Skip to main content

 

Day 10

 

Stanford to Lewistown, MT


95 miles (completed only 30 after “serious mechanical”) / wind – 25 mph gusts; side and tail winds

 

Today’s ride was jinxed from the start.  First we had a “game day reroute” due to sun issues (directly in the driver’s eyes) and no shoulder.  We rerouted and drove about 30 minutes away to a less traveled highway.  We knew we would have high cross and tail winds (but clear skies!) but the new highway registered far fewer cars and trucks so we were game.


At about 1,000 feet into day 10, while I was changing into lower gears, my derailleur jumped the track and got caught in my rear spokes and disintegrated.  Joe was right behind me and yelled out, “Your derailleur just exploded and shredded your frame.”  Thankfully the bike’s frame was not shredded but the derailleur had ripped completely off the frame!

 

 

Not too undaunted, we stopped and I switched to the “back-up bike,” my 10 year old Specialized Pro Tarmac.  Needless to say however I was not in a great mood on the back up bike (RAA I finisher!!) in 25 mph cross and tail winds. 

 

While driving, Scuba Steve (Miska) and at breaks Bob, set about calling bike shops nearby (none closer than three hours away in Billings, MT) after 30 miles we located two options that had either parts or similar bikes for purchase.  I was hoping that my new bike was salvageable.  Before traveling to Billings to look at our bike fix option, we completed 30 miles of wonderful riding on a wide open highway.  When the bike shop opened up we packed up and drove to Billings to meet up with the owner of the Spoke Shop, Dean and his crack technician, McKay.  At first McKay told us they could “overnight” the parts, a derailleur and hanger and have us up and running later on the 16th.


After Dean learned we were biking across the northern route, he let us know his personal bike was similar to ours and that he would take parts from his bike to fix mine.  (Makes me want to drive to the Spoke Shop in Billings for my next bike tune up!)  In three short hours McKay took the derailleur and hanger from Dean’s bike and rebuilt my rear wheel (12 shredded spokes) and had me back in the saddle.  As we were leaving the shop McKay asked, “So you guys are starting from here in the morning?”  “Nope, we are going back three hours to Lewistown …  McKay’s response, “Much respect you guys …”

 

We have experienced more “mechanicals” in RAA II than in RAA I but we have been blessed with two fantastic bike stores with experienced bike mechanics / staff – service still matters!


Popular posts from this blog

   Day 1   “They’re baaaack.”    That’s right, the same guys that spearheaded the RAA I (“Ride Across America I”) three years ago, Bob McCullough, Joe Geivett and Carl Forsberg are headed out on RAA II, this time the Northern Route across America. As you may recall, in August 2018 this group rode from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida over 27 days, with a rest day in Austin, Texas.    RAA I was about 3,055 miles.    RAA II (who’s idea was this anyway, Bob?) is from Anacortes, Washington to Bar Harbor, Maine, our route is 4,251 miles.    One never has an appreciation for how much wider America is on its Northern border than its Southern border – until you map a bicycle route.    Due to scheduling considerations (the “vocation” as opposed to the “avocation”), we will ride from Anacortes to Minneapolis, Minnesota this year and pick back up in Minneapolis and ride to Bar Harbor this time next year.    (We hope to get a spectacular “New England Fall.”)    The first leg of RAA
  Day 3   Omak to Colville Another very big day:   116 miles and a 9,000-foot gain in elevation with most of this gain in the elevation occurring in miles 80-90 towards the end of the day (just when you thought the day couldn't get any tougher, oh yeah, “Here’s a huge, steep climb to end the day!”) Road Conditions:   We went from 3-foot shoulders with a “rumble strip” to 18 inch shoulders with no rumble strip to no shoulders!   And we have included here photos of some of the machinery going up the mountain passes right next to us – not for the faint of heart! Today’s weather:   We had it all today, a little rain in the morning out of Omak and then the day progressed to about 88° from Noon on, going into Colville.  Air quality from the fires was 151.  Oh, and we had near 15 mph headwinds for some of the mountain ascents and descents.  Some of these headwinds pushed us sideways while descending at near and above 40 mph.   Today’s story is about the ride, it was a very tough d
Day 2   Ross Dam Overlook to Okanogan   Pre day-2 discussion; Bob email to Joe and I:   “Surprise, our total elevation gain is over 8,000 feet, our estimated elevation gain was 1,600 feet off!  2,500 feet in 10 miles between miles 70-80.  Super steep!  Oh, and FYI, Wednesday is close to 9,000 elevation gain, not the 7,000 we had charted …”   Joe’s response, “Good to know Bob.”   105 miles; over 8,000 feet of elevation gain!  Tough, tough day in the saddle; this was one of the top 20 hardest centuries we have ridden and among the top 10 most beautiful.  Stunning vistas, truly a magnificent highway (Hwy. 20; which closes for about 4-5 months a year due to 20(+) foot snowfalls!  We encountered some smoke from long away forest fires and we saw tremendous damage from recent forest fires in the Okanogan National Forest.  Very sad, this forest will not likely come back in our lifetime. We had beautiful, well-maintained roads, with little shoulder but for the most part very courteous drivers.