Cycling Date: Thursday 10-July-14
Mileage: 84 miles
Weather: Warmer with some humidity. Low 60s to start. Low 80s to end. Winds out of the SSE.
Highlights of the day:
Our long stretch of favorable winds has finally come to a close. Not to say that we won’t have more tailwinds but our unbelievable winning streak is over. It started relatively calm early this morning in Pierre and built quickly. I talked about making peace with the wind or embracing the wind or, at a minimum, trying very hard not to tense up into the wind. Most smiled and nodded. A few tried it. We are crossing our fingers for a slightly lower wind speed tomorrow.
Today’s route had a nice variety – a flat start along the river and three substantial climbs. Along the way we had great views of the Missouri (complete with white caps) and the opposite shore, plus more rolling prairie. After 25 miles and our first climb of the day, we hit the ½ way mark of our journey. It’s clearly marked and scientifically measured for accuracy. Or perhaps it’s just a crack in the road that happens to be right near the first SAG stop. I’ll let the readers decide. We passed some of the first cornfields of the trip. With the Midwest states in the near future, we will see LOTS more.
The last 12 miles were perhaps the most challenging. After a day of “making peace with the wind”, the riders had two significant back-to-back climbs. The hills weren’t exceptionally steep or terribly long, compared to other climbs we’ve done this tour, but they were enough to be very noticeable after riding against the wind for 40 miles. The downhills were on smooth pavement. Great fun anytime but exceptionally fun after some rougher shoulders over the past two days.
It’s time for our tired, hungry riders to eat up and sleep soon, because tomorrow is another day and the Corn Palace beckons!