow. Looks like packing up wet tents and riding all day in the rain. In getting the full experience. 100 miles Saturday and I need to get to Missoula. We get Sunday off.

Dinner tonight in the local Elks Club--a community potluck:

Malcolm - Australia Christopher - NYC John - England Jon - Idaho

Posted: June 23, 2012, 1:12 a.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 15:36

Here at Thompson Falls, Montana. Last 8 miles was tough riding. Glad to be here.

Posted: June 22, 2012, 9:36 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 14:12

20 miles downhill to Thompson Falls, Montana.

Posted: June 22, 2012, 8:12 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 13:59

In Montana.

Posted: June 22, 2012, 7:59 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 13:38

At top of Thompson Pass.

Posted: June 22, 2012, 7:38 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 13:36

Summit at 5000 feet. Most difficult ride ever :(. It so it seems ...

Posted: June 22, 2012, 7:36 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 12:09

Made it to 4520. In lowest gear and going 3 MpH with big wind in my face.

Posted: June 22, 2012, 7:09 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 11:40

4000 ft

Posted: June 22, 2012, 6:40 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 11:15

  1. Need to get to about 5000.
Posted: June 22, 2012, 6:15 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 10:42

3120

Posted: June 22, 2012, 5:42 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 10:23

2900

Posted: June 22, 2012, 5:23 p.m.

Friday 22 Jun 2012 9:31

Climbing. Raining. Mile 26. Now we really start climbing to the pass. Tired...road weary.

Posted: June 22, 2012, 4:31 p.m.

Thursday 21 Jun 2012 21:01

In Kellogg Idaho camping at a middle school. Friday we cross the Continental Divide. Only 69 miles but 3575 elevation gain. 5 miles of 7-9-10% gain. We picnic at the top of the pass. Big climb.

I had mechanic change my tires to a 25 inch for less rolling resistance.

By the way, just down the road from where I sit in Kellogg is Wallace, Idaho where I became a Christian in 1972 while working in an underground mine.

Posted: June 22, 2012, 4:01 a.m.

Thursday 21 Jun 2012 13:09

Each day we get a picnic stop. The food is great. In fact all the food for this trip is really good. Cycle America is a well run outfit.

Posted: June 21, 2012, 8:09 p.m.

Thursday 21 Jun 2012 12:14

On way to Kellogg Idaho. Hot.

This trip is tough--have wondered the validity of my mindset in picking it. It truly is one day at a time.

Posted: June 21, 2012, 7:14 p.m.

Thursday 21 Jun 2012 11:48

Great 50 mile bike path almost flat.

Posted: June 21, 2012, 6:48 p.m.

Thursday 21 Jun 2012 7:43

Left Spokane to ride 95 miles to Kellogg and 2000 elevation gain. Very hot 88 degrees.

Posted: June 21, 2012, 2:43 p.m.

Wednesday 20 Jun 2012 13:36

I am so blessed to ride with Martin and Beth from Minneapolis. He is 65 and she 62 and they ride so strong. This is their second trip across the U.S. We make a good team.

"For two are better than one, for they have a good return for their labor. But woe be to the one who falls when there is noone to pick them up." Eccel. 2:9,10.

Posted: June 20, 2012, 8:36 p.m.

Wednesday 20 Jun 2012 7:26

Left Coulee Dam ad had a tough 6 mile climb out of town. A 94 mile rode to Spokane with 3850 elevation gain.

We stayed in dorms of Gonzaga U. It was great to do laundry--we are camping and riding in 80-85 heat so clothes are sweaty.

This trip is very difficult. Feel road weary. I'm fact it's way beyond what I expected. The hills and climbing just never ends.

Posted: June 20, 2012, 2:26 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Jun 2012 11:43

This is the TOUGHEST ride in my life. We climbed a continuous 12% grade for 4 miles. There was no let up or flat stretches--just a continuous climb that never ends. It is McNeil Canyon Road.

Will post a picture later to show me on top.

It was about mile 40 at the top. We still needed to ride another 60.

Total for day: 102.6 and we ended at Coulee Dam. 5,440 elevation gain.

Each night we need to lug our bags and set up tents. It feels good to get your tent set up and ready.

Posted: June 19, 2012, 6:43 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Jun 2012 7:20

Left Wenatchee Tuesday AM and rode 40 miles up Hwy 2. Beautiful drive up the river.

Stopped to help someone with a flat. There are about 75 people on this ride and people group up per their pace. But we all stop to help each other.

I rode with Martin and Beth.

Posted: June 19, 2012, 2:20 p.m.

Monday 18 Jun 2012 21:06

This is a supported trip in that they map out the daily route, mark the route, provide 3 great meals a day plus water stops.

But we still need to set up our tents and fend for ourselves. Mine is the orange tent.

Tomorrow is a very hard day. 102 miles from Wenatchee to Coulee Dam. There is a 5 mile "up to 12%" climb that I worry about.

