All Zipped Up

13 April 2006
Bloomington, Minnesota

I really don't like crosswinds.

As a pilot, crosswinds can be a lot of fun.  As a powered aircraft pilot, they make landings challenging and there's nothing more satisfying than a one-wheel-at-a-time greaser of a landing in a stiff crosswind.  As a glider pilot with mostly ridge soaring experience, winds are vital for lift on the ridge and the stiffer the wind, the better the lift.  Yet as a motorcycle rider, I hate crosswinds.  In the last Travelogue I talked about the 18-23 mph winds blowing from the North as we traveled East across South Dakota.  My only solace in all that was when we were to turn North they would no longer be cross winds.  I was very ready to gladly accept the loss in fuel economy to a 20 mph headwind if only to be rid of the crosswinds.  No such luck.  Today's winds were 100 counter-clockwise from where they were before.  240 @ 18-23 mph.  All the way north from Elk Point, South Dakota (there are Elk in south-east South Dakota?) until we turned East on Highway 13 in North Dakota.

We got a pretty late start out of Elk Point so by the time we pulled into Bloomington at Dave Nelson's house it was well into dinner time.  Dave spent the last couple days trying to find a solution for Tamara's wardrobe malfunction.  After calling several places in the area and finding out that the "authorized dealers" were either no longer dealers or had reduced themselves to nothing more than a catalog store he called his sister, Johana.  Turns out Johana is a seamstress (and a rather neat lady to boot) and knew exactly where to go to get the parts necessary to make the repairs.  After the four of us finished dinner, Johana took Tamara's pants home with her and worked on them.  She returned the next morning with a heavy-duty zipper sewn in over the top of the broken zipper.  The new zipper works better than the original and Tamara is quite happy with it now.  The only concern we have is how water-proof the whole thing will be now.  The new zipper isn't designed to keep out the water so hopefully the velcro flap over the zipper will work.

I noticed a couple things on today's ride...  The first is that the Great State of South Dakota is apparently paying someone to travel the freeways planting little orange surveyor's flags next to all the road-kill big game animals alongside the road.  Either that or the deer are jumping out into traffic and coincidently landing right next to a surveyor's flag already planted alongside the road.  The other thing is that Minnesota seems to be very proud of their turn lanes.  We went nearly all the way from Breckenridge to Furgus Falls without knowing what the speed limit was but we weren't about to miss a single turn lane along the way.  Every one of the turn lanes was labeled with a road-side sign, "Right Turn Lane", "Left Turn Lane" the entire way but not a single speed limit sign.

-Are We There Yet?

Travel Stats:
Miles Traveled Today 479
Today's Total Average Speed 63.1 mph
Today's Total Moving Average Speed 71.5 mph
Miles Traveled Total (including "local" travel) 1782

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