Cycling Date: Wednesday 08-July-15
Mileage: 117 miles
Weather: Upper 50s to start. Low 80s to end. Winds out of the SSW to start. Rotated clockwise through W to NNE to end. Built throughout the day.
Highlights of the day:
Today was a long one but with the weather in our favor and the miles these riders have on their legs – it was a pleasant long one. We started with our last very quick mile on the interstate. I think some of the riders might miss the nice wide shoulders but I heard of no tearful goodbyes as they took their final exit ramp off I-90 onto Rte 14.
The wind was a friend and not very friendly today. We started with a very pleasant tailwind for the first 56 miles, all the way into the 2nd SAG stop. From there we headed north and the wind built out of the north. Tail turns to head. Right turn before the 3rd SAG and we all leaned a little to the left for the rest of the ride with a fairly strong front quartering crosswind across our bows.
South Dakota Highway 14 is the route for you if you are looking for a way to travel from Wall to Pierre AND get away from it all. The two-lane road wanders through mile after mile of grassland, farmland (best guesses of beans, wheat, and hay), and ranch land (cows & horses). At the tops of hills, of which there are many, the land stretches on for miles. If you look hard enough, I think you can see the curve of the earth at the horizon. The scenery is an interesting combination of beautiful and mind-blowing. Rolling grasslands for as far as the eye can see. Beautiful. Rolling grasslands for as far as the eye can see. Mind-blowing. Don’t get me wrong. South Dakota has a real beauty to it. It’s just a vast, wide-open, goes on forever kind of beauty.
Many rollers and three SAG stops later, the route headed down across the Missouri River and into Pierre (pronounced PEER). Crossing the Missouri brings us into the Central time zone. A long day on the bike just got a little longer by losing one hour. But good food awaits. We’ll fuel up and sleep tonight. Tomorrow we’ll get up, talk about the day’s route, and do it all over again.