Day 30 - Worthington to Mankato MN
Mileage: 111 miles
Weather: Upper 60s to start. Low 80s to end. Winds out of the NE.
Highlights of the day:
It was another low humidity and moderate temperature day in Minnesota. It was still confusing. We did however get construction. I used the standard joke last night at rap that we are now in the part of the country that has 2 seasons - winter and construction. Mankato did not disappoint us. We got a call from another AbB staff member who has relatives in Mankato. He alerted us to roads and bike paths being under construction. We are very glad he did. We were able to come up with a strategy to get around the construction and have it in place before the riders got there. That doesn’t always happen. We were glad it did. Details in another paragraph or two.
The towns between Worthington and Mankato are small town Midwest with tree lined streets and green lawns. Between the towns are miles and miles of corn and soybean fields. Each town has a grain elevator, which we could see from several miles out, marking our next destination. Wind power is prevalent in this area. At one point we counted over 40 turbines on the horizon.
Did I mention the pig farms? They are definitely out there. We might not have seen them all but they have a certain olfactory quality about them that makes them exceptionally difficult to miss. By the time this tour is over, our riders will know the difference between cow, pig and fowl. Sure you can pick them out with your eyes but how about your nose? Who knew such skills were for the taking on a bike ride??
Time on a tree sheltered bike path at the end of the ride was a welcome change. Then it was time for the detour. We took the bike path in a different direction and found a rather steep climb. We always have a climb at the end of the day into Mankato. Today, we got two. Yay?? One on the bike path and one just after a fun downhill. Both were a little in our face, both touched double digits in percentage. Some riders found a secret route through a residential area and avoided the 2nd climb. I won’t call that cheating. I call that being smart! We might just use that as part of our official route in 2019. Thank you, Rob & D!
We have another long one tomorrow. It’s “only” 99.7 but that makes for 2 back-to-back centuries. Fuel up. Sleep well. Get up and do it again!