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Day 11 – A Day Off the Bike

Total Day: 0 km

Total Trip: 3223.1 km

I had long been saying that I wasn’t going to ride off road during this trip, although I inadvertantly broke that rule yesterday. I had also long been saying that I was, in no way, going to ride if it had rained and been muddy. Well, it turns out that the rain we encountered yesterday happened all over the Black Hills, and as a result all the trails were muddy. That just solidified my decision that A) yesterday (Friday) was a better day to do the loop we did ending up at Mount Rushmore, as the roads were nearly empty, and B) today was a good day to rest. To do nothing. To remain on foot.

That meant that we could go for a leisurly breakfast, and just … chill. Which is what we did. We found shade. We read. We talked excitedly about the rest of our trip. We met new friends among the small group of people that stayed back. We remarked on how easily we had gotting into the break camp / load bike / ride / set-up camp / repeat cycle. We visited vendors, and got advice and stickers. Denali helped me figure out why my horn dislodged. Klim and Forma were both there – and both products that I love, even if I lost the Forma sticker. There was ample Bivouac Coffee. There were lots of vendors to visit with and talk to. Amazingly, I took no photos of the day.

A Cardo mic cover

Revzilla had a huge tent, which was crammed with gear for sale, including Cardo communication systems. Both the RRP and I ride with a Cardo, and it makes communication so easy. However, the foam covering his microphone ripped on route, and he MacGyvered something with a glasses cleaner and some first-aid tape. That worked – for days! – but I though it was worth asking if they sold the proper foam covers. One of the gents went right over to the cash desk, opened a drawer, and handed me a baggie that had two of the foam covers in it – no charge. That’s excellent customer service.

Eventually, it was time for lunch, then after lunch… a nap. I woke up groggy, and kind of snapped at a question from RRP – and he called me on it, just like he needed to. Apologies, and we moved on, but it is great having a friend on a trip like this that will call you on your bullshit. It lasted about 30 seconds, and was the only falling out we had on the entire trip. RRP is a great friend.

Tonight was the last meal, so to speak. The last time we were all going to be together. We ate dinner, and took a selfie with Spurgeon. We chatted with a number of folks, and then wandered over to the video premier of the BDRx Black Hills film from Backcountry Discovery Routes, which was livestreamed over a shaky 5G connection.

When we had had enough, it was a short walk to our cabin, which was only 100 feet away. We turned in, with a big day ahead of us tomorrow – not in mileage, but in scenery. We were going to see Devil’s Tower. Today was a good day. We both enjoyed the time off the bike, and both had a good rest. The next day was going to be the Beginning of the Long Dash towards home.

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