First let me start by saying my rides are usually not epic. They range from ok to great, but hardly ever what I consider epic.
Was only planning on riding from home to Elk Point, South Dakota & back, about 55 miles round trip. Instead I rode from home to Burbank, SD & back, ended up being 73 miles round trip.
Here's how it happened. Left home at noon, rode through town across Iowa/South Dakota state line & on to SD Hwy 105, which turns into Union County Hwy 1. This is the most direct route to Elk Point. Nothing to epic about this part of my route.
The first town after North Sioux City, SD, (the state line is where North Sioux & Sioux City meet), is Jefferson, SD. Saw a couple of bikes outside one of the bars there. So I stopped in to see who it was. It was one of the guys who works at the LBS & another guy I know. This is where the ride started to turn epic. Sat with them, had a coke & some popcorn shoot the breeze with them for a little while. Continued on to Elk Point, which is the next town & where I was going to turn around.
On the way to Elk Point I saw on coming to me a couple of cyclist I know in their vehicle heading south toward Sioux City, I was heading north. I figured one of them had rode & the spouse picked the person that rode up because they had to get back early or maybe they had a problem & needed to be sagged back in. We waved to each other & that of course brought a smile to my face. Then a few miles later I saw some of the bike club riding south, (yesterday was the scheduled club ride to Burbank). We waved & said hello in passing and I felt even better. I get to Elk Point & here is where my ride really improved.
I saw a couple of guys doing a self contained tour. After introducing oursleves to each other I found out they are riding the Lewis & Clark route. There are from Atlanta, Georgia, they got a ride to Hartford Illinois where they started their ride. They wanted to eat at the little mexican rest. in Elk Point, but unfortunatley it was closed. I told them about a place called Wimps in Burbank so they decided to continue on and eat there before heading on to Vermillion or Yankton, SD for the night. Burbank is on the way & only 6 miles from Vermillion, Yankton is an additional 30 or 40 miles or so. Now at this point I was going to wish them well & turn around and head back home.
Instead I decided to join them into Burbank. So they let me lead them in. So there I was representing my community, bike club, etc helping a couple of self contained tourists on their journey of the Lewis & Clark trail. We talked about bike stuff, their trip so far, our communities, etc. Very nice guys & I hope they considered me to be a nice person too, at least that is the impression I got from them anyway. They could not compliment enough on the generousity they have recieved from people here in the mid-west. And I helped add to that.
We get to Wimps to eat & in walks a group of riders from a loose knit group called Team Marley. They did a self contained tour to Yankton & were heading back to Sioux City. I knew 2 of the guys from the group. So we all ate together & enjoyed great conversation. Talked about cycling, RAGBRAI, self contained touring, etc. After the meal we all wished the 2 on the Lewis & Clark route safe journey & Team Marley invited me to ride with them back to Sioux City.
On the way back we stopped in both Elk Point & Jefferson, got to know each other very well, through more great conversation & I was invited to join their loose knit group of riders when ever I can.
Like I said the scheduled club ride to & from Burbank was yesterday as well. They left from the bike shop @ 9:00 in the morning. Had I gone with them I never would have ridden with any of the cyclists I met.
So this whole experience made for a really epic ride for me yesterday. And that don't happen very often.
Any questions please feel free to ask.