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David Freeze: Almost back on track after reaching goal of Fargo


A portrait of Roger Maris hangs in the museum in his honor in Fargo, N.D. Maris was the city’s favorite son and hit 61 home runs for the New York Yankees in 1961. David Freeze/For the Salisbury Post

Bill Huckabee of Sweetwater, Texas, is riding to Canada and back. David Freeze/For the Salisbury Post

Editor’s note: Salisbury native David Freeze is cycling from Anacortes, Washington, to Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Post is chronicling each day of his ride. Contact him at david.freeze@ctc.net.

My room Wednesday night in Sisseton, South Dakota, was just about perfect except that it had a big window and I watched the wind blow during the night, not dying down like the weather guys said it would.

And it was still blowing when I hit the road Thursday morning on the way to Fargo. I hoped for a break because the ride was going to be long enough without the excessive wind.

As you might imagine, my morning prayers asked for relief. It didn’t come right away, but gradually by midmorning the wind started to calm down.

And it was cold, with the breezy conditions making 56 degrees feel colder.

So important was making Fargo that I never entered a store until Thursday night after 87 miles.

I used up all my stashed food, even the two emergency Powerbars that I brought from home on the first day.

My goal was to get to Fargo, get a room close to West Acres Mall — where the Roger Maris Museum is housed — and get over there if possible.

Along the way, it rained some and stayed cool all day.

About 22 miles of Interstate 29 had rumble strips that I had to cross every 50 feet or so. But otherwise, there was plenty of good pavement as the only hills for the day were when South Dakota climbs over the crossroads and North Dakota climbs over every railroad track.

Traffic remained light until near Fargo, where it got very heavy.

Not expecting to meet another cyclist on this odd day, I heard one calling my name.

Bill Huckabee from Sweetwater, Texas, is on his first cycling tour and had planned it for months. We rode together for a good part of the afternoon.

Bill is riding north from his home to Canada and then will take a different route home. It was fun to meet another cyclist, especially one who had battled the same winds over the last few days.

An interesting thing that happened this morning was when my map vibrated out of my handlebar map case. I wanted to check something and realized it was totally gone.

Now I need to replace it and will find one, but I am heading back to a combination between the state map and the Adventure Cycling map.

My journey left the AC route in western North Dakota and now has traveled south on the western side of North Dakota, South Dakota, into Nebraska and Iowa, then Minnesota, before going north on the eastern side of the Dakotas.

In other words, Fargo is the leaping off point to go see the Paul Bunyan territory and the headwaters of the Mississippi. I will start that trek in some portion today.

I was lucky enough to get a nice room in the Grand Inn, just across Interstate 29 from West Acres Mall.

Roger Maris was a quiet and humble man who did not want notoriety, but he excelled in every sport he tried. Maris was Fargo’s favorite son, so much so that residents still honor him in a very public way.

Maris is best known for knocking off Babe Ruth’s longstanding record of 60 home runs in a single season by hitting 61 in 1961. Maris had a close race for much of the season with more high-profile star and teammate, Mickey Mantle, until pulling ahead in the last two weeks of the season.

Maris decreed that the Roger Maris Museum should always be free. Many will remember that I saw Mantle’s boyhood home on last summer’s ride.

With all of this said, I was not real sure about today’s ride. I planned to study the possible route and try to get a good night’s sleep.

Time slips away every night. I do cherish the time in the shower and the chance to sleep afterward.

See more from David Freeze



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