It was raining when we woke up this morning and so we slept in hoping the rain would stop. Eventually our hungry bellies (and the call of nature) forced us out of bed and out of the pop-up trailer we’re sleeping in. We dashed through the rain into the house and made ourselves some breakfast since our hosts had already left for work. They had told us to make ourselves at home so I enjoyed some cold cereal and milk. It’s a luxury I usually only get to enjoy when we stay at a motel. It was still raining so we watched some TV while researching local bike shops. The new saddle I’ve been riding the past week has not worked out and so I’ll be sending it back to the store I bought it from and taking advantage of their generous refund policy.
Eventually the rain let up and our host, Jeff, had offered to let us use their small SUV to run any errands around town we needed to. I found a bike shop with the leather Brooks saddle I wanted to try and so we put my bike in the back of their SUV and drove over to the shop. I’ve written before about how I’m not sure a leather saddle will work out since I didn’t love it on my last long bike trip. But after riding four other saddles on this trip, I’m ready to give leather another try. I test rode the Brooks B-17 the shop had and decided to buy it. I’ll wait a little while before shipping back my previous saddle though. That way if the B-17 is a huge mistake I’ll have this other saddle to switch back to if need be.
I’m rather frustrated by the headaches (and other aches) caused by bike saddles on this trip. I really feel like we both would be able to ride longer days if we just had more comfortable saddles. It really seems like a limiting factor in how long we can ride in a day. Yes, our legs get tired, but it’s really the sore backsides that make us look forward to getting off the bikes each day. With this in mind, and considering the cold weather we experienced recently, it’s no surprise I’ve been thinking about renting a van to drive to the west coast. I’ve even toyed with the idea of buying a cheap van off Craigslist to drive to Seattle. We discussed these options today and decided to bike as far as Sioux Falls, SD before renting a van.
After our day of rest and errands we enjoyed a nice dinner of tacos with our hosts. After dinner Jeff drove us around town to give us a little tour of La Crosse. First we went down to the riverfront to see where the Black River and the La Crosse River join the Mississippi River. Then he drove us up a very steep road to the top of the bluffs overlooking town. There was a very nice view from up there and you could see for quite a ways all around. I was surprised at how high these bluffs were. Apparently there’s even a ski hill nearby! All in all we were impressed with La Crosse. It’s a nice looking town and we enjoyed great hospitality from our Warm Showers hosts. Thanks again, Jeff, Dodie, Eli (and pets)!