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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