Chasing 2nd Century in a row
After my big mile day yesterday, one of two things could happen today. Either I’d be physically broken (as tends to happen after extra-strenuous effort) or I’d be super-motivated to push for even bigger miles.
I woke up late, physically tired but we’ll rested and with a sluggish time repacking was gone midday before I started cycling. All evidence was pointing today to being the former possibility.
Yet when I started peddling, with the wind fully pushing me along, the miles just seemed to stack up effortlessly.
I stopped for a very quick late-breakfast/lunch and not-lingering, was back cycling in no time.
It seemed like the more hills I raced up in the high gears, the more motivation I was pressing into my battery of physical reserves. I was flying. And I was enjoying the ride. And because I was enjoying the ride, I was cycling yet faster.
By mid-afternoon I came upon the town of Winner (another great town name – and mandatory selfy!). This was about my 100km point for the day, so was my minimum target.
But I wasn’t done riding!
Shortly after Winner however, the road changed. No longer directly west-northwest, but zig-zagging due north to due west – which meant the tailwind was no longer as beneficial as before.
But the motivational reserves kicked in.
Passing the hamlet of Witten, I started to flag. I seriously considered calling quits for the day, except for 3 considerations:
- My competitive spirit said “No.”
- There was still the slightest of tailwinds – counter to all the headwinds I’d had thus far – and didn’t want to “waste” it.
- There was – quite literally – nowhere to stop! All tall-grass wild prairie fields (“probably with snakes”, I told myself!).
So I just kept going.
I had it in my mind that White River should be my target for the day. Showing up more dominantly on Google Maps, I figured this town would be slightly more significant than the few other hamlets I’d passed infrequently; and this would leave a more manageable distance for reaching the Badlands the following day.
While correct on both accounts, calling White River “more significant” still requires some stretch of the imagination. There is a gas station, a motel, a restaurant (which was closed at both dinner time and breakfast time, but open between-times!) and a pub/casino (ie, pub with slot-machines).
After refusing to pay the $60 asked for the motel, I headed for the town Park where camping is allowed.
Passing the pub/casino, I figured I might as well grab a quick beer and food before settling into the tent for the night. Chatting with locals, they informed me of the tornado warning that was in place for the area.
So I called back to the motel and took the offered room there after all. Then went back to the pub and settled in for the night…