Ride Day #8~Deja Vu on the #acaLewisClark Tour?!
Kyvon took the day off and rode in the van due to his knees aching.
The ride coming out of Pierre, SD started off great. We were only off the starting mark by 30 mins and we rode as a group the 3 miles into town. We turned right to begin the climb of small hills within the town on the road that would take us to hwy 1804. A hwy so aptly named because it was in 1804 that Lewis and Clark passed thru South Dakota taking this very route. Across the river is its sister hwy 1806. Similarly named as it was the return trip route.
I’ve cautioned the cyclists many times on the need to shift gears prior to the start of the climb as it stresses the chain when it pops into gear. But it doesn’t always sync in what I’m talking about so a dose of reality quickly brings it home. Sammy shifted while climbing and the normal sound of “CLANK, POP” happened but something else happened as well. He jammed his chain between the second crank ring and the chainstay. We tried to pull it out by hand but we couldn’t. It was solidly jammed into place. We’ll have to wait for the van to come by.
The other cyclists went on ahead to the first stop, the Welcome Center for the Oahe dam. Sammy and my wait for the van long due. So, thinking that Wal-Mart was not opening until 9am I took off for the 2 mile ride up the hill to usher them on. When I arrived to the parking lot there was no sign of the van in sight. I rode back enjoying the hill that I just climbed. When I arrived back where Sammy was waiting they were not their. I wondered allowed where they could be. Turns out there were other delays that they were consumed with.
As what happened last during last year’s tour Sammy left me after I fixed his bike. As we came around the 4 mile mark for the welcome center I saw the team waiting for Sammy and I. Sammy continued on.
As Mahlique and Joe rode with me I saw a strange sight. A different cyclist with panniers were coming up behind them. Hi name was Balthazar. He had been traveling for quite some time and was putting in 80-100 mile days. I had great conversations with Balthazar and he had great conversations with the youth cyclists. After lunch he split off to ride at own pace as he was going to Gettysburg, and we were going to West Whitlock – 30 miles (or so they say) apart.
The heat was extreme and as the estimate of miles continued to stretch 10 became 15, 15 became 20; the girls began getting in the van. I don’t blame them. The distance calculations were all off. What we thought would be a 68 mile ride and do-able after a day of 86 miles became a second day of 86. Mentally it was kicking tail because as we drew near the park the sign stated 7 miles to the campsite. Half of it UPHILL. And even that was wrong as it calculated out to be 9 miles. There were huge rolling hills to camp. To our surprise Balthazar decided to meet us at our campsite. He told the ranger about us and they didn’t think we’d mind him using a corner of the plot and of course, we didn’t. When we saw his bike leaning against a tree we knew we had to invite him to dinner. What a great surprise.
After dinner we had a team meeting to discuss better coordination of responsibilities. The senior cyclists had responsibilities more defined for them. They ranged from ensuring journals were complete to bike inspections. Finally, after a week of being together it was time for an airing of grievances. This is normal and expected for a group to be together without too much prior knowledge. After the discussion a big love hug was had by all. A fresh new start was achieved.
I was going to bed. I was whipped.