Mike and Di ByCycle 2016 travel blog

Lake Ida, Cormorant MN

Clever me!! I had to create a way to clean the tube...

The charm of the campground is in the remnants of years gone...

My dog drama damage

Just when you think there is nothing to look at you see...

Ashby Resort on the Lake and right on the Central Lakes Bike...

Fans of Prarie Home Companion??? Trail named because the towns on the...

Miles and Miles and Miles of paved trail!!!

Thanks for checking in!! It's been awhile since I have been able to catch up!! It might be a coffee moment or favorite drink moment!! I feel a long one coming!!!

July 19, Fargo ND - Pretty early start!! Early start at Subway!! You can use this blog as a great food guide too as we eat our way across America!! Subway had this new yummy option (if you like this sort of thing, and I don't usually . . . Just addicted to my Egg McMuffin!!) But Subway has a breakfast sandwich between two pieces of "French Toast". Really hit the spot AND good coffee!! Only thing missing was the cinnamon rolls!! But the breakfast set us up for a great start to the day!! Well so I thought!! Must have done something to my brain because I got very confused trying to get out of Fargo!! After a very long time I realized the route was taking us all the way back out of Fargo on that same wonderful bike route we came in on!! In my mind we would just be carrying on in the direction we arrived, and I tried very hard to interpret the map to read that way!! It was horrible, but eventually I saw the error of my ways, got turned in the right direction and off we went . . . Straight into Minnesota and into the wind!!!

No fanfare crossing into Minnesota!! Not even a sign!! Such a disappointment! But what can you do?? There could have been a sign and I missed it completely because honestly I didn't even lift my head up for the 40 something miles!! Head down, pedal, pedal and pedal!! The hills might not have presented any kind of issue, you could tell when the wind gave us a small reprieve that we could manage them, but the hills into the headwind was tough. It was just a hard day.

But as these things do, it all turned out with a happy ending!! Stopped in The Roadside Inn as we reached Cormorant for a long tall drink after a long hard ride. Mike had been dreaming about a beer for many miles!! Had to sort out the campground for the evening but both choices were a mile off the route, didn't want to ride all the way out and no availability. Nobody at either campground answered their phone all day long!! It made me very doubtful if they would have a place for us if they didn't even need to answer the phone!!

Thought maybe a cold drink, chat with the locals and get some info might help us along to a better decision! I ordered a Vodka Tonic and the guy at the bar swung around and said "I am riding with YOU!" HaaHaHa!! It was so funny!! They all did in fact turn out to be quite helpful! The question of where can we stay always initiates a great conversation among the locals!! They told us to try Swannie's . . If he didn't answer his phone go anyway and just camp! If he doesn't notice you, that's his problem! Hmmmmmmm . . . . Not a comforting thought! They said "Oh Tony's will be full but maybe!" We decided Tony's would be the place and it was great! Nobody around but a few campers and it was right on Lake Ida. This place was so cool, campers had been in the same spot for years, you could tell! A perfect spot to weekend for the family, right on a lake. It took you back 20 years in time, nothing had been updated for at least that long and that was its absolute charm!!! Bernice let us put our tent anywhere we wanted to! We could even sleep in the air conditioned garage if we wanted to!! And for $4 for the night!! We found a perfect spot, had a refreshing dip in the lake, shower and ready to relax! Met new friend Denise and her lovely daughter and grandchildren! We all chatted for a long time and before they went home for the day, they made sure we had plenty of ice cold water from their refrigerator!!

I have said it before and cannot say it enough times, it is all about he amazing people we meet along the way!

July 20 - Lake Ida Cormorant, MN to Ashby, MN

Alarm goes off at 5AM. Weather forecasts have been putting out heat index warnings coming up with a combination of humidity and temperature heat index will be triple digits. New game plan is to get up early and beat the heat! On the road at 6AM, no breakfast, we will get it 15 miles down the road! It was yummy!!!! What a somewhat pleasant surprise to have a very cloudy sky and almost coolness to the morning air! The sun just wasn't ready to show its furnace hot face yet so we rode in comfort for a while. If you can call damp, clammy, sticky skin comfort, then we rode in it! The breeze on our damp skin did keep us cooler, so no complaints from us!! Just came to a nice flat spot in the road and THEN . . . This huge, ferocious dog came charging out of his driveway headed right for us and he meant trouble! I was scrambling for my whistle. I left one charging dog in a daze with a powerful lung filled blast on my whistle (and Mike in a daze too because we wear our communicators!) so I was going to give this charging beast an earful, but he was just too fast for me! He lunged for me or my wheel and managed to hit my rear wheel hard enough he knocked me right off my bike! I can remember the feel of the thump as he made contact!! It all happened so fast but I still had time to think, oh darn, this is going to hurt!! Always wear a helmet!! I actually saw a white flash as my helmet met the pavement! It was really scary!! But while I was paying attention to that white flash, it kept my mind off having the skin removed from my knee, hip and elbow!! Crazy!! Mike was at my side in no time, and once I was able to sit up, I stayed seated in the middle of the road and let out one huge, way too late blast on my whistle! Guess I was hoping someone would come rushing out of the house in a panic of guilt and help, but nope! so we got up, cleaned up, put my helmet back togeter and wrote a stern note about the events and dropped it in the mailbox. Bet he was upset when he found it!! (Not!)

