Day 3

The ride from Algona to Clear Lake was 63 miles and fairly flat. GeoBike here. The trip was about 60% East, 20% North and 20% South. The day was hot, humid and strong south wind. Second day of a strong south wind. That wind direction had to change by Thursday. A strong south headwind that day would knock out myself and hundreds of others. Thursday’s wind direction was the topic of many conversations.

At 63 miles my target time to arrive in Clear Lake was going to be 2:00 at latest. There was a Water Show at 5:30 and I wanted to be there for that. (More later) By arriving by 2:00 that allowed me about 6 1/2 hours of pedal time and two hours of rest during the day. No problem. And there wasn’t. But did I mention it was HOT.

The first pass through town was Wesley. It was 14 miles out of Algona. I would be arriving there right about 7:00 in time for some breakfast and coffee. I saw on a sign the football team was serving biscuits and gravy. That sounded good.

As I turned the corner entering the Main Street of Wesley, a guy I would describe as looking like a Hawkeye linebacker, stood from his chair and yelled for all to hear, “That’s my new hero” as he pointed toward me.  Surprised? I almost felt embarrassed. Almost.

As I neared the entrance to Clear Lake I could see a large arch across the street to greet us. On the right side of the street was the Clear Lake High School Football Team clapping their hands as riders past their way. Their uniforms were visible from blocks away. By the time I arrived in Clear Lake thousands of other riders had already been greeted into town. The enthusiasm level had fallen. As I got about a block away one of the players noticed me. He jabbed the guy next to him and pointed and soon the whole team had been jabbed and I had been pointed at many times. The team lined up for high fives. Start the day being called a “hero” and finish the day with high fives. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I arrived at the Clear Lake campsite and found my tent’s backside tied to a chain link fence. Not ideal but worked. If the crew can find a chain link fence in each location the rest of the week we’re home free? They also put it on a slight downhill as rain may be coming. Thunderstorms in the middle of the night. Thunderstorms that would change the wind direction from south to a more northerly direction and cool things off. Come on thunderstorms!

So anyway with knowledge of my tent being erected I got ready to go downtown.

First things first was to find the Surf Ballroom. It wasn’t open but I wanted to see it anyway. Their were shuttle buses going to the crash site. No thanks. I wanted to make sure I was back for the water show. The driver of the show boat is a cousin of Karen’s and our niece’s boyfriend was one of the performers.  I didn’t get to see or talk to John or Heather but I did see the show.

The water show ended at 6:30. I knew I had to get back to camp. I hadn’t got ready for the next day yet. The cot wasn’t even set up. Lots to do before bedtime at 9:00.

During the night it stormed. Really bright lightning and very loud thunder did its job. It changed the wind direction. Instead of  a south wind we now had a very light northerly breeze.

It was a very good day from beginning to end.

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