Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review….

Reading Tez’s blog inspired me to post a year-end summary as well. It seems appropriate at this time of the year to reflect on the past year. I apologize in advance for how long this post is - you may want to stop right now.

January started off with Charlie having rotator cuff repair on his shoulder for a tear he obtained in a fall right before Thanksgiving. This was none-too-soon, since the shoulder was quite painful and it made it especially hard for Charlie to get much sleep (or me either, for that matter). We anticipated a long recovery but Charlie did amazingly well, although he wasn’t exactly following directions by his doctor and physical therapist so that made me nervous!

I spent the beginning of the year researching Bike Fridays – the folding bike made in Eugene, Oregon. Charlie loves cars and I love bikes. Since bike racks aren’t allowed on his cars (picky, picky, picky) Charlie was the one who encouraged me to purchase a Bike Friday. I ordered the New World Tourist in Power Raspberry and love my cute little bike for shorter, more leisurely rides. We took a trip to Wisconsin/ Minnesota in July and the Mustang/Bike Friday duo worked very well. So we made a short trip to the Black Hills over Labor Day wanting to do more of these excursions. I loved riding through Spearfish Canyon and Charlie loved the scenic drive. The bike is very versatile with the Schwable marathon tires – it works well on both the road and trails. We plan to go back to Sparta, Wisconsin next summer and stay at our favorite B&B there and ride the Sparta-Elroy trail some more.

I think I will remember 2009 the most for the weird weather. March was actually not bad; nice weather for the St. Patty’s Day ride in Yankton and the end of March was unseasonably warm and I did quite a bit of riding (at least for me) for that early in the year. Then came June and the Tour de Kota. I have never worn my winter riding gear so much! Fleece lined tights, full length gloves, thick wool socks, base layers of smart wool under jersey and jacket. I not only rode in all these layers, but I also slept in them! Thank goodness for the day to Pierre that at least started out sunny – one of the few times we saw the sun all week. Don’t get me wrong, I loved TDK regardless of the weather. What a great feeling to have conquered those hills along the Missouri River. And to spend 6 days with others who love biking who you can talk biking with non-stop and their eyes don’t glaze over – priceless.

The summer remained cool which made for nice riding weather. The MS 150 ride couldn’t have been better with tailwinds both days! I looked forward to fall riding, especially those October rides to see the fall colors. Instead we had the 3rd coldest October on record and the rainiest ever with precipitation on 27 of the 31 days of the month which drastically cut down my miles for the month. Then a reprieve arrived in November allowing for a few weekend rides. We won’t even talk about the weather in December with the Christmas Blizzard that will go down in history.

This past year I fell in love with a new hobby – photography! I had purchased a Nikon D60 in June 2008 right before our daughter’s wedding but had only used in the automatic settings. I started to dapple a bit with what I could do with the camera and then a fellow camera-clickin’-cyclists mentioned a 2 day photography class being held in Sioux Falls and that was the beginning of the new obsession. My motto is anything worth doing is worth over doing! I'm learning lots from both Nancy and Melissa!

Our house is being taken over by my hobbies with one room in the basement devoted to my bike on the trainer with maps, posters, and mementos on the walls from past bike rides for motivation; another room of the basement turned into a very amateur portrait studio (lights by Bomgaards!), and a spare bedroom turned into scrapbook studio.

2009 has been kind to our family for which I’m truly grateful and give thanks. May 2010 be kind to us all!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wakonda 125th Celebration Bike Ride

Officially called the Sonny Clare Bike Ride, in memory of a great community member. Sonny was a kind and gentle man who was a great supporter of school sports. But most of all, he was an inspiration to all of us as he rode his bike into his 80's.

Today a planning meeting was held with LaneHogs in attendance to help plan this bike ride that will be held on Friday, July 2nd in Wakonda. Of course, Mr. Biking Brady, an alumni of Wakonda, was there - with some great ideas! This is going to be a very fun event with a 42 mile ride, 16 mile ride, and a children's bike carnival, followed by lots of other activities in town that day. So mark your calendars and stay for the entire day - you haven't experienced life until you attend a Wakonda street dance - you can even camp in my yard!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

All things now living unite in thanksgiving!

The sun is shining! Wow, what a horrible weather we had in October. I heard it was the 3rd coldest October on record and one of the cloudiest. I sure did miss riding my bike. Last year I think I rode almost every weekend in October; one weekend the LaneHogs went from Bunyan's to Bob's, another weekend Kevin, Ed, and I rode to Yankton and crossed the newly opened Discovery Bridge, as well as snuck around the barricade and rode the old Meridian Bridge. Another weekend Cindy and I rode our mountain bikes on the Turkey Creek Road just on the other side of the Missouri from Vermillion and enjoyed the beautiful fall colors.

So I'm trying to make up for some missed riding. Things are settling down at work and this week was a great opportunity for me to take some vacation time and take off both Thursday and Friday afternoon. I rode 22 miles this afternoon - it was wonderful!

