Stage 6, Spirit Lake, IA to Murdo, SD

This trendy notion of calling middle America “Fly Over States” is a bunch of uneducated BS.  Riding through Wisconsin and Iowa we traveled through some of the most beautiful farm country I’ve ever seen.  I went to college in Indiana, Purdue University, and I came to know and understand the simple beauty of a well maintained farm, the pride of ownership and how pretty gently rolling hills and patchwork farms can be.  We rode through gorgeous countryside in these states and it was a true pleasure.

One of the most delightful stops on this trip so far was the small town of Graettinger, Iowa.  After 200 miles of rain and then almost another 100 miles of howling, in your face wind, the little town was set up as a late day coffee stop.  At first I was a little irritated as we still had some 30 or 40 miles to go and the bike was humming along, and while humming you just want to ride, however, we did get off our bikes and the whole town was out to greet us.  Amazingly sweet with homemade cookies and everyone willing to hold this or offer water etc.  Small town America doesn’t get any better and it was truly memorable.

After crossing into South Dakota we had another 25 miles to Murdo and the end of another day.  The road, however, was by far the worst of the trip and quite possibly the worst I’ve been on, and that includes Cuba and South America.  To keep this hard-tail bike on the road and not crush my spine, I had to ride most of the 25 miles off the seat.  This is not easy ergonomically on a motorcycle designed for someone 5’10” at best, while this rider is 6’3″.  To compensate I underhanded grab the bars next to the headlight where it’s strongest with my left hand while my right stayed on the throttle.  I know I went both wheels air born at least twice and the rear wheel came off the ground every two or three seconds.  It beat my spin.  The funny part came after about 22 miles and just before the town of Murdo with a sign in the road saying rough road.  Really?

Three finishes in a row, and we’re slowly climbing up the ranks, but we have a LONG way to go.



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