First Two Days on the Bike
I am doing a combined post today due to the fact that we had such a long and busy day yesterday. So here is September 4th and 5th. The picture of the bicycling family is from todays adventures!!
September 4, 2015 Day 1
Ashwaubenon WI to Lakewood, WI – 73 miles
Weather – 78 degrees – cloudy and humid head wind most of the day – sunny and tail wind late in day
We started the day at 8:00am with a press conference at our home – three of the four local stations sent reporters to interview us and also follow us on our ride out of town. The interviews went well and hopefully you had a chance to see them.
Our friend Dale Huetjens – who bicycled across the country this summer came over to ride us out of town. It was great to have him along for a few miles.
Our ride went well and we cruised along with our first stop being in Pulaski for a snack then back on the bike to Gillette, Townsend, Mountain and are final stop Lakewood. Due to fact that it is Labor Day weekend there are not a lot of available places to stay – so we stopped at a bar restaurant south of Lakewood to get some suggestions of what may be available. While in the restaurant one of the bartenders offered his place to stay which was eight miles down the road. Another couple – Kim and Chris also offered to put us up in Wabeno – which was a bit too far. Kim and Chris even offered to put our bicycle in the back of their truck and drive us up to their cabin!! It is truly amazing how many kind people out there. Luckily we were able to get a spot at the Heavens is Up North Family Campground in Lakewood. A nice place with extremely clean showers and restrooms.
During our ride today the further north we got the fewer roads to travel on so us and all the Labor Day vehicles were traveling on Hwy 32 most of the way from Gillette north – the road was not too bad it had narrow shoulders and lots of traffic heading north for the weekend. We would like to thank 99% of the drivers for being so gracious and giving us room as they pulled into the other lane to pass us.
It is beautiful up in the north woods and so quiet – at the campground you could have heard a pin drop – except for the golf carts traveling through the campground, what is it about private Wisconsin Campgrounds and the golf carts!! We had a great dinner which included fresh tomatoes, yellow peppers and salmon (thanks to Peter’s mom). We happened upon a vegetable/fruit stand on the way to the campground and were able to pick up some nice fresh items for dinner and breakfast – yum!!
Tomorrow we plan to head to MI – Iron River.
September 5, 2015 – Day 2
Lakewood, WI to Iron River, MI – 69 miles – Total miles 142
Weather 87 degrees, cloudy in the morning and then partly sunny afternoon, tail wind all day – hot day on the bike
We got up early, had breakfast at the campground and packed everything up to begin our day. It usually takes us an hour and a half to break camp. No matter how we do it we have trouble getting going any faster. When we started it was a bit foggy but we turned on our head and tail lights and away we went. Thanks to Jeff and Matt from J B Cycle for the lights.
Up in northern Wisconsin instead of bicycle paths they have tons of ATV paths. These bring in many riders and the paths are very busy and stretch thru the whole area into Michigan. It was funny as we were leaving the campground three ATVs headed down the road with us to the trail. Throughout the day we saw many ATV riders on the trails adjacent to the roads we were traveling – it is a huge economic boom for the area – it looks funny to bicycle past a restaurant and see nothing but ATVs in the parking lot – during the winter I am sure it is snowmobiles. But it seems to work and the riders sure come to the area. We were also pleased on one section of road way where they had an 8 foot paved shoulder – very nice for the bicyclists. But the signage let us know the shoulders were put on for ATV riders although bicyclist can use them also.
Again for most of the day we were on the main roads because there just are not many roads up north. It was funny we were in a convenience store in Laona and a young man came up to us and said they say us on our bicycle near Pulaski and could not believe we had traveled this far. We also had several other people stop and say they passed us on other sections of roads on their way up north. They said we were unforgettable due to the tandem and also Tracy’s blonde pony tail seems to stand out – what ever helps them to see us is fine with us!!
Some people tend to think we are crazy with our trips but we met a family today – from Quebec who have been on the road bicycling since June. Their son Leo is 11 (I hope I have the age right his birthday is next week) and riding his own bicycle, Charlotte is 8 and rides on the front of a modified tandem with her father Chris and mom Julie is on her own bicycle. They plan to head to Minnesota next with a final ending spot of Panama. Unbelievable they have been having a great time and the kids have also been enjoying the trip – it is definitely something they will never forget. They are blogging along their journey and you can check it out at http://www.bicycling family.com
The day went well and the clouds kept the heat down until afternoon when the skies cleared and the sun really heated us up. Our last 20 mile to Michigan were pretty hilly and hot but we made it and were glad to get into town. After a good dinner at the local pizza place we are ready for bed.