Synopsis: Manitowoc to Sheboygan, 30 miles. Thursday, August 2.
|Official route mileage:||29.1|
|Distance we traveled:||29.6|
|On the road:||8:15 to 11:45|
|Time on the bike:||2:24|
Day 4 route.
In the morning, it turned out that, indeed, the 35W bridge had fallen down. (Reid says: Isn’t it wonderful that here in Minnesota we have a Republican administration which doesn’t believe in government, something which occasionally comes in handy for, oh, keeping the bridges from falling down!)
At our first stop we got in touch with Reid’s sister and mom, both of whom had left messages for us to make sure we were OK after hearing about the bridge. I called work to check on thing, and found out that one of our student actors had been on the bridge — she was going to be OK but had some broken bones and serious recovery to do.
(If you care for more info on the bridge collapse, please see the Wikipedia article.)
We had written our names and where we were from on our butt triangles, and now we sorely wished we could erase “Minneapolis, MN” from them. For the rest of the trip people would frequently either look at us funny or (worse) try to talk to us about the bridge. It was really annoying.
I had requested some tourist information from the state before we got there, and one of the things listed as an attraction for the Sheboygan area was the Kohler Design Center: “Kohler products displayed in imaginative settings.” It made me think of sinks in space or other ridiculous ideas (not cats in sinks, which is perfectly sensible), which made me want to go.
We encountered a complex on the way into Sheboygan that said KOHLER in giant letters and stopped in to ask for directions. It turned out to be “Kohler Power Systems”, something totally different, but the nice lady at the desk gave us directions. It was going to be a long detour. We decided to see how we felt after getting to the school, and maybe heading back out, but there wasn’t any energy left to do it after all.
Me applying chapstick in front of Kohler Power Systems.
Apparently, last year on one of the Schramm rides there was an outbreak of the Norwalk virus. Hence, Kathy spent a lot of time at the rider meetings telling us to wash our hands, and the rest stop today had signs emphatically letting us know that they had worn gloves while making the sandwiches.
The last 10 miles or so today were through the city of Sheboygan, with lots of turns and lots of bad pavement. It was hard to stay un-lost, even with the signs at every turn. I took the lead for a while, but I was going too fast for Reid. On our last couple of hikes, and again on this trip, it seemed like I have more energy at the end of the day than he does, and I found it hard to regulate my speed, so he took the lead again.
When we got to the school, sweaty, tired, and a little frustrated, there was a fundraiser for the track team going on. The food they were selling wasn’t stellar, but it was there and fast, which riding several miles back into town definitely was not. The shuttle didn’t get set up today through some sort of mistake, so we found a bus to town and played some indoor putt-putt. It rained a little bit while we were inside, the only bad weather of the trip.
Every day we took our packed bags and loaded them into this semi, which drove them to the next stop. The suckers who arrived first got to help unload and arrange the bags into neat rows like these.
I had put a note up on the rider-to-rider easel board saying that I was celebrating crazy helmet day today, and a few people wrote in that they would too. I think I saw more today than yesterday! I wish that some of the time in the rider meeting allocated to hand-washing was given to reminders about crazy helmet day. Luau Lucy was a big hit.
After dinner there was a talent show back at school, which included the guys from the bike shop having a tire-changing race. One of them got it in 55 seconds, and even when they blindfolded him it took only two minutes! I was somewhat less impressed with Reid’s tire changing job on the first day after seeing that.
Please continue reading on Day 5.