I also got some riding in last weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. Riding by myself, I have my iPod bike speaker to keep me company. I've been just putting it on shuffle which makes me realize what an eclectic mix of music I have on my iPod. I have one album of hymns recorded by a minister who served for a time at Vangen Lutheran Church in Mission Hill (which is also the location of where she did the recording). Anyway, on Sunday when I was riding, the hymn "For All the Saints" was one of the songs I heard on shuffle, appropriately it was All Saints Sunday.

Today as I was riding rejoicing in the sunshine (and yes, the wind!), the hymn "Let All Things Now Living" played. "Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving to God the creator triumphantly raise." It just seemed to be the perfect song to end my ride on.

Hmmm, God speaks to me in such mysterious ways. Anyway, let all things now living unite in thanksgiving for the sunshine which will help the farmers get the crops out of the fields and makes bike riders like myself so very happy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is this really Columbus/Native American Day? Looks like Christmas!

I was laying in bed this morning enjoying the fact that it is a holiday and an extra day off for me - yipeee! It has been a crazy busy fall and my bike riding, or getting any exercise for that matter, has completely dropped off and I feel like a big, soft marshmallow. So I promised myself that I would get out for a bike ride this afternoon.

Then I looked out the window...........

This took me completely by surprise....come on, it's only October 12th. I've never seen this much snow so early! The bike ride got scratched and replaced with some time on the elliptical and yoga class.
Happy Columbus/Native American Day everyone!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tour de Kota Route Set - 2010

From the Argus Leader (Sunday, Sep. 27, 2009), Tour de Kota Route Set:

Cyclists who participate in the sixth annual Argus Leader Tour de Kota will ride from Elk Point to Sisseton during the five-day event in June, organizers said Saturday.

For the first time, Tour de Kota officials held a party celebrating past tours and looking forward to the coming one. The yearly event is sponsored and organized by the Argus Leader.
The Tour de Kota keeps evolving and improving, Argus Leader Publisher Randell Beck told about 150 cycling enthusiasts Saturday at the Overlook Cafe in Falls Park.

"And, yes, there will be a sixth Tour de Kota," Beck said, "and a seventh and an eighth and a ninth. ... We're in it for the long haul."

The 2010 tour will run from Sunday, June 6, to Friday, June 11. It will take riders about 465 miles from Elk Point to Sisseton.

The route includes:
June 6: 82 miles from Elk Point to Tea.
June 7: Tea to Salem, 70 miles.
June 8: Salem to Arlington, 83 miles.
June 9: Arlington to Clark, 67 miles.
June 10: Clark to Webster, 63 miles.
June 11: The tour concludes with a 55-mile ride from Webster to Sisseton. An optional 100-mile route will allow riders to cross into North Dakota before returning to finish in Sisseton.

"The idea is to hit as many lakes as we can," Tour de Kota director Owen Hotvet said. "That's one of the things we wanted to feature on the course.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tour de Kota Kickoff

I love Tour de Kota and will forever be a loyal fan so I am so happy there will be a TDK in 2010! Last year the ride appeared to be in jeopardy as publicity and details of TDK 2009 were slow in getting out which contributed to fewer riders. That is in the past now and the Argus showed their support to TDK fans by hosting a TDK 2010 kickoff at Falls Park on Saturday evening. It was a wonderful event; beautiful location, free food, and TDK goodie bags! And of course it was great to see so many biking friends from near and far.

The 2010 route will go from Elk Point to Sissseton, about 465 miles. The last day the route goes from Webster to Sisseton (55 miles) with the option for a century ride.

One of the reasons TDK is near and dear to my heart is that I started riding bike the year of the first TDK in 2005. I purchased a hybrid bike that spring. My first official ride was the Sioux City Trails Ride in early May. I completed the 40 mile ride and was so amazed I could ride a bike that far! I signed up for the first day of TDK and rode 70 miles. From that point on I was hooked. I knew 1 or 2 people riding the entire week of TDK 2005 and I followed the ride closely, buying the Argus each day, reading all the TDK articles and wondering if I would ever be able to do that ride.

The next spring (2006) I purchased my Giant OCR 1 road bike and signed up for the entire week of TDK along with my daughter, Ashley. We rode from Yankton to Milbank that year and I surprised myself by completing the entire ride.

TDK 2007 I rode the entire week again with Ashley, the route was Yankton to Watertown. In 2008 I rode the first two days of TDK (Sioux Falls to Chamberlain) and then came home as we were getting ready for Ashley and Nick's wedding held that Saturday. Last year I again rode the entire week of TDK (Harrisburg to Gettysburg), a week of damp weather and cold nights in the tent, but a great experience with many scenic views along the Missouri River.

The last few years the weather hasn't been the best on TDK - I think we're due for good weather on TDK 2010!

Here are a few TDK memories........

Finish line at Watertown - me and Ashley

A little wet in Trent.

Lane Hogs in Dell Rapids - the walking wounded.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The adventures of the little Bike Friday and her sidekick

The little Bike Friday has a sidekick, which happens not to be another bike, but a little red Ford Mustang convertible. These two love to travel together. Though the trunk of the Mustang is quite small, the BF folds up very neatly and fits so comfortably that you would think the two were made for each other.

