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)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 26 -- July 16th -- Chamberlain, SD to Mitchell, SD

Miles Ridden: 73.0
Avg Speed: 16.1 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 107 bpm
Climbing: 988 ft
Calories Burned: 1,386 (need to recalibrate)

Flat ... hot ... easy pace ... corn palace ... rodeo

Today' route and map --

The temperature is starting to go up.  To beat the heat, we had an early 6AM load with breakfast at the Anchor Inn.  Huge pancakes and homemade butter crunch donuts ... hmm, hmm good.  I thought the gang had headed out by the time I finished breakfast, so I headed out alone.  Turns out they were back at the hotel eating as Jeff has gotten a room flat.  The only climb of the day was about 400 feet out of town.  Not too big of a bite.  I caught up with Helen after the hill and rode with her for about the first 10 miles.  Very flat terrain that reminded me of the Maryland Eastern Shore minus the water.  Mostly farm land.

The Geldings caught up after that and we rode loosely together for a awhile, but no one was in a rush today, except Dave ... he was on fire and cruised on ahead of us.  Margot and Gary joined the group we road at a brisk but easy pace.  I stopped at mile 22 for a quick Gatorade while the group headed on.  The road turned to nasty gravel as we past more farms with an emphasis on corn.  Coming out of the gravel, I saw the group (minus Dave) on the side of the road working on Mark's bike.  Mark applied his new flat changing skills and was able to get a new tube in place with a little encouragement (and some heckling).  Jeff and Joe headed out while Mark cleaned up and assembled his supplies.  I hung back to ride with him to the SAG.  Good thing ... as soon as he started out, he got another flat and he not have another tube.  Turns out the culprit was not found the first go around.  I helped locate the debris and Mark and I worked it out with a tweezers.  His tire was pretty shot.  Jim pulled up in the van and provided a loaner tire for Mark.  We finally made our way to the SAG a few miles later.

Now Which Way Does This Go

Mark and I rode from the SAG into Mitchell ... a fast and hot 35 miles.  The terrain remained very flat.  We passed several farm vehicles and farmed tending to their crops.  A bug invested corn field called our name for the proverbial Field of Dreams shot.  We made a pit stop in Mt. Vernon and sat in the nice cool store for a few before cruising into Mitchell.

If You Build It, They Will Come

We Saw A Lot Of This Today

Working The Fields
Mitchell is famous for the world's only Corn Palace. The original building dates back to 1892.  The building's murals and designs are made from corn and other grains. It also hosts the home basketball games of Dakota Wesleyan University and the Mitchell High School Kernels.  The downtown area was pretty built up and had numerous bars, restaurants, shops, and tourist stops.  After touring the palace, we grabbed a nice lunch at Cafe Teresa. I spun around the town and found a few neat signs for your viewing pleasure.

The Corn Palace

2010 Theme Was Transportation

Inside ... More Corn Murals

Playing Basketball Here Must Be Cool


Pretty Corny Huh

Local Diner and Cute Pooch

Sinclair Dino and Another Pooch

Dave and I watched the Tour and relaxed before heading for our dinner at the Mexican restaurant next store.  Fajitas were good and another blizzard from DQ topped it off nicely.  A bunch of us went to the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo. It was a fun night and provided an interesting view into local culture.  The eight year cow girl stole the show.

John (Life is Good) and Me (Life is Crap)

Teresa (The Wheels on The Bus)

Ellen Enjoys the Rodeo

Hot Air Balloon Rises Above The Stampede

Some of the Gang at the Rodeo

8 Year Old Goes Through The Fire

Teeter Totter with a Huge Bull

Big America and Military Focus
Tomorrow is another flat and hot day to Sioux Falls.  75 miles and then we get a rest day.  Ahhhh ...

Good night moon ... good night corn ... good night heat ... good night cowboys and cowgirls