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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    Thu, 25 Jun 2009

    Battle Lake, MN

    Goodbye South Dakota. Hello Minnesota. Almost the instant we crossed the Red River (even today still bloated from the flood) we could sense a positive change. First of all, the terrain was simply more attractive. There were hills, trees, and real lakes. Lakes with people living on them. We saw boats. Big sailboats and jet skis with people on them. We even saw nice looking bars and restaurants built (and open for business) in random places, not just in towns. The convenience stores still sell fan belts and udder balm, but they use modern laser scanners at the checkout. Did I mention that there were people around.

    We have returned to civilization.

    The riding was good today. It was almost Pennsylvania like, with the small, rolling hills, and the increasing number of trees. The wind was favorable, but even so, the foliage kept the breeze light. It was warm -- near 90 -- but manageable. We each continue to carry a full gallon of water so we can drink constantly on the bike. We chug 32 oz Gatorades or equivalent whenever we stop at a convenience store. Thus far, these measures have kept us well hydrated.

    Early in the ride we were passed by a seemingly endless parade of giant dump trucks carrying earth. This was uncomfortably similar to the endless parade of trucks that passed me on that horrible ride into Fargo. Fortunately, we eventually passed the quarry where these trucks were originating and from then on the roads were mostly clear. When I stopped to take a photo of the quarry, one of the passing trucks kicked up a stone that hit me on the arm. Last licks. It left a bruise.

    The riding became fun again. Too much fun, actually. In one section where I was feeling extra strong, I suddenly felt a small twinge in my left achilles tendon. I've now iced it and have taken some vitamin "I". Hopefully this will not develop into a problem. It's the first real injury I've had on the trip. Very minor, but I need to watch it. Otherwise, physically, both of us continue to be in tip top shape. People sometimes ask about saddle soreness. Other than getting a little figity on the 120+ milers, I've have virtually no saddle soreness. Credit my well broken in Brooks saddle. That thing is very comfortable.

    The endpoint of our 100 mile ride was the town of Battle Lake, the site of many 19th century Indian battles. The town has several resorts on the lake of the same name and seems to discourage camping. We ended up at a reasonably priced motel.

    [P6250019] There was no Jacuzzi, but there was a beach. Gary and I both took a dip in the cool water before showering and heading to dinner. The town has several restaurants, but one in particular was suggested above the others as the "best". When we probed deeper, asking what made this place so good, we heard that they had good wine, tasty salads, excellent service and decor, and some good sandwiches too. Hmmmm... Next to our motel was a nondescript diner with the sign "All You Can Eat Spaghetti". No contest. We each ate three plates of spaghetti, a trip to the salad bar, a pint of beer, and pie for desert. The tab was $26.

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    © 2009 C.T. Nadovich