The BF and Mustang managed to get two trips in this summer; the first to Wisconsin and and the a later trip to the Black Hills. As the owners, we have found the BF and Mustang happiest when they travel the same roads together. Though the Mustang has a lot of speed, he also enjoys a slow leisurely ride with lots of stops along the way to enjoy the scenery, especially when driving through such scenic areas as the Spearfish Canyon or the back roads of Wisconsin.

But the BF also likes to get out on the trail, and then the Mustang has to be content to meet up with BF at the next trail head or town. The Mustang has found the time waiting for the BF goes faster if he’s at a local watering hole such as Moonshine Gulch in Rochford making new friends.

I'm afraid these trips with the BF and her sidekick are over for this year. But the BF and sidekick will be spending long winter evenings hibernating in the garage together and reminiscing about their travels and planning future adventures for the summer of 2010!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wildlife Photography Class and Other Weekend Happenings

Take care of your teeth or they'll turn mossy!
Critiqued as "out of the box" composition - and it wasn't a compliment!

I had a great weekend; time spent learning something new and applying it, the chance to use some creativity, spending almost the entire day outside Saturday, and time with friends, it doesn't get any better!
The Tamron Wildlife Photography class held in Sioux Falls was fantastic. Friday night the workshop started with a rather intense 3 hour talk on aperature, depth of field, tonality, etc. At least it was intense for me as I hadn't really taken my camera off of the auto mode before!
Saturday morning I arrived at the zoo where we spent the entire day shooting and getting tips from the instructor, Jim Shadle, a professinal wildlife photographer. In addition, there were photographers from Harold's Photo who were also very helpful. It took me awhile to understand the histograms as we reviewed our photos but I think it has finally started to "click."
I tried out the 18-270mm Tamran lens which I purchased (early Christmas present to myself!) as well at the 70-300mm lens. I was embarrassed to bring my 30 year old tripod out of the car after some teasing about my 30 year old camera bag so I tried out a couple of tripods. As I listened to the sales rep as he gave me the pitch about the carbon composition that reduces vibration and makes the tripod very light, I was thinking to myself that he could be bike salesman! At $440 for the tripod alone, not including the head, I decided I would definitely rather spend that kind of money on carbon in a bike frame! So I brought out the 30 year old tripod which I was starting to form a new appreciation of.
Later in the afternoon and about 200 pictures later, the group went back to the Harold's Photo where the 2 photos we each submmitted were critiqued by the pro in front of the entire group. I was nervous! I think basically he thought one of my photos was "okay" but didn't like the other so much as he described it as "out of the box" thinking. Then they gave out prizes and ranked all the photos - out of the 15 people in the class my alligator phote was 5th and Nancy's macro photo of a bee on a flower was 3rd! Align Left
A great day - but long day, it was 6:30pm by the time I left Sioux Falls. When I got home I went immediately to the grand opening of our new conveince store in Wakonda; the Eagle Stop, where I met up with Charlie. There was a band and beer garden - my kind of grand opening! The festivities finished at the store around 9pm. Then 11 of us piled in to a 1976 Holiday Rambler motor home one of our friends just purchased so that we can all go out on some road trips together. Our maiden voyage was to Volin to the "Uf-ta" Norwegian celebration in Volin and then on to Gayville. Lots of laughter and fun! I'd love to use the motor home for a bike trip, it would make a great SAG wagon!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Margarita Ride & Weekend Update

The Margarita Ride was held on Saturday and was once again well attended with 150 riders. The weather turned out to be perfect. Great ride, followed by a great food and margaritas shared with biking friends!

It was a busy weekend but a lots of fun. Friday evening my friends came from Watertown and we attended a mini yoga retreat followed with a delicious meal of homemade tomato soup and bread and a nice red wine. Sandy and Mary Jean spent the evening at our house, and of course, just like a slumber party, we stayed up a bit late talking!

We were up bright and early to head to Vermillion for the Margarita Ride. My first MR was 5 years ago - that is when I met Mary Jean and Sandy for the first time - they always seem to be the group having the most fun. And in the years since, my biking "family" has really grown. Now the MR seems more like a reunion of cycling friends! I rode several miles with one of the med students and she commented that I seem to know everyone. Well, that's not quite true but I have met some wonderful friends through cycling.

Following the MR post ride meal, Melissa, Nancy, Kris, Christy and I made our way down the street to Carey's. Anyone who visits Vermillion - must visit Carey's, so Melissa and I were obligated to take the out-of-towners there, it was our duty after all!

Then we visited Charlie at the car show being held on main street in conjunction with Vermillion's Ribs, Rods, and Rock & Roll activities. Some of the other cyclists were visiting the car show and I was so happy to finally introduce Charlie to the the Krueger family; Karl, Julie, and Travis. I am amazed by how Karl (at age 62) was the first and only person to complete Hell & Back and without any support! "He finished the 824-mile endurance ride in just under 93 hours -- 3 hours ahead of the cut off." And he is one of the most humblest people I know! Read more about the ride here. And Travis has had many cycling adventures also. My favorite website is where you can find some of Travis' journals, such as his trip to Glacier last year; including an encounter with a grizzly bear!

