Cycling Date: Tuesday 07-July-15
Mileage: 57 miles
Weather: Mid 60s to start. Low 70s to end. Not a cloud in the sky. Strong winds out of the south. Everybody rode with a slight lean to the right.
Highlights of the day:
Today is a relaxing recovery day on paper. Only 57 miles. Not too much climbing. Perfect temperatures. It was a bit windy though with wind that wasn’t always the friendly kind. And then there’s the mind getting in the way issue. It seems that no matter how long a ride is, the mind seems to ask “are we there yet?” on the last 10-15 miles. Sometimes it can feel that there are many more of those “are we there yet?” miles on the short day. Seems some of the riders had one of those days. Regardless, everyone made it in early with plenty of time to do laundry, relax, and prep for tomorrow.
The route wound its way through Rapid City before working its way on to a service road of I-90. This and subsequent roads gave a little intro to the rollers of South Dakota. These are not very long or steep climbs but hills that come one after another and eventually add up to some work. The vista has changed since we’ve come out of the Black Hills. The tall pines are gone along with the spires of black rock. The horizon has opened waaaaay up. Grass and farmland for as far as the eye can see.
We had our one and only SAG stop of the day at a place known as the “World’s Smallest Biker Bar.” Based on the font and heavy use of orange & black, I’m guessing they are talking about bikes that require petrol. We still had fun with it and took all the required photos.
The two-lane highway ended and so we took a quick left (tailwind all too brief) and then right onto I-90, the last interstate we’ll use on this tour. Today we traveled on it just under 20 miles into Wall. We’ll travel one more mile on I-90 first thing tomorrow and then we are done. While the riders have become accustomed to cycling on the interstate, I don’t imagine many of them will be saddened to say their last goodbyes tomorrow morning.
We have another long ride tomorrow, 117 miles. Weather continues to look quite favorable. Rumor even has it that the winds will be move favorable. (Crossing my fingers and throwing salt over my shoulder as I type.) For now, we’ll enjoy the laundromat, Dairy Queen, and Wall Drug. Have you dug Wall Drug??