Today we leave Minnesota. It makes me sad to cross the Red River and leave the wetlands, farms, hills, and Perfect People behind.
For anyone who enjoys cycling this state is a Mecca with all its rural paths, and small towns along the way.
I do not know how they survive through the Winter, being from the South, but I suspect that have fun where many of us would find misery in the cold.
I know they have a dry sense of humor and poke fun at people from out of state, but I also know that they have to take life seriously to survive this so hostile climate.
Stacks of wood all along the routes, barns full of hay, cows with sheltered barns all speak to the harshness of the winter months.
Today I ride nearly 84 miles through farmland and rolling hills to arrive at the Red River flowing North to the Hudson Bay.
Our night’s stay is a park in downtown Fargo, our second to the last town of any size before we reach Seattle ( Bismarck is still 3 days away).
I push myself to the limit today in preparation for the long stretches in North Dakota and Montana. 30 miles, a five minute break for water and a piece of bread and peanut butter, 25 miles, a five minute break for water, and 30 miles to the end point with a final stop in Fargo at a Subway for dinner.
I have trained for 84 miles stretches with a total of two five minute breaks…on occasion I can get to 88 but there is some sort of physiological break in the low 80s…it used to be midfifties but training changed this.
Today I find that my training has paid off. I know that I am not fast, I know that I am not young, but with proper training I can keep up and sometimes even come in first. Not today, somewhere in the middle of the pack, but nonetheless, not last. Good thing for peanut butter…
Fargo has always seemed to me to be the beginning of the next phase of the trip, leaving the Midwest behind and entering the West. There are Cowboys and Indians downtown here…for real.
One final note on Minnesota before I forget that it exists…that happens to all the places on the trip as we move ever West.
Of all the attributes of people here their common sense is best.
Look who the town of Cormorant elected as their mayor!
Could it be that we were all so wise with about our choice of politicians…
I for one know a Cow with Divine Guidance who might do quite well in Washington…
PS For those of you who might wonder at a single piece of bread and peanut butter over 84 miles…I do eat from my pockets every 10-15 miles but do not stop or get off my bike. I may be strange but I am not dumb…