Day 29 Owatonna to Winona, MN – 90.2 Miles

This was an amazing day, with a strong tailwind the entire trip. We got into the dorms at 11:30 am — after riding 90 miles! It was so early, we had time to walk into downtown Winona, shop at a bike shop and visit Bubs Brewery Restaurant and have some lunch. Of course, we had to taste the local beer. We stayed at the University of Winona in luxury dorm rooms. It was awesome to stay indoors with a nice cool temperature.

MapMyRide: 90 Miles | 4.5 hours | 18.3 mph (Tail Winds make a big difference)

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The sunrise as we started our day
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Cornfields – This will be a bumper year for corn and soy. Crops are huge so far!
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What goes with corn fields? Ethanol…
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Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes
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Can you see the high temp? July 14 – high of 69 degrees!

Day 28 New Ulm to Owatonna, Mn. – 73 Miles

New Ulm is a quaint Minnesota town with lots of farms both large and small.  The ride to Owatonna was pretty easy given the moderate terrain, and the cool 70 degree weather.  We had a visit from Fritz, the local reporter for the New Ulm Journal, and got front page coverage in their newspaper.  We rode into the town of Owatonna and camped in our tents at the County Fairgrounds.  The insects were not too bad and with the chill in the air, it was a good night’s sleep in the tent.

MapMyRide:  74 Miles  |  Time:  4:54  |  15.1 mph

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Big Ride cyclists stop in New Ulm – NUJournal.com | Ne…

NEW ULM—A 57-year-old Pittsburgh, PA woman who described herself as a “casual cyclist” was among eleven people who stopped in New Ulm this weekend…
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This is a school that was built for the Lutheran Ministry.
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The local Brewery had an excellent factory tour and history for this fine Pilsner Beer.
New Ulm's glockenspiel
New Ulm’s 45-foot tall glockenspiel bell tower with 37 bells that chime throughout the day.

These are some of the sweet houses in New Ulm:

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Day 26 Tyler to New Ulm, Mn. – 94 Miles

The ride from Tyler to New Ulm was fairly easy given the high mileage.

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Cycling Tyler, MN, to New Ulm via rt. 14

New Ulm, Minnesota has a German influence.  Population: 13,522.  This little town was established by German immigrants and is home to the August Schell Brewery.  The town center has a 45-foot tall glockenspiel bell tower with 37 bells that chime throughout the day, and play beautiful music at noon, 3 and 5:00.  In addition, it has what any good German town must have, polka music — playing all day in the downtown area.

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Downtown New Ulm, Minnesota — land of friendly people

The hills were gently rolling with a lot of farm country in between.  There are acres and acres of corn and soybeans growing in lush green display.  The state of Minnesota had a lot of rain this spring so it appears to be a bumper year for crops with large yields.  The only downside that I can see is the mosquitoes and gnats…lots and lots of bugs.

The custodian of the Miller High School said the mosquitoes were so big this year that we could skin them and filet them for dinner.  Now that is a big mosquito.  All joking aside, it’s pretty buggy this time of year.  We started the day out with moist conditions as it rained hard overnight, but lucky for us, no rain for the ride — the clouds opened up and blue sky came in.  Another blissfully excellent day on the Big Ride Across America!

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Started the day out with wet rainy streets, but then…the clouds broke up and it was blue sky.

MapMyRide Stats:  94.04 Miles | 15.4 MPH | 6 hours and 7 minutes

There is a big promotion on Mapmyride.com for the Tour de France: once entered into the contest, within the smartphone application, all your mileage is automatically logged into the online race.  With all this high mileage on the Big Ride, I happen to be in 31st place.  Woot Woot!  I already won a jersey for 500 miles.  This makes me want to sing….do do doit do do do do, do do doit do do do do do ( my fellow riders know the tune).

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Corn ethanol processing plant

With all the cornfields here in Minnesota, it’s only natural that we would come across one of these ethanol processing plants.  The smokestack was not quite tall enough as the odor of fermenting corn was quite heavy as we passed by.

The team from VeloSante Cycling Services create a wonderful experience for us each day.  They feed and water us every 20 miles (and we love it), they rescue us when we have technical difficulty (flats, broken chains, derailleur issues etc.).  What is really cool about this organization is that we get the fix we need and they put us back on the road.  What a luxury to ride with such an outstanding organization.  If you are reading this and are thinking about a bicycle tour, they are awesome!

VeloSante - Great Service Provider
VeloSante – Great Service Provider!

 

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Day 25 De Smet to Tyler, Mn. – 77 miles – State #6 on the Big Ride

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Cycling De Smet to Tyler, Minnesota – 77 Miles

MapMyRide Miles: 76.88 | Speed: 15.7 Mph | Time 4:54

sunrise in De Smet
This photo is another early morning sunrise. I cannot believe how many sunrises we have seen – the most I have ever seen in my life!
soy bean futures
There are lots and lots of soybeans and corn fields…the local billboard posts the crop futures…where else would you see stock market numbers when driving through a town?
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Big (really big) soybean processing plant
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Robb, Paul, Cathy and Terry celebrate state #6
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All the bikes in the Big Ride Across America, lined up and ready to roll.

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