Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 25 - Pierre to Chamberlain, SD

Today: 84 miles, 2704 feet of climb
Cumulative: 1893 miles, 74254 feet of climb
Remaining: Approximately 1782 miles, 43000 feet of climb

This is my new "office"

Today was another great day for a bike ride. My morning commute to the office was fantastic.

We head out of Pierre with the Missouri on our right

Team Gelding headed out of Pierre around 7AM this morning, passing the South Dakota Capitol building on our left in the first mile. Our route was on SD34 and SD47 in a southeast direction all day. The sky was blue, there were no clouds, a perfect temperature in the mid 60’s, the sun was rising on our left, and the Missouri River was a dark blue on our right. There was a slight breeze coming over our right shoulder. And the road was flat for the first 20 miles. The birds were chirping and there were no grasshoppers around. A perfect morning to ride with friends.

The land was mostly covered with grass and a few farms, as I suspect the land where we were riding might be flood plain. At least I could see how it could be, if the Missouri flooded its banks. There were some houses to the left of the road, but nothing on our right towards the river. There were three climbs to speak of today. One early climb around mile 22 and two late climbs in the last 12 miles before Chamberlain. In the middle of the ride we also rode through the Crow Creek Reservation, though there was nothing special to see there.

The final descent into Chamberlain

I was having a nice relaxing ride until Jeff decided to take the second to last climb standing up all the way to the top. Of course I had to try and follow him up the hill. Unfortunately, this led to a biking feeding frenzy which ensued all the way to Chamberlain. Very good training to red line the last ten miles and two climbs after 70 miles under your belt. I never could have done that three weeks ago. So we wound up getting to the hotel early enough for lunch and to get all our chores done before rap and dinner.

I didn't quite make it to the half way point

Along the way we passed the half way point of our ride. When looking at our full route map, which is posted on the ABB bulletin board in the hotel lobby each night, you can really see progress now. And when people ask where we started from and we tell them Astoria in Oregon, now they seem to be impressed. Or perhaps they just don’t know where Astoria is located. Although there is still a lot of riding to do, the majority of it along with the hardest climbing is behind us, save for the last two days in Vermont and New Hampshire. But first we need to get to New England.

Our progress map

I hate to admit it, but I was in McDonald’s three times today. I'm guessing that anyone reading this has not done that, or would not want to admit doing it. My first trip was for the ABB breakfast of pancakes, juice, coffee, eggs, sausage, and hash browns. Second for a Southwest Salad for lunch. And finally for a McFlurry after dinner. Not a record to be proud of, although none of the three were for cheeseburgers and fries, and I am burning between 4000 and 5000 calories a day.

The more traditional half way pose

The mileage also eases up this coming week. We have “only” about 70 miles to Mitchell tomorrow and 72 miles to Sioux Falls on Saturday. I’m already thinking about what to do on Saturday night and Sunday, our rest day in Sioux Falls. Options include a minor league baseball game and/or a 34 mile round trip ride to the Iowa state line. Our official route does not take us to Iowa and I’ve never been in that state, so I’m actually thinking of riding on the off day. What am I thinking?

We love clear skies with west to northwest winds

Well… another day is in the books and I’m looking forward to another great day tomorrow.

Today’s route:

No comments:

Post a Comment