Following was a post MR ride at Liz and Craig - thank you, you are always such gracious hosts!

Sunday consisted of church, coffee and garden tour invitation after church, shooting a family picture (I hope they didn't expect professional results!), and then my daughter, Ashley, hosted a baby shower for a friend at our house. Sixteen guests and lots of ooohhs and ahhhhs and some bickering over whose turn it was to hold the baby!

It was a wonderful weekend.
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Aebleskiver Ride 2009

Another successful aebleskiver ride - but then again, it's hard to go wrong when eating and biking are involved!

I started from Wakonda at 7:30 am with Marilyn, Gregg, and Greg (aka Hooterville Mayor). These three people had to get up very early to drive from Sioux Falls to my house in Wakonda. We met up with the Vermillion riders on highway 19 just 7 miles down the road. Craig, Cindy, and Angie were herding kittens while waiting for us (see the Mayor's blog for details and photo). Kwen rode up shortly after and we the seven of us were off to Centerville where we met up with Sue, Pam, and Jack. The urge for goodies at the Centerville Bakery was overpowering me and I twisted every ones' arms and they joined me. And we had a lovely little spot in the flower garden across the street to join our treats.

A short 11 miles and we rode into Viborg. Lots of activity in town as they were celebrating Danish Days. The folks serving the aeleskiver breakfast at the Methodist Church seemed to be expecting us! Evidently someone had taken the snippet of the article on favorite bike trails/rides from the South Dakota Magazine that described my favorite route and our aebleskiver bike ride and put it in the church newsletter. Needless to say, we were treated very well and pictures were taken so we'll see if we show up in the local paper!

We left Viborg as people lined main street with their lawn chairs getting a good spot for the parade and as we left town it felt like we were part of the parade. I felt like I should have been throwing candy to the kids!

Since we had had quite a bit of nourishment we decided on the longer route back to Wakonda. This route is also all downhill....well, except for a few the Mayor says, the route was as flat as a Danish aebleskiver, not as flat as a pancake. But I think it is a very pretty route and I know it is a lot more fun going down Talmo Hill than up!
Once at my house we taste tested a few New Glarius beers - next time my husband and I go to Wisconsin we need a larger vehicle to bring back more! Lunch was punctuated with lots of biking stories and conversations about everything under the sun. Hardcore bikers such as Angie and Kwen continued on home to Vermillion and Hub City....but the rest packed up and started home in their cars.
And then it was time for a long nap for me.......a great day, thanks everyone for making the ride so much fun!

Here is part of the article from the SD Magazine:

Our Best Rides
Cyclists share their favorite routes
By John Andrews

South Dakota boasts some of the finest biking routes in the West. They include challenging, rugged trails in the heart of the Black Hills, easier paved paths through major cities and solitary country roads. Biking enthusiasts often know the best routes, so we asked eight of them to share their favorite South Dakota rides. Try them and you’ll spot deer and bald eagles on one of our last river islands, enjoy some of Sioux Falls’ best restaurants and unique shops or sample a traditional Danish breakfast (if you’re timing is good). So choose a path, strap on a helmet, pump up your tires and start exploring.

Riding for Aebleskiver and Apple Fritters

I ride a 42-mile loop on county roads that take me through Wakonda, Irene, Viborg and Centerville and cross the Vermillion River five times. I ride a lot with the Lane Hogs, a biking group from Vermillion. Usually about six or eight of us go.
The great part is there’s not much traffic. Highway 19 has a nice wide shoulder, so we can get out of the way. Drivers around here are very considerate of riders. They give us lots of room when they pass. If we’re in a dangerous spot for passing, we’ve had trucks slow down to 10 miles an hour and follow.
In the summer when it’s hot, there are plenty of chances to stop and fill water bottles or take a break. It’s also a really pretty route. It’s different in a car. You miss a lot. My favorite part is between Irene and Wakonda on the County Line road between Yankton and Clay counties. It’s very hilly there, so it can be a struggle, but the hills and valleys are very pretty.
We try to ride the loop every third Saturday of July so we can stop in Viborg for an aebleskiver breakfast during Danish Days. I like the warm cashews from the convenience store in Viborg, too. We also like riding through Centerville so we can stop for an apple fritter at the Royal Bake Shop. I've been known to call the bakery and ask them to save some apple fritters if I know we're coming through.

Cathy Logue, xx, began biking in 2005 and has completed two Tour de Kotas and the RAGBRAI (Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). She is the coordinator of student services at the University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine in Vermillion. For information on the Lane Hogs, visit

Monday, July 13, 2009

Aebleskiver Ride Update - TIME CHANGE!

The annual Aebleskiver Ride is on for this Saturday (July 18th)!

We will leave my house in Wakonda at 7:30am (a half hour later than originally posted).

For those riding from Vermillion, we will plan to meet on the corner of Highway 19 and 302nd Street at 8:00am. Let me know if your leaving from Vermillion and I'll give you my cell phone number so we don't miss each other on the road.

