Mileage: 70 miles
Weather: Upper 60s to start. Low 90s to end. Winds out of the SW.
Highlights of the day:
Today was a beautiful sunny day with mostly favorable winds. The terrain was gently rolling – no big climbs. And the road surface in Minnesota was wonderful. It was a great way to get back on the bike after a rest day.
Speaking of which… The first day back after a rest day can be a little rough on the riders’ bodies. I know that sounds crazy but when you get your mind and body into the habit of riding every day, breaking that routine even for one day can cause the mind and body to complain. So, it’s fortunate that the terrain for today’s ride wasn’t too challenging and the winds were friendlier than they’ve been lately.
The route started with a great ride on a bike path that I talked about the other day. It’s so nice I’ll provide a few more details. The City of Sioux Falls has put a lot of money and effort upgrading the bike path that follows along the Big Sioux River. It’s called the Downtown River Greenway Project and it gave us the perfect route to navigate through the city. Lovely views of the river. Little traffic. Most enjoyable. We left the path at Falls Park, a nice photo op and the source Sioux Falls’ name.
Off the bike path, past the Sioux Falls Stockyards with all of its olfactory delights, we headed to the Minnesota state line. Lots of pictures were taken with the sun in the wrong position. We seem to make a habit of that on this tour. Faces might be a bit dark so you’ll have to trust us when we say that the riders were celebrating and smiling to be crossing over our 4th state line in the 5th state of the tour. One big note - someone actually mowed the grass around the state sign. It might not sound like a big deal but for the first time in years, we were able to walk up to the sign without wondering if we’d need a scythe to cut our way in. The riders might not of grasped the significance but the staff sure did!
First impressions on Minnesota. Wheat and hay are out. Corn and soybeans in. Wind turbines dot the horizon. There are more hog farms. The hills are longer but flatter, and the towns are closer together with more trees. And the roads, as stated earlier, seem to be a little smoother. So far. I also hear tell that in some towns in Minnesota all the women are strong, all the men good looking, and all the children are above average.