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   Biked into work today and skated in the evening.  It was rather warm to skate, but despite being a little tired from cycling I managed to burn 1,061 Calories in the 2 hour session.  That is about 75% of what I can burn in the same amount of time at my typical skating rink.  However, the Madison rink is smaller, the floor is poorer shape, and has many more inexperienced skaters that keep the speeds down.  These factors result in a less vigorous skating session.  It is still fun though because I usually skate with Zach and Amber.  They both now have their own skates and are getting into roller skating and it's fun to have other people I know to skate with.
   A ride to work today followed by dinner with Pokie.  I walked capital square looking for a restaurant that had salmon salad.  After a long search form which we were about to give up we found a place.  After we sat down and placed our order, the waitress came back to tell us they were out of salmon.  Not my day for salmon I guess.
Red Rainbow Skies

Red Rainbow Skies

   The day alternated between rain and sun, but when I got back home from work and looked at the radar I decided it was safe to get in a long ride.  My planned route was mostly north through Waunakee and up to the village of Dane.  The clouds were fantastic, and I stopped at many points during the ride to capture the view.  I ended up with 75 proofs for the day.  In addition, I burned 1,764 calories over 2 and a half hours that covered 29 miles.  That was plenty to justify going across the street and playing fat boy by ordering some delicious Indian food.  After the food coma started to kick in I could keep my eyes open.  I fell asleep quickly in a state of bliss.
   Zach putting together an other Ethernet cable.  We have two wireless routers in the house.  One is in the basement and is the router for all Internet traffic.  The other was suppose to be upstairs on the second floor to provide better coverage of the house.  However, it had been unplugged and stored without my knowledge and complaints about poor wireless connectivity abounded.  Zach was going to install a third wireless access point when this was discovered.  So when it was discovered, Zach and I decided to move the access point to the kitchen on top of the refrigerator.  The wall behind the refrigerator had a wood panel that had been screwed onto the wall.  This made it easy to string an Ethernet cable through it and into the basement to the switch.  Our wireless signal is much improved now.
Loading and Ready to go

Loading and Ready to go

   My first bike camping trip reveled that my sleeping mat sucked.  I picked up a new one that made sleeping very comfortable.  At some point in the evening I learned the park is located close to railroad tracks, and the locomotives (presumably because they have to for safety) blow their horn a lot as they pass through.  The tracks must have been close because I could hear the rumble of the engines and even the high pitch whine of the turbos—with ear plugs in.  Despite this, I slept pretty well. 
   I took my time getting up, had a peanut butter and jam sandwich for breakfast and started my trek to Verona.  This was a 24 mile ride, and with winds from the south west took much longer than expected.  I only averaged 10 MPH rather than the 14 MPH I'm use to, but it got me to Verona.  I was hoping to camp a second night, but looking at the weather forecast I could see that thunderstorms were likely.  So I stopped at a grocery store and ate everything, then sat at a coffee shop for awhile before starting home.  The 9 mile ride home was slightly faster at 11.8 MPH because I had a tailwind.  I also had a lot more sunlight and got a pretty good sunburn on my left side.  At home I worked on a math problem I wanted to solve, and it was a nice way to top off the day.
   The camping trip was a success.  This is only my second time bike camping, but I rather enjoy it and hope to do it more.  Maybe one day it will stop raining all the time and I can get a multi-day trip in.  I also learned a good deal about my bicycle under heavy loads, and to expect much slower rates of travel as a result.  And I learned about not overloading the front rack.  All good things to know for future trips.


   With weather looks good and it is time to camp.  I loaded my bike up with camping gear, which included a new sleeping mat (the one I used last year was awful), and my laptop.  I also installed my new front rack on my bike.  So on the ride into work, I stopped and picked up donuts for everyone.  You know, it is necessary to properly test new equipment and cycling in donuts seemed a valid test.  Something I noticed right away was how slowly I seemed to be moving.  While I don't know that I noticed so much last year when I camped, I sure notice the additional weight of gear now.  The ride into work took at hour and 25 minutes with an additional 2 miles for the donuts, which put me at 11.6 MPH as opposed to my typical 14 MPH.
   After work, I started down to Lake Kegonsa State Park.  There I arrived after the ranger station was closed, but checked myself into a camp site for the evening.  After setting up camp, I biked down to Stoughton to find dinner.  I found a restaurant much nicer than what I was dressed for, but nonetheless enjoyed a nice salmon stake and cheesecake for desert.  On my ride to the camp site I passed some houses selling firewood from their front yard.  However, on my way to Stoughton I didn't see any.  I needed some firewood and figured I'd have to backtrack a little on my ride back to camp.  However, I found a house I hadn't previously seen on the way back.  After placing some cash in a coffee can, I loaded the firewood onto the empty front rack of my bike and strapped it down with bungee cords.  Then something I wasn't expecting: I could hardly steer with all that weight up front.  Once I got to speed it was alright, but turning was almost impossible.  I only had 2 miles to camp and decided to stick it out.  Unfortunately, I didn't go a good enough job of strapping down the wood and as I turned a corner I lost my stack.  Reloading it was tricky because there was nothing to lean my bicycle against.  I ended up jamming a piece of wood under one of the peddles and loading the wood into empty panniers--empty because I had already setup camp. 
   Once at camp it was time for a fire.  Lighting a fire is typically something I am good at.  But this time I had forgotten dry paper.  Everything was damp for the humidity so the leaves didn't want to start.  I could also not find any small sticks and twigs.  So I used my pocket knife to breakdown some of the firewood into splinters that I used for the base.  Once they were going I added larger and larger splinters until I had a pretty good base of coals going.  Took longer than it should have, but I had a fire going.  I have no camping cooking gear (yet) nor did I have any food to cook.  But if I had, there was plenty of firewood and a good fire for cooking.
   After enjoying some time by the fire, I retired to the tent for a nights rest.