Big Ride Update: Day 29
Today we rode 89 miles from Owatonna to Winona, Minnesota and officially passed the 2000-mile mark in our 3300-mile bike ride. It was a hot day with temperatures breaking 100 degrees–one rider registered 104 degrees–but otherwise the ride was fairly smooth with some minor construction and a long stretch of rolling hills dotted with lovely farmland and woods. We are staying at the Tau Center dorms in Winona State University.
Charlton and Lynn, our ride directors, suit up and go for their own ride after making sure all the Big Riders have returned safely to camp.
Claremont, the first town after leaving Owatonna.
Big Riders relax and rehydrate at a checkpoint
A little wetland en route
Passing the town of Byron, which features a grain elevator, a rail line and two golf courses
Pleasant rolling farmland between Byron and Rochester
Riding into Rochester, Minnesota’s third largest city and home of the Mayo Clinic, which employs 30,000 people in the city. There was significant construction underway.
A store in Rochester. We did not have time to verify its claims.
A cornfield between Chester and Eyota
St. Charles, where we stopped for lunch and where a woman at the coffee shop spontaneously donated five dollars to our cause and paid for our ice coffee. This is not the first time we have been so well treated. We have found Americans largely a generous, good-hearted people on this trip.
More construction, between St. Charles and Utica.
Rounding a bend between Lewiston and Stockton
A nice river on the same stretch
Entering Winona, “the Island City,” built on the Mississippi River where it was a railway and steamboat transportation center and a leader in milling and shipping wheat.
The Main Channel Bridge and the Mississippi River, from downtown Winona. The city is set in the Mississippi River valley with wooded bluffland all around.
The Merchants National Bank in Winona, another example of Prairie School architecture with terra cotta ornamentation and stained glass.
The Blue Heron In downtown Winona, a nice cafe cum bookstore where we stopped for refreshment.
From Winona, Minnesota, looking east over the Mississippi River to a small beach on the Wisconsin side.