Trails: No bicycle riding today - all driving. It is a long drive to South Dakota where I was heading to ride the George Mickelson Trail (108 miles long). I chose to head to South Dakota because a cold front was pushing through and the next few days in SD temps were suppose to be in the 50s-70s while the rest of the country was in a heat bubble.
As I was approaching Rapid City storm clouds from the leading edge of the cold front could be seen towering on the horizon. Due to the ridiculous tourist gouging motel prices in Rapid City I headed south to Hot Springs. At least the prices in Hot Springs were more reasonable until Friday when they said the price for the same room would more than double. The big Sturgis Motorcycle rally was starting at the end of the week and it had motel prices in the Black Hills for places like Day's Inn soaring to over 400 dollars for a room per night.
If a hurricane knocked out power and created a high demand for ice and racketeers started price gouging on ice by raising prices from $2 for a bag of ice to $20, someone would go to jail. But apparently it is all right for Motels to jack up their prices when they feel there is high demand for their rooms.
Anyway, I used Hot Springs as a home base for 3 days of riding on the Mickelson trail. 5 minutes after checking into the motel the cold front starting moving through. Temperatures dropped from the 90s to the 60s in minutes as the hail started to fall. Hail was big enough to leave small dents in the roof of my car. Thank God the windshield was not broken. 20-30 miles north in Custer and Hill City, hail as big as baseballs (3-4 inches) came crashing down. The hail in Custer lasted about 15 minutes and when all was over, there were inches of ice on the ground. When I rode through Custer two days later, there was still piles of hail in some of the ditches left over from the storm.