Avg Speed: 15.4 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 123 bpm
Climbing: 3,770 ft
Calories Burned: 2,969
Long day ... more rollers and grasshoppers ... strong headwind for 20 miles ... crossed the Missouri and into Central Time Zone
Today' route and map -- http://connect.garmin.com/activity/40459656
Our earliest wake up time (4:45) and best breakfast (Elkton House ... nice buffet with pancakes and ham) had us on the road just after 6:00. The Geldings were off to the races as we set out for a long day to South Dakota's capital, Pierre. The first 56 miles were mostly east with a heavy crosswind that helped more than it hurt. Within a few miles it was clear the boys would again ride faster than I wanted to and given the long day, I let them go. I was free to ride my ride and go fast when I wanted, go slow when I wanted, stop when I wanted, and chat with other riders. The terrain descended gently to the first SAG with a few rollers. More grasslands, farms, horses, and wide open spaces were the theme.
|Early Morning ... Rolling Grasslands and Farms|
|The Local Jail House|
|Several Horses Grazing Close to the Road|
|Typical of Today's Sights|
As we had been told at route wrap, our route made a turn to the north for the next 20 miles. Well, that strong crosswind became a monster headwind. We had winds of 30 mph with some stronger gusts. That made even going down hill a huge challenge. I started out with Bruno, Daniel, Tom, and several other folks in a pace line to try and buffer the wind. The pace was a little too slow for me and I was feeling good, so I pushed out on my own into the wind. It was hard work and intense. I was in a great zone the first 12 miles and really hammered hard (with that wind that still only meant speeds of 8-12 mph). Each time a truck would go by ... whoosh. If the truck was with me, I got a short pull. If it was against me, it was like another gust of headwind. I slowed a bit as the miles went on, but still emerged from the wind in about two hours. I was never so happy to take a right hand turn and get out of the wind.
|Says It All ... Hard Work!!!|
|The Best Right Hand Turn I Have Taken in a Long Time|
A few miles later I arrived at the final SAG and wet and wonderful watermelon that ABB had set up. It took me six pieces to test out the taste! We still had almost 35 miles to get to Pierre, but the winds were once again cross winds and pushed us on a bit. I rode alone and then joined up with Mark (NJ) and Margot (CT) for a good ways. The grasshoppers were everywhere ... on my legs, on my bike, in my ears, in my helmet, and I squished toms of them under my tires (crunch, crunch). After Jeff and Barb positioned the box truck in a strategic water fill up location, I pushed on alone to cruise quickly into Pierre. There was a good descent followed by a short climb and then a final descent to the Missouri river. Crossing the river brought me into the Central Time Zone and one of the smallest state capitals in the country.
|Hay, Hay, and More Hay ... Grasshoppers Galore|
|Seems Like They All Wanted to Do This|
|No Comment ...|
|Missouri River Into Pierre|
|Looking East ...|
|A Quick Spin Into Downtown Pierre|
|South Dakota Capital by The Water|