It’s All Relative

Humidity, that is. Today we crossed into Minnesota! Woot! The temperature today was “only” 95, but, oh, so very humid….so humid that the sweat on the humans doesn’t evaporate when travelling down the road at 17mph….humid. So, today may have been in the nineties, but we agree with the weather app that it feels like 105. Ouch.

And, today was open farmland so lots of sunshine and hot pavement under my tires. Occasionally some trees, but mostly corn, soy beans, and sometimes some cattle. So. Hot. Who’d’ve thunk we might be missing the dry 98’s of Montana already?!?!?!?

Alas, this has been a tough tour. There are still a significant number of Real Riders going for EFI (Every Fantabulous Inch) despite the heat and wind that has made EFI for this crossing an impressive feat, indeed.

But, alas, our numbers dwindle as 2 riders left in South Dakota. One to return to family (humans are, after all, pack animals even if they leave us bikes in the garage and don’t bring us into the house to be part of the pack…but I digress); the other rider left because, grrrr…his bike’s bottom bracket was poorly installed. Dear Reader, when you find your bike a good mechanic, please, please, please, appreciate that mechanic. Shower them with thanks, with beer, with cookies, with your business. Good mechanics are hard to find and, you know, us bikes really are fine machines that deserve the TLC of experienced hands. Ah, but, again, I digress.

South Dakota is now behind us. While the Eastern end of the state was flat and farmed, we really did enjoy the days in the Black Hills Forest, Custer State Park, and the Badlands. Those lands truly are gems and were worth the visit. If the cost of seeing those was miles and miles of flat farmland? Well…quite worth it. Next two days will be crossing Minnesota, looking for the Mighty Mississippi.

Details. 61 miles 692 feet of climbing (flat…flat…farmland). 12.6 strain

Reading List. Spying on the South Tony Horwitz. Modern recreation of Frederick Olmstead’s journeys through the south. Olmstead, creator of Central Park is also, by my account, the great grandfather of the Oak Leaf Trail in Milwaukee. Without his design of the Grand Necklace of Parks in Milwaukee, we wouldn’t have the greenway that became the Oak Leaf. Only 1/2-way but good book so far.

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