Day 27 – Mitchell to Sioux Falls, South Dakota

71 miles, 2497 feet climbed

Our departure was delayed by a big storm with very strong winds. At the start they were blowing from the west and would’ve made a great tailwind but half an hour later they turned around. And then there was the rain. We waited until the rain passed and loaded out luggage at 9 am. The winds remained, however, 25 – 30 mph blowing right at us. Some chose to put their bikes on the vans and ride. Most chose to ride, including me.

It took me over three hours to complete the 32 miles to the first SAG. With that wind blowing straight at me, it felt as if I was grinding up a 4 percent grade the whole way. Add in the delay between breakfast, timed for a 7:30 start, and I was dragging when I did finally reach the SAG. The equivalent of two Gatorades, a banana, two boxes of raisins, and some cookies got me back to life. Most importantly, the wind died down during the time I spent at the SAG.

With the winds gone, and even a slight tailwind near the end, I was able to get to the hotel in time to go to a local bike shop (Erik’s) with Rich and still make it to Rap at 5:30. Rich got his tires changed at the shop. I was standing near the checkout holding a pair of socks and a patch kit but nobody thought to offer to ring them up so I eventually put them back and left empty-handed. I might’ve even purchased a local jersey had they the time or interest to help me find one.

Sorry, there are no photos for today. With the weather and late start, I left both cameras in my luggage.