Day 18, Aug 4th

Start: Prairie Du Chien, WI

Finish: South Beloit, IL

Miles: 150

Elevation Gain: 6200'


Econo Lodge

2956 Milwaukee Rd.

Beloit, IL 53511


Click on an image to see a larger view

Wisconsin is truly a beautiful state. The whole route today, with the exception of the last few miles into Beloit, reminded me of the best of the Snoqualmie River valley, my favorite training grounds, except the vistas are much more impressive. Rural roads through rolling hills dotted with farms and trees.

Unlike eastern South Dakota and parts of Minnesota

The scenery along our route today was really pretty

which have mile after mile of corn and soybean fields, our route across Wisconsin was a mix of dairy and horse farms and terraced fields of various produce crops. On several occasions, we'd see horses run through a pasture along with us as we rode by.

Today's ride was hard, but pleasant and fun. We had

One of the climbs this morning

lots of hill climbing and strong winds (usually headwinds) for most of the day, but the hills and trees made the headwinds a lot less monotonous (if not much easier) than the flatlands we rode through in the past week. My knees started to get a little sore after a hundred miles or so of hills and headwinds, but I still felt good when I pulled into the motel at 5:00.

A big part of what made the ride so enjoyable today was the lack of heat. The skies were overcast all morning keeping the temperatures in the high 60's - perfect riding weather. When the skies finally did clear in the early afternoon, it was too late for the temperatures to go up too much. Amazingly we got through another day without getting rained on.

Walt was my savior today - about 15 miles before the lunch stop, I managed to break my chain muscling up a hill. I was lucky to not fall since this can cause you to become unbalanced very quickly as your foot snaps down. Fortunately, Walt was riding in our group and had a chain tool and spare Connex link with him. Five minutes later and with two very greasy hands, I had my chain fixed and we were on our way.

Walt is the star of another story today. Shortly before the last rest stop, we passed a house with a couple of dogs that were being real pests to us cyclists. As I rode by, I yelled at the dogs to go home, which I gather got the owner to come outside. A few more riders passed screaming at the dogs with the owner ignoring them, then Walt came by. He decided to get a little more aggressive and kicked one of the dogs when it got too close. Well, the owner got very irate and chased Walt in his pickup truck and managed to get a couple punches on Walt's head. Another rider, E who is a very big guy, came up behind them and the owner took off. Walt wasn't hurt because he was wearing his helmet and the punches had little effect, but E did get the license number.

Note that the route maps I have included are not completely accurate and some are off quite a bit as we get into the eastern states. I made these by looking at low resolution maps posted by previous Northern Transcontinental riders, and the route is different in some cases on this trip.

Another beautiful vista Jonathan from Australia John from Iowa

Rich from NY hamming it up for the camera. That's E behind him First SAG stop, Walt standing in the foreground More pretty vistas

The spaces between crops made for very beautiful patterns on the hillsides This will give you an idea of the rolling hills we road today Note the mosaic on the side of the barn

Tom from Pennsylvania Yet another vista Anne Marie cresting the hill