Trekking to Manitowoc, WI—Backwoods QAnon Theorists be damned

I didn’t sleep to well the night before. I was a little feverish and woke up too often. The dogs were barking as they used to say. My anxiety was at a pitch. I woke up and a metric on my sports watch which shows your state of restfulness, had me at five, which is effectively zero. It never goes down that low. Five is as low as it gets. Usually you can see significant recovery in this metric from a good night’s sleep. Even five or six hours normally gives you a good bump. I got nothing.

I forgive George, my Port Washington acquaintance, for putting the idea of QAnon conspiracy theorists lurking in the woods all about me, waiting to pounce, as I steadily pedaled north, into my head. No. I don’t completely forgive him. I really didn’t need that.

Just getting underway by the side of the trail

But it did turn a shade more rural and I did see a lot more 2020 Trump / Pence signs, suggesting that people were living in the past and unwilling to let go. I’m sorry the country became so divided. It didn’t have to be this way. If we only learned to get a grip on fear. When I think of that old Gil Scott Heron song, The Revolution Will Not be Televised, I don’t think of political revolution, I think of spiritual revolution, of persons turning away from politics and feeding their spiritual needs. That’s a little bit of what this bike trip is about. To witness a more glorious life by just

Fear is a constant demon on this trip. Last night I had plenty of it. I was riddled with anxiety about what the days ahead could bring and how well I might continue to handle the rigors of towing my carcass and 40 lbs. of gear around the Lake.

Yet, I couldn’t afford to have a day like yesterday, where I pedaled a relatively modest distance and paid the most for it. In other words, I would have to do my best to be ready to go in the morning and get an early start.

I was off by 6:55 AM, a record!

I had pedaled 2/3 of the distance of 47 miles by 11:00 AM.. Not too shabby. Everything ached. Feet in multiple places, my shoulders, my triceps, my buttocks. The only part of my anatomy that didn’t ache were my nostrils.

I pulled out many of the old tricks, negotiating petty distances, promising myself I could stop after I crested the next hill or came to the next turn on the route. I turned on my super fancy taillight with radar (hello, Garmin!) so it could give me advance warning cars zooming up on me. It worked a treat and enabled me to rest my elbows on the top of the bars in a faux time trial position, which stretches out the back a little to provide some relief.

I took a break to wade into the Lake before getting caught in a brief but heavy drizzle. When your reserves are depleted, little extra challenges want to upset you but you can’t let that happen. Over and over today I reminded myself I had to keep turning over the pedals.

The last few miles were typically torturous. I stopped at a filling station, bought a giant can of green tea, and quaffed it on the bench out front. When I got up to go, my bike computer told me I had 1.6 miles left. Yay!

The stately Manitowoc Courthouse

Supped at the Courthouse Pub across the street. Had the walleye. It’s only 32-miles to Green Bay tomorrow. Tempting to sleep in a little. Better not!


  1. Bren

    You can do this! Hope you slept better last night.

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