Cycling Date: Sunday 06-July-14
Mileage: 93 miles
Weather: Sunny and 60s to start. Sunny and low 90s to end. Winds were built throughout the day out of the south.
Highlights of the day:
The forecasted headwinds out of the north showed up out of the south-southeast. The result, 45 very quick miles before our first turn of the day towards the South Dakota state line. I’m running out of ways to say that we are being spoiled, that I cannot believe the luck we’ve had with winds, or that the other shoe has to drop one of these days. I’ll continue with another overused phrase from this year’s blog. Let’s be in the now and enjoy the favorable winds while we’ve got them. I’ll also toss out another Thank You! to Mother Nature.
The plains of Wyoming segued into grasslands as we entered South Dakota. The hills are taking on a much greener color without any apparent assistance of irrigation. It’s a marked difference from what we saw across Idaho and Wyoming. Speaking of South Dakota, we crossed our third state line into our fourth state of the tour. Lots of state line photos with the sun in the wrong place. What’s a photographer to do?
The approach to the Black Hills brought trees back into the mix. They’re the first we’ve seen in awhile, aside from the sturdy few we saw standing out in the middle of a field. I often wonder just how and why they get there. Stubbornness? Birds?
The route started at the top of a plateau or at least something I’m calling a plateau. Suffice it to say it was relatively flat and high. After ~ mile 10, the route generally went down hill all the way to the second SAG stop at mile 68 – dropping approximately 2200’. The riders seemed ok with this. But all is not free. After fueling at the Fresh Start Café & Store, it was uphill for 4 miles, a respite for about 5 miles and then one last mile long climb. The route ended on a fast, non-technical downhill that led into town and directly to the Dairy Queen. ICE CREAM!!