July 20th, Day 32: Rochester, MN to La Crosse, WI: 88 miles, 2665 ft. ascent

Despite what might have been the steepest sustained climb on the ride so far, today was kind to us. There were enough rolling ups and downs for Genevieve to really stretch her legs and after 87 miles we were in time for lunch on the hotel terrace in La Crosse overlooking the Mississippi, just over the border into Wisconsin.

Chris with Genevive in front of the Wisconsin sign
Chris and Genevieve pose at the state border

We actually have some scenery again. And some crops other than soy and corn. In fact, Badass Bev (of the KGB) seemed disturbingly excited to have spotted those rare species, kale, cabbage and broccoli – all on one day.

But back to the question of how much sight can a blind man have. Well, rather more than you might imagine….

About 25 years ago, my sight was approximately mid-way between being legally/medically fully blind and my current status of being experientially fully blind. This led to confusion in both directions. Sometimes friends would leave me to cross busy roads on my own, assuming I could see enough to cope. Other times they would assume I could see absolutely nothing.

On one particular trip away with a bunch of friends I needed to consult with my co-organiser Viv on an administrative hitch. Poking her head around the bedroom, she saw it was me and invited me in to discuss the issue. My focus on the discussion was somewhat challenged by Viv wandering around the room in a flimsy camisole and an even flimsier thong. Bending over 6 inches in front of my chair to retrieve something from her suitcase, she suggested visiting reception to resolve the issue. I unfortunately couldn’t refrain from idly observing that this would probably be best done after she’d put some clothes on. There was a prolonged pause, only disturbed by the whirring cogs in Viv’s confused brain, followed by an indignant shout to her roommate, “Wendy, don’t come out of the bathroom, the git can see! It’s all been a complete scam!”. The lengths we vision impaired cads will go to, just to catch a lady in a state of dishabillé.

Chris puts his arm and head through the head hole of his shirt
Humidity and exhaustion get the better of Chris after a long day's ride