Some people have recently accused me of being a little too Type A when it comes to my cycling prep. With that in mind, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that my Thursday AM packing routine consisted of nothing more than loading my bike on the top of the Explorer, throwing my backpack in the passenger seat and tossing a cooler in next to it.
I had been riding around town with my TransWisconsin items on my bike and back for close to five days prior to leaving. I had gone through and pared things down to what I had considered bare minimums, ending up with a 5 lb sleeping roll, a 13 lb Egon BC3 backpack, and another 3 lbs of stuff in a small frame bag. I went to Rasmussen's for a bit in the AM before meeting Courtney at his house in West Des Moines. We loaded up Courtney's mountain bike, backpack and rear rack, stopped to fill the cooler with ice and drinks and left for Wisconsin. The drive up was uneventful. Lots of discussion of rides, tire choices and what to expect over the next few days. We had some spare time in our schedule, so we stopped in Dubuque and visited my friends Gary and Patty. We arrived with zero fanfare in the town of Hazel Green, but had issues finding any cyclists. It appeared that, even at 6 PM, we were early. After peeking in the windows of the local antique store and tdriving to the park to see if anyone was around, we headed back to Gangster's Bar and Grill where we found David, Andy and some others enjoying some tasty food and beverages.
After polishing off a bacon cheeseburger and a Spotted Cow, we were back at the park looking at bikes, setting up camp and discussing the event. Joe stopped by to see us as well as drop off phone numbers so we could post audio updates to the transwisconsin.com web site. Soon Joe was off for the evening, as the race organizers had comp-ed his costs for a hotel while we camped in the park. :) I slept well in my hammock, other than having my head facing towards the security lights instead of away from them. We did have to deal with a fairly good sized storm that rolled through overnight, but I just hunkered down in my hammock watching the trees blow while some of Duluth crew decided to move to the safety of the shelter.