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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    Tue, 23 Jun 2009

    Fargo, ND

    After a 120 mile ride with generally favorable winds, we reached Fargo, ND, on the Red River, the border with Minnesota. This was our 20th day on the trail and by several measures we have passed the halfway point in our journey.

    After spending the night at "The Dam" park in McVille ("Saying MIK-VIL is correct, but we say MAK-VIL," a local informed me.) we backtracked to the last Cenex where we each ordered three breakfasts to the amusement of the local farmers who were gathered over coffee. This particular convenience store would cook you a hot meal (pancakes, eggs and bacon, etc...) and was probably the best restaurant in 25 miles. Neither of us managed to finish our third breakfast, having underestimated the size of the pancakes -- they were huge.

    Then it was back on the bikes for a zig-zag south and east to Fargo. Winds were from the north by northwest, so the southward legs took no time and the eastward legs were manageable.

    I'm now starting to see corn and soybeans in the fields, but other than that change, the scenery remains unremarkable. I find riding in this vast sameness to be very taxing. There were two eastward sections of road, one 17 miles and one 14 miles, where the monotony of the riding began to get to me. The tedium of these flat, straight sections was exacerbated by the crosswind, the poorly maintained pavement, and the relentless parade of grain and gravel trucks that periodically buffeted me with sand-filled wind blasts. The trucks were particularly annoying because you could see them coming 3 miles away. I watched as they grew larger and larger, till WHAM! I was blasted again. The blast felt something like being hit by a 6 foot ocean wave while standing on the beach.

    [HOTTUB] But I soldiered on through it and eventually we reached Fargo and checked into the Days Inn. Another hotel, another hot tub. More monotony. Gary called the hot tub "lame" and I agree. But despite its lameness, we forced ourselves to sit in it for a few seconds -- that seemed like hours -- before setting out to find dinner.

    Both of us are pretty depleted by the several days of 100+ mile rides through the great plains of North Dakota. We plan to take a day off in Fargo to rest and recover before beginning the ride across Minnesota.

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    © 2009 C.T. Nadovich