• Watertown, SD to Montevideo, MN
  • Cooler weather
  • Averaged 18.9 to picnic
  • Flatted and sagged 5 miles from end

We have definitely changed some things and kept others the same. The wide open prairie land of Wyoming and middle South Dakota have given way to rolling farmland. The weather has changed from hot and dry to hot and wet. The skies have changed from all blue to often overcast. It feels like a new country.

We were scheduled for an 82 mile ride today. They routed us around all the construction, thankfully. They couldn’t route us around the humidity, however. Still, we got off to an early start and quickly got a fast pace going. Christiane from France latched onto our tail early and coasted all day in our slipstream. Even when we stopped to take pictures of ourselves in the corn, she gladly waited to be able to ride our gravy train. It helped that the other tandem whizzed past us and set a challenging pace. We kept them just in sight much of the morning. It motivated us to keep the speed up, even though we weren’t racing.

We didn’t miss our photo op when we crossed the Minnesota line. It’s always fun to see the bikes lining the road, snapping photos for each other. From there it was a short haul to picnic. We pulled in with an average speed of 18.9!

After lunch the winds were stronger, so we slowed down. We went into Madison, MN (Lutefisk Capitol of the World) and chilled out at a Cenex across the street from Lou the fish. I think there is a play on words going on there. If you don’t know what lutefisk is check it out.

Also in Madison we saw this heritage Skelly gas station. It was such a pristine example of one that we circled back to take its picture. I half expected Goober to come running out to grab a coke or check my tires. It would have saved us all kinds of trouble had he done so.

The next 30 miles went by relatively quickly. The roads even became more interesting. A little bend here, and little rise there. And still Christiane rode with us. We turned onto the last highway toward Montevideo. And guess which tire went flat? We were only 5 miles from the end so we sent our friend off solo while we changed the tire. it seemed fortune was with us since a sag wagon showed up immediately so we could use their pump. But, once again, I couldn’t find a reason for the flat. No hole in the tube, no debris in the tire. We put in a new tube and as I pumped it up, it started losing air. We tried¬† the whole process again and had the same result. We took out that tube and put in our last spare tube. As we pumped it up, it popped. We count that as 3 flats. We also counted that as a sign to stop pedaling and let Matt (from New Zealand), our favorite sag driver, take us in.

Once in we replaced the tire with a new one I’d already ordered, replaced the tube again, and even re-taped the wheel rim. There’s nothing else to try, folks. If we still get flats, the universe is trying to get our attention. Maybe we should slow down?

The heat breaks
There's corn and there's corn