My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 23 -- July 13th -- Rapid City, SD to Wall, SD

Miles Ridden: 57.8
Avg Speed: 16.7 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 117 bpm
Climbing: 1,788 ft
Calories Burned: 1,322

Rollers ... I-90 ... short day ... Wall Drug ... new tires and tubes ... inaugural ride with new Garmin

Today was my first day with the new Garmin 500 bike computer.  All seems well ... I need to tweak the cadence sensor/magnet as it only worked early but inconsistently.  Here is the data and map of my day:

The Hail From Yesterday ... Courtesy of Mike Munk

More of Yesterday's Storm ... Mike Munk Always Finds the Best Pictures (Thanks!)
Given the short day (only 58 miles), we got to sleep in.  For us that meant the alarm did not go off until 6:15.  Breakfast at Perkins and then loading of luggage at 8:00.  A large number of folks headed out together and   gently rolled through downtown Rapid City.  Within five miles things had separated and the Geldings were off.  I expected the boys to be eager to move on the mostly downward and short route.  There were a lot of up and down rollers with a few quick bursts of 7%.  We were able roll up good portions of each "hill" before we powered up the rest of the way.  The boys were really flying and after about 20 miles I let them go.  I made it to the first SAG with Katie just a short time after the gang arrived.  The SAG was at at mile 24 at Steve's Super Store and the World's Smallest Biker Bar.  I opted to finish the day at a slightly slower pace and stayed behind when the boys headed out.

Typical Scene From Today ... Rolling Farms, Hay, and Horses

This Guy Can Really Put That Gatorade Down

Babes on Bikes (Margot, Alison, Katie, and Beth)
John from Ohio and I set out and were quickly joined by Margot from Connecticut.  We rode the rollers and talked.  It was nice to chat more and ride a little less (fast).  Our time and speed were solid, but our focus was on each other.  After about 13 miles we headed onto the interstate (I-90).  The shoulders were not too bad, but somewhat narrow. We went out single file and had plenty of space between us to make sure we could see any road debris and react accordingly.  A side note ... there were grasshoppers everywhere today, even on the highway.  I think it must be mating season.  They were jumping all over us.  I even found the remains of one in my cassette at the end of the day.  Lots of Wall Drug signs continued to urge us home.
Hmmm ... A Different Kind of Rollers

Jumpy Bugs A Plenty

One of the Many Wall Drug Signs
We had a nice descent for a few miles, but you had to be careful to dodge the truck tire remains and other such things.  About eight miles into the interstate, a rest stop (for cars!) appeared.  I headed in to check my tires and a quick bio break.  John and Margot continued on into Wall.  I rode the last 12 miles into Wall with Alex.  The shoulders remained narrow and then a long construction zone came up.  The workers were filling the expansion joints with gooey tar.  We had to stay right of the barrels and cones and make sure not to get the goo on our tires.  My rear tire seemed to soften a bit as we made the only significant climb of the day as the temperatures climbed in the 80's.  We arrived at the hotel just after noon.  I laid down for a short nap before showering.

Another Classic Wall Drug Sign

Hay Piled High
Our treat for an early arrival was to spend some time touring the infamous Wall Drug complex just down the road.  Wall Drug is somewhat analogous to the east coast's South of the Border.  You see signs for what seems like hundreds of miles and when you get there, well ... it's not much and is pretty cheesy.  I was actually pleasant surprised by the complex.  While it is basically a gigantic series of gift shops, it had a boutique feel and offered lots of interesting browsing and people watching.  Wall Drug is a combination drug store, restaurant, cowboy-themed department store, and amusement park complete with eerie dioramas and actual sized mechanical dinosaurs. They have been offering free ice water for many years, which is quite important in the arid, windswept plains of the Badlands.  Dave and I enjoyed the huge collection of old Indian photos and a few of the picture opportunities.  They had a few nice Indian sculptures and bronzes, but upon closer inspection, they were Asian made pieces ... oh well.

The Outside ... Hmmm, Doesn't Look Like Much

Maybe This Lady Can Give Me Some Pointers for Tomorrow's Game of ABB Poker

Fellow ABB Riders Admire the Sights

Ride'em Big Fella ...

I headed to Subway for a sandwich and then to the laundromat.  Mike, Matt, and Todd were there as well.  I spent some talking with Barbara Munk who was coming back from the hardware store.  Barbara and Mike Munk run our ride and do a great job.  It was fun to chat with her about the great friendships they had built with riders over the years.  Next up was route wrap and mechanics time.  Tomorrow's ride is another test ... almost 120 miles and the heat is supposed to be in effect.  My rear tire continued to go flat and I decided to replace my tires and tubes a few days earlier than planned.  It will be nice to ride the long day with new stuff, as the old ones were really showing wear from over 1,700 miles of riding (plus about 500 at home).  The evening ended with a nice dinner at the Elkton House, the Tour de France, and All Star game on the the tube.  Karen sent my jerseys!  I get them tomorrow along with a fresh supply of GU and Powerbars.  We load at 5:15 ... heading to bed early tonight!

Good night moon ... good night rollers (see you in the morning) ... good night grass hoppers ... good night Wall Drug ... good night new tires ... good night electrolytes (stay high and plentiful on the long ride to Pierre) ... good night Leo's Legacy jerseys (see you tomorrow afternoon) ... good night Babes on Bikes