Hutchinson to Northfield, MN

It was a picture-perfect sunny day today. It started out a little cool again in the morning, which was nice. Hutchinson was rumored to be the mosquito capital of the tour, but we didn’t have many problems with them there in town. However, we did get swarmed at the first water stop this moring, so we didn’t linger too long there. Lunch stop was in the town of Belle Plains. After lunch, the terrain started to get a little hilly again, and the winds picked up a bit, but I was feeling much better today, so the ride was still enjoyable. Total of 89 miles, and the end of my first full week of riding since recovery.

Northfield is the home of two colleges, St. Olaf and Carleton, so as a college town, has a fun little downtown area. A couple of us stuck with the same plan of the past few days–packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to go after lunch, then stopped for coffee in town after the ride and enjoyed our sandwiches as a late lunch/recovery snack. The coffee shop today was a funky place called Goodbye Blue Monday. The local cycling club was there, having just finished their weekly group ride, so we chatted with them and got to tell them all about our tour.

The Northfield High School where we are staying is a nice building, although due to summer maintenance, the hot water is off. Greg and Dawn from Minneapolis, who had been with us for a couple weeks prior to this past week, drove down to say hi and feed us some snacks–chocolate, cheese and crackers. After the invigorating cold shower, a group of us rode our bikes back into town to a Mexican/Guatemalan place for dinner. Afterward, we headed to the Contented Cow Pub. On my way out, I had a nice chat with Christina from Kansas, a girl with pink hair. Luckily, I had brought along my headlamp and rear blinky light, as I had to ride back to the school in the dark at 11:00pm.

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