Friday, July 26, 2013

Day 23 -July 26 - A blustery day to Minnesota

Day 23- July 26 -  Watertown, SD to Marshall,  MN 83.3miles ( kms) - total so far 1813.1 miles  (2917.9kms)

Distance: 83.3 miles (134.1 kms)
Total time: 6hrs 35 mins (including long lunch and some conversations) 
Average Moving Speed: 15.3mph (24.6 kph)
Maximum Speed: 29.0 mph (46.7 kph) 
Calories burned: 4114
Elevation gained: 1473 ft (449 meters)

Weather:  Cloudy and cool in Watertown at 10am in the morning with temperatures about 55 degF (13C) with very strong north winds at 20 mph (32kph) with gusts up to 25mph (50kph). It moderated slightly later but remained northerly all day.   Maximum temperature was 67F (19C) all day.

Powered by:  Breakfast - 1  banana, 1 large bowl of Raisin Bran,yogurt, 1 bagel and 1 Starbucks coffee, and a lot of orange juice; Lunch of two blueberry muffins and peanut butter,  2 bananas, 1 protein bar and some Fig Newtons (Fig Rolls),   1 liters of water and 1 liter of Gatorade

The day dawned blustery as the Winnie the Pooh story would have it. With north winds about 20mph (32kph) and gusts up to 10 mph more, I had a strong crosswind as I headed east from Watertown after 10am.  The road was not conducive to biking due to its small shoulder and heavy truck traffic. When a double tractor-trailer passed on the other lane, the draft slapped me hard on the face and almost toppled me over.  After 20 miles, I turned south with the strong tailwind and as I turned east again towards Minnesota, the road entered a rolling glacial region with a lot of pheasant hunting lodges and clubs.  

"Toto, we're not in Boulder anymore!"

Another sign of rural depopulation in South Dakota

I almost missed the "Welcome to Minnesota" sign as it was about 15 meters off the road

I had lunch in a nice park in Canby, another prosperous town now that I was back on the prairie.  Unlike the towns of the western part of South Dakota and of parts of Montana and North Dakota that I have seen, there are fewer empty store fronts and both private and public appearances are much more prosperous looking.  As I stopped to take a picture, a grandfather and 5 kids asked me where I was from and from where I had come.  When I said Oregon, his mouth dropped open and he exclaimed: "Holy buckets! Holy buckets!".  It was quite humorous.

Another victim to the Netflix and video/dvd revolution

What gas (petrol) stations used to look like.

After the low dark clouds lifted, it looked and felt more like Fall except that the corn is still in the early stages

The last  25 miles was in a southeasterly direction and by now, the wind had shifted a little to the west, thus a perfect tailwind. The wind smooth shoulder provided a surface that allowed a speed over 21mph (33kph) into Marshall.  I came a cropper (my first fall) at a road repair area on the edge of town that had an unmarked hole in the shoulder. Luckily, I saw it late, braked hard, unclipped fast from the right pedal but still fell on my right hand and hip as the front wheel went into the hole.  Nothing seems damaged though - me, the bike or the array of electronics I'm carrying.  I'll definitely find out tomorrow if anything is amiss on the long ride to Mankato with a strong crosswind promised all day. Tonight and this weekend, record low temperatures are expected in Minnesota.  I don't have any warm clothing so I'll be layering on all that I have in the morning.

Would it be churlish to tell them it's spelled 'capital'. The Belgian flag is correct, though

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