We'll have a quick stop in Centerville at the Cennex Convenience Store where Sue and friends will join us. We should be there by 8:30am. (Please note, if anyone from Sioux Falls wants to join us and 7:30 from Wakonda is too early for you, you have the option of starting and ending in Centerville.)

Then on to Viborg (10 miles from Centerville) for the Aebleskiver breakfast at the Methodist Church. The plan is to be there by 9:45am. The church ladies have been alerted but we need to make sure we don't hold them up so they miss the 10:30am parade.

Then on to Irene or if you prefer route option #2 - the scenic route which will take you past the hills near Marindahl Lake area, a herd of buffalo and a rusting tug boat on the prairie.

Final stop, my house in Wakonda for lunch and refreshments!

Here are the maps:

Aebleskiver Route; 42 miles

Aebleskiver Scenic Ride; 52 miles (no stop in Irene)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Aebleskiver Ride 2009

It is time for the 4th annual Aebleskiver Ride!
Saturday, July 18th
Leave my house at 7:00am sharp. 42 mile ride through Centerville, Viborg - where we'll have an aebleskiver breakfast, Irene, and back to Wakonda where we'll have post-ride food and refreshments at my house.
Everyone welcomed!
Here is a recap of the Aebleskiver Ride 2007 recap on Biking Brady's blog.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Commuting to Work by Bike - 25 Miles Each Way

First of all, I’m not a huge bike commuter, but for the last 3 years my goal has been to try to bike to work at least 5 times. Not a huge goal, but seems like the stars all have to be in perfect alignment in order for this to happen. With a little planning it is getting easier so I thought I would share how it works for me:

• Number one, I usually wait until the weather gets warm enough for the morning commute AND I have enough daylight.
• To contradict number one, it occured to me this year that there are ways around this. If it is too cold in the morning or too dark, I do have the option of riding the bike home from work. I drive to work in the morning with my bike on the bike rack and ride home. The next morning I catch a ride to work with someone. This is possible since it seems half the population of Wakonda works at USD. This year we had a snap of warm weather in March so I used that chance to ride my new Bike Friday home. I usually don’t get any commuting miles in that early!
• If I wait until there is a day when the weather forecast is perfect, the bike commute will never happen. My philosophy now is if the weather looks good in the morning, go for it. Those forecast of scattered thunderstorms are so hit and miss that I’ll take the chance and ride anyway. If it is looking stormy about the time I leave work or if the wind is gusting over 20 mph and I don’t want to deal with it, again, I call someone who works at USD and lives in Wakonda for a ride home.
• Have an extra gym bag at work with work clothes, hairdryer, make-up, etc. I am very fortunate to have a locker room in our new building with showers. But before that I would have baby wipes in my bag and they were okay for cleaning up after a morning commute. Unless I have something special going on, I skip the make-up and blow drying my hair when I get to work.
• The time goes much faster on the 1 1/2 hour commute if I have some music. I have the iHome bike speaker for my iPod that goes into a water bottle cage that I love. Or sometimes I like to listen to the news on my way to work, I have a cheap mp3 player with a radio band, I just put in one ear bud and listen to that.

My personal reasons for bike commuting:
• Besides the typical reasons of doing something good for the planet, etc., one of the main reasons I bike commute is because it is a great way to get in some decent miles of riding in on a weekday while being able to hangout with my husband in the evening.

Okay, now I’m wondering why I don’t commute more often by bike!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tour De Kota Dog Update

Remember that dog, a cross between a basset and a beagle, on the first day of TDK that seemed to show up at every rest stop on the last half of the ride? I first saw the dog between Dalesburg and Volin, a merry little hound running in the road ditches along side the riders. I thought it was odd since I ride in this area OFTEN, as we were only about 6 miles from my house at the time, and I have NEVER seen this dog. I thought I knew all the dogs by name within a 20 mile radius of Wakonda!

We get to Volin and are taking a break and the dog shows up and the same thing happens again at Mission Hill. Now we know the dog has probably wandered off far from home. We check for dog tags and there are none. Melissa being very conscientious is trying to think of what to do to get the dog back to his owner; she’s talking to the local 4-H group putting on the rest stop at Mission Hill about someone taking the dog so it doesn’t follow the riders all the way to Yankton, she’s wondering if we should call the Yankton dog pound, etc. Since the dog has no tags it made it very difficult to try to locate the owner and I was hoping the dog would tire of this game and eventually go home.

To tell you the truth I didn’t think much more about the dog until this weekend my daughter told me some friends of theirs lost their dog “Bagel,” a beagle/basset mix, when TDK came through the area. Bagel, being the hound he is, has had a history of occasionally taking off on a scent and staying away overnight. This time he was gone for a few days. But luckily this story has a happy ending, somehow the owners found out their dog was at the Yankton pound and he was safely returned home. Bagel had gone all the way to Yankton with the riders…..about a 20 mile trip for him. I’m still not sure how he connected with the riders since he lives 3 miles off of the TDK first day route, maybe he is part blood hound too! I hope Bagel’s owners get him some tags.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tugboat and Buffalo Stampede

This post was inspired by Tez’s recent posting on her blog: Bonus Spotting of the Things You See Commuting. I wasn’t commuting but I saw some interesting things on my last bike ride that I thought I would share……you can guess what these things were by the title of my post but please allow me to explain.

