I got up round 7 today, later than usual. I spent the night at a hostel downtown, in a 6 bed dormitory, so I knew I was not going to be rumbling around at my usual 5 am rising hour, waking up my roommates. I also needed to see a bikeshop before hitting the road, so a later getup time was in place. A little extra sleep felt good. Sadly I did not spend much time in this city, but I would come back, if only to see more of the biking stuff that goes on here. By far Minneapolis has been the american city I have seen sofar that has done the most to accommodate for bicycling, both for entry into the city from the suburbs, moving around inside the city and for more recreational riding in large park areas. Perfectly paved bikepaths wind beautifully through lush forests. I can only imagine how beneficial this effort from the city pays off in terms of public health. Bowing to Minneapolis!-)
Todays ride took place in sun for the most part. Some clouds but no rain. Temperatures ran in the high 20s to lower 30s Celcius. Headwinds picked up mid day and became quite a limiting factor the last 40 km. Good riding today!
A bikeway to Heaven? Even bikepaths need trafficsigns to ensure quick and safe transportation on two wheels! In general people are also very well behaved and they move about predictably and considerate. I wish Norwegians would show a tiny bit of the same attiude and behaviour.
Along the trails are repairstands with tools and pump to fix problems and flats. I met this fellow Surly rider at gasstation north of Minneapolis today. He lives in south Minneapolis and enjoys the 130 mile ride north to his fathers cabin. He rides with stereo soundsystem as you can see on his handlebars. Pretty cool eh?-) Not only are the biketrail awesome here, but so are the roads too. I wish the norwegian roads were equally well paved and with anywhere near the width of the road shoulders.
My day ends at a campsite in Clearwater, Minnesota. I was going to make it up to St. Cloud today and camp randomly, but this campsite proved too tempting. I sure could need a shower and do some laundry.
And just when you think your day has come to an end, you meet a new camping neighbor. This is Basil from Maryland. He travels the country this summer in a very unamerican way, in his little Volkswagen Jetta TDI and a tent. Americans love camping, but most of them roll in with huge rigs:) It is nice to meet people that favor the simplicity of a tent and that does not leave a large ecological footprint. Basil is retired professor of engineering and a violinist and would you believe, his instrument of virtuosity is the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. This fiddle is unique in that it has an extra set of strings that vibrates underneath the 4 main ones. This produces a very peculiar sound. Many call it a spellbounding sound. Basil is heading for California to visit family. He will also go through alot of the same territory as I will.
Have a listen: https://youtu.be/fZo12BTZDN4
Now the day should end. Have been busy doing some very needed laundry.