I will ride with Martin and Beth from Minneapolis. Martin is 65 and His wife abets is 62 and they are so strong riders.

I also rode today with Joe, a 71 yr old guy from Wisconsin who has done 2 tours like this.

Posted: June 19, 2012, 4:06 a.m.

Monday 18 Jun 2012 7:35

Left Skykomish. Raining and cold. Climbed Stevens Pass 5,000 feet. Probably in top 5 most difficult things I've done. At Pass it was cold and I was so wet and sweaty and felt very cold. Then coming downhill it was so cold. Was 15 miles before it began to warm up.

It was so wet and cold I did not get any good pictures.

74 miles total today to Wenatchee.

Posted: June 18, 2012, 2:35 p.m.

Sunday 17 Jun 2012 16:12

Camping in Skykomish, Washington. I have my tent under the roof. All my bike clothes are soaked and we are trying to air dry.

Monday we climb 20 miles to summit of Stevens Pass--it will be rainy and cold until the top. Then we ride to Wenatchee for a total of 74 miles. It will be warmer and dry on other side of the pass.

Road at pass can be tight riding.

Posted: June 17, 2012, 11:12 p.m.

Sunday 17 Jun 2012 13:15

Helping with a flat.

Posted: June 17, 2012, 8:15 p.m.

Sunday 17 Jun 2012 12:48

Raining and climbing.

Posted: June 17, 2012, 7:48 p.m.

Sunday 17 Jun 2012 7:37

I am so thankful for the great cycling coaches at the Mukilteo YMCA. I think I've endured and enjoyed 125 spinning classes since January 1st. You have prepared me well—I can ride up the Mukilteo ferry hill in second gear because of you. You all make a difference. Thanks much!

p.s. I wish that I had worked harder :)

Posted: June 17, 2012, 2:37 p.m.

Sunday 17 Jun 2012 7:34

Thanks to my family for your support and encouragement. "So how long will you be gone? How much is this costing? Going to the YMCA again?" You make this possible. Thanks for praying!

Posted: June 17, 2012, 2:34 p.m.

Sunday 17 Jun 2012 7:31

What can I say to get started? I was thinking about the movie True Grit.

The story is a 14-year-old farm girl named Mattie Ross sets out to capture her father’s killer. She hires the toughest U.S. marshal she can find, a man with "true grit.” Mattie insists on accompanying the marshal into the wilderness. During the story we see that each has “grit.”

Mattie writes her mother before starting her journey: “Dearest Mother. I am about to embark on a great adventure. Do no fear on my account. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil. The Author of all things watches over me. And I have a fine horse.”

I am about to embark upon my own great adventure, a bicycle ride from my chosen hometown Seattle back to my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. About 2,750 miles over 5½ weeks. So now as I prepare to ride my bicycle across 7 states, I write...

“Dearest family and friends, I am about to embark on a great adventure. I trust myself to God who knows me by name. And I have a fine bike.”

Posted: June 17, 2012, 2:31 p.m.

Sunday 17 Jun 2012 2:29

In the first week we'll ride 600 miles on 6 days, with 26,210 feet of elevation gain. The earth is not flat.

Posted: June 17, 2012, 9:29 a.m.

On Wisconsin

User: dseattle
Dates: 17 Jun 2012 - 26 Jul 2012
Duration: 1 month, 1 week
URL: http://facebook.com/dseattle87

Embarking on an epic journey to ride my bicycle from my hometown Seattle back to Madison, WI. I'll finish at my the campus of U of Wisconsin, my alma mater. 2,750 miles over 5 1/2 weeks.

I'm riding with a group called Cycle America. There are about 50 people from all over the U.S., UK, Australia. Support vehicles, mechanic, food and water stops. We'll be camping, with a few motels as needed.

Daily we'll ride between 60-100 miles depending on elevation changes. 3 mountain passes. Ride 6 days a week, with an extra day the first week.
6/17 Leave Seattle
6/24 Missoula, MT (605 mi)
6/30 Jackson, WY (440 mi)
7/07 Devils Tower, WY (498 mi)
7/14 Pierre, SD (498 mi)
7/21 Northfield, MN (484 mi)
7/24 Madison, WI (225 mi)

I hope and plan to finish at the Abraham Lincoln statue on Bascom Hill at the U of Wisconsin on Tuesday, July 24th. See you there!!

Commenting is closed.

Denny -- can you hear "The Hallelujah Chorus" from your Quammen corner? Such good news!
Mona

What a ride!!

y-e-a-h!

Congrats!!
You are inspiring me to try a week plus tour myself

It was nice to follow you!
And thanks for the pictures!!

whoo-hoo!

Denny,

I want to offer my congratulations on completing your goal.

Jim Flesch
(Fran and I rode the first two weeks with you on our tandem).

Good luck on your homestretch!! Wish I cod have met you in Northfield (my home turf , hope you enjoyed your stay!!)

Oh my, Denny~~you're almost there! Will you sleep out in your tent in the back yard when you get home, to avoid cold turkey withdrawal? Best of travels to you...Godspeed and safe roads.

