Day 23 - Rapid City to Wall SD
Mileage: ~52 miles (see shuttle notes below)
Weather: Mid 60s to start. Low 100s to end. Clear blue sky. Strong winds out of the suoth.
Highlights of the day:
Today is a relaxing recovery day on paper. Only 57 miles with not too much climbing, relatively speaking. We started the day with a stretch on a quiet bike path along Rapid Creek in Rapid City before working our way on to a service road of I-90. The service road and subsequent roads gave a little intro to the rollers of South Dakota. These are not very long or steep climbs but hills that come one after another and eventually add up to some work. The vista has changed since we’ve come out of the Black Hills. The tall pines are gone along with the spires of black rock. As I indicated yesterday, the horizon has opened waaaaay up with fields of grass, bales of hay and lots of cows for as far as the eye can see.
We had our one and only SAG stop of the day at a place known as the “World’s Smallest Biker Bar.” Based on the font and heavy use of orange & black, I’m guessing they are talking about bikes that require petrol and make lot more noise. We still had fun with it. That was a nice diversion while we figured out where the heck the riders could ride.
Our route on the frontage road was closed to cyclists as they were just getting ready to put down new oil and chip seal. A single lane, 35 mph pilot car, and flying gravel is no place for a cyclists. So, as instructed by the road crew, we checked out the Interstate. We sent a van up to scope out the route and word quickly came back that there was construction on the Interstate as well. This means no bicycles allowed. Grrr… The riders were very patient, the staff prepped the vans, and we had ourselves a 5 mile shuttle.
The last part of the ride after the shuttle was all I-90 East, heat, and building winds out of the south. It was a bit of a slog but all riders made it in safely. 30+ miles later, we arrived in Wall. Now it’s time for the laundromat, Dairy Queen, and Wall Drug – all within walking distance of the hotel. Have you dug Wall Drug??