Day 29 Miller 29 Miles

Today was much like yesterday. You could hear the wind whistling outside when we woke up. Again, the wind was blowing from the South. There wasn’t much to see for the first 45 miles. No towns, no billboards, nothing. Just a few ranch entrances here and there.

After Wessington Springs we got to turn north which was a lot of fun with the wind at our back. Near Alpena, South Dakota there was huge Jack Links factory. They didn’t have free samples.

The plant produces 800 bags a minute of beef jerky and is the largest beef jerky plant in the world. All of this in a town with 285 people!

It’s a Small World

Herb was the first to arrive in Wessington Springs, South Dakota and people at the Dollar General store told him that the American Legion next door was having a pancake breakfast. Having a second breakfast is always a good thing so he went over.

There he met Kyle Tanke from Guernsey, Iowa. Kyle went to high school with the Manatt family. Herb has worked for the Manatts company for years. Needless to say, Kyle was excited to meet someone from the “old country”.

(L toR) Kyle’s Son, Kyle Tanke, Herb

Tonight we are staying in Huron, South Dakota. We ate dinner at a Godfather’s Pizza all-you-can-eat buffet across the street. They lost money on us.

Stats

  • Fort Thompson to Huron, South Dakota.
  • Distance: 81.8 miles (132 km)
  • Climbing: 2539 feet (774 m)
  • Temperature: 74 – 86°F (23 – 30°C)

Saddles

Invariably when people find out that you are cycling long distances the subject turns to seats. They say that they would need a seat like this.

Over the years there have been many creative approaches to bicycle seats. Here is the MoonSaddle

And The Sling (variations of this have been around forever)

The Easy Seat

And my favorite – the Spongy Wonder

All of the above seats have their fans and are okay for bikes where you sit upright and don’t pedal too quickly.

The faster you ride the more likely you’ll want a narrower seat. On a drop bar bike more of your weight is on your hands and feet reducing the weight on the seat. As you pedal more vigorously you also do not want interference from the sides of your seat.

We don’t agree on too many things but all four of us are riding on leather saddles. The modern leather saddle has taken about 150 years to develop. The long narrow shape allows us to spin our legs at high rpms. A wider platform would interfere with our thighs. The back of the seat is just broad enough to support the pelvis and just padded enough to absorb impacts without adding weight. The leather is suspended on rails that help to absorb bumps. The long top lets us scoot around to control the bike or shift our weight to rest our butts.

Bottom line – there are many different types of seats out there. Find one that you like and start peddling!

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