East Glacier MT to Havre MT
175 miles. (No typo)
Travel Time 11hrs
Saddle Time 8:45 hrs
Mileage week 2: 530 miles
2 week total 982 miles
I was on the road at 6:30 and immediately realized what a great day this will be. It was partly sunny, the road was smooth, there would be few trucks and cars on a Sunday and there was an incredible WIND at my back. I was flying. The first 30 miles were a 2-3% descent. I was in heaven. I got to Cut Bank in 2 1/2 hrs. Yesterday I had stayed in East Glacier because I projected it to be 4-5 hrs to make those 45 miles in the rain. It was bliss. I averaged over 20mph today. To put that in perspective, I average 15 mph at home with no panniers! It is not just the speed, it is also the ease of pedaling.
I saw Big Al the night before as she was looking to dry off at a cheap motel in East Glacier. I, on the other hand, splurged at the Dancing Bear motel because it had fast internet. I caught up to Big Al on the road this morning about 5 miles out of town. She said she was enjoying the wind, but doesn’t feel comfortable going fast. After a mile of riding together, I gave her the finger and took off!
I made it 112 miles to lunch at 1pm. I contacted my warm shower host for Harlem MT. Yesterday, I told her it would take me 2-3 days to get there. I texted her and said I might make the 180 miles to her today! Then I pulled out my map and realized it would be 216 total miles to her today and it wasn’t going to happen!
As soon as I left lunch, the wind had shifted. Where I was averaging over 21 mph, now I was down to 11. But I soon realized the reason for the shift was that the road changed direction and I was heading North for 5 miles. As soon as I turned East, I was cranking back over 20! I met a guy coming the other direction. He was struggling. But he laughed because he said the wind is always changing and I had over 2,000 miles to go and he was less than 1,000 miles to the end of his journey.
I was about 40 miles from Havre when all of a sudden I heard a loud hissing
sound and I felt my feet get sprayed with something. I looked down and my unlucky front tire was spitting liquid. It was the goo the guy put in the tube when he repaired it a week ago. I remembered that the idea is to let this slime hit air and it will fill the hole. So I pumped more air back in the tube and rolled on. In about 5 miles I had to pump in more air. I thought this would repeat until Havre. I now had a replacement tire, but I really hoped I could make it to the repair shop in Havre (coincidently the first one since Whitefish). I also didn’t want to sit on side of this road and replace my tire. When I had first pulled over I spotted a snake skin sitting right there. Spooked me. Luckily I made to Havre with no more problems.
I also learned a new game today. Remember the scene from Breaking Away where the cyclist races the truck. Well today I raced the trains. They only go between 30-40 mph and they are really long, so the race lasts a while. I can see the fear in the engineer’s eyes as I chase him down.
There are pictures below of me leaving the Rookies behind, including in my side view mirror. The rest of the pictures haven’t downloaded, but I want to send this before I fall asleep. Remaining pictures will come tomorrow .
BTW Map my Ride says I spent over 20,000 calories today. But I think I am gaining wait with all the eating!