You know, there are those days when just nothing goes right. The miles and meters drag on as you suffer in the rain with the wind in your face. Today was not one of those days. It was, in fact, one of those glorious days that are made for being on a bike. The day started cool and warmed as the day went on. The stiff wind which promised to punish was only rarely coming at us head on. Skies were clear and the scenery, as always, was fantastic.
I started out climbing Bliss Road at 7 a.m., taking it easy on the way up where I would meet Bill for the ride, thinking that it was nice to be able to climb the hill AND take it easy at the same time. It wasn't always that way. We rode out through Barre Mills, up County II, picking up Antony Road at the top. From there, it was out to Highway 33 at Middle Ridge for the trip to Cashton. One of the customers at the convenience store where we refueled asked me where we were heading. I answered, "Here." Seemed obvious enough to me. He thought it was hilarious.
Leaving Cashton, we headed back towards Coon Valley on County Roads D and P. Here's where we thought the wind would take back what it had given on the ride east. However, it somehow managed to not hinder and even at times, help. I'll take it. On this stretch, we saw a number of cyclists going the other way; a tour we'd missed, I suppose. I was riding so well that I got way ahead of Bill; I stopped at HIghway 27 to wait for him. When he arrived, he said he'd stopped several times to take pictures. Sure.
Continuing on P, the wind finally met us head on. So, we decided we'd climb up County X. You're going to have to work hard no matter what, so you might as well get in some altitude. After descending on H and riding through Bohemian Valley, we pulled into the Coon Valley Kwik Trip. Here we see a gathering of several dozen motorcyclists at one of the local watering holes. We'd met and been passed by numerous groups all morning. Seems as Coon Valley was the rallying point. I had noticed that the motorcycles seemed to travel in odd-numbered groups. With the exception of a couple of rider pairs, all of the groups were 3's, 5's, 7's or 9's. Maybe they don't want ties when voting on which bar to visit at the end of the ride.
After climbing HIghway 162, I suggested that Bill, who was again waiting for me at the top, might as well just ride on in. I'd finish the ride at my pace, which is slower than his. So he took off. After climbing County M to St. Joseph, I decided to make a real ride of it. Instead of heading back towards La Crosse on Highway 33, I went down M on the other side of the highway into Barre Mills. I turned on to County YY and climbed back up to 33, which I took to OA. I dropped back down OA so I could climb FO. When I finally got home, I had travelled 103.7 miles and climbed 6,386 feet.
And even with all of that extra time to think about it, I still can't really figure out why the motorcyclists ride in odd-numbered groups.