One of My Best Cycling Days, Ever

St. Paul Going North: Day 2, October 10, 2016

This is my fourth cycle tour, and this day was one of the best. The sun was out, a strong wind was at my back, fall colors were around me, and I was on cycle trails for almost all of it.

The day started with writing in my blog and a nice conversation with the manager of the hotel I stayed at. After updating this blog, I packed up my bike, dropped off my key, and said good-bye to the manager. She made it very clear that I better be safe on my bike. I thanked her and said that I always wear bright colors, since I also have a tough time seeing cyclists when driving.

After spending a lot of time on roads the day before, it felt great to turn onto a dedicated bike trail soon after I getting on my bike. The peace and beauty were beyond words, so I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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20161010_125819This picture shows one of my distractions and, often, one of my failings. I’m a recovering gadget guy. If you look close, you’ll solar panels on the back of my bike. I easily lost an hour of cycling to get the panels working right, but I do enjoy them. They charge AA batteries, which power my GPS and camera.

One of my next gadgets will be a dynamo in the front hub, which can create power on cloudy days. Like most renewable energy, multiple sources makes it work. My previous touring bike came with a dynamo in the front hub. That bike was a folder and is the bike I used for most of this blog.

20161010_144657Another gadget I like came up later in the day, when I stopped here. I’ve never been able to resist stopping at a pretty garden with a Halloween skeletaon, on a bike.

 

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The store in this picture is about 50 yards away. I stopped in simply because it looks like a fun store. The staff were friendly, so we talked for a while.

While we spoke, I remembered my camping stove, which is the gadget I mentioned a moment ago. My camping stove qualifies as a gadget because it burns camp stove fuel and unleaded gas, which is great for cycle-camping. My stove has been out of gas since my last cycle tour, 3 years ago. I had to use a plier to pry the cap loose, hoping not to create a spark.

I figured this was a good place to fill it up, since small town staff are more likely to let an odd cyclist fill a little stove at a gas pump. I’ve never filled the little stove from a gas pump before because gas comes out really fast, but this was one of those times when I had to try. The small stove has an even smaller hole to put fuel in, so I put a funnel in the hole, aimed the gas nozzle toward the funnel, and gently squeezed. A moment later, my stove was full of gas, inside and out. As you’d expect, my hands were covered with gas, but it was successful enough. I walked toward the store and inside to wash the gas off my hands, being careful not to walk by someone smoking a cigarette.

The rest of the day was less dramatic and as beautiful as the start of the day, as these pictures show, click on any picture to see a larger version.

On this trip, I’ve been worried that campgrounds would be closed, so I was a little worried when I called one around 4pm. The place looked perfect, just outside Duluth and next to St. Louis Bay, which flows in to Lake Superior. When I called, a man said they were open. 20161010_182241I arrived about 2 hours later and learned they have some walk-in campsites, so I picked one that overlooked the bay. You can see my tiny stove in the foreground, which very fortunately lit with no flaming surprises.

My first night of camping on a cycle tour in the US could hardly have been better.

Daily Facts & Bits
Started: Hinckley
Finished: Duluth
Miles: 72

7 thoughts on “One of My Best Cycling Days, Ever

  1. Looks like you are having a great time. The picture are really pretty. This time of the year is so colorful. My favorite! Hope to talk to you soon!

    • Hi Beth,

      I have been having a good time and glad you like the pictures. I may be able to talk with you sooner than later because I’ll be taking a bus back to St. Paul, could be a good time for a phone call.

      Thanks for adding a comment,

      Steven

    • Hi Jill,

      It’s been a great trip, and I have been cycling safe. I haven’t seen anyone else on bike trails wearing high vis colors, but I still do, since my days can quickly change to road cycling.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Steven

  2. Hi Steven!
    The pictures and scenery are beautiful
    Happy to hear you had a wonderful day and made it to Duluth!
    I will let the gang know!
    We are very proud of you!
    Keep on pedaling!
    Carey

  3. Hi Again Carey,

    It was fun making it to Duluth. I’m a little north of Duluth while I write this, but that’s a different story, or in this case a different blog post. Going a little further is all a part of keeping on peddling, as you said.

    Thanks for posting again,

    Steven

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