Wednesday, September 12, 2007
On Sunday morning, September 1 at six o’clock, Matt Curtis, Andy Johnson, and Evan Peterson headed out on a mission. Mission Madison. Yes, that is right. We were about to attempt a bicycle ride from Mason City, Iowa, to Madison, Wisconsin, in one day. The conditions were great with a tail wind from the west to help push us along. The first stop was in Charles City where we emptied the morning coffee. I don’t know about the other guys, but I was wondering what kind of suicide mission I had signed up for. We pushed on and started to get bored, so we started to play “sprint like you’re not going to ride over 200 miles” for the city limit signs. We hammered across northeastern Iowa into the Turkey River Valley. There are three river valleys in the Turkey River valley. Andy was a little upset with Matt and me after all that climbing. We managed to get to Prairie Du Chien where we stopped to eat with Heather and Andrea. With a full stomach we pressed on through a long boring ride in a river valley that had a sweet bar and shooting range combo. I wonder if you bought so many beers, you would get free clay pigeons or something. Mile 175 rolled around, and that’s where I found this little thing called pain. Weird, huh? It was like we were sprinting at every town. Around mile 210, it started to get dark, or at least I think that’s what it was. We were all so fatigued that I’m sure none of us could have walked in a straight line. Up until this point I believe we had about a 20.7 average speed. A bicycle trip is not complete without Andy crashing. After a stop about 5 miles from Madison, Andy didn’t clip in and hit the pavement. After a good laugh by Matt and me, we finally wobbled our way in around 8:30 or 9, with about 230 total miles. Mission Madison complete!