By Peter Mulvey Special to Published Sep 13, 2007 at 9:32 AM

FORT ATKINSON, WIS. -- The show is over and it's dark here at the Cafe Carpe, I'm up in the guest room.  It was a good show tonight and fine day to ride here, cool and sunny.

My cousin Kelly Benjamin, a pro cyclist for team Cheerwine, rode with me today.  She'll be racing in Michigan this weekend.  Her bike is a sleek, all carbon-fiber marvel, weighing fourteen pounds.  Her physique like most pro atheletes, is written in boldface italics.  My rig, trailer and gear and fenders and a transistor radio affixed to the handlebars with velcro, is probably 75 pounds, and my physique is written in a more unassuming font.

We took off down my driveway and west on Lloyd Street, out into 'Tosa and picked up the Oak Leaf Trail, then the New Berlin Connector to Waukesha, then the Glacial Drumlin Trail to Dousman.  From there it was State Highway 18 and then back roads from the East side of Jefferson down to Fort Atkinson.  Herons and hawks, crickets sluggish in the cool air, blue skies everywhere, leaves getting ready to turn.

I am pacing myself for eight more days of hauling this load, so we averaged 12 or 13 miles an hour.  Kelly can ride comfortably at twice that, sprint three times that.  It's my sincere hope that the four hours she spent riding almost effortlessly with me today will act as some sort of Zen training for her, allowing her to eke out an even more ferocious win this weekend.  I guess we'll see.  I sure enjoyed the company.

Guinness, Bill's Jambalaya, a decent crowd for a Wednesday night, and just like that the tour is underway.  I hope I hold up.