Monday, June 30, 2008

Grand Forks, MN to Glasgow, MN-488-miles

Day 4, June 27, 2008. Did the wind blow or what!! It blew almost all day, at between 35-45 mph from approximately 2:00; a side/headwind. When it blows like this, there's no rest at all—constant corrections to keep in your lane of traffic. Also, some construction along the way and several rain showers.

We thought it would be an easy day today, but it turned out otherwise. Not horrible, but not easy.

We left the campground at about 8:20am, and made good time for the first while. Then the wind got up, and even though the speed limit was 65-70mph, all we could safely manage was 45 at times and 65 at most. So, we were slowed from the weather.

Otherwise, the ride was okay but hard.

Why do I do this—subject myself to inclement weather (rain showers and 55 degrees), a fair amount of work, and spend copious amounts of money? Guess I'm crazy, but I like to ride. I rode a bike a lot as a kid, including a 30 mile ride from Salisbury to Albemarle one Sunday when I was mad at my sister. Such a ride was unheard of then, and folks thought I was crazy. Guess they were right!

But I've enjoyed two wheel riding all of my life. Even as an adult, I rode a mountain bike a lot and a road bike a fair amount. Even rode from Clayton to Atlantic Beach once for the MS Society as a fund raiser. My deceased brother also loved to ride and we did several great rides together. After he died, I ended up with his excellent road bike. Still have it but need to sell it because I've given up bicycling for motorcycling.

For some reason, it's just fun. I love the sensation of power; acceleration much faster than most cars. Great brakes to stop quickly. Swerving, leaning, and the feel of the wind on my body. Hard to describe to a non-rider, but I believe it's shared by most motorcyclist. I know it's a risky hobby, but it brings a lot of joy and fun in my life, so I do it.

And I like comfort when I ride. So, the RT has more comfort than most bikes. Cruise control is great; allows a lot of rest for the throttle hand. Adjustable suspension that changes the ride from soft to sporty with the click of a switch. A good seat; the Russell Day Long Seat is great. My butt doesn't get sore at all, even after riding all day. A good communication system. The Autocom allows me to listen to Sirius Radio, talk on the phone, talk on the walkie-talkie, and listen to the GPS for directions. Pretty neat! So, riding the RT is a pleasant experience.

Tonight we're in a hotel in Glasgow, MN. It is a small town, but has several motels. The first one we stopped at was full, and they said all were full. But the clerk gave us phone numbers of all the others, and we started calling. We found one, at a cheap rate. It's okay, but has shag carpeting, if that gives you a picture of the place. But it beats nothing by a long shot.

Tomorrow, an early start (hopefully) and on to Glacier National Park and a campsite. Hopefully it will work as planned.

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