told was actually in the 100+ range, not the mid-90's as
previously reported), but it was hot all day - we didn't
get in the first 30 miles or so in nice cool
temperatures like we normally do. It also felt somewhat
muggier today which made the heat seem a little more
were leaving Mitchell, I made a slight detour to go by
the Corn Palace, just to get a photo for this site. I
suppose I could have grabbed one off the web somewhere,
but that just didn't seem kosher.
were out of Mitchell, the terrain and scenery was pretty
consistent throughout the day - mile after mile of
rolling farmland, largely planted with corn or soybean.
We did see a few more trees today, but almost all these
were planted around farm houses and weren't just growing
naturally. We also passed through a number of quaint
little farming towns - every one of them with a "Welcome
to farmtown, Home of the pick-your-animal" sign as we
entered. For example, the "Welcome to Baltic" sign
proclaimed that the town was the "Home of the Bulldogs"
basketball team. Most of these towns also had population
count signs, which in almost all cases were well under
stop was in a little park in the town of Sherman. It was
quite pleasant except for the kids driving circles
around the park on their motocross bikes and ATVs.
adventure of the day came at mile 115. Les informed us
at the last rest stop that the road we had planned to
take from Luverne to Adrian was under construction. We
could take the detour, but this turned into a gravel
road, and he recommended that we just drive down the
road under construction, which was supposedly
started down this road only to discover that recent rain
had "softened" the dirt considerably, and that there
were sections that could easily suck up a road bike
tire. At least one rider (Len) took a spill and was
covered with mud - at least the ground was soft where he
riding on this for less than a mile, we took a left onto
a gravel road and skirted the construction with six
miles of gravel road riding. By the time we got into
Adrian, we were all pretty hot, dusty and tired.
addition to the heat and our little cyclocross
adventure, we also had to contend with wind today.
Almost from the start, we had a steady, fairly strong,
south-southeast breeze. Since our route was east with a
few south bends, the wind was always against us at least
to some extent. I rarely was able to ride faster than
20mph except on downhill sections.
paralleled the interstate today, but never actually had
to ride on it. All day was spent on rural farm roads and
highways which had very little traffic. However, most of
these roads had an annoying expansion crack every 15-30
feet. These cracks were anywhere from 1/2" to 2" wide
and often an inch or more deep. Since they were straight
across the road, they almost looked intentional, but
since their spacing was random, I doubt very much that
our riders, John from WI, was bitten on the leg by a dog
today. As he rode into Luverne, two dogs came running at
him. The owner was standing there as they ran out and
she shouted "don't move or they'll attack". John got off
his bike and placed his bike between the dogs and
himself, but one of the dogs managed to get around and
bite him. The woman didn't seem to do anything to stop
the dogs and was not overly concerned about the
incident, but did volunteer to drive John to the rest
stop a few miles further. Makes you wonder about some
people. John seems to be alright.
riders pulled into the motel around 4:00, with the last
riders arriving shortly after 6:00. Almost everyone
seemed to be pretty tired after today's ride. As I was
working on this site after my shower, I almost fell
asleep in my seat. I ended up dozing on the bed for a
half hour before dinner.
received a number of emails from friends and family
about how my body is holding up, so here are the gory
details. All-in-all, I think I'm doing pretty well. My
knees are a bit sore at the end of each day, but don't
seem to bother me too much while I'm riding. I've iced
them a few times, but often don't have time every
evening unless I want to give up more sleep.
sleep deprivation is the biggest problem. I think I
could probably sleep for 8.5 to 9 hours each day, but
I'm usually only getting 7.5 to 8 hours.
Achilles tendon has been bothering me a little the past
couple days, but seems to respond fine to a couple Advil
(I actually didn't take any today and it didn't bother
me much). I've been trying to stretch it well every day
after the ride, so hopefully it won't get any worse.
some kind of heat rash on the front of my legs that has
developed over the past couple days. I thought it might
be a reaction to the sunscreen or the massage oil, but
Susan (who's a nurse) doesn't think so. She is picking
up some stuff for me at the drug store and hopefully
that will do the trick.
gets a little stiff toward the end of each ride,
particularly if I'm spending a lot of time in the
aerobars or drops. This doesn't seem to be getting any
worse though. I've also got some very minor bruising on
my forearms where they rest on the aerobar pads from
going over the aforementioned expansion cracks.
have any saddle sores and my seat has been reasonably
comfortable, but some days are worse than others. Today,
for example, I was a bit sorer than usual because I rode
so slowly yesterday. The slower I ride, the more weight
is on the seat because I'm not using my leg muscles as
much. But my rear is actually no less comfortable after
all this riding than it typically is toward the end of a
That's all for today. Thanks for all the emails.