We stopped for breakfast at the same place we had had dinner last night. We were fortunate because they opened up 6:00 a.m. We wanted to get to Minneapolis as early as we could so we could go the bike shop before our 5:00 p.m. clean the trailer deadline. More on this later.
Today’s ride was a combination of road and bike path and city street riding.
The first 23 miles were on the roads on our way to Stillwater. Here we had the most climbing for the day. The traffic was light and the roads were good.
Then we hit the bike path which were also good. The biggest problem here was figuring out how to get on the bike path. When we got to Stillwater we had our first rest stop. The last road going down, and I mean down, to the rest stop was probably only a quarter of a mile but the street was the steepest grade we had ever experienced. We had to ride the breaks hard all the way down and just before the bottom is where our rest stop van waited. I was really glad I have hydraulic breaks on my new bike.
Then began the search for the path trail. We thought based on our GPS that we should cross a bridge, but the road was under construction and no traffic was allowed, even bikes. Then after a long phone call we were told not to cross the bridge and take a city street that paralleled the bike path. While on the street we could see the path but couldn’t see an access road down to it. After some research and some back tracking we finally got on the path.
The path was great and very scenic, it was a joy to ride.
The path continued on for 18 miles with very little on grade road crossings. At the end of the trail we came to our last rest stop of the day.
Now the city streets. This was not straight forward because at the end we went off trail to go to the bike shop. Little did we know there were two bike shops with the same name “Freewheel Bike” and of course we went to the wrong one. But it turned out well because there was a factory representative from Salsa there and he lead us to the other store. He asked me a lot of question about my bike and wanted to know what I thought of the bike so he got something by leading us to the other shop.
The main reason I wanted to get to the bike shop was to get the mounting bracket for my Garmin fixed. I talked to a couple of people but the only thing they could do was locate the parts I had preordered. They finally took me to see Veronica, the bike mechanic. She is the ones that helped me with the preorder. She looked at what broke and said she could use the original bracket and would only need to switch out some parts. In 10 minutes she had it fixed. Veronica was definitely the brains of the shop. I also told her about so shifting problems I was having and in another 10 minutes she had the adjustments made.
We then had a 3 minute bike ride to Middlebrook Hall, our home for 3 nights.
We had to remove all our gear from the trailer so it could be cleaned and make room for 5 new riders. That was not a problem for me because everything I have can fit in one big duffle bag. Some people had a many as 5 little bags and took numerous trips to the dorm.
The dorm rooms had 2 beds so Ed and I shared a room. Our restrooms/showers were right across the hall and were very nice.
After resting a little, we went out to find a place for dinner. There is not a large selection of restaurants and no grocery stores in the area, which surprised us.