I'm glad to see you are still alive, Denny. Abe may greet you yet! Thinking of and praying for you in this heat. Maybe next time do it in September or October??

Good ol SD! If you can swing by Mitchell, SD I would be happy to provide a free bike wash to all in your group at Sportsmans car wash. Remember Mitchell is home to the world famous Corn Palace.
The best of luck for the remainder of your adventure!
Tom Alexander

What a fabulous adventure for you, Denny. I have been watching the Tour de France and thinking of you. Prayed for you; safety, enjoyment, discerning God's presence in the midst of the highs and lows of your journey.
In His grip,
Tom

My girls are real proud of your accomplishment already. Stacy has told her friends about her uncle's journey. We are looking forward to seeing you in WI. Safe travels!!!

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Prayers are with you.

Wow! Your almost there!!! Just a few more days:)

I am glad to read that you are feeling better. Being carsick is one thing but riding a bike/camping being sick..YUCK. You are still in our prayers and proud of how you are sticking it out. God is watching over you.

Denny, I know a good doctor, should I send her?? SD can do funny things to you?! Glad to hear you are feeling better. Enjoying your posts and pictures. Enjoy the flat plains of SD.

Marcia and Tom

Hi Denny...it's Bob from cycling class at the Y. It took me all this time to figure out how to track your ride. What can I say. I am technologically challenged. Anyway it looks like you are doing great. We talk about your ride and what an impressive thing you are doing all the time at the Y. Keep up the good work!!!!

Good going, Denny. We at the Y are proud of you! Are you planning to deviate into Sturgis with the other bikers? Ha Ha

Ride Denny ride, Looks like almost halfway-Godspeed.

Congratulations Denny on reaching Buffalo, WY! We are cheering and praying for you on this amazing bike ride and may it continue to be a safe one.

Strength, stamina, perseverance, safety~~may the good Lord bless you with all, and cover you with His protection.

You're awesome Denny! Sleep well, and God bless you!
Mona

Hope you had a restful day today Denny. Wow, you are doing great! Say hi to good ol South Dakota for us!
Marcia and Tom

You go Denny! We are all thinking about you (ymca)!

Congrats on making it into Jackson! Everyone at class is pulling for you and we are praying for you. Enjoy the show tonight and day off tommorrow :)

You're doing great, Denny. You're an inspiration to us all - reminds me that I haven't run at all this week. Better get out there. Too much time in front of this computer!!

I know I can, I know I can, I know I can...

So is this Denny from Church cuz you sure look like that Denny! Are you on a supported ride? Can't quite tell. Go Denny! We hit 100+ weather in Kansas/Missouri so doing some time in the truck. Not our dream to be on an interstate. Didn't know about this trip tracker. Thanks, Marlee

Hang in there, Denny! You guys are really racking up the miles! Sorry to hear about the headwinds, heat, team drop outs, and gnarly mountain passes. Will be praying for you to be safe, cool and strong.

In Ennis MT. they have a good Dairy Queen in case you need to get some refreshments!! We continue to keep you in our prayers.

Here in Kansas we know what wind can do...prayers for safe travel and good health...

Keep up the good work! You go this. All you need are a few distractions every day to keep your mind off it!

Great Job Denny! We are cheering for you and praying for you. Press on. Thank you for posting updates and pictures. It's great to follow your trip.

Better you than me my friend! I love being able to follow you on Track My Tour, though! I hope you have been able to enjoy the scenery - beautiful! See you at Craig's.

Great job Denny! You should be so proud of this great accomplishment. I now understand why you were trying to kill yourself in spinning class. Tom Alexander

Fantastic, Denny! What an incredible experience ~ Hope your heart, mind, and soul are soaking up lots of creation and closeness to the Creator every mile you come... Eager to see you in Madison!!

Hey Denny! Class and I are thinking about you!! Remember you are an athletic and just when you think you can't do anymore, you can. You have an amazing body that can do amazing things! Maria

You Go Guy!!! Wow I am beyond impressed Denny!! What a great example you are for Annie and Katie!! To see their dad attempt and achieve such a dream !! I am tired just reading your updates :). We will keep you in our prayers and pray for you each time we see a bike!! Love-Maureen (and Karl and kiddos)

I'm praying for you each time I see a bicyclist. Keep going Denny, can't wait to hear all of your stories.

Go Denny!! Can't wait to see you in Wisconsin. Best wishes for a safe and successful trip.

Talked about you in cycling class today. Everybody is pulling for you! Cycle #20 says hello. Praying that your parents stay well and for continued strength for you. :)

Our prayers are with you! You are doing great. Tracy & Patti

WOW is all I can say.To go up the Pass in a car is one thing but on a bike??Holy Cow!!! God bless you on the ride tommorow

Denny, have a great ride! We will be thinking of you every time we ride for an hour, knowing you will be on yours LONGER:). Be safe and you will be missed in our class, till you get back, maria