CTN TransAm 09
40 days on the road
3750 miles by bicycle
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Chris Nadovich's 2009 Transamerica Bike Tour.

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    Mon, 29 Jun 2009

    Stevens Point, WI

    The North West wind continued to push us along and we rode a relatively easy 125 miles zigging and zagging through Wisconsin dairyland till we reached the Wisconsin River. Temperatures were in the high 60s, with occasional drizzle. No problem finding food today, in fact, we finished the day in Stevens Point with dinner at Grazi's, an upscale Italian Grille. We both had chicken parm. Very tasty. We are no longer in North Dakota. Yes!

    Gary made me eat some cheese curds at lunch. I was unimpressed, but Gary excused them as they were deep fried. I guess the real "squeekers" are served fresh.

    Navigation was somewhat tricky, today. Yesterday we picked roads at will off the map and they were all wonderful. Today, we frequently would discover that many of the roads on our planned route were not paved. Paving doesn't seem to be a high priority here. I even saw a brand new housing development with expensive looking two story houses, fine lawns, and extensive landscaping, but with dirt driveways connecting to a dirt cul de sac road. Weird.

    Somehow we managed to find our way. Virtually all the roads are arranged in an orthogonal 1 mile grid. Since we are angling to the ESE, this costs us a bit in wasted motion. Somebody needs to tell the highway engineers here that roads can turn other than 90 degrees.

    Speaking of 90 degrees, we passed Meridian Drive today, which was at exactly 90 degrees longitude.

    In Marshfield, WI, I saw an open door to a bike shop and swerved off the road and pedaled directly into the shop. Biggest bike shop I've ever seen -- like the size of an REI. I asked the mechanic if he could put on a new chain and he popped one on in 10 minutes. Nice place. Nice people. They gave us last mile directions into Stevens point, and a coupon for dinner at Grazi's.

    We saw more Amish looking farms. An older Amish man drove a team of horses pulling a hay mower. A cute little girl in a bonnet stood on the side of the road. She had her arm up like she was hitchhiking but when I was close enough I saw that she was holding up a strawberry for sale. There were more horse drawn buggies. And at one farm we saw an immense pile of logs -- bigger than an oil tanker -- stacked neatly in a 30 foot high wall. It amazed me to think these logs were cut, stripped and stacked by hand and horse power.

    I wonder if the Amish buggies have trouble with motorists. Generally we have been treated with courtesy on the roads but today we were buzzed a few times by drivers that apparently felt that abuse was an acceptable way to treat a fellow road user. One pickup truck in particular blasted us with his horn and swerved with threatening intent toward us. When we smiled and waved (as we tend to do in those situations) the driver in the pickup took that as additional insult and slammed on his brakes as if to stop and -- and what, what would he do? Beat us up? What are these pick-a-fight drivers thinking? What would the likely result be of that plan: me in the hospital for a couple days, him in jail and beggared from my lawsuit. No, the real problem drivers are the ones that hit you with a mirror and don't stop, or the ones that throw bottles, or the ones that shoot guns.

    Anyway, when this particular pick-a-fight driver slammed on his brakes with his ill considered plan to beat us up he hadn't yet noticed the state policeman following directly behind him. Needless to say, when the driver saw the officer, he quickly sucked down his testosterone rage and moved on without bothering us further.

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    © 2009 C.T. Nadovich