What turned out to the be the best Windy 500 ever fell short in only one category: mileage. This year’s route left us 4 miles short: 496 miles with an 18mph average speed. In all the years past we were always over, so at this point I’m using my rollover miles to call it an even 500. This ride really has taken on a life of its own. Year One was 4 guys and no support – chasing daylight 160 miles on Day 1. This year was 11 guys with a full size Suburban stocked with tools and cold PBR following 100 yards behind us all day.
From the start, this year was spot on. Blake lead us out of my driveway and proceeded to sprint into a mailbox 2 blocks down the road. That’s why we don’t include 7 year-olds in flip-flops…
Everyone stretched their legs a bit in the first section through Holy Hill before we settled into a comfortable pace for the rest of the ride. A quick stop in Allenton to fuel up and we were off. Lunch was a walk down memory lane from Year One in Oshkosh.
Typically, we end up with a lot of flats, which means we end up stopping a lot for PBRs. This year we had only 4 flats (plus one slow leak), all of which were caused by road hazards. It’s tough to go 500 miles in Wisconsin during August without hitting at least some road construction. We found our share of gravel roads and potholes, but there were times when we actually needed faux-flats in order to make sure we stayed hydrated.
The first day ended in Green Bay, and in the morning we took off for Escanaba. Everyone was feeling great, and the roads were spectacular and pancake flat. This trip is really all about the journey, and this year was by far the best ever. We tapped out about 120 miles on Day 2 at with a 19.1 average speed surrounded by lush country scenery.
The Windy 500 has become a testing ground for Mexican food, and this year we found the best South of the Border food North of the Border. Just over the Michigan state line we stopped for lunch at La Cabana. If you ever find yourself in Menominee, MI with an empty stomach, I highly recommend the special of the day.
From there it was an easy roll to Escanaba, where we enjoyed fine imported beer.
Back to La Cabana for another spectacular lunch and back to Green Bay for another spectacular moonlit night.
Of course, it wasn’t all fun. We did make sure to journal our food and use food scales to properly measure what we were taking in. The body is a temple after all.
We hit a little rain on Friday and a little more on Monday (tradition), but never enough to dampen spirits. Thankfully, we always seemed to find a PBR dispensary at just the right time.
We rolled into Brookfield around dinner time on Monday, always good to get home. Everyone was a little tired, but in one piece.
This route was so awesome, we’re considering doing it again next year.