I took Thursday off of work for a mini-family reunion of a couple of my aunts and uncles and cousins in Norfolk. I was riding there with my cousin’s wife and aunt and uncle from Sioux Falls and they planned to pick me up around 10am. So I thought I would get in an early morning bike ride before we left!

My route took me up Talmo Hill, a descent hill just 4 miles from my house. I've noticed that anytime the local people have given a hill a name, then be forewarned, it is a descent hill. Once I turned north the route continued with a climb broken up with a few rollers, but mainly a climb for about 5 miles. Once I reached a rural water tower in the middle of no-where I knew I had reached the highest elevation in this area! The rest of the ride was a lot of rollers and then a lovely downhill ride with a good west wind to my back for the last 3 miles back home to Wakonda.

The scenery on this ride is beautiful; hills generally make for great scenery. But my “bonus spottings,” as Tez would say, were the tugboat and the buffalo.

This route goes by a graveyard for old combines, farm machinery, and other junk, but front and center is a good sized tugboat rusting in the high prairie grass. The waves of grass blowing in the wind probably give the boat the sense that it is still on the water doing it’s job!

Since I haven’t ridden this route for awhile so I was wondering if I would see the buffalo again and yes I wan't disappointed! I came down a hill and the herd was huddled in the corner of the pasture nearest to the road. As I started riding up the hill that bordered their pasture I looked over at the buffalo and there was a moment when I made direct eye contact with the largest of the herd. The next thing I know they all start stampeding along the fence line! Crazy thoughts are flying through my head; How strong is that fence? Buffalo must not like eye contact? Buffalo like to race cyclists? I was worried about the farm with the dogs, I didn’t think I had to worry about a buffalo attack??? Will dog spray stop a buffalo? I don’t think I have enough dog spray!!!

I am quite sure that was my fastest sprint up a hill. I kept looking over to see if the buffalo were coming through the fence, I’m sure they could’ve if they really wanted to. Eventually I gained speed over the adult buffalo and only the calves continued the race and I started to relax.

It definitely wasn’t a boring ride! Next winter when I'm in spin class the instructor says "sprint like your being chased by a dog!" I'll be thinking to myself "sprint like you're being chased by a herd of buffalo!"

I will definitely ride the route again but next time I’m not going to give any eye contact when I go by the buffalo.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yoga-Bike-Yoga = Peace, Health & Happiness

What a great start to the weekend! I met Mary Jean, Sandy, and Cindy in Sioux Falls on Friday afternoon and it was non-stop from that point on trying to squeeze in all of our planed activities.

After checking into our hotel we were off to the Dharma Room for a yoga class. We thoroughly enjoyed the class led by Kendra. The sun was shining and we walked around the downtown area a bit as we decided where to eat. I love downtown Sioux Falls in the summer with everyone spilling out onto the streets and the horse and carriage rides, it is fun to just sit and take it all in. We ended up at Minerva's and the salad bar made a perfect meal. After a quick change in the restroom, we departed Minerva's in our cycling attire as many diners were entering in much more formal attire!

We arrived a Fawick Park shortly before 8:00pm for the FAB Starlight Ride and met up with the other riders. My Power Raspberry was very happy to see another Bike Friday on the ride! I wish I would have gotten a picture of Gregg and me together with our Bike Friday's - hopefully the Mayor's picture turned out! The ride was very fun as you can see from the smile on our faces in the picture below. Thanks to the FAB group for being so welcoming to all of us wild and crazy women!

After the ride we joined several of the other riders at Monk's where us ladies enjoyed a wonderful glass of wine. Getting carried away and talking with my hands I managed to spill some of mine....a wine stain on my new TDK jersey, never thought I'd have to puzzle over how to remove a wine stain from a cycling jersey. I wonder if Martha Stewart has any tips on that?

It was time for us to get some sleep so we would be well rested for our Saturday morning yoga class back at the Dharma Room at 8:00am. The Saturday class was conducted by Melissa, one of the owners, and I think we all felt like a new person after leaving her class, ready to share our peace with the rest of the world!

After a trip to the Farmer's Market at Fall's Park we all parted ways.....but we vowed that we must plan to do this again!

FAB Stralight Park - Sioux Falls Bike Trail: Mary Jean, Cathy, Cindy

FAB at Falls Park

At the Dharma Room

Mary Jean & Sandy at the Farmer's Market

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TDK, Day 6, Friday, June 12, 2009 – 73 miles

Chamberlain to Pierre

One more day – the feeling was “I think I can do this!” A bunch of us drank coffee in the pre-dawn under the picnic shelter at our Shuttle Guy camp. After intermittent showers the evening before it was another overcast day that looked like pending rain. The coffee helped bolster me and I was ready to go off in search of breakfast. Poor Charlie was left with packing all the bags and gear in the pickup. I left quite a mess, thank goodness he loves me.

