It was a bit of a slow morning today after dinner and drinks at the Mermaid pub near the AmericInn in Mounds View, MN. What with the Splash Bay adventure (indoor 100′ waterslide) an all…
We woke up to find the roads all wet from a series of thunder showers that blew through the region overnight. Fortunately we were heading in the opposite direction and the main freeway was dry.
By design our “Welcome Home” day was set up to be a shorter ride with a little over 300 miles to cover. We were staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Delafield which is about 30 minutes west of Milwaukee. As a tight knit group that’s been riding together for years we spent some time over breakfast debating freeway vs. alternative back roads, but decided that the incentive of seeing the world’s largest ball of twine paled in comparison to just getting “home”.
There was a change in the air…we started seeing more motorcycles. After two hours into the ride it was clear we were on to something big as there were now a lot of motorcycles on the road.
And speaking of roads the Wisconsin DOT has it hands full. I’ve never ridden an Interstate that had so many cracks, ruts, seeping oil and holes as I-94. We came upon several “repaving” sections where WisDOTs oil-mix covered with light sand had me thinking of dirt track days in my youth! In addition there were a number of areas where they were milling off the top of the two concrete slabs where they mate up.
I’m not sure what they were trying to accomplish, but it was like an orange peel…open and rough, rather than an apple peel, smooth and tight. Don’t like my fruit analogy? Then choose your own…bottom line it was over a hundred miles of brittle, bumpy riding. It wasn’t any better the closer we got to Milwaukee and later on we found that the urban roads in and around Milwaukee also had deteriorated or were worse than the Interstate. They have a major issue as described in this report.
We arrived mid-afternoon and to commemorate our achievement we rinsed the 2,176 miles of bugs off the bikes. The Holiday Inn had set up a great bike wash area and we took some time over refreshments to reflect on The Ride Home and chat with all the riders who descended on the hotel and made the pilgrimage too.
Next up are the accounts of the action on the ground from the HOG 25th and 105th event celebrations…