LET'S DO THIS!
Powered by pasta we rolled out at first light. Thanks to a time zone change, we saw our first South Dakota sunrise, and it was a good one. The skies above were heavily clouded and there were intermittent sprinkles much of the day. We rode into a gentle breeze. Just a few miles out of town the cross traffic was 2 antelope just 10 yards in front of us.
At mile 9 we stopped at Draper for a sweet roll and coffee. At mile 23 we stopped at Vivian where we saw the 2010 record setting hail stone. Wow, and to think I saw the world record popcorn ball on RAGBRAI last year. Livin' the dream people, livin' the dream.
We stopped at a museum in Presho at mile 35 and then hooked to the south where the wind in our face was picking up. Croplands are completing more of tapestry of the landscape. We descended into the White River Valley at mile 50. It was 9:30 AM and this was our lunch stop.
The lunch was down a long gravel driveway at abandoned homestead. Understandably, Howie has a newfound phobia of flats and did not want to risk the driveway. Looking at my bike computer I saw I had burned over 2500 calories and I knew I hadn't consumed a fourth of that. I needed food, so we parted ways and I enjoyed a long leisurely lunch in a brief window of sunshine. I enjoyed talking to people from around the country and consumed copious amounts of calories.
After lunch it was clear the last 30 would be harder and slower than the first 50. It was a long climb out of the river valley and the headwinds were very stiff. No whining, temperatures are 30 degrees less than last year. I had to will myself to Winner and I reminded myself I paid for this. I'm happy to have done it. It was still a great day to ride.
At mile 72 we stopped for beef brownies. Who knew putting browned ground in brownies would be good? It was, I had two.
As we turned to the east, the hills were more manageable and the wind was to the side. 4 miles out the rain intensified and I finished pretty wet at 1:15 PM with 81 miles. Many people sagged, there is no shame in that. It was definitely the toughest day yet. I have to admit I'm not hearing so well tonight because my legs are screaming.
Sorry, there's not a lot of color or pictures today. Today had to be about biking not blogging. Tomorrow's our toughest test yet. Hope you'll join me. Just two days left.
Todd Moss is a retired architect, a world traveler, a biker , and a blogger. Todd and his wife Rhonda organize and lead tours around the world. He has been in all fifty states, fifty-five countries, and 6 continents so far. You can follow this and his other adventures at http://www.facebook.com/extratouchtours.