.....The BiKeWriTeR

Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s – Mother Nature hops on tour



July 2, 2018 – Peshtigo, WI – I learned a long time ago you’re not going to win against Mother Nature.

She’s been with us since our sweltery Day 1 so we figured she might as well just grab a bike helmet and join in the adventure.

On Sunday she was in rare form with strong storms, driving rain and wind that slapped us in the face to show us who’s boss.

It was actually a bit of a relief from the intense heat.

Highlights of the day:

– As we made our way to Whitefish Point, MI, we logged 70 miles from Belle Plaine to Peshtigo. That was a personal record on the bike for Audrey and a great day to ride in tribute to Donna Albinger, a resident at The Cottages.


– Started the day at Angie’s Main Street Cafe in Shawano. It is hands down THE Best Diner in Shawano County. Homemade everything including a collection of jams and jellies that would put Smuckers to shame.

– The Mountain Bay Trail got us out of Shawano and into Cecil. Some sparsely traveled farm roads led us past a beautiful array of barn quilts and healthy cornfields.

– While I’m getting hooked on Siri to help with directions I still carve out a route on paper maps and I’m always happy to take a break and ask strangers for directions. Today there was a woman overseeing her daughter’s riding lesson as two boys with mohawks looked on.

– The rain finally caught us just outside Stiles, WI. There was an open garage door and a woman, Christina, in the yard. “You go ahead and roll on in,” she said. She didn’t “know us from Adam” but made us feel welcome; introduced her dogs Ein and One-Eye Penny.

– Ein is a Corgi; she nipped Penny and the rest is history. Penny is a tough ole gal and still rules the roost as Ein cowered by the door in fear of the oncoming storm.

– Five more miles up the road into Oconto the storms hit with fury. Thompson’s County Market provided shelter and neighbors offered us assistance. “My husband has a truck and here’s our number if you need help,” said Tammy.

– The second round of storms came through with a vengeance but moved swiftly. Within 20 minutes we were putting rubber to the road and making our way into Peshtigo, the “city reborn from the ashes of America’s most disastrous fire.”


– Bobbi and Parker (see photo) from New Life Church were our welcome wagon in Peshtigo. The pair met us at Badger Park and took us for a tour of their beautiful church which, on a history note, used to be a Harley-Davidson shop.

– New Life Church provided a safe space to spend the night so we could tour the Peshtigo Fire Museum on Monday and then make tracks to Michigan.

On a side note:

– While in Stiles we stopped at the A&W for a break. We sat along the chair rail at the window and Audrey took great delight in reading people’s reactions to our touring bikes loaded with gear. “That one is saying ‘what idiot would be doing that in this weather?’” She laughed so hard. “And now look… they’re pointing at the bikes.” I’m guessing she’s having fun.

– The Great Peshtigo Fire occurred Oct. 8, 1871 and more than 1,200 people perished.

– We have a tortoise-and-hare style of biking on this tour. Audrey attacks the hills and powers up them while I pace myself. Audrey takes a nice long flat road, purposely falls behind and then races past me giggling, “I’m in my biggest gear.” Or she will spin by me with legs a-blur. “I’m in my smallest gear…” I don’t even ask anymore; there’s usually a tie to speed skating and training. By about mile 40 those antics stop and the question of “how many more miles left…” becomes quite frequent.

– This is me stretching during a break. This was right before I threw back a couple of Advil. Audrey is keeping a relaxed pace of about 14-17 mph. I’m fighting to keep up.


Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is raising money this year for a rickshaw for seniors at The Samaritan Campus, a 501c3, so all donations are tax deductible.



Thanks to the sponsors below for supporting this year’s tour including: Elm Grove Woman’s Club, Gruber Tool and Die, Horicon Bank, Alliance Services, American Commercial Real Estate, The Sign Shop and Pizza Ranch




Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is raising money this year for a rickshaw for seniors at The Samaritan Campus, a 501c3, so all donations are tax deductible.


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