The Mother Nature Challenge Ride

Well, dear reader, at its heart it was to be a simple ride for pizza (not just any pizza, the best pizza in the state, pizza!).  First an overnight at our new favorite Friday night stopover at the Riverwalk Inn in Fort Atkinson.  They like bikes so, course they’re OK by me — and Fort Atkinson has the Bent Kettle tap room that the humans seem to like.  But for me, the ride from home to Fort is just a really nice, low traffic stroll.  Perfect for a Friday night, get out of town stopover.

The plan was that on Saturday, the human and I would get up early, do our pre-dawn toodle, stop for breakfast and then together with Edwin and his human head up to Sauk City for pizza.  Simple, eh?  Two long centuries for me and the human; a 70 and an 80 for Edwin and his.  Perfect…right in line with training.  Except we forgot about Mother Nature…and one should never, ever slight Mother Nature.

But, we checked the weather….all good.  Mid 60’s.  Cold overnight, but we expect our pre-dawn rides to be cold and slow.  Predicted winds were “nagging”-strength as Lon would say, head and slight tail on the way out to Sauk City; cross and slight tail back.  Or so NOAA said; Mother Nature had another plan.

Heading back into town from our Saturday pre-dawn ride, the winds were already picking up.  Probably around 10-12 out of the NW.  And, our direction for the day,  you ask?  NW.  And if the winds at 6:30AM were 10-12…a small dread was building…or, was that just dread we felt or was that the laughing and taunting of Mother Nature?!?!??! Hmmm?!?!?!?

Wasn’t a good feeling, that was sure.  So, we stopped for breakfast and then headed out.  By half way we were riding in our granny gear full-time, even downhill.  The wind was strong.  Mississippi strong.  Needless to say, the human accused me of being “fat” whenever we headed up hill.  Uh, excuse me?  I don’t think so.  *I* didn’t put a rack on my tail and *I* don’t require a change of clothes and a warm fleece at night and *I* don’t need a generator hub to see in the dark…oh wait, I do like the generator hub even though it makes me a little slower.   Suffice it to say, it was a very tough day.

But, the pizza, as always, at Windmill was awesome (although my human embarrassed us by eating enough pizza for 2 large factory workers…sigh…and the human called *me* fat…but human’s need fuel and we burned a lot that day).

The next day we needed to ride back into town.  Due east and the winds were supposed to be NW.  No worries, right?  Uh…no.  The winds stayed due north with a slight east, but compared to the previous day not too bad.  So, was Mother Nature maybe going to be nice to us for the second day?  Nope…turns out the first day’s challenge was headwinds; the second day’s challenge was river crossings.

Apparently, it wouldn’t be sufficient to only have a strong crosswind on our 80 miles into Oconomowoc so Mother Nature flooded some rivers and encouraged some road construction for a total of 3 detours.  Three — in one case our detour had a detour.  Worst part, each one had us heading south for a few miles just so we could fight the strong north wind to get back on route.  Arggghhh….

But, it is all training.  And the training is moving forward.  We road for 9 hours on Saturday and got in a 10 hour ride on Sunday.  While we want to be doing 10 and 12 hour rides on the weekend, it is not yet Memorial Day.  And for that weekend, the human is promising me 3 days of riding.  Woohoo!

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