Cycling Date: Friday 11-July-14
Mileage: 71 miles
Weather: Temps in the upper 60s to start. Temps in the mid-80s to end. Winds were light to moderate out of the SSE.
Highlights of the day:
Sorry 2013 alumni, our hopes for slightly lower wind speeds were granted. The winds did build from dead calm to start but I would have to guess they blew no harder than about 10-15 mph out of the SSE. Most riders talked about today being a pleasant recovery ride. It was a good chance to relax on the bike after working hard for the past two days. Yes, one can relax on the bike.
Terrain today was mostly flat after the climb out of Chamberlain. The scenery was all farm, all day. Lots of cows. Some horses. Even a few buffalo. Acres of corn, rye, and wheat. And fields of beans. Hey, isn’t that a movie about baseball? Suffice it to say that east South Dakota feels like the Midwest. We’re out of the grasslands. The humidity is up. The rollers have flattened out. I even think I heard that nasal twang from a waiter this afternoon. We’re out of the high plains and into the Midwest farmland.
The capper for the day was supposed to be the Corn Palace. It’s still there. It still has some pictures made of corn but it’s under renovation or running behind in its annual facelift. Not much to see. If it were in its glory, the riders would have seen the building covered in murals made from corn products (cobs, husks, silk, etc). Think of it as a Rose Bowl float that’s much bigger, doesn’t move and instead of flowers, it’s all corn based. But other than that it’s exactly like a Rose Bowl float. I’m not sure I would call it a bucket list item but shoot, when one is in Mitchell, South Dakota, one must see the Corn Palace at least once!
Tomorrow we head for Sioux Falls and our third rest day of the tour. Once again, the pace at which this tour goes by has started to ramp up as we cross through the mid-section of this country. No blinking from now until we get to the Atlantic!