Mileage: 73 miles
Weather: Upper 60s to start. Mid 80s to end. Humid. Winds out of the SSE (again) but not quite as strong as yesterday.
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 day, they were gusting easily over 20 mph. It wasn’t exactly in our face but front quartering enough to slow us all down a bit and keep us on our toes.
To add a little excitement, we had a 6-mile stretch of dirt. It was mostly hard packed so it was relatively easy to ride but it was rather bumpy. We all rode through it without issue. One rider did ask a local farmer with a pickup truck for a ride but ultimately decided to continue under his own power. We joked that for those 6 miles, no one really thought about the wind. So we had that going for us! J
The route was through farm country. There are corn and soybean fields. Sometimes just corn (View A). Sometimes just soybeans (View B). Sometimes corn to the left and soybeans to the right (View C). Sometimes soybeans to the left and corn to the right (View D). We did spy at least one pig farm and lots of obligatory cows. So there is some variety. In a rural-y, two crop-y, livestock-y kinda way.
Our SAG stop was in the town of Canistota. The whole town comes out for three days of fun, including a carnival, parade, street sports, mud races, street dance, fireworks, golf tournament, beanbag tournament, kiddie tractor pull, baseball & softball games, and bingo. It’s quite the event. Every year we come through just in time for the kiddie tractor pull. Little kids from 3 and up try to pull a sled with weights using various pedal power “tractors”. It’s serious competition. Everyone is a winner and everyone gets a ribbon. One of our riders even, inadvertently, joined in the parade. He was sandwiched between two emergency vehicles. Their horns and sirens blaring. His little bike bell ringing. It brought a big grin to every cyclist who saw him pass.
From the SAG on in, we were on State Highway 42. It was time to ride the South Dakota rollers one last time. A bit more work but they were miles leading the riders into Sioux Falls and another rest day. Hard to believe but we’re up to our third rest day. Again, well earned after eight consecutive days in the saddle.
It’s that time in the tour when we need to be reminded to look up occasionally. You can miss a lot of this country focusing on that wheel right in front of you. It all goes so darned fast out here. We’ll be dipping wheels in the Atlantic before we know it.