So close to 2000 miles!

That’s right, tomorrow we should hit 2000 miles marking about half the length of this trip!  The second 1000 miles went by a lot faster than the first 1000 so I wonder how the second 2000 will go.

We are in New Ulm, MN right now, a small German town although I haven’t yet noticed anything that looks particularly German.  The past few days have been some of the best rides we’ve had.  We’ve also met some extremely nice people recently, more than willing to stop on the road and get out of their car when something looks wrong, offer us free coffee, and more bread, bagels, and pastries than we could possibly consume before they go bad donated from Panera.  Someone at a coffee shop we were invited into for free coffee in Rochester noticed us there and offered to cook a dinner for the entire team the next night on our rest day.  The generosity seems to never end in these parts of the country.  It’s unbelievable.  Today while I used the bathroom at a pizza place, 2 women asked me what we were doing and offered their house for the night equipped with a hot tub (unfortunately we weren’t staying in that town, we had only stopped there for lunch) and gave a donation. 

The rides have been great lately, particularly the ride out of La Crosse, WI on our way to Rochester.  The first 15 miles of that ride were my favorite part of the summer.  We woke up extra early that day in order to get to Mayo Clinic on time (which ended up falling through) and crossed the Mississippi River into Minnesota, then rode up a big hill as the sun was rising.  We stayed on top of the hill for a while, riding through curving rodes through farms with a beautiful, changing view.  The downhill was extraordinary, even for me being afraid of going downhill.  The view was incredible.  Some riders rode back up the hill to ride down a second, and even a third time.  We rode through intense fog which we had seen from the top of the hill and then were on a bike trail which was also incredible for about 15 miles.  The only bad thing about the trail was that the pavement was covered in mud for much of it, causing our bikes and our bodies to become covered in mud as well.  I became even more muddy when my bike skidded and I fell into the mud, causing my entire left side of my body as well as my face and jersey to be covered in mud.  I also got a little scratched up which become worse later in the day when I fell on my left side again because I crashed into Andrea after she stopped suddenly to pick up plastic monkeys on the road.  Both falls were a lot more funny than harmful.  It seems that on my favorite days of riding, I get in accidents.  My other favorite riding day was day 2 when a car hit me.  Strange how that happens…

I don’t have much more time to use the internet but those were some of the highlights since I last wrote.  Wish me luck as we finish the first half of our ride and begin the second half!

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