Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day Eleven- destination Rapid City

How many Wingers does it take to plug a tire? Today didn’t start out well as Ross had a flat tire from a cracked valve stem, and Ted noticed he had picked up a nail when checking tire pressure. Ross went on ahead to the Honda dealer in Rapid City and the rest of us carried on as scheduled.

The Needles Highway was truly magnificent. Three pigtail turns with one even a double decker: two divided sections and at least three single lane stone tunnels. Wowsers! The only things that spoil our ride are slow moving vehicles. Our Goldwings overheat when going uphill at very slow speeds of 40km/hr or less. In other words, it’s cooler to go faster! It was easy to spot a vehicle that was familiar with the roads versus the novices. . . you’d think with 14 bikes behind them, they’d at least pull over!!! Some did, thankfully.

We met Ross in Rapid City at the Honda Dealer just before noon and had a look at all the bikes they had on hand. Quite a nice variety, actually. We had our lunch in the parking lot to save time, then headed out on Hwy 44 to see the Badlands.

The wind was rather nasty today and nearly blew us over or at least tried to take our heads off, helmets and all. Ted was concerned about his tire plug and fuel consumption . . . the needle was going down fast as we headed into a NE crosswind. Finally one of the ladies lost a screw in her helmet and had to stop, at which time several others decided to head back to Rapid City with us. Just too windy to enjoy. The rest carried on to Wall and assured us the ride was well worth it to see the Badlands and the famous Wall Drug Store.

Later we gathered for supper as we usually do, but the gang was much quieter than usual. Lots of tired, wind-burned riders. . . .