Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

     
Daily Trip Log
Jack
 
     

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Blue Earth to Austin, MN
   
 
Date: 2006-08-29
Distance: 95 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 4.83 Hours
Average Speed: 19.76 kph
 
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 3,423 Kilometres  

Thoughts for the Day

 

 
 

Another fine day for cycling. The weather was cool. The clouds provided cover from the sun for the most of the trip. The road was undulating with a few more hills than yesterday but nothing to drain too much energy. The wind stayed as a cross-wind from the north until late in the trip where it turned more into our faces. The hills were now closer between peaks than what was encountered to yesterday, maybe a kilometre apart. The hills reminded me more of those in Ontario than in the prairies.

 
 
  We cycled basically on a road parallel to the I-90. For most of that way it was called County Road 46. The traffic was light except for a few kilometres where an asphalt plant was located and a stream of trucks just minutes apart came by

 
  As we were ready to leave Albert Lea a sign informed us that CR 46 was closed for reconstruction. This meant a detour of 20 kilometres or so. This did not please us too much as we had been making good time and were looking for an early arrival. Fortunately at the construction site we encountered a bulldozer operator who informed us that the asphalt stripper machine was inoperative today. So, we could proceed on the road with maybe a half-kilometre of road where the asphalt had been stripped.

 
  We spent some time tonight walking to downtown Austin, visiting a bike shop, and then eating at a Chinese restaurant. Like most Minnesota towns that we have been in, they tend to be much more attractive to those into he states west of here. What is the difference? Well, treed lined streets helps a lot. Some streets were narrower. The houses seemed to have bit more attentive owners that have put some effort into the looks of the houses and gardens.

 
     
       
Cycling Facilities  
 

County Road 46 (26, 16)

   
    For most of the way the road had excellent asphalt surface and was clean of debris. For about 10 kilometres towards the later part of the trip the road was difficult to ride due to crack maintenance. The lateral cracks were not properly filled in so the bike bounced about every 6 to 10 metres. The back took the punishment.

 
  One newly paved section on this road which was also part of Highway #2 had an interesting profile. There was a small piece of paved shoulder of about a third of a metre to the outside of the white edge line, then about a metre plus of gravel, and then about a third of a metre of asphalt separating the gravel and the ditch. Why this profile rather than a full paved shoulder? Maybe, it had to do with water drainage during storms. Do not know.

 
  Albert Lea

   
   
  Austin    
    Austin has a backbone of a bike path network in place and plans to expand it. From someone we talked to, there are plans to link Albert Lea and Austin with a bike path, a distance of about 30 kilometres.

 
  Austin Bike Path Map

   
   

On the Internet

http://www.ci.austin.mn.us/Engineering/biketrail.htm