Thursday, May 08, 2014

Hard Winds, A Covered Bridge, And Friendly Folks

There weren't any other people in McDonald's, except for me, and I'd managed to dump an entire cup of Coca-Cola and the majority of my french fries on the floor in front of the paper napkin dispenser. There is a strong chance I cursed involuntarily. It was two o'clock in the afternoon, I'd been fighting through 75 miles of hard winds on a naked sportbike, and I just couldn't quite manage holding my tank bag and a tray full of food while trying to pull a couple of tightly-packed napkins out of their cozy (and apparently, permanent) home.

"Why did you park me in front of a Scooby-Doo set, Lucky?"
"Why not?  Pay attention, maybe it'll spin around with someone in it."
I was more than a little apologetic when I went back to the counter to explain that I'd just made a huge mess. The employee I talked to told me it was no problem and gave me another cup for soda. Then, to my surprise, the manager came out of nowhere and told him to give me a new order of fries, too. And on my way out, one of the employees - who was on lunch break - told me to have a good afternoon.

If you find yourself in Zumbrota, MN, I suggest you have lunch at their McDonald's. They are all right in my book.

You might be wondering where the hell Zumbrota in. It's OK, I'd never heard of it before either. While researching places to ride, I discovered that Zumbrota is home to the last covered bridge in Minnesota. And, even better, it looked like the route would be an interesting loop through an area southeast of the Twin Cities.  

The strong, westerly winds were an unexpected surprise. On my way to Zumbrota, the wind was blowing against my back on my throttle side. On the way back, however, they were head on against me. I found myself, for the second time ever, wishing I had a windscreen.

Zumbrota itself is an unexpectedly charming town. I don't know what business they're in there, but they seem to be doing pretty well. Their main drag looked like it had a variety of bars, coffee shops and stores, and everything looked kept up. I think I'll be visiting again after doing a little homework to see what they have to offer, apart from the bridge.

One of these is a war machine that strikes terror into the hearts of its foes.
The other is a decommissioned tank in a parking lot.
Speaking of, the covered bridge would be hard to miss, since it's bright red and just off of the street through town. But, if you're worried you still might miss it, just look for the tank in front of the VFW. The bridge is right across the street from that.

There seemed to be a wedding party having photos taken on the bridge, so I didn't cross it. Later, I noticed there were a heck of a lot of people around town in formal clothes. I thought it had to be an awfully big wedding.  

Then I realized it must be prom. So I really could have walked across the bridge and checked it out thoroughly. I didn't need to worry about getting in the way of a wedding. Oh well, there's always next time.


Trobairitz said...

That little trick of dropping your food tray is so something I would have done. I think we've all been there.

Nice find on the covered bridge!! Well worth a trip in the wind. Of course, I can say that since I wasn't the one fighting the wind.

mq01 said...

wedding or prom, eh no matter, crash it lucky! ;) jk! great stuff! :) sounds like a fun ride, and fab town! and wowza what a war machine! ;)

ps, about those winds, windscreens... >;)

bob skoot said...


I like the small war machine on the right. We only have one covered bridge that I know of but it's only 4 hours each way, so it would be a day trip to get there and back.

why torture yourself, get a windshield. I consider it a safety item for rocks and debris being flicked up from the traffic ahead

at least you have another excuse to go back

A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Not only am I familiar with 'your' McDonalds but I know a great deal about that bridge. Just a few blocks away is our county fairgrounds and lots of Coop 4H time was spent there.

The fries and soda wipe right up.

Lucky said...

Trobairitz - Thanks! I hadn't even been aware that Minnesota had covered bridges.

MQ - It would have been fun to crash the party, now that you mention it. Well, hopefully there will be other opportunities. :)

Hmm... with that wicked smiley... are you hinting that the dark side has candy and windscreens?

Bob Skoot - Thanks! I'm not sure if a windscreen is even available for the Speed 4. I'll have to look into it, I suppose.

Coop - Small world! I didn't realize I was so close to your neck of the woods! Next time around I'll loop back through Red Wing. We'll have to meet up for coffee.

Canajun said...

Zumbrota. Now that you have the toughest one checked off you can do the A-to-Z thing much more easily.

On windscreens I blow hot and cold. Sometimes I swear by it, and other times I simply swear AT it. So if you do get one make it detachable.

KT Did said...

Bridges are a wonderful find. I love them... not to mention that tank!

Lucky said...

Canajun - Right, now I just have to find a "Q" town...

I hear what you're saying on the detachable windscreen. In the past, I found riding with a windscreen so boring. Of course, tastes and opinions change over a few years. Maybe I'll find them just right, now?

KT Did - I do too. I wasn't expecting to find the tank, so that was a bonus thrill for the day.