Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tour de Kota - Tuesday - Lennox to Dell Rapids

Craig and I both woke up about 40 minutes before our alarms were set to go off do to maximum bladder capacity levels being reached. After rectifying the situation we tried to lay back down but quickly realized that it was pointless to even attempt to go back to sleep so we broke down the tent and was packed up and ready to go… about 4:35am. At 4:40am we were both in line for to be the first customers of the nice lady making lattes (even though she wasn’t planning on being open until 5:00). We sucked those down and Craig, Jim, Cathy, Ashley and I hit the road at 5:30am sharp (or 5:24:51 according to my Garmin 301). It was 100 miles to Dell Rapids, I had 5 packs of Gu, it was dark, and I was wearing sunglasses….hit it (sorry, had to get my Blues Brothers reference in)!

We rolled into Tea and did a rather weird loop through town that seemed kind of pointless, but whatever. We hit the Kum & Go for a quick breakfast stop and off the road we went. Back on Hwy 17 going towards Wall Lake, the usual close-to-Sioux-Falls-drivers were annoyed with us and a few seemed to take aim at shortening our life span. One truck, with plenty of room to get over, chose not too and was incredibly close to us when he went by. In unison, but with opposite hands, Craig and I waved to him with only one finger so he could plainly see our dislike of his lack of willingness to share the road with another vehicle (yes, according to South Dakota law we ARE vehicles—except of course for DUI laws!).

From there Wall Lake we went to Humboldt for a short pit stop and then Buffalo Trading Post, then west where the real fun (read “wind”) began. A cross wind at first, but then we turned towards Montrose…Head wind central. After torturing Craig and Jim at 20+ in the cross winds, they were none to pleased at the current situation so I did my best to pull them into Montrose by breaking the wind for them. We made it to Montrose and went to the world famous Irish Pub for a Pub Burger….which is a personal favorite and actually has no hamburger! My brother and sister-in-law own the place which is another good reason to shamelessly plug it in my blog.

After filling our stomachs very full we headed east out of Montrose to face a pretty good ascent along with a pretty good wind as well. The wind was definitely picking up and was out of the SE at a pretty steady 15-20 at this point. We battled the wind to Hartford, then had mainly tail/cross winds through Lyons and into Baltic, at which point we had already put in 100 miles for the day. A short climb to the stop sign and then it was tail winds into Dell Rapids for the day.

After getting our tent set up and getting showered, Craig called to tell me that he found a great “municipal” downtown. I wandered down and met up with him and he was right, it was a great municipal. Padded rocking chairs, in the shade, on the sidewalk, with ice cold cerveza, and the willingness to keep an open tab; cyclist heaven! As we had a couple, three, four beers in us, and more cyclists were coming in, we started to encourage them to come and join us for a beer or six by hollering such wonderful slogans as: best beer in town, cold beer!, coldest beer in town. All this for a place that had JUST opened up that afternoon (Grand Opry House for those heading to Dell Rapids anytime soon) and Craig can boast being their first paying customer. After our personal marketing attempts and a few bottles of liquid courage, I told our waitress that she should buy us a round for our first rate marketing campaign and she agreed to do so. A bit of excitement happened as a HUGE flag fell down in between the four of us sitting at the table miraculously missing all of us. The only casualty was one empty beer bottle which died a most ungracious death on the sidewalk. Craig and I figured that we had to have at least seven beers a piece, including one purchased by Cathy Logue, and when we asked to pay our tab our waitress said “$8.75”. We love ye Grand Opry House!

To put a damper on our giddy little excursion however, we received a call that two of our riders, Melissa H. and Angie W. were about to be picked up by the ambulance due to a nasty crash on the railroad tracks outside of Lyons. Both will survive, but Melissa has a broken collarbone and Angie had chipped a tooth and had a nasty case of road rash.

After a few phone calls to make sure that our wounded Lane Hogs were okay, we went out to eat and then finally met up with Melissa and Angie back at the camp to see how they were doing. Melissa’s fiancĂ© Nick came to get her as her ride was over. Her bike was locked up in the trailer and the keys were back in Sioux Falls so we agreed to get her bike back to Vermillion for her. After saying our goodbyes to Melissa and helping Angie determine that riding the next day was a bad idea, we all crash for the night after a long day filled with the best of times and the worst of times. A short 50 mile day to Madison tomorrow will be just what we need.

Day 3 Stats (via my Garmin)
Miles: 106.09
Ave pace: 17.2 mph
Temp Ave: 75.4
Temp High: 82.4
Wind Ave: SSE 12.8
Wind High: SSE 18.4
Start Time: Jun 12, 2007 5:24:51 AM
Finish Time: Jun 12, 2007 1:09:34 PM
Moving Time: 6:09:51
Elevation Gain 3,781
Elevation Loss 3,629
Net Elevation Change 151

Non Garmin Stats:
Lane Hogs Down Today - 2
Broken Collar Bones - 1
Chipped Teeth - 1
People missed by giant falling flag - 4
New Beer Discovered - Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy

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