It happened that I had to meet with an equipment rebuilder, SJ&F Enterprises, in Winsted, Minnesota for my company on a Monday morning in April.
I decided to head out Sunday afternoon on my T-3 after dropping off my daughter, Jennea, at her mom's.
I picked up US Route 12 near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and headed up toward Madison, going through the college town of Whitewater and a handful of other small cities with quaint antique shops. It was a nice sunny ride, a little brisk but enjoyable.
US Route 14 took me from Madison to La Crosse and over the Mississippi River to Winona, Minnesota.. Riding up US Route 61 along side the big river was truly a pleasure. When enjoying the rolling hills, gentle curves and all that blue water, the time just flies by.
I booked a room on the southwest side of Minneapolis. A few people on the MGCL (Moto Guzzi Correspondence List, on the Internet) suggested I stop at Bob's Java Hut, a local bike hangout in town, so I rode downtown to check it out. It was a pretty cool place but not very crowded considering it was Sunday evening. There was a handful of bikes, a few Ducatis and some other brands. Mine was the only Guzzi. I had a great cup of java, grabbed some dinner and called it a night.
Monday morning I headed west to Winsted and took care of business. I was done by 10:00 A.M., which left plenty of time for a casual ride home. I took some side roads and some farm roads and pretty much guessed my way south and east of Minneapolis. I eventually picked up Minnesota Route 56 South, which was fairly straight, but the small farm communities kept my interest. South of I-90 I took Minnesota Route 30 East. The road really improved once I traveled east of US Route 63 and came closer to the Mississippi River.
A little past Hokah I grabbed Minnesota Route 26 South, which runs long the river. There was a cool little riverboat community a few miles into Iowa that looked like a walk back into time. I tried to look up a friend in Lansing, Iowa, but had no luck finding him. A little farther down the road I stopped to donated $10 in quarters to a needy riverboat casino and then headed back into Wisconsin. I was going to take US Route 18 to Madison but it was detoured to Wisconsin Route 60. I was greatly surprised as Route 60 runs along the Wisconsin river for miles and miles affording lots of curves and great scenery.
I stopped at a place called The Klinic in Madison to meet my friend. Stephanie Bartelt. She is looking for another motorcycle and would love to get a Moto Guzzi if she can find one in her price range. We talked for a bit and then I shot over to Brooklyn, Wisconsin and talked for awhile with Gordon at MG Cycle. I met Peter Egan of Cycle World magazine, who was there on his Triumph scrambler. After that it was a just a fairly routine ride home.
It sure is nice to be able to use a motorcycle for work!
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