Cycling Date: Monday 14-July-14
Mileage: 70 miles
Weather: Low 50s to start. Low 60s to end. Winds out of the NNE that built throughout the day.
Highlights of the day:
The weather. 60s for a high in Minnesota in July?? Really??? This is the strangest any of us have seen in a long time. We are hearing rumors of a polar vortex that lost its way and came down into Minnesota. Not sure what the heck Mother Nature is up to but suffice it to say we are not really missing the hazy, hot, and humid combination that normally greets us in the Midwest. Tomorrow it might touch 70. That’s usually the low temperature for the day. Makes no sense but no one is arguing.
The wind is a bit more of a factor that it has been. Not a headwind but it grew to a stiff rear quartering to cross wind from the left. Everyone had a significant lean today as we continued our trek eastward. The last mile or two of the day was straight into wind. I suppose you could say it gave the riders an opportunity to straighten up before they got off the bike?
The first day back after a rest day can be a little rough on the riders’ bodies. I know that sounds crazy but when you get your mind and body into the habit of riding every day, breaking that routine even for one day can cause the mind and body to complain. So, it’s fortunate that the terrain for today’s ride wasn’t challenging.
The route started with a great ride on a bike path. The City of Sioux Falls has put a lot of money and effort upgrading the bike path that follows along the Big Sioux River. It’s called the Downtown River Greenway Project and it gave us the perfect route to navigate through the city. Lovely views of the river. Little traffic. Most enjoyable. We left the path at Falls Park, a nice photo op and, I’m guessing, why Sioux Falls is called Sioux Falls.
Off the bike path, past the Sioux Falls Stockyards with all its olfactory delights, and we headed to the Minnesota state line. Lots of pictures were taken with the sun in the wrong position. Faces might be a bit dark so you’ll have to trust us when we say that the riders were celebrating and smiling to be crossing over our 4th state line in the 5th state of the tour.
First impressions on Minnesota. Wheat and hay are out. Corn and soybeans in. Wind turbines dot the horizon. There are more hogs farms. The hills are longer but flatter, and the towns are closer together with more trees. And the weather is bizarro.