Cycling Date: Friday 10-July-15
Mileage: 71 miles
Weather: Temps in the upper 60s to start. Temps in the low 80s to end. Winds were strong and built throughout the day out of the SSE. Gusts of 25+.
Highlights of the day:
So last night we talked about relaxing into the wind, making peace with the wind, being a kite in the wind. Generally, don’t fight it! Today, we had a good opportunity to try all of the above. I will be interested to hear how successful some of the riders were at this task. Suffice to say, it was windy today. We headed E. Winds were blowing out of the SSE. By the end of the ride, they were gusting well into the mid 20s. Trees began flanking the road on our right as we neared Mitchell. I don’t know about the other riders, but I was expressing some very strong positive feeling towards these trees today.
Terrain today was mostly flat after the climb out of Chamberlain. The scenery was all farm, all day. Lots of cows. Some horses. 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 is the Corn Palace. It’s still under construction and missing its famous onion shaped domes. We heard from a local reporter that the domes are a bit of a controversy. Seems a lot of money was paid to have the new ones built but unfortunately, the contractor did not construct them to a spec that would withstand the sustained winds they have around here. Fingers are currently being pointed. Hopefully they will figure it out soon. The new design looks great. The building does have some of its murals made of corn but it’s still a work in progress. 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!