July 15, 2001, Sun.
Day 1: Sioux Falls SD to Worthington MN, 66 miles, 13.5 mph avg, 4 hr.52 min. 51 sec.
5:30 wake up call, shower, pack, breakfast at 7AM. Juice, cold cereal, pancakes. There are so many friendly people here!
7:30 on the road, beautiful scenery. Corn, soybeans, lots of green. I can hear birds singing, I can hear the hum of my tires on the road. Very little traffic, it is so peaceful, such a pleasant and enjoyable first day ride. Very calming. I wish all of the readers of this journal could experience this with me, cycling and seeing our beautiful country this way. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity.
I rode today with Maryann Pernorio from East Greenwich RI, she is a senior financial professional. She has been in training for the past year for the entire cross country ride of 3600 miles and has been the sole fund raiser for her effort to support the Diabetes Foundation of RI. She has raised $25,000 for her cause.
Today was quite interesting. We observed pigs feeding, and rode pigs in a rodeo :) I also rode up a bale of hay. It was quite a challenge getting up and down.
I arrived at our hotel, the Expo Inn, at 2PM. I have joined 2 brothers and we will be sharing a room until we get to Niagara Falls. They are Jamie and Shawn Parady from San Fransisco, CA. Jamie has been a soccer coach for 10 years with 'Kids Love Soccer'. He graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology. Shawn is going to school to become an apprentice electrician. I ate dinner with Mogens Ravn, a software engineer from Winchester, MA; Jim Klima, a Catholic priest from Marion, OH; and Lee and Beverly Human from North San Diego, CA. Lee is a Physician and Beverly is a retired admin. assistant.
The mayor of Worthington, pop. 11,200, shared some history with us. Hog farming is very big business here. 15,000 hogs are slaughtered here every day - 4,000,000 per year.
[Editor's note: Sorry kids, no math quiz today!]
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