Craig and I rode over to McDonalds for some breakfast. Once on the bike my legs were screaming at me. The first 8 miles to the dam we saw no one since I convinced Craig of the WRONG route to take out of town. But once across the dam we connected with the official route for the day and continued on in the mist. I turned on my blinky light, that along with my neon yellow jacket, made me very visible to the motorists.

We stopped for one picture overlooking Lake Oahe otherwise our first rest stop was at the race track where we talked with others on the ride around a small camp fire built into the center of a granite table top about bar height. I pulled out a can of Amp that I was carrying on my bike for an emergency like this – severe lack of energy.

The next several miles on highway 1804 were a bit monotonous….lots of power lines. All the rest stops until we got to Bob’s Resort (16 miles out of Gettysburg) were just stops along the road, so we skipped a few of those. At the next rest stop I visited again with the man from Portland on the Bike Friday. I was ready to slow down a bit so I told Craig to go ahead. Rumor was Biking Brady, the Mayor and Tammy were not too far ahead of us; I gave Craig my blessing to go catch them.

By the time I got to Bob’s the gang was having lunch and I arrived just in time to eat their left overs as they were full. Just 16 miles to go! And about 3 miles on the other side of Bob’s my bike computer turned over to 10,000 miles so I had to stop and take some pictures and tell my bike what a superstar she is!
One last low, but long climb and I arrived in Gettysburg at the finish line in the park greeted by my dear, sweet husband! I made it, all 453 miles of TDK 2009!
A few pictures of friends at the finish line:
Mary Jean


Argus Leader stories:

Eyes turn to next year's ride

Nothing tastes as good as it feels

400 miles later, SUV to hit the spot

Photo Gallery

Monday, June 15, 2009

TDK, Day 5, Thursday, June 11, 2009 – 100 miles

Chamberlain to Pierre

Finally, a beautiful morning! We had a good climb out of Chamberlain to get the blood pumping right away. This hill was no longer a threat after the hills we encountered the day before. And just 7 miles out we had the Chuck Wagon breakfast to look forward to. Cowboy omelet and corn bread made in a Dutch oven – absolutely delicious! I had a nice chat with the Kennedy’s from Beresford; a father and daughter riding the tour together. And I also chatted with Gregg, the Mayor, and Tammy who were also at the table – we were one big happy family chowing down on some good food!
The scenery was gorgeous as we enjoyed the rolling hills north of Chamberlain, the image is etched on my brain.

The 7 miles into Fort Thompson on the BIA road was like dodging a mine field of pot holes and road break up. I foolishly was thinking the road would flatten out north of Fort Thompson – what a joke on me! It was a steady climb until Mac’s Corner. Just a little way’s up the road from Mac’s we turned west for the 48 miles into Pierre on highway 34.
I enjoyed the stop at “The Pit Stop,” a cute little bar/restaurant that looked like it had been around for a long time; a little piece of Americana off the beaten path. As I was leaving a group of cowboys came in with a puzzled look on their faces, I’m sure they’ve never seen so many people wearing spandex before!
The road was rough but we had a tail wind to compensate so it was all good. I now felt a century would be doable. Next rest stop was at the Cattleman’s Club for a banana before heading onto Pierre. Our route took us around the Capitol and then it was time to decide whether to take the route to the camp ground or around the dam to complete a century. Easy decision on a gorgeous day; and I was off to Lake Oahe. Smooth road and a long descent to the dam after a short climb made for an easy ride. The dam was very impressive; as we have made our way up the Missouri River the dams have continued to get larger.

Charlie drove up to Pierre to join me in camp for the night and after a quick call I found out he had just arrived so I anxiously pedaled the remaining 9 miles (into the wind). Camp was along the river in Steamboat Park, what a beautiful camping site. And Charlie was a sight for sore eyes after not seeing him since Sunday!

We visited with Shuttle Guy camping mates; a few were not riding with us the final day, and enjoyed pizza and a beer. Later, and after a shower, Charlie and I, and the Brady’s and the DeVelder’s (Liz and kids were now also in camp) went to the Cattlemen’s Club. Great food and conversation and we were warm and dry as it started to rain.

The rain cleared as we went back to camp, just in time to see a spectacular sunset over the Missouri.
Argus Leader stories:
Sun reveals sun splendor
Tour ending but memories to last a life time (note the story of the man with the Bike Friday on TDK)
Photo Gallery

