Mileage: 57 miles
Weather: Mid 60s to start. Low 80s to end. Clear blue sky. Winds out of the WSW.
Highlights of the day:
Today is a relaxing recovery day on paper. Only 57 miles. Not too much climbing. Perfect temperatures. Tailwind to push us along to the SAG du jour. The wind was little less friendly on the Interstate but not as aggressive or in our face as yesterday. One rider commented that while today was an easy day by the numbers, he still needed to keep sharp because of the wind & I-90. That is the perfect comment about staying focused on tour.
New to the route this year, we enjoyed a stretch on a quiet bike path along Rapid Creek (appropriately named) in Rapid City before working our way on to a service road of I-90. The service road 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 with fields of grass, bales of hay and some livestock 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 and make lot more noise. We still had fun with it and took all the required photos.
The two-lane highway ended and so we took a quick left 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. The riders seem to have adjusted to riding on the Interstate – with a real focus on safety. We have one more 9-mile stretch on I-90 in two days’ time and that will be the last of our Interstate miles. There might be a bit of celebrating when we’ve finished them.
We have a new route tomorrow & we’re very excited. I don’t want to spoil it now but I promise to write all about it when we reach Kadoka. For now, it’s time to enjoy the laundromat, Dairy Queen, and Wall Drug – all within walking distance of the hotel. Have you dug Wall Drug??