Tuesday, 20 July 2010

To Duluth and over Bong Bridge

20th July: Grand Rapids to Superior

Odometer: 140 km, Start: 9.00am, Finish: 5.30pm, Avg: 22.2 km/h,
Weather: Cloudy, light showers then Sunny, Temp: 15-26°C
Mosquito Bites: 79, Hills walked: 0, Perpendicular cracks: 4375 approx.
Road Conditions: #2 3m shoulder. Perpendicular cracking first 35km. Good surface after that. Light to moderate traffic. Felt safe. Gas stations every 30km. Ascent: 250m/400m.

This was a ride of two halves; the first half was a hard and annoying bump-fest on a cracked shoulder in the cloud and light rain, the second half was a glorious run in to Duluth in the sun, with a tailwind on freshly laid black-top! Care to guess which half I particularly enjoyed?

Rusty mail boxes. (Summed up the morning).

I wasn’t expecting much from today. On the face of it, it was just a run along a main road to Duluth. The first 60km went that way and by the time I got to Floodwood I was beginning to sag. I had a few calories and set off, well aware I still wasn’t half way.

New white flower today

The sun was out, though, after the morning of light showers. Then the predicted “Calm then Wind W 5 to 9 mph” arrived and almost immediately I began a 40km section on brand new tarmac! All’s well with the world.

On the #2 once the sun had come out
St. Louis River

Approaching Proctor on the wide outskirts of Duluth I took another break to try and work out how to get down to the bridge to Superior. I decided to load up a GPS route I had prepared before I left England to use as a guide. I wasn’t very far from the route, so I navigated a couple of blocks across town and found my route. Almost immediately I found a “bike route” sign and decided to follow that into Duluth. I followed the signs and this correlated exactly with my pre-planned route! Intuition?

(Any cyclists coming into Duluth/Superior using the #2, take a left at 5th St / Vinland St coming into Proctor. You can then follow “Bike Route” signs to downtown Duluth and Superior Bridge).

Heading for the Bong Bridge
Following the cycle route signs

Eventually I lucked into signs for the bike route to cross the Bong Bridge. I crossed the bridge and was in Superior, Wisconsin! I made it to the far end of the busy town unscathed and found a hotel along the nice Marina area.

Me next to Lake Superior (Duluth left distance)

I’ve made it to Lake Superior! This was one of my milestones. I’m very pleased to have got this far in good condition. Onwards…


R & A said...

Pre planning always sees results, as you found

Martina said...

Well done you!

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

[oops, had a typo in above deleted comment]
Hey - pretty good photos there! I wish my camera was up to the task on my tour. :-(
Anyhow, how about some notes on how your bike is holding up? Are the Ergons working for you? You must be close to your 5,000km Rohloff oil change? Is your rear Schwalbe Marathon Supreme wearing faster than your front and will you rotate them? Yada, yada, yada. You can't write too much for some of us! ;-)

Keep it up. I'll warn you, tho'. It'll be a bummer when the tour's over and you're back home. Enjoy every minute *NOW*!


Jason Dalton said...

Brilliant! Well done you.

Sorry I haven't been keeping-up for a week or so. I'm back now and have added a few comments to the last few days' posts.

Rusty mail boxes, sums-up most of my mornings too! Well, maybe not that rusty.... thank goodness!!!