Wisconsin is my 6th state (!) but I will be back in Minnesota tomorrow…I had a great ride today- 35 of the 57 miles were on 4 different bike trails. Minnesota has done a great job of making bike paths out of railroads after they are decommissioned. Within 1 mile of leaving my hotel in North Branch, I was on the Sunrise Prarie bike trail heading due south. I was on that bike trail for 16 miles and went through some pretty countryside- more prairie and fewer cornfields After a brief ride on a highway, I was riding on the Hardwood Creek bike trail- this trail seemed new (it was very smooth!) and I had a great 10 mile ride on it. Then I had a segment on hilly county roads winding around lakes which was nice until I came to the washed out bridge… Out came the maps and Google Earth and plan B was hatched. Plan B took me through some very nice neighborhoods and pretty golf courses but seemed awfully circuitous so I decisively moved to plan C, and then D… I didn’t want to delay too long because the clouds were getting dark and threatening. Yesterday there were severe thunderstorms and tornados in the area and severe weather is my greatest risk so I am hyper focused on the weather. Eventually I ended up on the Homestead bike trail and rode with a guy for about 5 miles. He (I didn’t get his name) had done some overnight rides and was very interested in the logistics of a longer ride. After a while I got on some unnamed bike trail and crossed the St. Croix river into Wisconsin. I then picked up the Bruce Vento bike trail which took me within a mile or so of my hotel- sweet! Daily mileage: 57, trip miles: 2,101.
The obligatory Wisconsin sign. Not welcome to Wisconsin, just Wisconsin: