Saturday, June 23, 2007

Day 1: Flat 4 Tour - Preston, MN

Rain! That’s the last thing you want to see the morning before heading out
on a long ride through a few states. The weather channel was reporting rain from Chicago all the way to the Iowa border.

This weekend Mike and I were riding the Flat 4 Tour by ourselves since he was breaking in the new bike. I even shortened the route to Preston, MN so he could make it to the dealership with less than 900 miles for the break in service.

First stop - PB gas station in Starks, IL

The rain was light and by the time we arrived at the gas station where everyone was meeting up this morning, we were already an hour late. I expected no one to be there but yet there were two bikes there. It was Leanore and her son Stephen. It took them longer to get to the meeting place because of the rain this morning.

The four of us headed westward. It stopped raining about an hour before we hit the Iowa state line, but the temperatures remained cool, in the upper 60’s, and it was still very cloudy when we pulled over for lunch in Dubuque, IA at the Culver’s restaurant.

As we were getting ready to leave Culver’s s, we ran in to three other riders
doing the Flat 4 Tour. The seven of us continued to Guttenberg together, but split up after the first gas stop. I had a killer headache today that just kept getting worst as the day progressed. I took two Excedrin in the morning, but by the second gas stop I was buying a package of Tylenol sinus extra strength, I took two pills and continued toward Minnesota, hoping that it would take the headache away. It didn’t, although it did dull the pain some.

Gas stop in Gutenberg, IA

I thought only Harley riders polished their bikes mid ride? :)

Past McGregor, IA I implemented the “short cut” to save some miles and we got to try some new roads, the two I really liked were parts of 76 though and A16 in Iowa.

New roads to try out

Leanore and Stephen

Taking a break on empty A16 in Iowa


The Tiger and the Duc

We arrived in the town of Preston located in the heart of bluff country in Southeastern Minnesota around 6PM. The group was staying at the Country Trails Inn, there were already many bikes parked out front. We checked in, the place was nice.

Preston, MN at the Country Trails Inn

My Tylenol must have worn off because my headache got really bad again and I had to lie down. Unfortunately there were no restaurants near by to walk to, so Leanore, Stephen, Mike and I decided to order some pizza and have it delivered to our room. After a slice and a half I had to lie down again and didn’t get up until the next day. All I can say is that riding with a bad headache is a horrible experience. Mike and Stephen went outside to socialize a bit before calling it a night.

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