Day America (14): Glendive, MT – Dickinson, ND
Distance: 101 miles
Biking Time: 5:30
It’s the fourth of July, personally one of my favorite holidays. America, as we have learned over the course of the summer, has so many breathtakingly beautiful places and sights, and that is why we are so excited to be spending its birthday in the “legendary” North Dakota. Originally Josh had it planned for us to take a rest day on the fourth to pay our respects to country music, big trucks, and Donald Trump campaign signs on the side of the road, but after seeing that the forth was in North Dakota, we quickly forgoed the rest day and immediately enacted the“lets get the hell out of here” plan.
As much fleck as North Dakota gets for being the second greatest Dakota and having oil as their only redeeming quality, which isn’t even in a boom right now, we were surprised by its beauty on todays ride. Take the term ‘beauty’ with a grain of salt. My scope of what is interesting has been tainted thanks to the last few days of riding. In our bike ride yesterday, Josh ran up a hill to record a video, when I asked him what he was doing, he responded with, “This is the most nothingness I have ever seen.” To his credit, he was right. Today we went through Theodore Roosevelt National Park. When I first entered the park I made a smart-ass comment to Nigel regarding how bad of taste Theodore Roosevelt must have had to start a national park in North Dakota. I was quickly proven wrong when I saw the beautiful painted canyons of scoria and wildlife in the park (sleeping on the side of the road (thanks for the joke Nigel)), much better than the wheat farms in Eastern Montana. When sharing this optimism with our host Luke, he quickly reassured us that the rest of the state is, “one of the most boring places on the face of the planet.” Thanks Obama.
Today was a weird day of cycling for us. Before diving into the story, I will give you all some background. Two days ago, Nigel’s tire exploded. Due to his lack of knowledge in PV = nRT (I’m told not many people are familiar with this) he did not understand that when you fill your tire near to max psi at 60 degrees, the pressure will increase in the heat of the day. While 70 miles into the ride, Nigel’s entire tire (not just the tube) exploded in the 91-degree heat. It was like a gunshot. When preparing for the ride, my dad recommended that we bring one spare tire per person. Tires are supposed to last 10,000 miles and there is only a one-week window where there is no bike shop in sight so I was willing to take the risk to save money. Nigel popped his tire smack dab in the middle of that week, “just our luck”. After hearing endless “I told you so’s” from my dad, Nigel and I drove off to a bike shop today while Josh biked the first 40 miles of our ride. After getting his bike tire replaced, we rejoined Josh at the North Dakota border and Nigel and I biked the remainder of the 60 miles.
Today has been a weird day for bike maintenance. Josh biked over a nail and got his second flat of the trip. It is ironic because Josh always bragged before leaving for the ride that he would never have tire issues because of his tire tread and because his tires are Kevlar lined, yet he has gotten the most flat tires out of any of us. Is quinoa behind this? I think yes. The second road bump was entirely my fault. I was biking in max gear through the canyons, and was so transfixed by trying to get Go Pro footage of the canyons that I didn’t realize that we climbing a hill and my bike was almost to a stop. In a panic I tried to rapidly gearshift down and broke a chain. But hey, at least we had a tailwind today.
On to a more patriotic conclusion, happy Fourth of July! May the Eagles cry, fireworks explode, burgers cook, and beer be drank (only if your of legal age of course). Be safe, have fun, and if your name is John and your having a rough day, just think, “at least I’m not in North Dakota.”
It’s what the founding fathers would want,