Friday, 16 July 2010

Chamberlain to Mitchell

I was looking forward to an easy day and a late start but Mike surprised many of us with a loading time of 6am.  This was entirely due to the expected high temperatures and turned out to have been very much a good decision as my cycle computer was showing 95 degrees as we cycled into Mitchell and that was before 1pm and it was substantially hotter later on.
We had a bit of a climb out of Chamberlain and at one point I was the victim of an optical illusion as I was unable to go faster than 5mph on what appeared to be a very slight uphill gradient.  I was later told that it was in fact 4-5%.
The first couple of hours in the saddle were much slower than I had anticipated and photographic opportunities were few and far between until yet another example of how farming can pay!
No bad??????
I only managed 20 miles in the first two hours due to the climb out of town and the undulations but things speeded up considerably after the purchase of a bottle of diet coke at the 22 mile mark!
The first and only SAG stop was at 35 miles beside this quaint motel.

I motored on over some pretty bumpy roads.  Jim Benson, the mechanic, has reduced the tension on my rear spokes and they held out for the second day running.  Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that!!!
I did the last 50 miles into Mitchell in 3 hrs 20 mins so was well pleased with that and had the delightful company of Sandy North for the last 10 and she guided me into the place that makes Mitchell famous.  What, you didn't know???  It's the world's only Corn Palace!!!!

The work on the outside is pretty remarkable and all the pictures are painted corn cobs.

Apparently, the purpose is to celebrate corn as the South Dakotans did not initially think it would grow in this climate. 
We went for a Mexican meal which was superb and then I popped across to this interesting store.
George, are you wearing a pair?
Additionally, I think that Dick will have a bit of a job fixing this!!
The early start meant we were in Mitchell well before 1pm and I never imagined that I would ever count 72 miles as a half day ride!!!
However, the succession of early starts took it's toll and I conked out while watching the Open in the hotel lounge, without a libation of any description I may add.

Today's Stats:
Mileage - 72 miles
Climbing - 1000 feet
Time in saddle - 5hrs 20 mins
Average speed 13.5 mph

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