South Dakota Shake Down

The Original idea for our shake down tour (to test out our newly built bicycles before the big Africa/Euro/Asia tour with all our gear) was to do the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The date of which was supposed to be in late September but  was pushed back because of timing with work and customs agents in NY. (mostly the later) This time of year seemed perfect with the cooler temperatures and the changing of foliage. Unfortunately a cold front has moved in just the last few hours and has forced us to change directions. Towards the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Not that cold would normally scare us away. We do happen to live in Minnesota. Even though neither of us are native to this state we do wear the fact that we continue to live here like a badge of misplaced pride. Everyone who lives in these colder regions of the US thinks the outside world looks at us in awe and some sort of reverence In reality, they  think we are insane. Mostly I think they are right. You get used to it, the cold I mean not the crazy.

Brian and I have made sure to pack for all four seasons on this shake down and for the bigger trip. Though we plan on traveling through areas of the world during their more mild temperature months, we also know that Mother Nature sometimes doesn’t follow her normally scheduled weather patterns. There will also be times when we will be high in the Mountains of various places and will want those warm jackets and fuzzy socks. So they are all packed in our panniers. For this trip though we don’t need to unduly suffer.

While the temperature highs will be about the same in the U.P. as in SD, the lows at night will be much warmer in the Black Hills. Still chilly but it won’t test my 20 degree Fahrenheit sleeping bag quite to the limit.

(Which reminds me I need to get a gear list made up soon. I would love to know all that I am taking with me and all that I might gather, swap, or leave behind.)

All I’m doing now is waiting for a phone call saying my bike is ready to roll and then so will we towards Rapid City.

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