Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | July 17, 2016

Day 33: Break time!

Day 33
Destination: Jackson, Neb.
Thursday’s mileage: 53. Total: 1,882

Lake selfie

A White Bear Lake sunset selfie with Melody and me with friends Dan and Mary.

I’m going to keep this one short. I’m on “vacation” now. If you’re in the Twin Cities, come meet us today (Sunday) at Sea Salt near Minnehaha Falls anytime between about 2 and 6. We’ll be hanging out. (I’ll explain at the end of this post)

The ride Thursday from Osmond to Jackson, Neb., was … interesting. First, I’ve discovered the worst roadway of the trip so far. The shoulder on Hwy. 20, which has been generous and decently maintained for most of this trip, was a mess. Broken blacktop, no blacktop, deep “expansion joints” (if you can call them that). Weeds growing in those deep crevices, hiding the hazards.

I left late on Thursday, waiting out a two-hour rainstorm. That cooled things off, but it also signaled a shift in the wind. It’d be a headwind all day. That, combined with the lousy surface and the rolling hills of northeast Nebraska, made for a slow and treacherous slog.

We stopped for lunch in Laurel, Neb. Melody found another great spot to eat: Knuckleheadz. A great lunch steak for a bargain-basement price was the ticket to kick off the second half of the ride. Just as I got started, however, I had another flat tire (thanks, Hwy 20!). Like I said, I’ve gotten good at changing these, so it’s a mixed blessing, I guess.


Opted for straight-up ice cream after the challenging and unpleasant ride to Jackson, Neb.

I plodded on to Jackson, where I settled for a strawberry sundae rather than pie and we threw the bike on the back of the car and started toward Minnesota.

Turns out, I’m several days ahead of schedule. That’d be fine, but I need to sit tight a few days so that I can arrive at the Iowa/Nebraska border for the start the RAGBRAI. So Melody and I decided to head to friendly environs. Our friends Dan and Mary are putting us up at a house Mary’s parents own on White Bear Lake, where we enjoyed drinks on the pier last night and then a visit from a baby eagle this morning.


Our visitor this morning in White Bear Lake, MN. It’s bigger than it seems and hung around for 10 minutes.

It feels a little like cheating, to take a mini-vacation in the midst of this long ride across the country. But so it goes. We’re lucky we’ve got friends close by so we can recuperate and regroup for the second half, which is coming up fast. I’ll take a break from writing (and you can take a break from reading) until the middle of the week. Thanks for following along. It’s really nice to feel your encouragement along the way.

Tune in on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. CDT to KFJC’s Sports Middle for my fourth appearance on the long-running (27 years) Bay Area sports radio show. Two of the three previous appearances are located in the archives at the link above.



  1. too bad the stars didn’t align- we’re always in WBL over the 4th…

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