We started late today (9:30 AM) because of a strong storm in Mitchell and then rode directly into a 15-20 mph headwind from the east. At home, we’d never ride on such days, but today Scott, Matt, John, and I formed a 4-person paceline and pushed on, changing leaders every mile, allowing us to average about 10 mph at first. Other groups did more-or-less the same. On some days with headwinds, one is tempted to fight the winds, as we did on Day 13, just trying to reach the goal as quickly as possible. The wind would have won that game instantly today, though, so we just turned the pedals as we could, grateful for any progress at all. After almost three hours, we had made it to the first SAG stop 32 miles from Mitchell. At that point, the wind decreased noticeably, allowing us to move faster, and it later even turned in our favor, allowing us to finish the 71 miles in about six hours.
In the last part of the ride, Bud rode with us and noticed a little wobble in my rear wheel, and it turns out the wheel was cracked, requiring it to be replaced. Fortunately another rider Rob had an old rear wheel to spare, so the mechanic Rob put it on my bike, and I’m ready to roll again. Thanks Rob and Rob!
Tomorrow is a rest day in Sioux Falls. Phew.