Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 34: Wisconsin Dells, WI, to Fond Du Lac, WI

Today's Mileage: 83
Average Speed: 15.8 mph
Max Speed: 31.1 mph
Moving Time: 5:17

This just in: The tandem has officially been named. It was dubbed "Badass McDempsey" or "BAM" for short. Emeril might like that.

One of my favorite things about this journey is cycling through all of the Small Town U.S.A.'s. I often wonder about the dynamic of each town as we pass through. Does everyone know everyone else's name? Where do the locals hang out? What do they do for a living? How do they pass the time? What are their stories?

On a tour like this, you don't often have time to ask those questions. We signed up for more of a point cycle-and-shoot environment. You take a picture and ride on. There is so much to see in 50 days and there's even more that you don't see. Some days you would swear that we all took a different route; everyone sees something that no one else saw.

But everyone saw the Brat Fry when we passed through Princeton. It was an option highlighted by the ride leaders as a "must taste."

I have really been loving these small towns, even though our observation or sampling of their culture is often short. Each sight, sound, smell and taste remind me of the many spices of life.

That theme carried through the evening to ABB's annual T-shirt swap. Not everyone participated, but many cyclists brought T-shirts to exchange. The activity included short presentations by each rider with regard to their T-shirt; where they got it and how it came to be included in the T-shirt swap "pot". Can you guess which one I contributed to the game?

The undisputed highlight of the T-shirt swap was when Shirley (of "Howard and Shirley" - the quietest couple on the tour) stood up to present her shirt for the pot. It featured an image with the label "Iowa's Biggest Nerd". As she stood before the group and unfolded the shirt, she said, "I bought this shirt for the biggest nerd in Iowa ... and he won't wear it."

She was referring to her husband Howard (of "Howard and Shirley").

After dinner, several of us set out in search of dessert. The result? A pint of ice cream. Each. One sitting. Sinful. Guiltless. Bliss.

The spices of life. Random T-shirts. Pints of ice cream. Can you ever really get enough?

More images from Wisconsin Dells to Fond Du Lac:

Click here to view my entire photo album of Day 34 [TBA].

The Ride Leader's Official Report:
Across America North:

1 comment:

Monique D. said...

yeah i find the little towns to be the ones with the most personality...