STURGEON BAY — In the well-established annals of Wisconsinians’ fanatical love of the Kwik ride, Whit Meza set up a new (hot) bar Wednesday morning when it parked a Harley-Davidson at the pump at its Egg Harbor Road location in Sturgeon Bay.
With 13 cents packed complete and receipt secured, Meza completed an epic “Kwest” to visit all 503 Kwik Trip stores in Wisconsin, plus as many others as she could in the neighboring states—the 4,500-mile trip was completed in just 11 days.
“it’s you!” A customer is excited when he discovers mezze. Get to know her by covering her journey and asking for a selfie with her. The Sturgeon Bay store staff welcomed her inside with a round of applause.
A big Kwik Trip fan, Meza said her 2022 recap of the Kwik Trip activity got her thinking about how to level up in 2023. She found an answer in her other passion in life: endurance motorcycle riding, long-distance riding that generally involves To ride at least 1,000 miles in 24 hours.
“Being a long-distance motocross racer, it kind of united the two,” Meza said. “This was the perfect, perfect opportunity to do something like this because no one had ever done it before.”
Meza drove off from her hometown of Ripon on May 7 and spent an average of 15.5 hours each day in the Harley-Davidson Pan America Special. It rained most of one day and was particularly cold in Superior, but Meza said those moments were offset by the days he spent driving through rural Wisconsin with a spring bloom.
Let’s go over some of the highlights of the Meza trek.
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Meza’s Kwik Kwest trip by numbers
Meza originally planned to visit all 852 Kwik Trip and Kwik Star stores, but modified its plan as it became clear that 77 stores per day would not be possible. Instead, it focused on every store in Wisconsin but entered into three other states where Kwiktrip operates.
It has set rules for its Kwest in line with those required to have an endurance ride certified by the Iron Butt Association, an 82,000-member group dedicated to safe and endurance motorcycle riding. She tracked her progress on an app, collected receipts to track her fuel and food purchases, took videos and photos to document her progress, and since this is a Kwik Trip challenge, she bought all her meals and snacks at convenience stores along the way.
Here are various stats and data that Meza tracked during her journey to put this feat into perspective:
- Traveled 4,557 miles
- 546 Quick/Quick Stars flights visited
- Over $500 in gasoline
- 154 hours riding, an average of 15.5 hours per day
- It is estimated that 2.75 hours are spent each day in or in Quick Trip Stores
- Four states visited: Wisconsin (503 stores), Iowa (40 stores), Michigan (2 stores), and Illinois (1 store)
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She ate her favorite hot bar item every day, bought a “guilty pleasure,” but saved the Glazer family for the finish line
Meza has had 33 consecutive meals at Kwik Trip and as a fanatical and bona fide Kwik Trip brand ambassador since 2019, you know she has a favorite item.
“The breakfast sandwich, eggs, cheese and sausage croissant is my favourite,” she said, noting that she ate one for breakfast each morning of the 11-day trip.
On top of that, she focused on foods rich in protein and energy: eggs, protein shakes and snacks that would give her an energy boost for 15+ hours of riding each day. When she got to the store but didn’t need gasoline or food, she’d pick up her “guilty pleasure” item: M&Ms.
Endurance riding, she said, leaves little room for popular bakeries like Glazers.
“The cake will be for today’s celebration,” Meza said. “I saved that for a last celebration, to kick that sugar up.”
Amidst the visits of 546 Quik flights, two stores stood out
Visiting nearly 50 stores a day meant some of them mixed together, Meza said, but she said two stores stood out among the green roofs and red-striped awnings.
She said the store at 611 Gateway Ave. , in Mauston, was huge, with gas stations and weighing scales for semi trucks, large parking lots and a consumer-focused store.
“It’s just big. It’s a bigger spot than I realized,” Meza said. “It just felt like one of the biggest.”
The other stood out for its unique decoration: Bessie, a cow emblazoned with Kwik Trip’s trademark that sits in front of the shop in Thorp.
“It was just a nice little Wisconsin show that I found unique,” she said.
She did it for the destinations, but she came to love the trek through Wisconsin
Meza took a leave of absence from her job as a social media specialist at Destination Door County during the trip. She posted updates on her Instagram page and plans to upload a video from the trip to her YouTube channel.
And while her trip cemented her love of the Kwik Trip, Meza said she also developed a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty that can be found throughout Wisconsin.
“You can drive in a car, but you’re kind of closed off from being able to smell fresh flowers or people lighting a fire across the street,” Meza said. “There are so many senses that you can’t experience without riding a motorcycle. I’ve seen so much and experienced so much in Wisconsin.”
Contact Jeff Bollier at (920) 431-8387 or[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @employee.
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