Day One: St. Paul to Pepin, WI: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity (and also the hills)

(This post was written by Lisa.) We packed up the bikes this morning at 8 a.m. and our neighbor Pete met us at the end of Summit Avenue, near the monument and the river, for a few photos before we headed down the street and started this grand adventure to Washington D.C.

The day started much earlier than that – we had all sorts of last minute things to do before leaving home for several weeks – and it was a relief to just climb on my bike and start to ride. All of the lilacs are in bloom, as are the azaleas, and the trees are green and it’s lush and beautiful in St. Paul right now. We passed by the university as it was preparing for another day of commencement ceremonies and the governor’s mansion and lots of beautiful homes and churches and rode along the Mississippi River in the city, with barges on the right and trains on the right.

About 20 miles out of the city the hills started, and it was humid and we were waiting for rain and we rode past apple orchards and small farms with goats and horses and landed in Prescott, Wisconsin for lunch. Still waiting for rain, which looked very imminent, and we kept going with an eye on the weather.

It’s beautiful riding on Highway 35 in Wisconsin, along the river to Lake Pepin…and incredibly hilly. This was very much a “granny gear” day. We are carrying about 30 pounds of gear on each bike, and it’s a little unwieldy…trying to figure out how to readjust some gear tonight. So much grit and grease and salt and curly hair.

It seems that we missed the rain, except for a few drops here and there, and stopped for an early dinner at the Villa Bellezza in Pepin, which is this crazy cool Italian vineyard and restaurant that plays arias and Frank Sinatra on the lovely patio.

My eyes keep closing as I am trying to finish writing this…another 80 mile ride planned for tomorrow, and more hills as we get into the Driftless area of Wisconsin.

10 thoughts on “Day One: St. Paul to Pepin, WI: It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity (and also the hills)

  1. You’re off! I walked by the monument an hour after you were there. Sending good karma, wishes for safe travel and a great trip! I spent the day on the couch reading a novel. Glad I did.


  2. That elevation chart is insane!

    Elsewhere in your world: Phil Mickelson, at age 50, became the oldest golfer to ever win a major golf tournament at the PGA Championship (at over 200-1 odds). Historic! Seems like a good omen to me.


  3. Wishing you Happy and safe trails and sending all kinds of love and good energy your way. Thanks for taking the time to share this before nodding off.


  4. Love this! We went to Pepin for our 30th anniversary in 2019 and ate at Villa Bellezza! SO YUM!! Safe journey and tons of good weather and smooth riding to you both! Cheers!!🥂🎉🌈 🚲♥️🚴🏾


  5. Really inspiring.
    Can’t believe you compressed everything into a few bike bags – we are stuffing an entire Subaru today.
    Keep up the great photos and posts!

    Safe travels & don’t straighten any corners.


  6. Beautiful photos and super impressed with the steady hold you had on your phone while taking the video! You were moving at quite a pace … which a joy to watch. Continue smiling… you both look terrific.


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