Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Day 54 Interior to Rapid City

Monday 12th July
Daily mileage 81miles Average Speed 12.3mph Ride Time 6hr30min
Total Mileage 2164

With the alarm sounding at 5am we were on the road at the 5.30am sunrise which with the badlands in the foreground was quite spectacular. We took route 44 all the way to Rapid City which was a lovely flat road for the most part with the occasional climb but nothing too horrendous. We cycled 33 miles before stopping in Scenic at 8am which was a ghostly quiet little town. We got chatting to the old lady in the gas station and it turns out she owns the whole town which consists of the gas station, a general store and a saloon bar decorated with skulls. She had a jar of pickled eggs on the counter with a dead fly floating inside but she was a lovely lady with a sad story to tell and she gave us free apples and wished us a safe trip.
We carried on for 20 miles where we stopped at 10am in a gas station at Farmingdale for a coffee. The sun now had some heat in it and the wind had picked up and it even assisted us for a short while. There were some road works for a 10 mile stretch then a further 14 mile stretch but being on cycle we could dodge most of it so we were not really too affected and it made the trucks and traffic slow down which actually helped us.
We carried on for a further 20 miles into Rapid City and en route we caught our first glimpse of the Black Hills on the horizon with another big black cloud forming above. We only really made it just into the city when the rain started so we dived under cover and decided to wait out the rain for nearly an hour seeing as we had done 75miles at 1pm. We only had 5miles more to go to get to Doug’s house who is our Rotarian host for the next few nights but they were a very tough 5miles!

We climbed our first Black Hill which was steep and seemed to last forever then at the top we continued flat for a few miles but it was into the strongest headwind before heading down the steep hill on the wet slippery roads. At the bottom we crossed over cross roads only to climb up a road that looped round to Doug’s house and it was the steepest hill I think I have ever climbed. It required the extreme granny gear and for both of us to cycle up the hill in zig zags in order to keep forward momentum and remain upright! It was just what we needed after 80miles! Its amazing really how the desire to be in a lovely home can drive you to such great lengths!
We have seen some very different terrain today, we have gone from the badlands, through farmers fields up and down the black hills and now it feels like we are in the alps at an alpine ski resort in the summer months! We met Doug and Tiger his gorgeous golden retriever and made ourselves at home before his son John arrived to join us for BBQ dinner on the balcony over looking the valley. We also met Doug’s Rotarian friends George and wife Shari who are our tour guides for the next two days as they joined us for watermelon desert. Absolutely exhausted we crashed at 9pm in our lovely king size bed with ensuite.

1 comment:

  1. hey guys...i had my nephew here for a few days and started to show him your travels...he is totally amazed and even more amazed that you guys stayed in the very bed he slept in...he feels like royalty was have a bit of catching up to do, being preoccupied with my house guest, i've fallen behind on your blog :o)