Friday, July 13 Chamberlain, SD to Sioux Falls, SD 74.71 miles Avg. 12.2
Another great ride this morning. Cool temperatures, no headwinds and good road surfaces. The scenery was much like yesterday. Crops of corn and soy beans. I rode just under 75 miles and came in by 1 PM to the Brimark Inn. With two short days and great riding conditions we consider these recovery rides. Tomorrow is a rest day.
When we get to these towns for our rest day some of the most ask questions at the front desk are: Where are the bike shops? Where is the public library? Where is the K-Mart/Wall-Mart? Of course everyone wants to know where the nearest Dairy Queen is too.
At dinner this evening, which was held in a banquet room at the motel next door, a local gentleman from the chamber of commerce told us some things about Sioux Falls and the sights to see while here. The Big Sioux River circles the town with water falls from the river located in the downtown park. He recommended going to the falls and taking the trolley half hour sight seeing tour around town. I may do that tomorrow sometime.
I have a scheduled time to use the internet for one hour at the public library. That is downtown too. (This is the first time I have run into a library where you have to put your name on the list one day in advance. Good thing I called today and check about the internet use) On my way into downtown I will stop in the big bike shop, Bike Master, to look around. I need to buy some spare tubes to have until Paul can mail some to me from home. I had a flat yesterday early in the ride out of town. My roommate, Nancy, was the first one to come up as I was getting ready to change it. I got a new tube in and couldn't get air to stay in. The valve was faulty. I only had one spare new tube along in my bag so I had to find the leak in the other one and patch it. But when that was put back in the tire I found the base of the stem had a big irreparable hole. So I was up a creek with no tube to use. But the guardian angel was watching over and just then Todd in the ABB mechanic truck came by. I tapped my helmet and he pulled over to help. The truck has all sorts of spare parts and he quickly put in a new tube, and gave me an extra one for my bag and I was on my way. This all took nearly a half hour which added to my time getting in to Chamberlain. No flats today, hooray! My count for flats now stands at five. One of the riders is up to 14 flats. Only a few have escaped, so far.
We have a rider in our group, an older man, Mal. We all just love him and marvel at what a determined, strong rider he is - for what he is riding. He isn't riding one of the newer high tech, skinny tires, light weight type of bikes. Probably has been riding the bike he is on for many years. He doesn't have any fancy pedal system - just the plain old platform pedals and he wears his white tennis shoes to bike every day all the many miles. He goes right up those hills and came through the mountain passes with out a complaint. Now Mal, being a smart cyclist on these hot summer days keeps himself protected from the sun by wearing the same long sleeve shirt everyday. He wars a white long sleeve dress shirt. For days on end when we have seen him on the road we'll pass by and say, "Hey Mal, where's your tie?" Yesterday some of the people who had gone over to the K-Mart saw a tie and just had to get it for Mal. It was such fun at route rap when he was called up and "presented" with this nice stripped tie. He is such a good sport. This morning he stepped out of his motel room wearing the tie and he was wearing it with a bike jersey. At dinner tonight he was in his street clothes wearing a white short sleeve golf shirt with his new tie. He is a dear person and we love having him along in the family of riders.
Some of us will go to church at St Joseph's Cathedral tomorrow afternoon in downtown Sioux Falls.