deCycles Mexico to Canada 2013
Journal Entry
Date: July 10
Day20: Wednesday
Departure: Sturgis, SD
Arrival: Bowman, ND

Distance:  135-miles.  Average speed 19.0-mph.
Climate:  Sunny, clear, beautiful and exceptionally bright.
Overnight:   Bowman United Methodist Church

Big day ahead.  135-miles is a super-century.  No matter how you cut it, it's a long way on a bicycle.  Fortunately, the wind was in our favor and pushed us over the border into North Dakota.  The landscape was gorgeous.  Rolling green grasslands with herds of cattle off in the distance.  No trees whatsoever.  Just miles and miles of rolling slopes of green grass.  It was beautiful.  I've pedaled a bike in every state except North Dakota and Alaska.  And now, I feel as if I've missed a national treasure here in North Dakota.  There were no power lines or telephone poles.  The greatest treasure are the people.  We were exceptionally well-received at Bowman UMC.  They enthusiastically accommodated our needs and offered a wonderful meal after a long day on the road.  I hope the student riders and their parents can offer their gratitude to these wonderful people.  

The tailwind eased the collective efforts today.  If the other way around, it would have been demoralizing.  We'd still be out there.  The deCycles are looking very strong out on the road.  Off-road, the core of the group is doing really well in maintaining discipline.  However, as in all groups, there are 5-6 riders causing 90% of the discipline problems.  Their memories are short and they repeatedly violate the Heart Agreements they signed prior to the trip.  When the focus on deCycles is about "We", they are stuck on "Me".  Nothing unusual but certainly frustrating because these riders choose their behavior.  This frustrates not only the adult volunteers, but also the riders who are responsible and following the rules.  The dysfunction drives the agenda.

The traffic is picking up on US 85, the only north-to-south highway in western North Dakota.  Trucks are everywhere and that is why we diverted our last two days to Bismarck instead of heading straight north to the Canadian border.  The economy is booming in northwestern ND and    the roads are incapable of handling all the truck traffic with a bicycle group on the road.  So tomorrow's overnight is in New Leipsic which is east of Bowman.  Only two more days to go.