Day 27 – Avoca, MN to Madison, SD

This morning was not very hot, but it was very humid. We started biking pretty early with almost no water left, and filled up at the first gas station we found. That water tasted particularly awful, despite the fact that it was filtered and “good” to drink. So we found a McDonald’s after another 15 or 20 miles, happily poured out our water in the parking lot, and loaded up with ice and some much better water. 

We continued on, noticing the horizon becoming flatter and flatter. And we made it to the border of South Dakota!! 

We would have enjoyed that sign more had we not made the mistake of skipping our normal first lunch… but we made up for it when we stopped around noon. We each easily polished off a package of Indian food (2.5 servings, apparently) then moved on to granola and other snacks.

We made a few stops for water and snacks during our afternoon riding, and had a great chat with a guy named Max, on his way home from work – 100 miles from where he lives. He gave us great advice for what to think about as we cross South Dakota! Places where towns are especially scarce, cool landmarks, etc. 

We ate dinner soon after that, and while our food was heating up, we rolled out our sore muscles – there’s nothing like a Nalgene for a makeshift foam roller! 

After dinner, I experienced something many people who use clipless pedals will understand all too well. I had just unclipped my left foot from its pedal when my momentum shifted to the right – and down I went. I think I swore loudly as I realized what was happening, but the slow tip was inevitable at that point.  Luckily I only got a couple minor scrapes, and I fell away from the road, so I immediately saw the humor in my situation. Unfortunately, Aidan missed the actual fall, only witnessing me lying on the pavement still attached to my bike! 

We rode into the sunset again this evening, and enjoyed every moment of it. The wildlife on either side of us, the colorful sky, the cool breeze…it’s really the best time of the day. 

And as it got dark, I got to enjoy the brightness of my front headlight! We had our flashing red lights cranking, and even without streetlights we could see so well! 

We went grocery shopping in Madison, SD at 10:00 pm, refilling our panniers with all sorts of cereals and lunch foods! And we chose a prime campsite – a golf course. We did forget about the sprinklers though…

15 thoughts on “Day 27 – Avoca, MN to Madison, SD

  1. Uncle Bill July 14, 2016 / 1:37 pm

    Clara, that type of “unanticipated gravitationally-enhanced dismount” is a classic. Scientifically, its likelihood of occurrence is directly proportional to the number of spectators so I’m surprised you got away with it with no witnesses. I hoped you feigned serious injury and quickly concocted a story for Aidan about a jackalope that “came out of nowhere” and knocked you off your bike. Have fun in SD. Be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meg Berlin July 14, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    So looking forward to your impressions as you cross the great Missouri river and the landscape begins to really change there. It’s magnificent and glorious and joy-dropping. Also, if we wanted to send some goodies… just for fun… where are future pit stops? or is that too much of a hassle?


    • bikesoveramerica July 17, 2016 / 11:01 pm

      Yes, we’ve been enjoying this stretch of South Dakota and are totally looking forward to the mountains! If you would still like to send us something, we would totally love that. We’ll be in Missoula, Montana pretty soon, and would be psyched to stop in at the post office there. We fan receive mail from general delivery there addressed to one of us, zip code 59801.


  3. Chris Jolly July 14, 2016 / 3:37 pm

    South Dakota, my home state! i recall nasty, sulfur tasting water in North Dakota on our trip, and inescapable hotness.


  4. Mary (awesome GF muffin lady) July 14, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    Clara, I am not kidding you – I did THE EXACT SAME THING on Tuesday evening 😦 if your bruises are anything like mine, they’re pretty spectacular (and particularly uncomfortable for sleeping night). I will be forever grateful for no witnesses 🙂
    Safe travels friends!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sue Abercrombie July 14, 2016 / 3:54 pm

    I jump out of bed with anticipation of seeing your blog. Loved the pics of you heading out of town. The night you stayed at Amy and Brian’s with no rain there were four F2 tornadoes in Minnesota. So glad they were not too close. Again safe travels. Loved your uncles comment.


  6. Al July 14, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    Hurray! You’re now over 1/2 way! Congrats! South Dakota will test your mettle. Especially the 180 mile stretch from Pierre (pronounced pier) to Sturgis. It’s seldom cycled because there are long distances (~50 miles) between towns. Pack an extra liter of water in your bags. You’re seasoned now so I think you’ll enjoy one of the most remote and desolate places in the lower 48. You might actually be glad to see a car or truck.

    Thankfully you’ll arrive in Sturgis, SD well before the annual motorcycle rally. It’s the world’s largest with over 700,000 riders. It’s a zoo to be avoided.

    Enjoy all the history along the Missouri River. You’re in the heart of Lewis & Clark country. You guys are doing your own modern day L&C adventure. Thanks for taking us along! Happy Trails!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Al July 14, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    One more thing…

    You should let people know that after leaving Pierre, SD you might not have cell or internet service for a few days. So you could be incommunicado till you get to Sturgis. Maybe you’ll feel like Lewis & Clark?


    • Laura/Mom July 15, 2016 / 1:25 am

      Good to know. 🙂


  8. Dad/Chris July 14, 2016 / 7:34 pm

    I broke my most recent clipless-pedal-fall by landing in a robust patch of poison ivy. A waist-high patch can be quite springy.


  9. Louanne Nielsen July 14, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    Aidan and Clara, my daughter, Britt, forwarded your blog to me on Day 20 and I joined you in your adventure. Love your candid writing, robust diets, excitement over beef jerky selections, impromptu camp sites with kind strangers as well as sprinklers. You are biking long days. I’m enjoying the ride and don’t have to use foam rollers or Nalgene bottles.


  10. Laura/Mom July 15, 2016 / 1:27 am

    Congratulations on passing the halfway point! Wow!!
    I finally found the package you sent home. You two crack me up with the things you no longer consider necessary!
    Your sunset rides look amazing!
    Love, Mom/Laura


  11. Nancy Vanderlin July 15, 2016 / 2:08 am

    August 8-14 is the time to avoid being in Sturgis. Luckily you’ll be way past there by then! I don’t know what I’ll do for fun when you two are out of Internet/cell range for a few days! Stay hydrated!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laura/Mom/Nancy'sDaughter July 15, 2016 / 3:37 am

      When you are blog-deprived, you can start reading their friends’ blog: Chris and Brendan just set out by car to drive across the country! 🙂


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