Day 24, July 16: Wall, SD to Pierre, SD
119 miles; 14.5 mph; 8 hr 13 min 15 sec

Up at 4:30, 5:15 load luggage, 5:30 breakfast at Elkton House Restaurant - buffet, 6:00 on the road.

Todays ride prediction is hot 97F and head winds of 10 - 15 mph, with possible thunder storms. We did encounter a thunder storm about 39 miles out in the town of Phillip. We waited at a convenience store till it passed. There wasn't much today for photo opps. The first 55 miles we did have strong cross winds and head winds. I rode today with Aine (pronounced "on - yah") and we took turns as pacing leader. It is very stressful to ride against a head wind for a long period of time. We were in no hurry and wanted to save some energy for tomorrows ride to Chamberlain.

ABB staff arranged 4 SAG stops today for water replenishment and snacks. When it is so hot your body needs to hydrate often, so we drink a lot of water on the road. The only problem is that the water in our water bottles gets quite hot - but you drink it anyway.

What is THAT?? Thunder and lightning approaching 'Cute' little jail house 18 miles done, only 99 more to go! Road looking west Not much green today Road looking east Aine's route sheet SAG 3 at 'Oasis'

We turned north at Midland and rode to Hayes with a tail wind. Then headed east against a strong 15 - 20 mph head wind for the last 45 miles to Pierre. In the early afternoon the temperature had climbed to 109F, very stressful just being out in it - let alone riding a bicycle in it.

I arrived at the Governor's Inn in Pierre at 4 PM (5 PM central time). By this time the temperature had gone down to 102F. You may have noticed at the top of today's journal - I was cycling today for just over 8 hours! Ugh!

I cleaned up and went to Chickadilly's Restaurant for a buffet - spaghetti, fried chicken, peas, corn, mashed potato, stuffing, salad bar, cake, jello and 4 pepsi. We are told to hydrate a lot in the evening and I do consume a lot of water in my room when writing my journals. WE already turned our clocks ahead 1 hour (now in central time zone) and also got in late - so the day is almost over.

Tomorrow's 84 mile ride to Chamberlain includes a 600 foot climb from 23 to 40 miles, and two 400 foot climbs in the last 12 miles.

Hard to believe that I have only 3 days left to ride - to Chamberlain, Mitchell, and then Sioux Falls on Saturday. This Sunday, July 20 I fly home. I'm getting anxious...

 Back to July 15's journal

 Back to 2003 ride

 RFA Home

 On to July 17's journal