I just finished the hardest two days riding in my life, and we aren't even near the Rocky Mountains yet!
On Thursday, we left Minneapolis and knocked out 81 miles, right on pace. The wind was strong, but it was from the south-southeast, and I was heading mostly west. So it wasn't really with me, but it kind of was. I did the 81 miles at a 15.3 mph pace. We stopped short of 100 so that we could meet my Uncle Fred, who I haven't ever really met before. Uncle Fred and his family took us out to Pizza Hut and it was a good time. The next day was much harder, but it it was just a taste of what was to come.
I did 98 miles yesterday with stiff, 22 mph winds from the southwest. It was tough, and I only averaged 12.1 mph. When I go "slow" like that, the day is miserable. Today I went 9 mph. I don't know that I’ve set that slow a pace since I was a kid. The winds were almost 30 mph from the northwest. The wind was unrelenting. Jack told me that every time he passed me, he noticed how far I was leaning into the wind. As we were passing Blue Dog Lake where there is absolutely nothing to break the wind, it was really bad. Even though I was probably a good 20-30 feet from the lake, I was getting sprayed like crazy. I was seriously looking at my front wheel, and the right half was wet and the left half was dry. My legs were getting wet and the right side of my handlebars just dripped.
Despite the weather, I can see South Dakota is a beautiful and luckily the weather looks like it will improve. We fell behind today. We’re supposed to do an average of 76 miles to get to Seattle on the 20th, and yesterday we only did 60. So early night tonight! I’m hoping to get a tailwind as strong as the headwind was today. Tomorrow I’m going to shoot for 130 miles.