Sunday, July 24, 2022

MS Ride Around Minnesota - Day 4

Biwabik to Two Harbors.  Perhaps my favorite day of the ride.  Big tail wind.  Mostly downhill.  Lots of mostly empty road.  Really a pleasure.  We averaged about 12.7 mph that day compared to the 10 mph on other days.

I did end up messing up my left shoulder just a little before the ride even started.  As we were leaving Biwabik, the luggage truck pulled up and was trying to back up to where the luggage was.  But people kept walking up and a car parked immediately behind it so it couldn't move.  Ben and I eventually go the car owner to move, but it was too late.  Much of the luggage was piled up inside the fence.  So I hopped up on the truck and Ben and others hauled things over.  I was fine until someone handed me a Duluth backpack/rucksack that must have weighed 80 pounds. I ended up leaving it right near the truck door so the next person wouldn't have to move it far.  That thing was killer.

Yet, despite the tail wind, relative downhill, and general coolness, it was a lot of work, so Ben made sure we stopped short of the finish line at the park to avail ourselves of the local ice cream shop [The 5th Street Malt Shoppe].  He probably really feels like he looks in that photo.  My banana shake really hit the spot.

Ben popped into Lake Superior for a bit and lost my cologned plastic bag to a guy who needed a dog poop bag.  Then met me over at Castle Danger for a few beers after we'd both found coffee elsewhere. My cup of coffee was the worst I've ever had.  I asked for black.  The cashier said "menu only".  So I ordered an americano.  It looked like it had a touch of brown food coloring in it, and tasted the same, for five dollars. The beer made up for it.

Afterwards we perused Back Forty Books.  I can't recommend that place enough.  Great owner.  Just a fantastic guy to talk to about books, local art, a bit of local history, and more.  Then headed over to Northshore Pizza and Coffee House.  Their sausage is sourced locally.  That was some amazing pizza.  Our only complaint was we should have known to pick up the pizza or have it delivered to Castle Danger to mix our bad habits.

I've got the next three photos out of order, and I'm not going to fix it.  We went to the team festivities: best t-shirt and best team song.  The No MS-ing Around women did a rousing version of Billy Joel's Piano Man to alternate lyrics.  Two of the team members [including Road Rash, the only one whose name I remember] occasionally did exaggerated harmonica movements which were hilarious.  The black flies had come out a few days earlier and I was doing this little dance to keep them off my ankles.  One of the organizers/volunteers brought me specific bug spray that was optimized for black flies.  Life saver.  I had hoped the socks I bought at the Northshore Coffee House were going to keep the flies off me [see below, the raccoon wants you to pull his finger], but they were capable of biting right through the cloth.

We finished up the evening by walking out to the pier/dock/thing to see a boat being loaded and talk to other tourists about the area and the MS ride.

Best jersey competition.  Not No MS-ing Around, who were the winners.

The aforementioned woefully not-black-fly-proof socks.  

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