Day 27 - Mitchell to Sioux Falls SD
Mileage: 71 miles
Weather: Upper 60s to start. Mid 80s to end. A few isolated banks of fog in the morning. Light winds to start, slight headwind to end.
Highlights of the day:
Today was a day when everyone could say they “only” rode 71 miles. Using “only” and 71 miles in the same sentence is a new concept for many of the riders. It’s what happens when you ride long miles day after day. One rider described it as the extraordinary becoming the ordinary. The weather was in our corner with low humidity (for eastern South Dakota), light winds, and just enough clouds to keep the temperature from climbing too much. The roads were in good condition. The terrain was not very hilly. It all came together for a great day to ease our way into Sioux Falls, riding “only” 71 miles.
The route was through farm country. We had our share of corn and soybeans. Sometimes just corn (View A). Sometimes just soybeans (View B). Sometimes corn to the left and soybeans to the right (View C). Sometimes soybeans to the left and corn to the right (View D). There is variety if you know what to look for? Toss in some cows and that’s been our view of rural southeastern South Dakota.
We ended the day with a short ride on a bike path in Sioux Falls. The path runs along the Big Sioux River that does a big loop around the city. We just got a brief taste of what we’ll take out of the city on Monday. It’s beautiful, well maintained and used by lots of cyclists. It’s nice to see Sioux Falls really supports cycling.
At rap, we said goodbye to 4 of our riders today. It’s always sad to see part of our family leave. We said hello to a 3-time returning rider who is working his way across the country a section at a time. He’s with us into Niagara Falls this year. It’s interesting to see new people come into a group that’s been bonding over common experiences since arriving in Astoria over a month ago. This year’s group has been great at warmly welcoming and supporting newcomers. Just ask Dean & Joe, 2 of our departing section riders, who talked specifically about that during their time to say goodbye. It was well received by our newly arriving rider. For the record, it was not prompted by the staff. Honest!
It’s that time in the tour when we need to be reminded to look up occasionally. You can miss a lot of this country focusing on that wheel right in front of you. It all goes so darned fast out here. We’ll be dipping wheels in the Atlantic before we know it.