Day 15

August 1, 2004

Mitchell, SD to Worthington, MN

 

Miles and miles of corn fields in the eastern part of South Dakota

 

South Dakota is done!  Bring on the corn fields of Minnesota

 

Roberta cooking up some grilled cheese sandwichs at the lunch stop

 

From left to right: Melissa from Austrailia,  Rebecca (Lon’s 17 year old daughter), Marc from Belgium, Arend-Jan from the Netherlands, and  Walt from Ohio.  Marc and Arend are both really strong riders – Marc rode PBP in the first group with a time of 42 hours.  Arend is a RAMM rider.  Arend also crewed on my Eastern Mountains PAC Tour in 2000.  For the past few days, Walt and I have been meeting up and helping each other on down the road.  Walt is also a RAMM rider (mixed 4 person team).   I’ve also ridden with Melissa’s partner, Jonathan.  Since Melissa hasn’t been able to ride with her broken shoulder, she’s become an extra crew member.  Rebecca will be riding with her dad on a tandem tomorrow – that will be an awesome wheel to follow, if you can hang on!

 

Rock hound, Bisti, at the lunch stop.

 

We encountered 6 miles of dirt and mud  the temperature is in the high 90’s

 

mud getting caked on to my brakes  Can it get any worse?

 

Yes, it can! The bridge across a stream is out; we take a train trestle with melted tar on the wood ties.  This is a bike expendition, after all

 

Leonard took a tumble in the mud today

 

Today’s message board

 

 and progress.

 

 

Profile and statistics

Temperatures got pretty toasty by mid-day but mercifully cooled down a bit towards the end of the day.  Humidity was pretty high (dew point 70+) – a sharp contrast to the dry mountain air we started in.  Average speed was slowed by a 6 mile dirt road.  Also, the pavement was pretty rough with lots of cracks.