I’ve been biking through my homeland these past few days, treking through the great state of Wisconsin has been an absolute blast. Along this route, I’ve also been able to see a good number of friends and family, which has been an added pleasure to the rides.
Back in Waukesha, I was able to stay with a good friend Bridget who I met during my time at UW-Madison. A fellow Badger, and a big baseball fan. Just kidding. She’s not a huge baseball fan, but she is an AWESOME friend. Her parents have both been following the trip, and it was great to have a place to crash with them. I even got to meet up with another friend, Bender at a local bar and restaurant. It was so great to have a night out with friends, just relax, and catch up after 5 and a half months apart.
The next day, I hopped on my bike and rode into Waunakee, a town just north of Madison. My route took me almost completely into downtown Madison, and allowed me to ride a lot of the roads which I had ridden when I was training or commuting around town in college. It felt surreal to actually be biking through familiar territory. When I had ridden these trails previously, it was a different experience. Here, it just felt like I was home. It got my adrenaline flowing.
My parents drove down to catch up for the night and shadow me on the following day’s ride. I even had Willie, Fehrenbach (my high school soccer coach), and good friend Ethan riding with me! Woohoo! I LOVE company while riding. The ride took us through the heart of Wisconsin, rolling hills, and some great terrain. It was just a blast to be able to talk with others throughout the day, to share stories, and have some support while I was riding. My parents also did a heck of a job supporting the ride, between snacks of Cheesecurds, cliff bars, and cold water they did a heck of a job.
It was once again a day in which I rode through some of the area where I went on training rides back in the fall. Talk about surreal. Last fall at this time, I had no clue what was in store in the ride. I didn’t know what I would see, and so many questions lied ahead of me. It was on those days that I pedaled in faith that I would get into the shape necessary for the trip, and take on this trip of a lifetime. I suppose the trip has come full circle. I have returned to where I started, as I take my victory lap. With only a few hundred miles left, the end of the trip is nearing rapidly. I rode in proximity to the train station that I departed on back in April. I’ve circled the country, only to return to my familiar homeland.
The best part about riding through Wisconsin was the fact that my parents shuttled me back to my hometown of Wisconsin Rapids for two nights. Yes! I got to sleep in my own bed, spend some time with my dog, and even get to see my grandparents! Talk about awesome. Catching up with my grandpa over a beer and baseball was somthing I had looked forward to for a long time. Getting to sleep in my own bed was another thing that was certainly exciting as well.
My parents rode in solitude with me the next few days, and although they struggled to keep up with my pace it was fun to have them along for the rides. Both days were almost entirely on bike trails which made them considerably relaxing. Trail riding has no worries besides watching out to not run off the road. You don’t have to worry about cars speeding by you. You’re by yourself most of the time as well, so it’s great to relax. Plus the trails are gorgeous. Fall is in the air, with one morning being a chilly 36 degrees, the leaves will be changing shortly. It’s exciting to be riding in weather that is completely comfortable and not too hot and not too cold for once. It seems like the majority of the trip has been battling the elements and finally the weather is just relaxed. I’ll take it.
I’ve crossed into Minnesota, my 31st and final new state of the trip. I’ve got a few more miles of riding along the Mississippi before I hit ballpark 28. That’ll be a few more miles, but I’m excited to check out Target Field. As for me, I’m exhausted, tired, and pooped. My body is pushing all it has for these last few days of riding, but it’ll make it. I promise. I’ll just keep pedaling.