Are two wheels better than four? I certainly can vouch that for me two is just right! Although physically more challenging and subject to changing climate conditions, the speed or lack of much speed allows for more thorough sightseeing and observation than even your in no hurry, lazy Sunday driver. This summer, I used biking as a way to discover not familiar places as well as rediscover familiar ones. In this post, I will share with my fellow adventureros a triumphant tour of a place very familiar to me, Trempealeau, Wisconsin (see above image at dawn with mist hovering over the Mississippi).
Located in western Wisconsin or as some say, just off the coast of Minnesota, this Mississippi river town is where I spent most of early years. I try to return once a year, typically during the summer as I lost all my Wisconsinite stoicness years ago. And, this year was no different; I arrived to a hot, humid week but happily greeted by familiar faces, sights, smells, and tastes as of years past.
One difference this year was an enticing offer from a buddy or PIC (Partner In Crime) to do a 25 mile bike race during the annual festival, Catfish Days. Not packing my light, current hybrid bike that I use in South Florida, I was put to the test to find a suitable bike. I stumbled upon a family friend that loaned me a retro, red Spirit bike, which was a little heavier than my daily ride. And so, my PIC and I nicknamed my bike, Bertha.
Fueled by a night before feeding of every bicyclist’s favorite meal, cheese curds and a few Spotted Cows or Leinies, my PIC and I headed out early (8 a.m.) from the Trempealeau Hotel through Perrot State Park. We cruised alongside fields of corn, soybeans, and the like just in time to get misted by the irrigation systems, which was needed to compensate for the mid-summer heat, cut with a knife humidity, and bugs. The Tour de Trempealeau certainly was a jog down memory lane as I passed former employers, friends’ homes, familiar country roads, places where I got stuck in the ditch during one of the umpteen winter snowstorms survived, and my favorite hiking trail, Brady’s Bluff.
Were two wheels better than four? Absolutely! I think that a 25 mile bike ride followed by walnut balls, good company, and a sunset gab session certainly met the criteria for the beer slogan, “It just doesn’t get any better than this.” If you doubt it, check out the finale of my Tour de Trempealeau:
Here’s to more good times and good stories!