Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 28 - Sioux Falls to Iowa/Minnesota/South Dakota tri-state border

Today: 40 miles, 848 feet of climb (not part of the official ride)
Cumulative: No change

The road along the South Dakota/Iowa line. Nothing but farms and corn.

Today was officially a rest day in Sioux Falls, but other plans prevailed. There were no miles counted towards riding to New Hampshire and the Atlantic Ocean on Day 28, but I got on my bike for the 29th consecutive day anyway.

Welcome to Iowa

This morning I took a 40 mile round trip ride into Iowa including a side trip to the tri-state border of Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota. There is a marker at the tri-state point and after a few pictures I turned around and headed back to Sioux Falls, since there was still a lot to do the rest of the day. On this morning’s ride there were corn fields as far as the eye could see. We are in farm country now. Near the border there were large smooth sections of rock in various places on the ground, similar to what you may see near Stone Mountain, Georgia. There once was a city just inside South Dakota called East Sioux Falls where they quarried quartzite in great quantities and shipped it all over the east coast. A financial panic in 1893 decreased the demand for quartzite here and by 1910 only a small quantity was quarried. The town dissolved in 1913 and by 1950 nothing was left of the town except one store. All that remains now are some railway spurs, house foundations and empty quarries.

The tri state marker at the South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa border

Sioux Falls has some of the worst roads I’ve ever seen for riding a bike. They are dangerous to ride on because of the cracks and gaps in the concrete seams in the direction you are riding. The roads are all concrete and some of the cracks are filled with blacktop, but many are not. I had to be very vigilant today to avoid the cracks, although there were times potholes and seams could not be avoided. I was glad to be back at the hotel with my wheels still intact.

The Big Sioux River near the site of the former city of East Sioux Falls

Getting your bicycle wheel caught in these cracks could be a problem

After getting back to town I had time to attend church at 11AM before heading to the movies with Jeff and Mark W. We went to see Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio. In retrospect, if I had a choice between seeing the movie again and going to the dentist to get all my teeth pulled, the latter is the much better choice. Frankly, I didn’t get the point of the movie, dreams within dreams within dreams, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. We were in the theater for about three hours. Three long torturous hours. In my opinion, don’t waste your time seeing this movie.

Mark, Joe and Jeff

Joe and the Pheasants mascot

In the late afternoon we headed to Sioux Falls Stadium to see the Sioux Falls Pheasants play baseball against the Wichita Wingnuts. This is an independent league and only one of the players on both rosters has played in the major leagues. We had a good time at the game and were even interviewed between innings. Or rather, Jeff was interviewed. Witchita was leading 9-2 when we left in the 9th inning. One interesting thing they do here is to pick an opposing hitter and if that player strikes out, beers are only $1 for the remainder of that half inning. Tonight, the beer batter struck out twice and you could see about 20 fans immediately running for the concession stands each time.

Tim Hutting homers in the bottom of the 5th to tie the score at 2.

Tomorrow is approximately 70 miles to Worthington, MN. Compared to what I did today it could be an easier day, though the forecast has a significant chance of rain and the wind may be against us. In any case, I’m sure it will be a great day to ride. I’m looking forward to seeing some of Minnesota tomorrow.

Video from the ballgame:

Today’s route:

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