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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 27 - Mitchell to Sioux Falls








It's going to be a hot one....

...and humid.








....with a tough South wind.



On paper, an easy day - but the weather looks to be a challenge.

Load is at 6:30, but I want to be on the road earlier...

Leaving Al to do luggage,

I'm out on the road at 6:00...



It's already warm...

I've sworn to not take pictures...

but the dawn light is too tempting...



It's generally uphill for the first 60 miles today...


So I know I'll be working...

I want to get in 10 miles before people start passing me...




Biking alone I need to do mind games...

back to practicing my Italian...

Boy, do I want to do a bike trip in Tuscany with husband Tom next year...




All farm land...mile after mile of corn...

You can see who owns this part of South Dakota...


Small town of Emery has a store at mile 24...

Still no other bikers...

Karen is there with the van...

She says Al is pulling the thoroughbreds and they are the next group behind me...

A bit of Gatorade and I hop back out there.

It doesn't feel that hot...

the South wind keeps the air flowing...

but when I touch my cheek, it is wet with sweat...

Good thing I started right off with Gatorade today...

Long miles - corn as far as the eye can see - lots of dead frogs...dead birds...

I wish our roads didn't kill so many animals...

I keep waiting for bikers to pass me but I'm still alone...



Mile 40 - the town of Canistota...

It reminds me of New Castle as most of these small farming towns do...






Small grocery store with local notices...












As I load up with food and Gatorade - here comes Al leading the thoroughbreds!







Small chat - she finished the rest of the cherry pie for breakfast -




Did you see the pink and blue crosses?

We've seen so many anti-abortion billboards in South Dakota...

It must be a big issue here.



Then I jump back in the saddle for the tough stretch.



This 3 miles heads South - straight into that hot wind...

I was hoping to draft behind someone...

And here come Al and her group...

I hop on behind them and manage to match their speed for the 3 miles...

That gives me a great boost...


Then we turn left and I let them fade into the distance ahead of me...

I need to go my own speed...

More miles of corn

I've seen this landscape in the movies...

Food, inc and King Corn...

I am surrounded by the production of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)...



According to Michael Pollen our obesity epidemic can be directly connected with the use of HFCS in all this processed food....

It seems that all of eastern South Dakota is dedicated to miles and miles of corn...

Huge silver towers full of corn...

I've read of men falling in and drowning in the kernels like quicksand...


The hills are bigger, but my legs work well today...






I'm feeling strong despite the heat...

I duck into shade for a brief break...






...watchin other bikers slogging away up the hills...



I can't believe I have less than 20 miles to go...

There's one store in the last 30 miles...





We all stop there and go straight for the drinks...















...and the ice.

Now all the bikers are catching up with me..

But it's okay - we're near Sioux Falls and it's not noon yet...

We're all hot...covered with sweat...

Now we start the downhill stretch...

It goes quickly...

and soon we're in town...

to the hotel...



Ready to rest...


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