TDK, Day 4, Wednesday, June 10, 2009 – 78 miles

Gregory to Chamberlain

A very chilly, damp, cloudy morning once again! Breakfast was in the campground and after I ate I scavenged around for some plastic bags to wrap my feet in and line my shoes. I was bundled up as much as I am when I ride on a nice winter day, so when I passed “flip-flop girl” early in the ride it just made me shiver to see her with those bare feet! Here is the story in the Argus where Biking Brady and I were both quoted: Flip flop girl enjoys letting her feet breath.
It didn’t take long to warm up as we started climbing a series of hill right out of town on Highway 47. Then we turned east on to Highway 44 and a few miles down the road I encountered one of those road signs warning drivers of the 8 ½ % grade ahead – at least it was downhill! But when you go down a long pass you know it most likely will be followed by a climb. And so it was a series of long descents and long climbs through the Snake Creek Hills. The scenery was breath taking (as well as theclimbs!) and I pulled off a couple of times to take pictures but the pictures don’t do justice to this area.After 30 miles of climbing the road leveled out and the next 48 miles were cold and dreary as we rode into a light head wind. Also, we never went through a town where we could go in someplace and sit and get warm, other than one stop at the Academy Fire Station. I started to get a bit weary and down at this point but I saw Jatham Chicoine pulling a trailer with an American flag and POW flag – I decided at that point to suck it up and quit feeling sorry for myself. I also made a mental note to dedicate this day’s ride to my cousin serving in the Air Force Guard at an undisclosed location in the “sandbox.” I do know where my cousin is the temperatures are typically 110-120 degrees. I think those guys would love a cool, damp day back home these days. I rode along and chatted with Jatham for a few minutes and thanked him for his commitment and reminding me of all the privileges we take for granted.The rest stop at Puckwana was a welcomed respite, as well as the turn west into Chamberlain where we enjoyed a tailwind for the last leg of the day. It felt good to just hang around camp for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. Mary Jean had a game of travel Scrabble going which I was content to just watch as I was too tired to think! I bundled up in several layers of clothing plus hand/foot warmers in a pair of thick wool socks and went to bed and slept very well! Argus Leader stories:
Over the hills on quiet roads
Photo Gallery

Sunday, June 14, 2009

TDK, Day 3, Tuesday, June 9, 2009 – 67 miles

Wagner to Gregory

I awoke to intermittent early morning showers. It cleared long enough to get ready for the day’s ride and eat breakfast put on by one of the high school groups. I headed out with Craig in a cool, wet mist to go tackle Radar Hill. It didn’t seem so bad so that gave me a confidence boost. The rain was coming down steady by the time we headed down the back side of the hill to the Fort Randall Dam. We stopped for a break at the convenience store near the dam before crossing the dam and climbing back out of the river valley. As we crossed the dam there was a little hand lettered sign that read “Welcome to West River!”

The first several miles of the day were on Highway 46 so truck traffic was heavy. After the first semi carrying an “oversized load” (part of a wind turbine) passed me on the other side of the dam where the road had little shoulder, I decided when I saw the next two come up on me from my mirror on my helmet, that I would just stop and move as far over as I could with both feet planted on the ground. A load that large just seems to want to suck you under their wheels. Yep, this is how I got my nickname “Timmy” in our group, for being the timid one. But it’s my bike and I’ll ride it the way I want to (quote from fellow MS ride team member, Willie).

Finally it was time to turn off of Highway 46 and head in to the small town of Fairfax. They had a very nice museum in an old bank building that was very elaborate with lots of marble and beautiful architecture that the city purchased for $600 after the stock market crash in 1929. At this stop Craig and I took our socks off and wrung the water out of them the best we could.
On to Bonesteel where we had a wonderful early lunch in their high school gym. They had the best pork loin sandwiches and a slice of pecan pie that restored my body and soul. Shoes and socks came off and I wrapped my feet in napkins and they were warm and dry at least for a few minutes. I also had one of those chemical pack hand/foot warmers that warmed one foot at a time.

Leaving Bonesteel we were blest with a tail wind and we were riding consistently between 21-22 mph so we pushed on several miles before taking a quick break on the outskirts of Burke then it was only 9 more miles into Gregory.

We arrived in Gregory at 12:05pm, we made good time mainly because we were tired of being cold and wet. Shuttle Guy was still setting up camp so I tried to stay out of the way and got some rags and oil out of the trailer and went to work on cleaning my bike. Riding that many miles in the rain over the last few days had kicked up a lot of road grit on to the bike. I was also a speckled mess of mud from the trucks passing.

Now it was time to get myself cleaned up. Since it was still early in the day, Craig and I decided it would be a good time to go to the Laundromat. The only problem was it was about 2 miles away on the edge of town but I talked with a nice lady at the volunteer booth and she offered to give us a ride. Laundry done, we picked up our bags and headed out to the road and walked about a quarter of a mile and a nice farmer in a pickup stopped and offered us a ride back to our camp in the park.
Since I had the hamstrings massaged the day before, I decided the quads deserved a massage, so after 20 minutes with Laura, I thought I might have hope of surviving the next day’s ride.
Although there was a lot of good food booths at the park, sitting inside somewhere dry and warm sounded more appealing, and by the looks of the steakhouse several bikers had the same idea. On the way back a stop was made at the Oscar Micheaux Museum. This was an interesting bit of South Dakota history I wasn't familiar with and enjoyed hearing the story from the museum guide. Again, the museum/theatre itself was once an ornate bank building; this one had lots of green marble counters and a cool tiled floor, complete with a beautiful flower garden on one side.
Back to camp to lounge around and enjoy the evening and the camping in the beautiful park. Some of us decided to hike up to the observation park overlooking the town. The hike up was short and well worth the view of the surrounding area.

Sonja - from the Shuttle Guy. This bra was hanging from a tree along the path up to the observation center, so of course, we needed a picture!

Argus Leader stories:

Out of the mist and into a glide

Tour runs into small town history

Photo Album