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Day 15 - Albert Lea to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
161 miles
3200' climbing

Despite the great chocolate chip cookies, and the new supply of energy tablets, my cold was getting worse. I had developed this one really painful saddle sore, that was a pressure point about the size of a walnut. There was no broken skin, but the various remedies I was trying weren't working. I used desitin every day to prevent rash-type sores. I powdered my shorts constantly to stay dry. I also tried alcohol cleanings, followed by applying Vitamin E oil at night, at the recommendation of the masseur. Jane Vanni had recommended Borofax, saying it was the only thing that worked for her. I finally found some in a drugstore near lunch, along with a new bottle of vitamin C. I took quite a bit of vitamin C in hopes that it would help me to fight off this cold, but I still felt pretty bad.

I joined up with Team Extreme again in the afternoon. Sally's knees were even worse and the hills in Iowa took aim at them. I was quite surprised by the steepness of the hills. I guess Iowa isn't all flat. It was quite beautiful and a wonderful change of the dull cornfields of South Dakota, the pavement on the downhills was a little too rough to enjoy. Then we crossed the Mississippi River and into a decidedly non-flat Wisconsin. We were crossing upstream enough that we would not have major problems with flooding. Prairie du Chien had been flooded earlier in the summer, but the major problems now were a bit downstream.

We took a quick break at McDonald's, where I cleaned them out of chicken fajitas. I ate at more McDonald's on this trip than I have in the past 10 years!

My cold was really kicking in, and I really felt bad. I worried about being able to ride the next day, but worked with Lon to set the tandem up anyway. We were able to get my saddle on the clamp on this bike. Apparently the other tandem had a different type of clamp. We put my pedals on and set the seat height and handlebar height, and planned to ride the next day. Lon said we wouldn't be able to leave until 7AM, which meant I could actually sleep in a little later the next morning. I needed it too. After my massage, I picked up some fruit juice and throat lozenges and aspirin and headed off to bed. Unfortunately our air conditioning didn't work well and our room overlooked the indoor pool, so opening a window only got us even warmer air.

Of course I wasn't the only one having a tough time on the trip. Every night there was a line of folks icing knees and ankles. Lot's of knees and ankles got taped up, and evryone was looking for the special remedy for saddle sores.