Mileage: 70.1 miles Average Speed: 13.8 mph
Vertical: 1605 feet Depart: 7:11 AM Arrive: 12:41 PM
Link to Garmin ROUTE DATA
The day started out nicely, but we very quickly (probably withing the first 3 or 4 miles) had the skies start raining on us. It never got real bad, but was a very steady drizzle for quite a while. We were on and off a bicycle path to arrive at Falls Park in Sioux Falls. The plan was to be on the path virtually the whole way to the falls, but construction on the path had us on a number of detours. We eventually arrived at the falls, and as you can see, they are very nice. You will also note some of our riders in the picture in their rain gear. I stayed in my shirt sleeves, and was very comfortable. I will take a little rain any day if it keeps the temperature down, and this worked great. We were probably in the 60s most of the day.
We exited the bike path at about 10 miles, and went over a series of nasty railroad tracks. At the first one, I saw both Mark Klotz and Beth Laber take spills. I hope nobody else did. The angles and the wetness made them pretty treacherous. Neither was hurt to speak of, and both were back on the road after shaking it off. We reached the Minnesota state line, where I took the obligatory "Welcome" photo.
The remainder of the trip was pretty uneventful. We got on county road 4 and stayed there the rest of the way to Worthington. The terrain was long slow rollers, with a lot of farms, mostly corn and soybeans. They don't have the big irrigation rigs we saw farther west, so must get more rain. This picture shows a small wind farm (they really should have big ones) with corn and hay in the foreground. Fairly typical of the day.
I will close with this picture of an American flag at the cemetery. You will note that it is blowing precisely the wrong way. I am on the road directly across from it. I saw some that were even more straight out, but not so convenient for a shot. As Steve D says, the wind is always your friend, either because it is helping, or it is giving you a good workout. I will take the help, but some days it doesn't work out.
The other good news is that we had to split into two motels for the first time. I am with the smaller group, and when I got in, my luggage was waiting. Normally, I am in for an hour or two before I get so lucky.