Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Hill City to Rapid City, SD
Date: 2006-08-21
Distance: 56 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 3.53 Hours
Average Speed: 15.89 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 2,495 Kilometres  

Thoughts for the Day


    Today, I would have to concentrate on the left knee. Some soreness has set in which occasionally made walking uncomfortable. Usually his comes from twisting the knee when mounting or demounting the bike steed.

  Today’s trip, from vertical elevation of 1,520 metres to 1,640 metres before the Mount Rushmore monuments to 1,015 metres in Rapid City.

  The ride today started from the back of the Comfort Hotel which abuts the Mickelson Trail. After a few minutes of cycling our forward progress was stopped by a fallen tree from last night’s blow. One jogger that slipped by under the fallen tree expressed the expectation that the tree was due to coming down. He expected it to happen this winter. So, John got his Boy Scout spirit out and began breaking branches so we could manoeuvre the bikes through. Later on there was another tree fallen but this time someone had already cut the pathway clear.

About a block after the Highway #244 intersection we left the trail and made our way back to highway. Then the track to the Mount Rushmore began. Many a hill had to be mounted. Up and up we went. The landscape became rock and trees. Farmland was left behind. The rocks showed their age with many a crag. Sometimes one wondered if the craggy rocks would not fall under a wind.

There was a car in front when suddenly two deer made their way out of the forest and crossed the highway. Red tail lights went on. They were lucky to get across safely. Later on after just entering Rapid City on a four lane road with high volumes, one deer was not so lucky as it lay on the pavement at an off-ramp.

    We also wondered if the motorcycle driver also made it. The police let us by the road block which diverted the cars to another road. We came upon an SUV that had mounted a motorcycle.

Finally we reached one rock outcrop with the side face of George Washington. In my mind this perspective of the rocky presidents is the best.

  Then, we cycled around the corner and encountered our first touring cyclist since the Stevens Pass I Washington. He also has not seen many touring cyclists on his travels. A resident from the Tacoma, Washington area he has been cycling since the beginning of August. 12,300 kilometres later he descended to Arizona, across to Alabama, up to Canada, and now crossing towards the west. For such a long trip he is lightly loaded. He tends to sleep in parks and under church stairs, limiting his motel visits for showers and such.

    Then on to the monument. As we cycled around a corner we were greeted with a traffic light to facilitate turns into a massive, multi-story parking lot at the base of the four presidents in rock. Somehow the feeling of mountain air, pristine forests and rock outcrops was just destroyed with commercialism. We shook our heads and continued on after a few pictures.

  Then a 10% grade descend into Keystone, a tourist village. The western image was conveyed by the businesses in town. A small but attractive village it was.

  Then a another long 6 or 7 % grade climb out of town under blazing sun on Highway #16A to Highway #16. Form there the long climbs ad long descends began. Some were 5 kilometres in length. Valleys were to be crossed and one river. Sections of high crosswinds were encountered.

  As the crest of the last hill before the river crossing was reached, the prairies lay ahead on the other side.

    Finally we entered the hilly city of Rapid City and we made our way to he motel.

    Rapid City is just another American city, too many cars going nowhere too fast, too many wide roads with no bike lanes. People were cycling on the sidewalk. Too many interrupted sidewalks that needed maintenance. The only thing we found going for it was that it had a reasonable quality sushi restaurant. John was happy. This Japanese restaurant, just in existence in the last 6 months was run by Koreans.

    For a town of 60,000 people it was unexpected to find cafés, gelato shop, and sushi bar. That was good.

    As is normal in the afternoons, the thread of thunderstorms and high winds came and passed. Only the high winds were experienced.

    All in all it was a short, easy, and enjoyable day with plenty of hill climbing. Now bring on the boring prairie flatlands.  
Cycling Facilities  
  The secondary roads had white edge lines with minimal paved shoulders.

  The multi-lane highways had wide paved shoulders. Sometimes, when road resurfacing occurs then the paved shoulders are not redone creating a vertical separation in elevation between the lanes and the shoulder that is not the lost desirable.