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Wisconsin 2006

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Aug 2006

Okies Invade Wisconsin

By Laurie Allshouse

 Six intrepid members of the Oklahoma Bicycle Society joined forces and traveled in the Allshouse silver bullet van to the annual Pedal Across Wisconsin week long tour starting in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.  John Wente, Tod Langford, Johnnie and Diana Lerma joined Laurie as Jim drove with his normal wild abandonment to our Wisconsin destination.  We joined 70 other riders in following the yellow marks, cue sheets and maps created by mastermind Dr. J Pedal, aka Jerry Goldman.  This was the third trip for the Allshouses, second for Tod but Johnnie, Diana and John were newbies to this ride. 

Upon arriving in Steven’s Point, we were thrilled to see Guy Anderson, a PAW alumnus, who had suffered very ill health in the past year.  He looked great and rode strong but had a bad spill on the last day of the ride which forced him to SAG in the last ten miles.

Jeri, from Oahu, Hawaii, read our web site and viewed pictures from prior trips and thought it sounded like a good ride to take part in.  Hotel rooms every night with indoor pools and hot tubs, along with happy hour camaraderie at the luggage truck from 3 to 5 p.m., what is there not to love?  Don handled the luggage truck and happy hour duties, while Barb, Janice, Ken, Bob and Nikki joined Jerry to supply food stops and water stops for our cycling pleasure.

We had only one hot day (in the 90’s) and one rainy day, which happened to be the layover day in Eagle River.  The six Okies rode to Phelps in the rain.  The sag crew drove there for breakfast.  As we were enjoying our food, the couple from Houston blew by on their tandem.  We laughed to think the only ones brave enough to ride in the rain were from the scorching south.  With drought conditions in Oklahoma, the rain was a welcome cool change. . . . . or so I thought.  After the rain cleared off and temperatures were quite enjoyable, my riding mates confided that they were not thrilled with the morning conditions but thought the group wanted to go.  I seemed to be the only one who thought it was prime riding weather.  The rest of the week offered superb riding conditions.  I started out the mornings in socks while Jim and Diana were bundled in jackets.  But by noon it was often in the low 70’s.  Is it a wonder that no one wanted to come back to Oklahoma with our 100+ degree weather?

In Land of Lakes there was a girl waiting for the bathroom ahead of me.  When the facility was available, she told me to go ahead of her.  How strange!  Then when I was in line to pay for my snack purchase, an older gentleman waved me ahead of him.  How strange again!  Tod told me that they wanted to hurry those strange, drenched cyclists out of town as soon as possible.

Several group dinners were supplied by PAW, giving participants a chance to co-mingle and get to know other riders.   We were told that 6 Oklahomans reached the legal limit for an influx to the state according to one rider.  But Tod chose to think that was only for one town and not the whole state.  The best food of the entire week was enjoyed at the Riverstone in Eagle River.  Many riders chose to eat there a second night after we were introduced to the establishment by PAW.

Diana couldn’t keep track of all the lakes we rode by during the week.  There were too many to count as we cycled by admiring all the vegetation and trees covering the quiet country roads.  We saw albino elk and horses with new born colts by their sides.  The roads were smooth for the most part although there was one section later in the week that felt like cobblestones.  It made us really appreciate the smooth roads.

It was with tired bodies and sad hearts that the week’s riding came to a close.  The chance to sit on something other than a bike seat was the only bright spot in looking forward to the long drive home.

A lady, at one gas station on our return trip to Oklahoma, laughed to see all six of us tumble out of the van like clowns in a small circus vehicle.  We made quite a sight after the trailer tire blew out.  6 bikes came off the trailer.  A jack was removed along with a four star tire wrench.  Our van read 109 degrees and there was no shade. The spare tire was put on and the bikes returned to the trailer.  In record time we were back on the road.

Tod was the resident comedian of our group as he kept us in stitches the entire trip.  We watched the thermometer in the van climb from 100 degrees in Kansas City to 110 degrees in Oklahoma.  Somewhere in northern Oklahoma we passed a dried up corn field.  Tod piped up, “We need to get past that field before the corn starts popping.”

With the shenanigans of the week reviewed, Tod suggested we might need a morals director for any future trips.


John Wente's  pictures John Lerma's  pictures

Below are the Allshouse pictures .

Click thumbnail for larger view of photo. Captions below

We are in Stevens Point and ready to ride after 1000 miles in the van to get there.

Johnnie, where did I put my helmet?

Great to see Guy in good form.

Johnnie and Tod as we ride thru Stevens Point.

John and Laurie

Guy and John

A quiet ride through rural Stevens Point

Quiet country roads among green Wisconsin pastures

What you lookin at?


One of the MANY lakes we will pass by this week.

Johnnie and Diana

Such beauty!

Road to the Dells of Eau Claire.

Dells of Eau Claire

The girl in the bathing suit will jump into the water. No, she didn't get hurt.

Elk circle the babies for protection as we stood and watched.

Bubba is caught with his hand in the food line. What are you looking so guilt about Don?

Our shady rest stop after a BIG climb.

John, Diana and Johnnie coming back from looking at the river.

The beer truck is open for business. Parties are Bubba's speciality.

Brad and Leila are from Houston, Texas

Our bus driver in Rhinelander for supper. What a nice lady!

Standing room only for the ride to dinner.

Hungry cyclist surround the buffet capturing their dinner.

Dr. J is telling us about the next day's route. Johnnie and Tod are listening intently.

l to r

The Oklahoma riders, John, Jim, Laurie, Diana, Johnnie and Tod


Jeri from Hawaii on her pink Bike Friday.

Tod and Diana by the bear and cub in the tree.

WHAT a nice barn! We saw it being built last year.

Last bridge before the boat lift.

The lake is like a mirror. To boats for the boat lift today.

Tod coming in for a landing.



Lunch at the boat lift. The temperature is about 70 degrees.

Lakeside in front of Eagle River condos.

Eagle River, Wisconsin

Barb, Nikki, Janice and Don. The PAW crew drove to breakfast in Phelps.

A short hike to the source of the Wisconsin River.

Mr. Tod, our comic for the week.

John on the walking path to the Wisconsin river source.

Don't point that finger at me. I'll tell.

Link to more pictures on page 2

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