Right on Chris! You can only survive Manitoba by integrating some gravel into your repertoire of routes and by finding other places to ride further afield. Amazingly, only 10.5 hours of driving and $64.00 in diesel fuel and you can be in what is a road riding mecca. Patrick, Chantelle, Remy, Neil, Yvonne and I explored the “Driftless” region of Vernon County Wisconsin. A spiders web of quiet smooth paved roads offers an infinite number of options, and makes it comparable to just about anything in Europe. Most of the roads have less traffic than you would see between Richer and La Bro. Grades can be as steep as 18% and some of the climbs are several kilometers in length. We were often approaching speeds near 80 km./hr. Our base for the tour was the Hickory Hill Motel in Viroqua. The hotel isn’t luxury, but it is inexpensive (54$ per night), has an outdoor pool and wi-fi, and is clean. Just be prepared to wait 10 minutes for the water to heat up enough to have what might be considered a hot shower. There are plenty of restaurants options in Viroqua and a good bike shop for service. The Amish add an interesting cultural dimension to the area. The only problem with coming back home is finding the motivation to ride on flat straight roads again.