Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bike America Day 32: It Blows

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day's distance: 65.35 miles
Overall distance: 1,659 miles

Are you wondering about the title of this blog post? Want to know what blows? The wind in South Dakota is what. On Sunday it blew at 22 mph and was never once a tailwind for us.

We knew this was in the forecast so we set our alarms for 4:30 am and mounted our bikes by 6:30. My mom and I watched the sun rise as we rode and we were lucky to avoid some of the heat and wind early in the day. She and my dad switched at mile 26 where we turned south straight into the gusting wind for five miles. It was a brutal ride but a wonderful leg workout.

At mile 38, we arrived in Winner, SD but didn't feel like total winners. It was 10:30 am and we'd been working hard. We sat on the sidewalk in the shade of a gas station eating soft-serve ice cream cones from inside. Then we filled our water bottles to the rim with ice and turned south onto highway 18. We rode eleven miles into a hellish headwind and it took us an hour and a half to go the distance. It is incredibly frustrating to work so hard, harder than you ever do on a bike, and watch the miles tick by so slowly. I started to change the settings on my odometer so that I could see speed but not the distance. Mentally, it was a little easier to not pay attention to how little ground we'd covered. I thought of my friend Hadley who has the same mentality when she runs.

We met my mom and the car in Colome where we chugged water and ate lunch in the shade. We talked about how hard we were working and my dad said I was sure to burn more calories in today's 65 miles than I did during my century ride. Good thing because I was chowing down on summer sausage and cheese like a ravenous monster.

Leaving lunch I passed this awesome sign and had to stop for a picture. At first I thought it was cool that there is a place on earth called Bassett, Nebraska. Then I realized that it led me in the other direction to Gregory, SD our overnight town. Since Josh's name is Joshua Gregory Bassett and his dad's is Gregory Bassett, I was really psyched by this.

Then I reluctantly got on my bike to keep slowly pedaling. I didn't think it was possible but the final fifteen mile stretch into Gregory was the worst of the day. We weren't riding straight into the wind so it was slightly less hard but it was gusting at our side and it was uncomfortably reminiscent of my ride (and fall) during the storm outside of Missoula, MT. It was coming at us from the right so when I let it carry me, it would carry me into the road. I didn't want to fight too hard to not let it lead me sideways because that's what made me fall over last time. I stopped when I felt scared of the gusts but, for the most part, just kept pedaling. It blew. Really really hard.

This was taken the next morning but you can get an idea of how cute the motel room was.

We still rolled into our motel fairly early, around 3pm. In line with the trend of cute small-town motels, the room was adorable. I was the first to shower and took an unplanned nap. Then my mom and I went to the grocery store where we satisfied two of the three cravings I've been having a hard time satisfying in these small towns: nutella and hint of lime chips (not together). South Dakota beer has yet to be found though. Dinner for me was a chef salad with chicken, hint of lime chips with salsa, and turtle ice cream. After a Steve Jobs 60 minutes episode, a call with Joshua, and a blog post it was lights out and I was asleep instantly.

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