Riding on was the best thing we could do, kept my knee from getting stiff. Got to Fergus Falls just as the sun was breaking thru the clouds and you could feel the temp rise and keep its promise to reach triple digits. My derailleur was giving me a bit of trouble, so we decided to stop at the bike shop before leaving town. Now it's hot and we have not had lunch. To save time I put the address of the bike shop into Google Maps and of course found it 4 1/2 miles on the other side of town! Let's get to the bike shop and we can eat while he works on my bike! Hot, traffic and bleeding limbs we followed the GPS faithfully to the destination only to find, OOOPS . .. I left a zero off the highway number!!! The shop was all the 4 1/2 miles back the direction we came from!! C'mon I have had a tough day, it could have happened to anyone!

On the ride back thru town what a temptation Dairy Queen turned out to be, stopped iin for a smoothie, filled up our water camel backs with ice and cold water and set off the last few miles to the bike shop! Two more phone calls later to make sure we were getting it right because it felt so wrong, we walked into the cool welcoming air conditioning of the bike shop!!

Let me make a long story short (you're welcome!) after an hour he told me I had the wrong type of derailleur and if I wanted him to he would try another and if it did not fix the problem he would put mine back. After two hours, it did not work and we left the same condition we arrived. He was a real gentleman and gave us the inner tube we were needing and charged us nothing. It wasn't his fault, but we certainly appreciated his efforts and we set off.

Walking outside was like walking into a furnace! Mike had enough for the day, but we really had no choice but to move on so we could camp. Like a champion he got on his bike and we entered the Central Lakes Bike Trail. For the next 107 miles of our trip we would be on a peaceful bike path! There was quite a bit of shade to help us along the way. Arrived at the town of Ashby, our destination and discovered the campground was another 2.5 miles!! So we ducked into the VFW. Ha, we were like Rock Stars! Poker night and book club night at the Ashby VFW!! Everyone talked to us and we felt quite at home! Refreshing drink and nice meal, fun conversation and we once again mounted up for the final 2.5 miles!! It was so much cooler now, a real difference! Reached our camp and RV park easily and what a welcome sight it was! Again such friendliness! After all the indecision about camp spots, it was obvious after the day we had and the heat, AC would be wonderful so our lovely hostess gave us a great deal (but we are not to tell anyone!!) and we settled in for a much cooler evening that the day we had!

Oh and the whitest, fluffiest bath towels EVER!!!

July 22 - Ashby MN to Sauk Centre MN

Once again to beat the heat, nice early start! Blueberry muffins and a banana to start out day out right and right onto the bike trail! Again it was a cool start! Going the other direction we had 500 participants of the MS Tram ride. Instead of the normal 150 miles, they were doing 218 I think they said. So that was 500 "good mornings" and 500 hand waves!! At least they were all friendly!! We passed their refreshment stop and the local bicycle repair guy was there in a tent. Mike wanted to stop but I said they guy already told us what we need, I didn't want to go thru that again! But this new guy Jake, I didn't even have to take my panniers off. He hoisted the whole bike, load and all up on his stand, and in 10 min with the adjustment of screws he had me gliding along with no issues at all!!!! Good Call Mike!! And thanks Jake the genius!! I was sure that was all I needed but the other guy convinced me otherwise! Again, no charge, just a friendly have a great trip, glad I could help!! People!! Good Kind People!!!

By noon we did 50 miles, no issue and had lunch in Sauk Centre. Today they were predicting 117 with the heat index. OMG. After much debate and options down the road, we decided to stay here for the night because the campground is very nice and maybe not so nice down the road within our riding distance this afternoon. It going to be a warm evening! I don't think it is as hot as they predicted, but hot enough. Nice shower. Don't bother drying off because it doesn't do any good! Took the opportunity to get some laundry done in the AC laundromat!! and now loitering at the public air conditioned library!! Learning to love the simple things in life!!

Since starting this entry a few hours ago while we were cooling off in the AC of the local library, we have had dinner and once back outside it has cooled off considerably!! I don't think we came anywhere near the predicted 117!! Tomorrow should be more normal!! Back on the trail in the morning!!

Hugs and good wishes to everyone out there!!!!! Thanks for spending time with us!!

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