Life on two wheels
Spring Grove alum travels the country with ‘pedal power’
Saturday, August 09, 2014 3:40 AM
“I love biking,” Logan Deschler said. The 2010 Spring Grove graduate is back home now in La Crosse after crossing the state of Wisconsin via bicycle in three days. But that was nothing but a warm-up for things to come, he said.
Logan Deschler en route across Wisconsin. The 2010 graduate of Spring Grove High School is planning a coast-to-coast ride next year. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Maybe it all began on Logan’s fourth birthday. Bicycle number one was his big present. Soon after, the youngster began setting up ramps in the driveway. “I can remember making all sorts of jumps to see how much air I could get,” he recalls.
“(After high school) I worked at a bike shop down in Florida for one season, practically right on the beach. That was after I’d attended a short vocational school course in Oregon. We were trained in bike maintenance and repair.”
A return to La Crosse came next, where Logan now attends Western Technical College while working at Smith’s Cycling and Fitness. He’s majoring in Business Management.
The Wisconsin trip was from Milwaukee back to La Crosse, 247 miles. “It was kind of a last-minute idea,” Logan said. “I wanted to do cross-country next summer, so it was kind of in preparedness for that. I wanted to test out my equipment, my bike, and see how things would work out on a bigger trip.”
Accompanied by a buddy, Logan hitched a ride to the eastern side of the state with his dad. “My friend had ultra light gear on his bike,” he said. “I had bulkier gear.” Even so, the trip was an unqualified success.
“Anyone can do it. I’ve heard of people who are 65-70 making a cross-country trip. It just takes some determination.”
What’s next? Next summer’s aforementioned cross-country odyssey is shaping up as a trip from the east to west coast of the U.S. A biker friend from Florida has already signed on.
“That’s going to take up to two months,” Logan said. “We’re going to take it somewhat slowly and just see the country. That’s our main goal.”
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom... The Post Office has nothing on Deschler, who likes to ride in all sorts of weather.
“Last year I biked all year-round in La Crosse,” he said. “In really cold temperatures it can be painful and you’ve got to cover all your skin. It’s just kind of a challenge. La Crosse is pretty good at clearing the snow off after a storm. There’s usually a little slush on the road, but the bike I use is an old mountain bike with some wide tires. I put fenders on it so the slush doesn’t spray up. That’s good enough to get you around town. You can’t go as fast or take corners too fast in the winter, but if you’re careful, you’re all right.”
Logan also wintertime biked Spring Grove last year, where he helped out at the Heritage Center.
His fascination with human-powered travel sometimes borders on the mystical, as man and machine become a unit which seems to slip the bonds of gravity.
“I think it’s just amazing to be on this machine that’s super-efficient,” Logan noted. “You just kind of feel free from everything. Sometimes you feel like you’re part of the bike, and it’s just like you’re flying. It’s pretty amazing.