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Updated: Jul 10, 2021

A Tail of Tailwinds.

Late in the ride Thursday Ken said he stopped and asked a question of a gentleman on the street. He said, "This is something I haven't seen before. I'm unfamiliar with this. Oh a tailwind you say? Is that what this is?

Friday, we had to choose between a 78-mile route or a 97-mile route. I always choose the long route. It was more scenic, and it’s the only one I loaded in the GPS. Based on a copious calorie consumption and a trip to the Platte pharmacist Thursday night, I made a tentative plan, to stick with the plan.

Hot Dog Days in Tyndall, SD
Me and Howie at Hot Dog Days in Tyndall.

There was no need to set an alarm based on storm warnings. Thunderstorms and high winds woke me up at 5 AM. We stayed for breakfast for the first time this week and syrup-soaked pancakes are the perfect bikers ride fuel.

They gave the all clear to ride at 6:30, and I'm sure some people jumped the gun, most of the rest cleared out with the announcement. We held back not wanting to ride in the rain or risk a fall. Watery and oily streets can be treacherous on our narrow tires. We hit the road for Tyndall, SD a little after 7. Every other day we had been among the earliest to depart, today we were among the last. Today would be about pedaling not pictures, but please do look at them, they tell more of the story, but the beauty of the ride couldn't be captured. Much of our ride was through land of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, home of the Ihanktonwan nation.

Conditions were perfect. Tailwinds and cooler temps with a forecasted high of 82.

At mile 16 we stopped in Geddes where two friends let me know that another had fallen, not on a bike but on the slippery ramp to the luggage truck. It put a cloud on an otherwise perfect day of biking.

Our route was 97 miles, and no self-respecting cyclist is going to do 97 miles and call it a century (100-mile ride). We intended to ride down to the Fort Randall Dam, get some pics and add 4 miles to the ride. We were misdirected and missed our turn.

At mile 31 my chain came off again, this time at high speed and high gear. I stopped safely but nightmares of a SAG truck ride returned. I got the chain back on as was thankful to nurse it along the rest of the day.

At 10:00 and mile 41 we stopped at a convenience store for bathrooms and burritos. In a few miles we would have to commit to the long route. The only trepidation is there would be a 10 mile return up hill in the 20–30-mile NW wind. We were feeling strong and took the long route ride to the river.

As we approached the river, we noticed a monument up a steep dirt road. We stopped, climbed the road, and found a monument commemorating the treaty of 1858 with the Yankton Sioux. From there we observed incredible views of the Missouri River as well as a large herd of buffalo.

Having learned our lesson from my earlier fall, we took turns cleaning each other's pedal clips. We looked like we were shoeing horses and we got a lot of questions from passing bikers.

At mile 70 we started to climb and reclaim the elevation we had given up. At mile 76 we turned north back into the wind and continued to climb. We reached Tyndall but blew through to the east a couple of miles and then returned. We are self-respecting cyclist, and we did notch another century. It was the longest yet easiest day of the 6 so far. Of the centuries I've done this was the easiest. Thank you, sun and wind!

Tyndall is a Czech community. We received an amazing reception in Tyndall with a prime rib dinner in their beautiful park. Later downtown they had their annual Hot Dog Days festival. It’s a big deal and lots of fun. There were bands, dancing, games, and all the businesses gave away hot dogs and free beverages. These were not Oscar Myers (no offense Mr. Myer) but a great variety of unique hot dogs. Well I had to try them even after Prime Rib. When am I going to get back to Hot Dog Days?

Today was a great day. The kind that makes me wish the ride wouldn't end. Unfortunately, it will. I'll be back tomorrow with the final day, 61 miles through Yankton, across to Nebraska and ending in Vermillion.

Todd Moss

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