Minneapolis Madness!

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Well, I’ve stunk at blogging these past few days. With catching up with old friends in the evening and many other things I just haven’t spent the time to crank out a blogpost. However, do not worry, I’ll catch you up on everything. Promise!

Let’s take you back to Minneapolis. A great bike city, a great city, despite being home to the Gophers and Vikings. Did I just say that? Whoops. Go Pack! I had a great ride into Minneapolis that consisted of plenty of bike trails. Minneapolis is consistently ranked as one of the best cities, and they put that on display. Just great trails in and out of the city that were well paved, marked, and routed.

I hit Target Field in the afternoon, snapped my picture outside of the ballpark like usual. I’ve done that outside every single stadium, and it’s going to form an awesome picture collage once I finish the trip in a few days. Some ballparks don’t have the name of the stadium anywhere, which makes finding a picture a little difficult. Miami for instance did not have anything anywhere. Which kind of stunk, but I got by with a picture with a road barricade with the Marlins logo on it.

In Minneapolis I crashed with my aunt and her partner Brenda in Uptown, a really cool neighborhood of Minneapolis. Along with Grace Athena Fig Newton, one of the most fun pups you’ll ever meet. Brenda and Janelle spoiled me with great food, great hospitality, and awesome stories.

One day I got to go to Janelle’s school and talk to the kids at City Academy. It was awesome. Those kids were the absolute greatest. So many times I get the same questions over and over again. Not that I’m complaining. I love answering questions. But these students asked AMAZING questions. Original questions. Trust me, at this point a question is good if I’ve never heard it before. Some of them couldn’t believe how far I had ridden, and most important couldn’t believe how sore my butt would be. Thanks to City Academy for giving me an awesome way to spend my day! You guys rock! Hi5!

That evening I headed downtown to meet up with some of my friends who lived with me in Kenya for my five months while I was living there. Some of these friends I hadn’t seen since Kenya a year in a half ago. Trust me, it’s always great to catch up with old friends. Especially when you haven’t seen them for a while. Between speaking a little Swahili, reminiscing plenty of different events during our time halfway across the world, we definitely had great conversations. I even was able to convince Jenni to go to the Twins game with me that night. We watched an offensive onslaught as Mike Trout hit two home runs including a grand slam and the night was anything but a pitching display. However it was still a blast to enjoy Target Field, and I would be heading back to the ballpark on Saturday. One is good. Twice is nice.

On Friday, I mostly just hung out. Nothing fancy. Nothing special. But I did get to meet up with other Aunt and Uncle in town for a nice dinner. It was great to chat with Steve and Loretta for a few hours and share my adventure with them. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am in fact, NOT BIKING and cannot eat thousands of calories. I still eat a lot. Not as much as when I’m biking, but probably more than I should. Oh well. I’m still biking for now. Once this trip ends I’m going to have to watch my calories a litttttlleeee more closely. Probably cut my calories by a few thousand a day. Not looking forward to that.

Saturday, I had hoards of family and friends come to the Twin Cities. My aunt, cousin and her husband Jennifer, along with other family members and my parents, and more! All came to a little tailgate at Janelle’s place before the game. Sometimes a good ole brat and Spotted Cow just hits the spot perfectly. Some of my family drove a ton of hours to come to see me and go to the game. That’s pretty special. Thanks to Jennifer, Jean, and Justin for coming all the way from Iowa! Seriously. That’s awesome. Yeah, my family has a lot of names that start with J. It’s better to just go along with it.

The ballgame that night was a lot of fun as well. My long time friend Jake, his girlfriend Kenzi, and his mom Lori made the trek up to Minneapolis as well. I’ve said it once. I’ll say it a million more times. But it is AWESOME to see friends and family after having been away for such a long time. It’s amazing to share my adventure and catch up with familiar faces. Thanks for making the trip guys!

I did a few interviews while in Minneapolis, including one with Fox Sports North of the Twins. Interviews always keep me busy and working with local, national, and online media always keeps me busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Talking about Big Brothers Big Sisters is a blast, and encouraging people to sign up to become mentors is what I do. It’s what I was meant to do. Make a difference, and I can’t think of a better way to do just that. Spread the message, one person at a time.

On Sunday, I departed early in the morning to head back to Chicago. For the most part the ride retraces the route I took from Chicago to Minneapolis a week or two prior. Following along the great Mississippi and cutting across the great state of Wisconsin almost entirely on bike paths, which is always a plus. Sunday Night consisted of me crashing in a hotel, courtesy of Eric Byrnes to watch the Packers take on the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. I don’t miss Packers games. Never. After a big win we move to Monday Night Football versus the Chiefs. B4Ber Adam back in Denver is a big Chiefs fan so we’ve already made wagers on the game.

I spent the next night in LaCrosse where I got to meet up with some high school friends who currently reside in the city. Jared and his fiance Chelsea put me up for the night, which was great. Anytime I have a roof over my head, I am excited. I also got up to meet with Brett and Tim two other friends who I obviously hadn’t seen in a while. Thanks for the hospitality guys! And big thanks to Tia who interviewed me for the local newstation! Woohoo!

The riding along the Great River State Trail, the LaCrosse River Trail, and the Elroy Spart Trail offered great scenes, flat riding, and I couldn’t complain. However, at one point I did ride up on a cow along the trail. I am NOT kidding. I really am in Wisconsin. Gotta love those cows. For the most part, she wasn’t too mean, and just kind of moved on out of the way for me as I pedaled onward. All I could say was holy cow! And tell her to mooooooooove over. I crack myself up. Always.

In Reedsburg, my grandpa came down from Rapids to pick me up and take me home for the night. It’s always great to talk with my grandpa. He knows baseball, and I always love sharing the game with him. From Warren Spahn to current day players he’ll talk the game with me. That’s a lot of my memories from my childhood. Sharing the game of baseball with my grandpa. Doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks for picking me up Grandpa!

After an early start on Wednesday, I took off for the eastern edge of Madison where I stayed with Greg and Cathy who were some great hosts! They made an unbelievable dinner and gave me the comfiest bed to sleep in. I could have curled up for days in that bed and slept for a while. Greg is a fellow cyclist and world traveler and had a wide assortment of stories. I love hearing the stories of different travelers. It’s so amazing to hear and honestly, it makes me want to get going on planning my next adventure! Big thanks to Greg and Carly for opening up their home to me. Meeting people like them are what has made this trip so incredible. I’ve got friends in every single corner of the country because of the hospitality people have offered.

Today, I took off for another day of riding. Now, with less than 200 miles remaining on this epic adventure it’s really unbelievable. I cannot wait to enjoy Wrigley and Miller Park. I’m spending the night in Waukesha and will be in Chicago in a few days. CANNOT WAIT to take on Chicago for round two. Bring it! Sunday Night baseball I’m ready.

As for me, I keep on grinding, keep on pedaling on these last few days of riding. The end is right there. Just don’t screw anything up to keep me from finishing. Keep on pedaling.

Let’s go!

Sent from my iPad

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